Homeopathy and BV
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a bacterial vaginal infection that creates a watery and smelly discharge, accompanied by discomfort and soreness.
BV can feel like it will never go away when you’ve seen your GP, been to the sexual health clinic, perhaps a gynaecologist, and taken multiple courses of antibiotics.
Homeopathy can help.
Female microbiome facts
It’s well-known that the gut microbiome contains a diverse array of probiotic and pathogenic bacteria, and it’s the exactly the same with the the vagina.
When vaginal bacteria are in balance, i.e. the probiotic strains are dominant and there are relatively few pathogens, all is well.
An overly alkaline vagina is what causes pathogenic bacteria to flourish.
Causes of excess alkalinity include:
- unfamiliar bacteria – through sex
- bowel bacteria – transmits very easily
- scented soap, bubble bath, washing powder etc.
- vaginal douching or flushing
- a contraceptive IUD
BV symptoms are therefore a sign that the bacteria are out of balance.
While there can be a soreness with a discharge, it doesn’t look or feel like thrush which is itchy and looks more white and lumpy.
Thrush is a candida or yeast overgrowth and a very common issue.
Unfortunately the two can come together.
Treatment for BV
A sexual health clinic is a supportive space where they offer you a diagnosis, along with a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics to clear it up.
Sometimes the BV infection ends there, and if so, all well and good.
However, when the underlying causes are not resolved, BV symptoms may relapse, leading to more antibiotics.
If you are someone who tries to avoid medication, including antibiotics, then taking frequent courses of antibiotics can add to your stress. [Related post: How antibiotics affect your gut]
After a few courses antibiotics you might realise you also have thrush alongside BV.
In this situation further antibiotic treatment will worsen your thrush, and you can find yourself in a repeating cycle of BV/thrush/BV/thrush, or if you are really unlucky, UTI might be in there too.
Probiotics can be very useful at this point, and with research in this area on the rise, we know a lot more about which specific probiotic strains support the female microbiome:
- Lactobacillus Paracasei
- Lactobacillus Reuteri
- Lactabacillus Rhamnosus
There are a lot of products that include these, but my first recommended product is Optibac Women.
Optibac are a family-run UK business with research led formulations, and I normally suggest a 3 month course alongside homeopathy treatment. [Link to Optibac Women]
Risks and complications
Studies have shown that the alkaline imbalance that causes BV can also lead to an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. [Link to study]
Other studies reveal BV as an underlying factor in unexplained infertility, and is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. [Link to study]
This is why couples who have experienced miscarriage are often referred to the sexual health clinic to ensure that BV isn’t a hidden cause.
How can homeopathy help BV?
Homeopathy is often a ‘last resort’ treatment. Many of my clients reach out to me when nothing else has worked.
As a homeopath I look at everyone as an individual.
Even when you are supporting a specific condition such as BV, the underlying circumstances will be different for everyone.
I will ask questions around:
- medical history
- recent and past medication
- bowel activity
- relationship history
- energy, stress and sleep
- food preferences
- water intake
Systematically exploring these areas helps us ‘join up the dots’.
General recommendations include:
- increased water
- changes to the diet
- symptom tracking
- condoms – even if you are already using another form of contraception
- probiotics (if you don’t already take them)
I also choose remedies and homeobotanicals to gently detoxify and support your immune system.
Homeopathy improves your mood, energy and overall well-being as well as strengthening your immunity and resilience so you no longer get relapses.
Are your BV symptoms trying to protect you?
One way to view your symptoms is that they’re your body’s intelligent defence mechanism, and are trying to protect you in some way.
Some women tell me they feel their current partner or lifestyle is not right for them.
I always offer a relaxed, non-judgmental space for us to explore your symptoms within the context of your life.
Homeopathy is a holistic approach that offers natural support for your immunity, gut function and empowers you to make positive changes in your life.