The healthy vagina contains an abundance of “good bacteria,” or normal flora. The normal flora help prevent overgrowth by disease-causing organisms, including bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis, or BV, is a common condition in which the vaginal bacteria are out of balance. In BV, the normal flora are reduced and other bacteria increase dramatically leading to symptoms of vaginal discharge, irritation, or odor. BV is a common reason to visit a gynecologist, and is often treated with antibiotics. However, many women prefer alternative or natural remedies such as probiotics, botanical treatments and preventive measures.
Tea Tree Oil For Bacterial Vaginosis-
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree. It contains a class of chemicals called terpenes which act against bacteria and yeast in laboratory studies. One potential benefit of this approach for BV is that Lactobacillus is relatively resistant to terpenes. Tea tree oil is effective against many types of bacteria in vitro and is often recommended for BV. According to a recent study, there is little documentation of the efficacy of this approach, and risks include allergic reaction. Tea tree oil is given in capsules that are inserted directly into the vagina.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus For Bacterial Vaginosis
The idea behind probiotic therapy is to use live microorganisms to prevent disease or restore health. Lactobacillus is the most important kind of bacteria in the normal flora. Lactobacillus may be given by mouth — in capsules or as an ingredient in yogurt — or directly applied to the vagina. According to a recent study, several small, randomized trials have shown that Lactobacillus therapy reduces episodes of BV.
Natural treatments may have side effects. Treatment with Lactobacillus usually does not have side effects, although some people may experience mild gas or bloating. Probiotic studies can be difficult to interpret. Some strains of Lactobacillus may be more helpful for BV than others. Other than Lactobacillus-containing probiotics, no natural BV treatments have been studied in clinical trials to determine effectiveness, proper dosing or safety.