Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common infection of the vagina among women in their child-bearing years. Women who belong in the age bracket of 15-44 are the ones most at risk. Bacterial Vaginosis is a simple infection and is more common than a yeast infection, around 30% of American women (1 out of 3 women) can be affected by BV, although not everyone is vocal about it.
Having an infection especially in the vagina is something a woman will not be proud of because of the connotation it can have. People can be judgemental and see you as dirty.
Women tend to keep this type of information to themselves and often resort to solving them by using home remedies and natural treatments before going to their medical care providers.
What is the best bacterial vaginosis prevention diet?
Will it help a woman get rid of bv?
In this article, we will focus on the diet that will help a woman prevent bv from occurring. Yes, you can prevent BV.
Keep reading to find out more…
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial Vaginosis is the imbalance in the vaginal ecosystem. The vagina has both good and bad bacteria. When there is a sudden imbalance in the number of bacteria or a sudden decrease in the population of good bacteria, Bacterial Vaginosis will occur.
The good bacteria (Lactobacillus) are the ones in charge of keeping the peace in the vaginal ecosystem. It produces lactic acid that keeps the vagina in a slightly acidic; pH range of 3.8-4.5. The acidic environment keeps the vagina clean and prevents inflammation and infection.
Although sometimes BV can be asymptomatic, there are women who experience symptoms and it is important for them to consult a medical care provider for proper treatment and a course of antibiotics.
If bv is left untreated it can cause possible complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory disease, infertility, premature delivery and low birth weight for babies. Women who have BV are also more prone to getting sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV, and Aids.
BV is more common among women who are sexually active and it usually develops after having unprotected sexual intercourse or having multiple sex partners. Women who use vaginal douche and smoke frequently are at a higher risk of getting bacterial vaginosis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis?
- Thin whitish grey vaginal discharge
- Foul-smell (fishy odour)
- Itchy and irritating vagina
- Painful vagina after sexual intercourse
Bacterial Vaginosis Can Be Diagnosed Using Different Ways:
- Whiff test – using the vaginal discharge mixed with hydrogen peroxide.
- Physical test or exam
- Laboratory tests
Can Bv Be Prevented?
Bacterial Vaginosis can be prevented and here are the following measures that can be taken:
- Avoid vaginal douching and using scented products – This affects the normal vaginal flora which leads to the death of good bacteria
- Wear cotton underwear – Moisture attracts bacteria and foreign pathogens.
- Avoid smoking.
Bacterial Vaginosis Prevention Diet 101
When you have a good healthy diet, bv has less chance of occurring.
But Poor nutrition can weaken the immune system and make you prone to more infections!
Modify the diet – A woman can prevent BV by switching to an anti-inflammatory, alkaline diet. Avoid sugars, fast foods, fried foods, red meats, and carbohydrates.
Eating cleansing foods can also help prevent BV – Cleansing foods include: dark leafy greens, seaweed, ginger, beets, carrot, artichokes, lemon, apple, radish, and asparagus.
Increase fluid intake – By drinking plenty of water, it will help flush out foreign pathogens and toxins. Increasing water intake can also help establish the vagina’s proper pH which is usually slightly acidic. The mucous membranes in the vagina need constant fluids in order to be healthy, if your dehydrated it increases the chance of BV as bacteria become more concentrated in the vagina. Try to drink at least 8 glass of water per day.
Eat fermented or cultured foods – When eating foods that are rich in probiotics, the vaginal flora will stay balanced. Foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, pickles, chutney, and sauerkraut are great.
Prebiotics must also be included when taking probiotic-rich foods. Things like onions, garlic, chicory, jicama, and burdock root. When taking both prebiotics and probiotics, you will replenish the Lactobacilli in the vagina.
The probiotics must contain live cultures which will be able to survive the stomach acid and reach the intestines to provide excellent health benefits.
Use antimicrobial herbs – There are herbs that offer different health benefits. Things like Echinacea, Goldenseal, Turmeric, Olive leaf extract, and Bee Propolis can help fight the foreign pathogens and help support the immune system and immune response.
What Are The Foods With Antibacterial Properties?
Foods with antibacterial properties work well when taken with foods rich in probiotics. When taken together, it helps control the foreign pathogens and bacteria that invade the vagina and other parts of the body. Foods with antibacterial properties help fight infection and lower the risk of getting bacterial vaginosis.
These are some of the foods with antimicrobial properties:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – ACV is known for its different health benefits. It works effectively against bacteria by penetrating their cell membranes. It can also be used as an antiseptic to clean cuts or wounds. Use it daily by combining it with warm water and a tablespoon of honey to make a nice drink.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut has a lot of benefits for the human body because it contains triglycerides When used daily in cooking and baking, it will help improve one’s health and fight off infections.
- Garlic – Garlic is one food that not only contains antibacterial properties but it also works as an antiviral and antifungal. It contains sulfenic acid which is a powerful antioxidant. Garlic can be used in your daily diet or it can be taken as a supplement.
- Manuka Honey – Manuka Honey is very unique as it contains an antibacterial compound called Unique Manuka Factor, it is not found in other types of honey. UMF is known to be effective against 250 strains of bacteria as well as those resistant to antibiotics. Take one tablespoon of Manuka Honey daily for its antibacterial properties and it will help fight the anaerobes that cause BV.
Use Natural Topical Applications For Bacterial Vaginosis:
- Apply yogurt in the vagina daily.
- Apply a small amount of yogurt on a tampon before going to bed.
- Lactobacillus suppositories can be helpful in preventing BV.
- Hydrogen Peroxide capsules can be used for BV as it increases the acidity of the vagina. Make sure to consult your medical care practitioner beforehand.
What Preventive Measures Can Be Used For BV?
- Avoid having sex when taking treatments for BV.
- Do not wear tight clothing.
- Avoid using douches and harsh soaps.
- Use pH and sperm friendly lubricant for dryness to prevent the symptoms from aggravating.
When a woman gets an infection in the genital area, she gets embarrassed talking about it. They tend to be ashamed and afraid to let others know that they have this condition. However, Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common infection and anyone can get it, especially if they are sexually active. Some reports mentioned that even women who are not sexually active can get BV.
Poor nutrition can make women prone to different infections such as BV. This can be prevented by altering the diet and following different preventive measures. A woman can prevent BV by following home remedies and switching to an alkaline diet, consuming green leafy vegetables and probiotic-rich foods that contain live Lactobacillus cultures.
These are fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles. Probiotics work well if taken with foods rich in antibacterial properties, such as Manuka Honey, Garlic, Coconut Oil, and Apple Cider Vinegar.
When you have a strong immune system and follow a good healthy diet, you can prevent BV from occurring. There have been cases where bacterial vaginosis went away without antibiotic treatment because the immune system and the presence of good bacteria increased when eating a good balanced diet.