When you hear the term Bacterial Vaginosis? What comes to mind…
Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common infection of the vagina, it may be unknown to others but yes, it is more common than yeast infection. Women tend to be shy and scared when they are diagnosed with an infection in the vagina. You cannot avoid the connotation of being “dirty” and “unclean”. People can be judgemental at times without even knowing the real reason for it.
Does apple cider vinegar cure bv? In this article, the focus will be on apple cider vinegar and how it can be used as a treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?
Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection of the vagina. It happens when there is an imbalance in the vaginal ecosystem. The good bacteria that are commonly present in the vagina, also known as Lactobacillus are the ones in charge of keeping the pH slightly acidic, the normal vaginal pH is between 3.8-4.5 and it controls the bad bacteria from taking over by multiplying and proliferating.
When there is a sudden decrease in the number of good bacteria in the vagina, the pH becomes higher than 4.5 and becomes alkaline. It allows the growth of foreign pathogens and anaerobes that usually cause infection.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis?
If you see any symptoms, it is important to consult a medical care provider for a course of treatment. Things to watch out for are:
- Thin greyish, white vaginal discharge
- Unpleasant, “fishy” vaginal odour
- Itchy vagina
- Painful sensation in the vagina after sexual intercourse
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Increased vaginal pH, usually higher than 4.5
When Is It Advisable To See A Doctor Or Medical Care Provider?
- The vaginal discharge is not normal and there is a weird foul smell. The medical care provider can do tests to properly diagnose if you indeed have bacterial vaginosis.
- There have been recurrent vaginal infections but this time there is a change in the colour and consistency.
- Unprotected sex with multiple sex partners. Bacterial vaginosis is similar to some of the signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Vinegar has been known and used for thousands of years and offers a lot of benefits. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular types of vinegar and the natural health community really loves it. A lot of individuals use it for controlling cholesterol, blood sugar levels, weight loss and diabetic symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar has many uses:
- As a drink,
- Disinfectant for wounds
Studies that have been carried out show that Apple cider vinegar is effective against certain bacteria like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which has been effective in preventing the growth of bacteria. It is also effective as a treatment for vaginal candida infection because it contains lactic acid, which is useful in controlling bad bacteria.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Apple Cider Vinegar?
1. It helps control the blood sugar levels – A woman with high blood sugar is prone to have BV. Taking 2 tablespoons of ACV during bedtime can help reduce blood sugar levels. We recommend you avoid carbohydrates and sugary foods.
2. It can kill foreign pathogens which includes bacteria – ACV has been used for cleaning and disinfecting wounds, and other infections. It has been used as a wound cleaner for thousands of years. It also helps prevent bacterial growth.
3. It contains high acetic acid – Apple cider is made in a two-step process just like how alcohol is created. Apples are crushed and yeast is added which helps the fermentation process. The next step is adding bacteria to the solution which will process the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid.
Apple cider vinegar which is unfiltered and organic contains proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria. It contains 3 calories per tablespoon and has a small amount of potassium. It also contains amino acids and antioxidants that are beneficial to the human body.
What Are The Side Effects Of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Taking too much vinegar is not good and it is important to be cautious when taking Apple cider vinegar as a treatment for BV. Here are some of the side effects it can have:
1. Gastrointestinal issues – ACV causes a slower rate of food leaving the stomach. A lot of individuals have reported nausea and indigestion after taking vinegar. Drinking ACV that is not diluted can cause acid reflux, hyper acidity, and stomach ulcers.
2. Tooth decay – Vinegar is acidic and when too much vinegar is consumed, it can weaken the enamel of the tooth and lead to tooth decay. Undiluted apple cider vinegar is too potent and strong. When taking acv it is important to dilute it with water to weaken its acidity or take it with meals.
3. Low potassium levels – There have been reports showing that taking too much acv can decrease potassium levels in the body. When a person has low potassium, it can worsen and become a life-threatening issue.
4. Skin burns – ACV is highly acidic when directly applied in the skin. It can cause irritation and skin burns. Always make sure to use vinegar that is diluted so it cannot cause irritation in the skin. Serious burns can happen if ACV is used undiluted.
5. Blood sugar regulation – Studies show that drinking vinegar can affect blood sugar regulation in the body. If you are interested in trying this remedy, please consult a medical care provider first just to make sure.
How To Lower The Risk Of Unwanted Effects From Using Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Decrease the quantity of ACV consumption.
- Decrease the amount of time that the vinegar touches the skin.
- Always dilute the vinegar with water to lower its acidity.
- Drink the ACV using a straw so it will not contact the teeth.
The vagina normally contains both good and bad bacteria, with the good bacteria higher in number and controlling the bad bacteria from overgrowing. When there is an imbalance in the vaginal flora, Bacterial Vaginosis can occur.
Home remedies can be used like apple cider vinegar to treat BV. It is important to know the different side effects it has because if it is used undiluted and in excessive amounts, it can cause unwanted effects on the body.
Using apple cider vinegar can help control Bacterial vaginosis symptoms. It can be used as a vulva rinse by using 2 tablespoons of ACV mixed with a cup of water two times a day.
Apple cider can also be taken with honey which contains antibacterial properties and if mixed together, will boost the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic and lactic acid that helps control the vaginal pH. It also prevents the growth of bacteria in the vagina. By taking it daily before bedtime, it will help reduce the symptoms and prevent the recurrence of infection after a few months.
A study has been done regarding apple cider vinegar and it can cause health benefits when taken once a day. Drink 15ml of acv and make sure it contains approximately 750 mg of acetic acid.
Just like everything else, it is better to take the apple cider vinegar in moderation and with extreme caution. If you are planning to use apple cider vinegar to treat BV, it is important to consult your medical care provider before taking it.