Probiotics That Are Good to Treat BV. Those who have suffered with BV, or bacterial vaginosis, understand well how frustrating this condition can be. Besides the embarrassment of the odor and discharge, the condition can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
Traditional modes of therapy for BV have, in the past, consisted of antibiotic therapy with moderate success. Unfortunately, the use of antibiotic therapy frequently causes a bacterial imbalance in the normal flora of the vaginal area, resulting in the misery of yeast infections which then require additional treatment.
One of the newest health buzzwords is that of “probiotic therapy” and it is rapidly gaining momentum as a safe and effective treatment for BV.
Why Probiotic Therapy?
The human body relies upon a certain amount of “good” bacteria (flora) to maintain optimum health. For instance, “good” bacteria in the intestinal tract facilitates digestion and aids in elimination. Other areas of the body that are host to “good” bacteria include the mouth and vagina. Of course, there is also “bad” bacteria present in these areas as well, but the “good” bacteria are charged with the job of keeping the “bad” bacteria under control.
Sometimes, for various reasons, things become out of balance and the “good” bacteria are overcome by the “bad”, and symptoms arise. When this occurs in the intestines, symptoms such as diarrhea develop. When this happens in the mouth, symptoms such as mouth sores develop. And, when this happens in the vagina, the condition known as bacterial vaginosis develops.
Because BV is a result of a bacterial imbalance, it just doesn’t make sense to treat the condition with antibiotics. After all, the problem is due to a lack of “good” bacteria. Killing the “bad” bacteria will also kill what’s left of the “good” bacteria and the imbalance only worsens.
Probiotic therapy involves replenishing the population of “good” bacteria to restore the proper balance and successfully treat BV. It is safer and more effective than destroying all of the flora, and then waiting for the body to eventually restore the balance, assuming that it can effectively restore the balance on its own.
What Types of Probiotics are Recommended?
There are two types of probiotics that have been clinically proven to treat BV effectively:
*Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1
*Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14
In a recent study, a group of women were given probiotic therapy using these two substances, with amazing results: 82% of those tested had complete restoration of vaginal flora to normal levels within 28 days of treatment. While the medication can be administered either orally or vaginally, the subjects of this test ingested the probiotics orally.
Sometimes, in cases of severe onset, it is recommended to go ahead with antibiotic therapy in conjunction with simultaneous probiotic therapy.
Caveats Worth Mentioning
When using probiotic therapy for BV, one should never cease taking the medication suddenly when the symptoms have cleared. The dosage should be halved, and continued for at least a month in order to fully support the new flora growth and allow it to stabilize.
Also, it is wise to remember that, once the BV has cleared, there are no guarantees that it will not return. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to research or discuss with someone who is knowledgeable about probiotic use about a maintenance program balanced with a healthy lifestyle to prevent future outbreaks.