In this short writeup, you’ll discover 11 effective over the counter treatment for bacterial vaginosis which you can use to get rid of your condition. The good thing about these over the counters is that they are always readily available and we don’t need a doctors’ prescription to get them. However, they can have some really bad side effects, especially when wrongly used. Remember that there are also natural cures which are also readily available and work well in cases of recurrent bacterial vaginosis.
There is no doubt about it; Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a very common condition which affects many women today. It is caused by the overgrowth of certain anaerobic bacteria mainly of the Gardnerella species in a woman’s vagina. Most women who get BV for the first time will usually try to use antibiotics like Clindamycin and Flagyl to treat the infection. Common symptoms of BV include:
- Fishy smell.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge.
- Vaginal irritation.
- Minor pain sensations during intercourse.
However, over 85% of women with BV do not exhibit these symptoms.
The Best Over The Counter Treatments for Bacterial Vaginosis
Over the counter treatments for Bacterial Vaginosis are readily available and easy to acquire. Contrary to popular belief, these treatments are really effective in treating BV. The beauty about most over the counter (OTC) medications is that you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to obtain them. In fact some have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hence, you can treat BV in your own privacy and convenience while at the same time reducing expensive clinic visits. However, it is best to have a correct diagnosis before attempting any treatment.
As opposed to antibiotics, OTC treatment facilitates the growth of good bacteria. Plus there is of course the added advantage of no major side effects. Good examples of OTC treatment for BV include:
RepHresh is a product which is approved by the FDA and is available in most stores and pharmacies. It is inserted into the vagina with an applicator and is used every three days to create a balance in the bacteria levels. It is advisable not to use this product during menstruation as it may cause clump and congeal.
Femigel is a natural lubricant that maintains a healthy PH in the vagina and can be listed as an over the counter treatment for bacterial vaginosis. It contains 3% tea tree oil which disinfects the vagina by killing the harmful bacteria. Like RepHresh, it is also inserted into the vagina using an applicator every few days to facilitate the growth of good bacteria.
Beta-dine is one of the best chemicals you can use for douching. It comes as a pre-packaged douche. It is available in most supermarkets and pharmacies. Beta-dine, also known as povidone iodine, contains antiseptic properties to kills germs. It also inhibits fungal growth, and prevents soreness and swelling.
This product contains lactobacillus strains that help to enhance a healthy supply of good bacteria. Over time, the healthy bacteria will grow and reproduce thus reestablishing a normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. It is available as a supplement which can be ingested orally.
5. Boric Acid Douche
Boric acid douche can help to lower the pH in the vagina. It also destroys the colonies of harmful bacteria that cause BV. Researchers have also found out that boric acid in the vagina traps ammonia which harmful bacteria use as energy. This inhibits their growth. However, not all women will benefit from this douche.
When talking about over the counter treatment for bacterial vaginosis, yoghurt can never be missed. Eating at least 2 cups of yoghurt a day will help stabilize the levels of healthy bacteria in your vagina. Alternatively you can soak a tampon in plain yoghurt and insert it into the vagina for 1 hour before removing it. However, if you are pregnant you should stick to eating yoghurt only.
7. Vitamin E Cream
This cream is mostly used to relieve the itching around the vaginal area. Apply the cream on your vagina for at least twice a day for 7 days. Pregnant women can also use this product without putting their unborn babies at risk. However, the only disadvantage of this cream is that it is expensive.
8. Summer’s Eve Medicated Douche
This product contains potassium iodide which can help lower the pH in the vagina. Hence anaerobic bacteria that cause BV and thrive in alkaline conditions will not be able to multiply at their normal rate.
9. Acidophilus Powder or Capsules
This is the best alternative to use if you are allergic to dairy products like yoghurt. It helps to maintain a good level of bacteria in the vagina. The tablet form is more effective than the powder.
10. Tea Tree Oil Pessaries
Tea tree oil also makes its way in as an over the counter treatment for bacterial vaginosis. They come as small blocks which a woman can insert into her vagina. Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties which can help control the harmful bacteria present in the vagina. Alternatively, you can purchase tea tree oil and add a few drops into your bath water. Soak in it for about 20 minutes.
Femanol is an oral supplement that contains lactobacillus acidophilus. In addition, it also contains garlic and several vitamins (B1, B2, B5 and B6). This supplement will help boost the levels of healthy bacteria in the vagina while at the same time killing the harmful bacteria.
What if an over the counter treatment for bacterial vaginosis dose not work?
It is always good to list all these over the counter treatment options for BV and hope they work for everyone who tries them. But we all know that that is not always the case. So what should you do when over the counters don’t work? Well, the truth is; – its not the end of the world. There are many more options out there you can use. You should know or understand that just because an over the counter worked for A dose not mean it will work for B! As a rule, you are advised to use only one solution (or chemical for douching) at a time. If BV symptoms persist after trying one or two over the counter treatments, you should then see a doctor so that you can be tested for other vaginal infections.