Bacterial vaginosis is a very common type of vaginal infection. Lots of ‘good’ bacteria as well as some ‘bad’ bacteria (like Gardnerella vaginalis) are normally present in the vagina. This mild infection occurs when the balance between the good and bad bacteria gets disturbed.
Common symptoms include excessive vaginal discharge, sometimes with a fishy odor, along with itching and occasionally pain during urination.
Experts are not sure what causes the bacteria to get out of balance, but certain factors can increase your risk of infection. Such factors include having more than one sex partner, a new sex partner, excessive smoking, and douching.
Bacterial vaginosis is usually not serious and often goes away on its own. But it’s a good idea to treat it as soon as symptoms appear. Some simple home remedies can help you get rid of this annoying problem.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for bacterial vaginosis.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
An excellent home remedy for bacterial vaginosis is apple cider vinegar. Due to its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar helps increase vaginal acidity. This makes it difficult for bad bacteria to survive and creates a better environment for good bacteria to thrive.
- Add one to two cups of apple cider vinegar to your bath water.
- Sit in the bath water for about 20 minutes.
- Gently pat dry the vaginal area.
- Do this once daily until the condition improves.
Yogurt is one of the most common home remedies for bacterial vaginosis. Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria known as lactobacillus that help fight off bad bacteria and help maintain healthy vaginal pH balance.
- Dip a cotton pad in yogurt and apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for half an hour and then wash the area thoroughly with fresh water. Repeat three times a day until your symptoms are gone.
- You may also dip a tampon in yogurt and put it in the vagina for one to two hours. Do this twice daily until the symptoms completely disappear.
- Also, eat two cups of plain yogurt daily to help restore the vagina’s normal pH balance and minimize the growth of bad bacteria.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains natural antibacterial as well as antifungal compounds that help kill the germs that cause bacterial vaginosis. It will also combat the awful smell that is common with bacterial vaginosis.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a small bowl of warm water and stir it well. Use the solution to rinse your vagina. Do this once daily for three to four weeks.
- Another option is to add three drops of tea tree oil and three cups of white vinegar to your lukewarm bath water and then soak in it for half an hour. Follow this remedy every other day for one to two months as needed.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic that can help treat bacterial vaginosis. Also, its antifungal properties will keep the bad bacteria in check.
- Crush three to four garlic cloves. Smear the mashed garlic on the affected area. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse the area with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy once daily for several months.
- Another option is to wrap one garlic clove in gauze and put it in the vagina. Leave it in for not more than half an hour as it can cause soreness. Use this treatment once daily for several days.
- Also, eat garlic in raw or cooked form daily. If you cannot tolerate the taste of garlic, you can opt for garlic capsules after consulting a doctor.
Fenugreek is highly beneficial for treating bacterial vaginosis. It will help improve the pH level in the vagina and boost the immune system to speed up the healing process.
- Soak two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight. In the morning, drink this water on an empty stomach. Do this daily for at least a month until you notice improvement in your condition.
- Mix one teaspoon of fenugreek powder in a cup of yogurt. Eat it twice daily for several days until your symptoms subside.
- Steep one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of hot water for about five minutes. Strain it, add little honey and drink this tea two or three times daily as long as needed.
Milk contains lactobacilli bacteria that make it as an excellent natural cure for bacterial vaginosis. Plus, milk helps strengthen the immune system.
- Dip a tampon in chilled milk and insert it into your vagina. Keep the tampon in for one to two hours and then remove it. Do this once daily for several days to relieve symptoms.
- Alternatively, add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk. Drink this mixture once daily until your condition improves.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that can kill the germs that cause bacterial vaginosis and prevent it from recurring.
- Apply organic coconut oil on the affected area three times daily until your condition improves.
- Alternatively, soak a tampon in organic coconut oil and insert it in the vagina. Leave it in for a couple of hours. Rinse the area with lukewarm water thoroughly after removing the tampon. Do this once daily for several days.
- Also, use coconut oil in your cooking as much as possible to boost your immune system and speed up the healing process.
8. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem or margosa, contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that help reduce itching and inflammation as well as kill the germs that cause this infection.
- Heat a handful of margosa leaves in a pan. You do not need to add water or any liquid.
- Allow the leaves to cool and then grind them into a fine powder.
- Mix two teaspoons of the powder with a little water to make a paste.
- Apply the paste in and around the vagina. Leave it for half an hour and then rinse with lukewarm water.
- Do this twice daily until your symptoms are completely gone.
9. Tea Bags
The tannins present in tea have antibiotic and astringent properties that help soothe the burning sensation as well as reduce swelling and irritation.
- Soak a tea bag in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to chill it.
- Apply the tea bag externally on the affected area to relieve itching.
- Follow this remedy three or four times daily for a few weeks to clear up the infection completely.
10. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil contains both antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used to fight the germs responsible for bacterial vaginosis. It can also effectively prevent recurrence of the infection. For treating bacterial vaginosis, use oregano oil that does not contain alcohol.
- Mix three drops of oregano oil with one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for two hours. Do this once daily until you notice improvement.
- Alternatively, mix three drops of oregano oil in a glass of lukewarm water. Drink it twice daily. Continue this treatment for one to two months.
With these remedies, you can easily control the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis and even prevent it from recurring. However, if you do not see any improvement within two weeks, consult your doctor.