Bacterial vaginosis is 1 of the most common types of vaginal infections and is experienced by up to 64 percent of women in the United States. It is characterized by vaginal pain and discharge and can be treated by culture-rich yogurt. In severe cases, a medical professional may prescribe a round of antibiotics augmented by 8 oz. of yogurt a day.
Though bacterial vaginosis can be a symptom-free infection, its symptoms usually include vaginal discharge (yellow, green, white or gray in color), itching, burning during urination, fishy or musty odor (particularly after intercourse) and general vaginal discomfort.
The vagina has a natural balance of good and bad bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis occurs when there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria. There is no clear cause but bacterial vaginosis has been linked to having sex with multiple partners, having unprotected sex, using an IUD (intrauterine device) and douching. In general, any activity that alters the vaginal environment could cause an imbalance of bacteria. Diabetes can also make women more susceptible to bacterial vaginosis.
There are 2 treatments for bacterial vaginosis using yogurt. First, eat at least 8 oz. of plain yogurt daily to help restore the natural bacterial balance. Second, you may paint the yogurt directly onto the vaginal walls using an applicator or small spoon. For this treatment, application works best at bedtime and it’s helpful to wear non-deodorized pads to reduce mess. Both treatments should be continued for at least 7 days. There are also tablets and gelatin capsules available for insertion.
The best type to use is plain, unpasteurized yogurt from the local health food store. It should contain live lactobacillus acidophilus. You can also freeze the yogurt for less mess, or make chocolate shakes for better flavor.
Culture-rich yogurt stops the growth of harmful bacteria and restores balance of natural vaginal bacteria. It is also known to boost the immune system.
If untreated, bacterial vaginosis can develop into more serious conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease. If symptoms persist or increase in severity, seek professional medical treatment.