Do you have ongoing vaginal symptoms you just cant seem to shake, despite using repeated over the counter medications that don’t seem to work for you? Living with ongoing vaginal symptoms can be super challenging. They can leave us frustrated, insecure to the point of limiting ourselves to social situations and experiences. If you find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed by this, with no options left, to may be time to consider a more chronic form vaginal infections, called Bacterial Vaginosis.
Bacterial Vaginosis is a form of dysbiosis of the vagina, or microbial imbalance, and an abnormal pH. pH and microbes go hand in hand when it comes to bacterial vaginosis, and need to work together to prevent abnormalities. pH in the vagina should be acidic. When it is not acidic enough, it will allow all kinds of invading unideal pathogens in to call the area home. It is these unideal pathogens that can cause the ongoing symptoms and harm to the area. Such symptoms include persistent unusual discharge, of cottage cheese consistency, unusually of a musty/fishy odour or itchiness and/or burning sensations. Persistent yeast infections can also be problematic. Recurrent yeast infections is referred to at vaginal candiditis caused by candid fungus. The human body is home to millions of yeast organism, most of which are beneficial to us. Candida is the yeast responsible for causing infections.
A naturopathic consult can be ultra helpful by having a full assessment of your medical history that may have contributed to your current symptoms, a thorough personal hyenine assessment, medication history, sexual health history, diet recall, hormone health, gut health, immune function, the list goes on really! But ultimately a naturopath can help to discover the root cause of your problems down there. Revolutionary functional microbiome testing via swabs or digestive stool testing can also give us the real facts which can only be ordered through a naturopath. This is useful to determine the nature of the infection if you feel you have tried everything.
So you don’t need to accept this as forever. If you suffer from mild symptoms, a good place to start is by trying a few holistic changes to your lifestyle and diet routine. Some things to try:
· Sugar, sweets, soft drinks, fruit juices should be avoided as sugar encourages dysbiosis – Our opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria feed off sugar.
· Have a full product and underwear overhaul! Avoid harsh personal hygiene products that can throw off your pH. Keep things simple with pH balanced, simple ingredient products, or just wash area with water! Swap your underwear to cotton. Change pads and tampons to organic, or try a menstrual cup.
· Diet should be based on fresh, whole foods. Nutrients are essential for adequate immune function. This will also influence microbes in the vagina.
Kairys N, Garg M. Bacterial Vaginosis. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan. Greenbaum S, Greenbaum G, Moran-Gilad J, Weintraub AY. Ecological dynamics of the vaginal microbiome in relation to health and disease. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Apr;220(4):324-335.