Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection, so we have to talk about it! It is the most common reason for consultation among North American women. It is said that all women will suffer from this infection at least once in their life. Although half of the infected women have no symptoms, the others notice vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. Generally, there is no pain or irritation. The reproductive system “houses” many bacteria, including the essential lactobacilli that reduce the vaginal pH and discourage bad bacteria from settling there1. These beneficial lactobacilli also produce antibacterial agents such as hydrogen peroxide to repel pathogenic bacteria2. Bacterial vaginosis is a persistent infection, its high recurrence causes great harm. Fortunately, a clinical study has shown that the good bacteria contained in the Vaginal Probaclac formula reduces the recurrence of this infection.
- Maintain good eating habits. In order to support a balanced vaginal flora and to stimulate the immune function, it is necessary to make sure to ingest a variety of nutritious foods (take enough vitamin C through the consumption of vegetables and fruits, also fill up on zinc found in meat, legumes and whole grains).
- Eat your lactic bacteria. Consider yogurt, although the amount of probiotics is not enough to have a noticeable effect, regular consumption can only have positive impacts. Fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut help maintain the health of the intestinal flora, there is every reason to believe that they would also be useful in the conservation of vaginal flora3.
- Supplement with a probiotic. Unlike drugs, they are available over the counter in pharmacies. Look for intravaginal capsules as a prophylactic measure4. The Probaclac Vaginal probiotic is a good option for women with recurrent vaginitis. The good bacteria contained in the capsules prevent recurrence in more than 80% of affected women for at least 1 year after supplementation5.
- Traditionally, red elm has been used for vaginal infections. This plant would help reduce vaginal inflammation. It is a topical remedy, applied as a poultice on the vulva (after mixing the red elm inner bark powder with boiling water)3.
Did you know?
- Pregnant women, be aware! Bacterial vaginosis is more common during pregnancy, affecting 15% to 20% of pregnant women2. The prime reasons? Increased levels of estrogen, of vaginal glycogen (a sugar) and an elevated pH during pregnancy3.
- You are at increased risk of contracting a bacterial vaginosis: if you are tired, if you are “drastically” dieting (or have eating disorders), if you are under a lot of stress, if you are taking medication (especially antibiotics or corticosteroids), if you are a smoker, if you have an IUD, if you are performing vaginal douching, or if cleaning in this area is excessive, if you wear tight underwear or G-string type, if you are constipated, if you have many sexual partners, if you have a disease or a condition that can weaken the immune system3. All the stars seem to be lining up against us, right?
1Witkin SS. The vaginal microbiome, vaginal anti-microbial defence mechanisms and the clinical challenge of reducing infection-related preterm birth. BJOG. 2015 ; 122 :213–18.
2Probiotics and Usage in Bacterial Vaginosis [E-publication]. 2016 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301253552_Probiotics_and_Usage_in_Bacterial_Vaginosis
3Passeport Santé [Site web]. Consulté le 19 janvier 2018. https://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Maux/Problemes/Fiche.aspx?doc=vaginite-pm-personnes-a-risque
4Rodrigues FI, Maia MJ, das Neves J et al. Vaginal suppositories containing Lactobacillus acidophilus: development and characterization. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2015 ; 41(9) : 1518-25. [E-pub].
5Hanson L, VandeVusse L, Jermé M et al. Probiotics for Treatment and Prevention of Urogenital Infections in Women : A Systematic Review. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2016 ; May (3) : 339-355.