Although bacterial vaginosis (BV), is a common and treatable vaginal infection, it cannot be cured in one day. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to treat BV, but there are additional steps you can take to reduce the intensity of symptoms like itching and vaginal discharge, as well as speed up the healing process.
Can You Cure BV in One Day? Probably Not but This Will Help
Read on to learn more about treating bacterial vaginosis and what you can do to avoid a recurring infection.
What Is Bacterial Vaginosis?
A vagina is a self-cleaning machine that naturally balances good and harmful bacteria to maintain a healthy environment and keep infections at bay.
When something affects this healthy vaginal environment, the pH levels of the vagina become unbalanced, harmful bacteria thrive and the result is an infection known as bacterial vaginosis.
BV is most common in sexually active women aged 14-45 but it can be symptomless for some women until their gynecologist diagnoses the infection during a routine pelvic exam. Other women experience uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Vaginal itching
- A gray-colored vaginal discharge
- An unpleasant fish-like vaginal odor
- Pain while urinating
- Pain during intercourse
What Causes Bacterial Vaginosis?
According to the CDC, researchers have not pinpointed exactly what causes BV, although studies have shown that it is more prevalent in sexually active women. It is also known to increase the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, and factors known to increase the risk of getting BV include the following:
Having Sex Without a Condom
Just as vaginas maintain a healthy balance of good and harmful bacteria, so do penises, and some researchers believe that the harmful bacteria from a penis can contribute to a vaginal infection.
Furthermore, the pH of semen is alkaline with a measurement between 7.2 and 8.0, in contrast to the mildly acidic environment of a vagina, which typically measures between 3.8 and 5.0. When the mildly acidic environment of the vagina is altered during sex, it is believed to be more susceptible to infections.
New Sex Partners
Although BV is not a sexually transmitted infection, researchers believe that intercourse with a new sexual partner can increase women’s chance of getting BV. This is due to the possibility that a new partner’s genital chemistry i.e., the balance of good and harmful bacteria on their genitals, could affect the natural balance of a woman’s vaginal chemistry.
Having Several Sex Partners
Based on the factors mentioned above, it is speculated that having multiple sex partners further increases the risk of getting BV.
Vaginas instinctively know how to self-clean and using synthetic hygiene products like douches to clean it merely upsets the natural pH balance, which inevitably leads to infections. Washing daily and after intercourse with warm water and unscented soap is all the vagina needs to stay fresh and healthy.
Treating Bacterial Vaginosis
If you suspect you might have BV, schedule an appointment with your healthcare practitioner who will typically carry out a pelvic exam, vaginal pH test, and possibly swab vaginal secretions to check for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. If bacterial vaginosis is diagnosed, antibiotics will be prescribed.
Because having BV can increase the risk of women contracting sexually transmitted infections, it’s always a good idea to refrain from sex until BV symptoms have cleared and the course of antibiotics has been completed.
Any unexpected vaginal bleeding, fever, or increased pain should be reported immediately, and if symptoms do not improve after a week, or if they return after the course of antibiotics is completed, contact your healthcare practitioner for further advice.
Unfortunately, over 50% of women who experience BV will often experience a recurring infection within 12 months, but thankfully, additional research has shown that taking a natural supplement called boric acid can not only speed up the healing process but also prevent recurring BV infections.
Boric Acid for Treating Bacterial Vaginosis
When it comes to treating BV, it is vital to first and foremost follow your doctor’s advice about completing the full course of antibiotics. This is to ensure the infection is cleared and any long-term complications with the female genitals, fertility, or pregnancies are eliminated.
That said, female health experts highly recommend using vaginal boric acid supplements in conjunction with antibiotics for BV.
Known as a natural antiseptic and antimicrobial that has been used for over a century to treat women’s health, boric acid helps to restore the natural bacteria balance in the vagina, and reduce uncomfortable symptoms like itching, burning during urination, and unpleasant vaginal discharge.
Here at Intimate Rose, we’ve developed 100% natural Boric Acid Balance Suppositories that are easy to use, and not only help treat BV infections but also prevent them from recurring.
How Soon Do Boric Acid Suppositories Work?
Boric Acid Balance Suppositories dissolve in the vagina within a few minutes and typically improve vaginal irritation within 24-48 hours. For best results, and to avoid a recurring BV infection, health experts recommend finishing a complete course of boric acid.
Women who have suffered repeatedly recurring BV infections are advised to speak with their healthcare practitioner about a sustained and regular intake of boric acid.
Are There Any Side Effects to Taking Boric Acid Suppositories?
There are no severe side effects associated with boric acid suppositories when used correctly, however, treatments can often affect different people in different ways. Milder side effects include a watery discharge for some women, however, inserting the capsules at night appears to solve this. A burning sensation or some redness at the vaginal opening can also occur as a reaction for some, but this is rare.
Healthcare practitioners caution that boric acid suppositories should not be used during pregnancy and if ingested orally, they are known to be poisonous, but overall, they are considered safe for treating vaginal infections like BV.
In the case that you experience any discomfort or burning around the vaginal opening, stop taking the suppositories and speak with your healthcare practitioner for guidance.
Tips To Reduce the Risk of Getting BV
- Avoid douching, scented menstrual products, and fragranced soap around the vaginal area.
- Always use condoms with new sex partners.
- Switch from synthetic underwear to more breathable cotton underwear to prevent a buildup of moisture around the vagina.
- Change out of damp gym clothes or wet swimwear as soon as possible to prevent BV from spreading more easily in a moist environment.
- Wipe front to back after using the bathroom to avoid transferring bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
- Take a daily probiotic to help maintain a balanced pH in the vagina.
- Take a regular boric acid suppository.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV), is a common and treatable vaginal infection that can be cured, but not in one day. In addition to taking antibiotics to treat the underlying infection, boric acid suppositories can reduce symptoms like itching, irritation, and vaginal discharge, as well as speed up the healing process and prevent recurring BV infections.
If you are considering taking a boric acid supplement, speak with your health practitioner to understand the correct dosage and guidelines.
Centers For Disease Control & Prevention – Bacterial Vaginosis - https://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stdfact-bacterial-vaginosis.htm
Mayo Clinic – Diagnosing & Treating Bacterial Vaginosis - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bacterial-vaginosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352285
Cleveland Clinic – Boric Acid Suppository - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/19641-boric-acid-vaginal-suppository
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Clinicians' use of Intravaginal Boric Acid Maintenance Therapy for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis and Bacterial Vaginosis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6878170/
National Library of Medicine - The Role of Probiotics in Vaginal Health - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9366906/