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February 16, 2008 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Can one use Lactobacillus acidophilus to treat bacterial vaginosis and, if so, how?

I have a doctor's appointment in three days for what I believe is BV. Meanwhile, I also have a pack of Acidophilus Pearls. The MayoClinic website implies that I can somehow use Lactobacillus acidophilus to treat BV. It would be awesome if I could do that instead of getting some sort of heavy duty antibiotic from the doctor.

Has this actually worked for anybody? If so, how do I do it...would I use the pills orally or vaginally? (and, if vaginally, how exactly does that work?) Throwaway email address of mefianonhomeremedyfilter AT gmail DOT com for followups and replies.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
 
Absolutely not. You need an antibiotic. The lacto found in yogurt, or in health food store supplements/suppositories are not the same strain of lacto in the vagina, and is completely ineffective in treating any vaginal complaints. (IANAD but my boss is a BV researcher.)
posted by tristeza at 7:29 PM on February 16, 2008


I heard otherwise in my Microbiology class. They said stick some PLAIN yogurt up there.
posted by hulahulagirl at 7:36 PM on February 16, 2008


I think you're supposed to eat it, not stick it "up there".
posted by heffalump at 7:45 PM on February 16, 2008


I wish it were possible, but no, at least not for me. I unknowingly had BV for two years (off and on). Eventually I went to a Dr. who just gave me a solid round of antibiotics. (The first Dr. I saw for it gave me an anti-fungal, which didn't work...then I tried home remedies...goldenseal, garlic, the gamut, as I assumed it was candida albicans). I digress. Take the antibiotics. (Use extra birth control methods when taking antibiotics, they reduce the effectiveness of the pill, if you are taking it.)
posted by wowbobwow at 7:51 PM on February 16, 2008


You can use the plain yogurt orally and vaginally for yeast infections, but not for BV.
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:08 PM on February 16, 2008


No. You need metronidazole. Not more bacteria.
posted by ruwan at 8:47 PM on February 16, 2008


BV is a bacterial infection, treated with flagyl, an antibiotic. I've heard of acidophalus used for yeast infections, but not BV.
posted by gramcracker at 8:48 PM on February 16, 2008


The home remedy for BV I'm more familiar with is boric acid. Boric acid has a good success rate, can be found fairly easily at most drug stores, and is usually found behind the pharmacy counter. Dilute it one teaspoon to one cup of warm water and mini-douche daily with the barrel of a syringe, or use a diaphragm jelly inserter, which can be bought at the pharmacy without having to buy the jelly. You can also buy empty 00-sized capsules and fill them with boric acid powder and insert two of them nightly. Don't use if the skin is raw or broken, and discontinue if an irritation develops.

Here are detailed instructions.

Keep in mind that while BV isn't immediately dangerous, it can in rare cases progress to pelvic inflammatory disease, so if the boric acid does not work you really should see a doctor.
posted by Violet Hour at 11:23 PM on February 16, 2008


oof. go see the doctor. don't do the boric acid. nothing the doctor gives you will be worse than that.
posted by thinkingwoman at 12:03 AM on February 17, 2008


Go to the doctor. There's a good chance you'll be prescribed metronidazole, as mentioned up thread. Since this antibiotic only targets certain bacteria (anaerobes) it doesn't mess up your system as much as other antibiotics.
posted by fermezporte at 6:25 AM on February 17, 2008


For BV, no, but I find this wrong for yeast infections:

The lacto found in yogurt, or in health food store supplements/suppositories are not the same strain of lacto in the vagina, and is completely ineffective in treating any vaginal complaints.

It works GREAT for yeast infections, although I buy acidiophillus pills and take them orally when I have a hint. Works far better for yeast than any other remedy ever, and I have many other female friends and family who swear by them.

But for BV, yes, get to a doctor.
posted by agregoli at 12:35 PM on February 19, 2008


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