Recent Blog Articles
Improving access to hearing aids
Can mindfulness change your brain?
Five lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease
Transient ischemic attacks: Varied symptoms, all important
5 inflammation-fighting food swaps
Is IBD an underrecognized health problem in minority groups?
Sickle cell disease in newborns and children: What families should know and do
COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens: What we do — and don’t — know
Happy trails: Take a hike, now
Sleep well — and reduce your risk of dementia and death
Harvard Health Blog
Should you use probiotics for your vagina?
- Author: Kelly Bilodeau,
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
In this case ladies, common sense prevails over waiting until the scientific community delivers a proper study.
As a woman who has experienced both bacterial vaginosis (BV) and Candida overgrowth, supplementing with probiotics, specifically ones containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, is beneficial. In addition, I omit sugar, yeast, fungus and fermented foods from my diet until these conditions clear (for 10 – 30 days), as these things feed the growth of unhealthy bacteria present in the body.
I do agree that inserting garlic or tea tree oil in your vagina will not be effective and can potentially be harmful to the sensitive tissue in this area.
Maintaining a proper balance of healthy bacteria in your body is done most effectively with a healthy lifestyle, rather than taking antifungal medication or antibiotics after the problem arises (which is a bandaid solution).
Keep your sugar intake low and eat foods low in acidity and high in alkaline to maintain proper balance in your gut flora, the foundation of good health in your body.
In summary, my common sense approach to BV and Candida overgrowth is to omit foods that feed the unhealthy bacteria while increasing the healthy bacteria in my body with probiotic supplements.
It has worked for me and other women I’ve talked to. In any case, this approach is not harmful and worth trying before turning to prescribed medications that have negative side effects. In the long run, this natural approach is more effective and sustainable.
This article was very interesting. I am a 32 year old mother of 2. I’ve struggled with yeast infections as well as bacterial infections for over a decade. I would have to treat both BV as well as yeast infection which followed the treatment as it killed the good bacterial as well. Over the years my doctor has prescribed me a monthly renewal of Metronidazole, vaginal cream form, which I was told to take nightly. Obviously it helped prevent the reoccurring BV but it was messy and affected my sex life, and the husband didn’t like that. I was also taking flagyl, pill form, to treat the BV. My BV and yeast infections were occurring so frequently I was taking the prescriptions every 4-6 weeks.
Overtime my body began to become immune to the medications. The original dosage amount, twice daily for 7 days, was increased to 10 day supply. Then eventually that turned into 2 weeks,14 day supply. Over the years my dosage had doubled! It seemed nothing was working but instead it was getting worst. Even while practicing abstinence, while single and not sexually active, BV would still occur. I tried everything.
Finally after all those years I was told by a physician to take probiotics daily to control a ph balance in my body. I found out that women’s complete feminine balance probiotics existed. I decided to try it and began to take it. After only 1 week I not only saw a change, I felt a change and of course I smelt a change of scent in my vagina flora. I’ve been taking the women’s complete feminine balance now daily for 4 months and I’ve been both BV and yeast infection free. I had never been so long without getting Bacterial Vaginosis in over 10 years. I was ecstatic! I’ve tried everything possible from healthy to unhealthy treatments and nothing has yet to work except the complete women’s probiotics. I’m no expert, but it worked for me so maybe it will work for other as well.
Commenting has been closed for this post.
You might also be interested in…
Harvard Women's Health Watch
What’s your most important health concern? Chances are, you’ll find an article discussing it in a recent issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Are you at risk for heart disease? If you eat a balanced diet, are supplements necessary? Will new drugs help prevent breast cancer? Can simple exercises like stretching and walking have a noticeable impact on my health? Subscribe now for answers to questions like these!