Sunday, December 14, 2008

BV: The Vicious Cycle

Now that I've covered the basics - doctor visits and prescription drugs - I'll talk about something that every women needs to understand when it comes to BV: The Vicious Cycle. (Thank you readers, for your patience!)

Some women get BV, they go to the doctor and take antibiotics, and then ... they are cured. These women are the lucky ones.

You are probably reading this blog because you are not one of those women. You're probably dealing with a "Vicious Cycle," an endless recurrence of BV. After taking the antibiotics, you probably feel better for a little while. And then the symptoms come back. And then the whole cycle starts all over again.

It's very important to know why this happens. Although we don't fully understand how women get BV in the first place, I have a pretty good idea about why it recurs.

First of all, it's important to realize that BV is caused by a bacteria imbalance in your vagina's flora. The good bacteria become low in number, and the bad bacteria takes over, and that is how you get BV. So taking the antibiotics kills the bad bacteria, and you feel better.

BUT - and here's the important thing to know - the antibiotics also kill the good bacteria, and does nothing to ensure that the good bacteria will increase once the treatment is over.

That is why taking antibiotics does not prevent you from recurrences, and why so many women suffer from the Vicious Cycle.

And now that we understand how the recurrences occur, we can figure out how some women may get BV in the first place: antibiotics. Many people take antibiotics for many reasons - illness, injury, etc. - so if you have taken antibiotics in the past any reason, you may have upset the balance of your vaginal flora.

The only way to get back in balance is to find a way to restore the good bacteria. And I'm going to cover how to best do that in my next post.


Anonymous said...

I'm very much considering on trying this, but my other main concern is does my partner have to take probiotics as well? Theres very little talked about our male partners in this, and yes, if it helps me, what if somewhere somehow he has it too? wouldnt that just contridict what I've been doing?

Lori said...

I don't think it's necessary for your partner to take it. As far as whether he has it too, I plan to write about what I know about that very soon. (It's mostly anecdotal, but you may find that some of it applies to you.)

In short, it's possible that your partner may need to take the prescription drug (e.g., Flagyl) too, but not the probiotics.