Friday, January 2, 2009

Fem-Dophilus: The Big Debate

In my previous posts, I talked about why probiotics is the right approach to dealing with BV, and how Fem-Dophilus is probably the best single OTC product there is, so far.

The big debate in the Bust Lounge was about whether Fem-Dophilus should be used vaginally.

I understand the urge that many women feel to treat the problem at the source. And I agree that putting the good bacteria right where it needs to be is probably the most effective method.

I don't have a recommendation about what you should do. But here are the Pro's and Con's of the vaginal use of Fem-Dophilus.

Pros:

  • Fem-dophilus was used vaginally during clinical trials by its makers (source)
  • A Bust Lounge member contacted one of the doctors who created Fem-Dophilus (Dr. Gregot Reid) and asked if it could be used vaginally. He answered,"yes."
  • Some Bust Lounge members have used it this way, and have reported no ill effects.

Cons:

  • I'm personally not convinced that a capsule filled with starchy ingredients is the best delivery system for the vagina. (I've had a terrible experience with a similar product, which I will detail in a future post about "thumbs-down" products.)

    The problem is mostly about the capsule not breaking down and dissolving completely, and the pieces mixing with the starchy ingredients inside, causing irritation.
  • A few Bust Lounge members have experienced these same unpleasant effects of trying to use Fem-Dophilus vaginally.


So, should you use Fem-Dophilus vaginally? Personally, I would err on the side of caution, so I would recommend against it. It's effective when taken orally, and that is the safest way. On the other hand, one of the doctors who developed the product endorses vaginal use. The company simply can't market the product this way, because there are more stringent requirements for a vaginal product.

Which brings the issue back to the safety issue - why isn't it officially approved for vaginal use, the same way that Monistat or RepHresh is?

As you can see, I don't have the definite answer about what you should do. I can tell you that vaginal use is "off-label" use, and because of previous bad experiences, I personally wouldn't use it this way. But some ladies do use it this way, so be aware of that.

Some tips: Some users who use the product vaginally also use it along with a acidic lubricant (e.g., RepHresh) which may help the capsule break down better. And one user even takes the powder out of the capsule, and mixes it with a lubricant and applies it with her finger. I'm not personally endorsing any particular way to use it, but just letting you know some of the ways that the product is used.

As you will see if you continue to read my blog, I'm a big believer in presenting all the information, and leaving it to each person to make her decision about which treatment is the best for her.

Of course, none of the this debate is necessary if you just take the product orally. It is very safe that way. No one has ever suffered any ill effects by using Fem-Dophilus exactly as described by the instructions.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello,
Have read your last 2 posts on Fem. After suffering from BV for 4 years and being told that nothing was wrong with me, I am once again on Metro, but this time I got the FemD from my local health food store and will be taking it along with the metro. I really, really hope this helps. I live in a small town so this stuff is super expensive but if it works I will buy it for the rest of my life. Thanks for your helpful articles.
-Tosha

Anonymous said...

well, i also wanted to say they are currently conducting clinical trials in california using lactobacillus combined with metro. however, the strain they are using is "crispatus" It will be interesting to see the results, but i wonder why the strains in FemD were not considered for this study. just a thought.
-Tosha

Lori said...

Thanks for the info. about _crispatus_ Tosha! I am also looking forward to the results of this study. It's really great that more probiotic products are being developed.

I hope Fem-D works for you. Hopefully they will develop more effective probiotic products, and that will bring prices down.

Your BV story is so much like mine, it makes me sad. But thanks for taking the time to write me comments. I'm glad you found my blog helpful.

-Lori

Clair :) said...

I have been a BV sufferer for years, and had no idea until my gyno tested me after I complained about bleeding after sex. I've tried them all, metrogel, flagyl, clindesse, but it always comes back. I felt like my doctor thought they were something wrong with me, like I wasn't keeping myself clean, or had several partners because it kept coming back. I finally stopped going to the doctor and started using FemD, which while expensive seemed to keep the BV at bay. Now my husband and I are expecting our second child in August and I'm starting to get the symptoms of BV again. I know when you're pregnant your horomones go CRAZY so I don't know if that's what's causing it. I am going to the doctor to get meds again, but I know it's only a quick fix. I'm still taking FemD but only 1 capsule a day (before I was preggers I was taking 2-3) but I was also curious about also drinking DanActive which has 10 billion cultures of probiotics in it. What do you think? Thank-you. :o) Sorry for such a LOOONG comment.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to thank you for all the awesome info. It's great to know I'm not the only one who has to suffer. If only Oprah would do a show on BV!!! I look forward to reading your future postings.
~Meg

Lori said...

Hi Clair. I think you should take 2 Fem-D a day, not just 1, while you are pregnant.

Definitely go back to the doctor, and have them treat you for this. And of course, let them know you are taking Fem-D.

Dan-active is supposed to boost your overall immune system, so it certainly couldn't hurt. But I wouldn't rely on it alone to prevent BV.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Lori said...

Hi Meg. Thanks for your comment.

Yeah, it would be nice if Oprah did a show on BV and really put a spotlight on the issue.

Kristina said...

HI Lori,
I Just found your blog today and saw in the Bust Lounge that you are 2 years BV free. Can you tell me how you cured yourself and kept it from coming back. Ive been dealing with this issue for so many years but didnt really have any problems with it until this past summer when symptoms started getting worse. Ive done the metro gel but I get the BV that keeps comng back. So can you tell me what worked for you and how uve managed to stay BV free for so long

Lori said...

Hi Kristina! Thanks for your comment. The very purpose of this blog is to share my BV story with others, and share what works for me. Not everyone will benefit from the same approach, but at least they can get one person's perspective on it.

The answer is in my blog already - probiotics, and Fem-dophilus is so far the only product that fit the bill. It worked for me.

Read my posts - I describe in detail how I came to the conclusions that I did, and what I did to treat it. Is Fem-dophilus the magic bullet for everyone? Probably not. But I believe that it's on the right track. It has helped a lot of people in the Bust Lounge.

donna said...

Hi Lori,
I just read your blog and found it to be very interesting and helpful. I agree with you that facts and opinions can be displayed people should decide for themselves on the "vaginally" or "orally" debate. Many places outside the United States use probiotics instead of traditional medicine and have had great results for decades. I believe in probiotics and can I just tell you - they have healed many I have been in contact with. I will recommend the FemD for my friends or customers who have BV.
Thanks!

Lori said...

Thanks for writing, Donna. I really appreciate it! :)

Anonymous said...

It was so touching for me to find out that im not the only one in the world who suffers from BV. I have had this condition for more than 4 years and sev Dr.'s told treated me with Metronidizole. My friend just told me about Fem-Dohpilus and I pray this helps me.

Anonymous said...

Hi!

Have read your post on Femdophillus. I just wanted to know how long did you take them before to see real results in your condition? I've taking them for 5 weeks I'm still have some BV left. Much milder than before but they are still there. I will keep take them for much longer to see if I get some definetely results. What do you think??
Thank you!! I found your posts very helpful

Gio

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori! Im not sure whether my last comment was properly delivered. I found your blog very helpful and I wish I'd found it months ago.

I'm another bv sufferer, I think my problem unfortunately got chronic because of many wrong treatment I had. I started to take the fem probiotics 5 weeks ago together with metro. As expected, the antibiotic alone didn't kill the bacteria (or maybe it gets resistant to metro) I'm still have a bit discharge after the treatment but is very little.

How long did the femd take for you to see some results? My dr told me maybe it will take a couples if months to balance everything.

Just wanted to share experiences!

Gio

Anonymous said...

Great blog!

If I hear one more doctor ask me/tell me to wipe front to back or how to wash properly... I am going to be in jail for a crime!! LOL I never had a problem with bv or any infections until I hit 38 3 years ago. Been suffering ever since. So glad to have found this site. Last week I started with different homeopathic remedies and within 36 hours there was a marked difference! Good luck to everyone in finding what works for you!

Anonymous said...

I have been a BV sufferer for 8 months...i have been taking the FemD vaginally for about a month now,1 capsule nightly and my BV has diminished completely.It took about 2 weeks to fully rid of it but i am glad it's gone.Thank you for your site.

Anonymous said...

Aloha! I have also been going thru this bv thing fir 2 years. I been looking on the Internet for a long time and I think I have finally cleared it! I defiantly think that restoring the good bacteria is something that really needs to be done , but I have read it on the Internet that most women with bv are vitamin D deficient !!!!!! Studies have shown that more black women get BV more than white women because the darker skin cannot absorb the vitamin D as well as women of lighter skin. Believe me, I have been obsessed with finding myself a cure. I now rake 1000 iu of vitamin D every day along with folic acid and acidophillis , and it really works. I tried all the douches , all the creams, all the acidophillis pills incould find and still no results!!!!! Until I added vitamin D 3 to my regimine. Try it !!!!! Vitamin D its the answer, it really keeps the BV away !!!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello,

I just purchased Femdolphilus and am curious to find out how long I should take it before I increase to 2 pills and how long did you take it before you started seeing results.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I have suffered with bv for about 18 years. I took 1 FemD last night and felt a million times better this morning and had the best day ever! I will continue to take it and pray that it cures me.

Britnee said...

If you want to take two capsules a day is it best to take them together or at separate times during the day?