Tuesday, December 16, 2008

OTC Treatment #1: Fem-Dophilus (Thumbs Up)

The best way to combat BV is to replenish the good bacteria in the vaginal flora. So probiotics is the answer. Probiotic = good bacteria.

The trick is figuring out which probiotic you need, and how to get it where it needs to be.

In the Bust Lounge, many ladies have shared their methods for using probiotics, including inserting liquid probiotic products in the vagina several times a week and sleeping on a towel. Unfortunately, not all strains of probiotics will work. You need the probiotic product to contain the right strains of the good bacteria for it to have any effect. And most probiotic products are designed to be used to balance the intestinal flora, not the vaginal flora.

However, there are more products being designed to address the vaginal flora. I'm going to tell you about the best over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for BV there is. A probiotic product called Fem-Dophilus made by Jarrow Formulas.

Some information about Fem-Dophilus:

  1. Top Medical Breakthroughs of 2007 (Prevention Magazine)

  2. Europe's Best-Kept Health Secret (Prevention Magazine)

  3. Study Shows the Effectiveness of Oral Probiotic L. Rhamnosus GR-1™ and L. Reuteri RC-14™ In Treating Bacterial Vaginosis

  4. Specific probiotic strains are effective for genitourinary infections

So as you can see, Fem-Dophilus is a product specifically designed to restore the good bacteria. It contains patented strains of the good bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® which help restore healthy vaginal flora.

This is the product that got me back in balance after suffering from BV for 7 years. I truly believe that probiotics is the right approach to dealing with BV, and Fem-Dophilus is the product that currently best addresses that need.

While posting in the Bust Lounge, I've been very reluctant to tout Fem-Dophilus as a cure - in part because I didn't want to seem like a spammer or a shill - but also because there have been many such claims made by other posters about other products, and none have turned out to work.

But I've done what I could to share the benefits of this product without inflated promises. And after nearly a year of steady posting about why Fem-Dophilus makes sense, posters began to finally try the product for themselves. Quite a few ladies have taken it, and have had positive results - from dramatic improvement to 100% cure. So I can tell you with confidence that many Bust Lounge members have benefitted from taking Fem-Dophilus, more than any other OTC cures that have been discussed in the thread.

If you take the time to understand why achieving bacterial balance is the right approach to dealing with BV, you'll see why probiotics is the answer.

How to Use Fem-Dophilus:

Fem-Dophilus are oral capsules, and you take one to two each day. The capsules are designed so that the good bacteria survives digestion and will colonize in your vagina.

My Recommendation:

I highly recommend everyone suffering from the Vicious Cycle of BV give Fem-Dophilus a try.

The best way to take it is to take it along with antibiotics (two capsules per day), and continue to take it after you are finished with the antibiotics. This way, the antibiotics will wipe out the bad bacteria, while the Fem-Dophilus re-populates with the good bacteria. Another reason for starting with the antibiotics, which I've mentioned in earlier posts, is that Gardnerella bacteria can travel to the upper genital tracts and may cause damage. So in that case, you would need to take care of that with oral antibiotics.

However, if you cannot take antibiotics (e.g., pregnancy), you should still take Fem-Dophilus to achieve a balanced vaginal flora. Without the antibiotics, the good bacteria may have a bigger hill to climb to achieve dominance in the flora, but it's still worthwhile. (Fem-Dophilus is safe to use during pregnancy. But always check with your OB/GYN first!)

Another reason I recommend Fem-Dophilus is that when used as instructed, it is safe. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't work for you. The only other drawback is that it is expensive, and not widely available.


Where to Buy Fem-Dophilus:

  1. Whole Foods Market sells them in their refrigerated probiotics section.
  2. iHerb.com ships them in a cold pack.

Fem-Dophilus needs to be refrigerated. These are the only two sources I know of that stores and sells it refrigerated. You will find many other sources on the internet that sells them un-refrigerated. But be advised that this product contains live organisms, so if you buy it un-refrigerated, the product's potency will be reduced.

I will discuss Fem-Dophilus further in my next post.


Anna said...

As a woman who has had her fair share of bouts with BV, I am always searching for new products that will replenish vital vaginal flora. Thanks for the very thorough introduction to Fem-Dophilus.

I found another probiotic product geared toward women at www.nutri-health.com. This probiotic product also contains Lactobacillus Rhamnosus (mentioned above as targeted to women) as well as five other probiotic strains and 15 billion cells per capsule.

Good luck to all in our dedication to a healthy female system!

Lori said...

Thanks for your comment, Anna. I've done a lot of research on probiotics, and in my opinion, only the patented strains of Fem-Dophilus is the most effective against BV. Many ladies from the Bust Lounge have reportedly taken various products that contain rhamnosus & reuteri - mostly hoping for a cheaper alternative to Fem-Dophilus. But none have worked as well.

Another approach that the other ladies have tried is to look for products with a high number of organisms (per capsule). Again, if it's just a high number of organisms, it doesn't seem to make that much difference (re: BV) if it's the wrong strain.

So simply looking for a product with a lot of strains of probiotics and a high organism count - well, it's been done, and it hasn't worked that well.

But I have found a possible alternative product to Fem-Dophilus, which I will post about in the future. Thanks for reading my blog!

Anonymous said...

Check out the short video on Fem-Dophilus:


Anonymous said...

I wish I stumbled upon this sooner! After asking numerous gynecologist about ways to treat BV, I finally found one that recommended Fem-Dophilus. Like I said, I wish I knew sooner because it would constantly come back even after I took antibiotics or used the vaginal medicine. Great post.