….BV. It’s known by this short name by those of us who have recurring bouts of it, and although my recurrent stage wasn’t as long as the one I’ve had with yeast, my issue with bacterial vaginosis was certainly frustrating. I suffered off and on in silence since I was 18, and as time wore on, the more often my infections came back. Little did I know, they never really went away because my diet actually fed the bad bacteria and the antibiotics killed the good bacteria.
My last recollections of BV were so frustrating, I remember telling my doctor that I was so tired of the meds not getting rid of it! I honestly didn’t know that not eating a balanced diet had absolutely anything to do with it! That is, until after I found a baking soda remedy online.
First off, what is BV?
BV is a common bacterial infection that affects the lady parts of as many as 1 out of every 3 women. Often billed as a ‘nasty women’s disease’, this attached stigma that associates it with ‘uncleanliness’ or ‘promiscuity’ largely makes the afflicted suffer in silence. There is information out there, if you’re willing to type in slightly varied questions into Google search to read arguments on message boards and watch hours of YouTube videos. So here it is, simplified!
There is a delicate pH balance down there, which maintains a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. When that pH balance is off (read:too acidic but more on that later), you get BV when bad bacteria overrun the good bacteria in your lady parts. It causes a gray/greenish discharge that has a fishy odor and itching. Although semen, poor wiping habits, and period blood can contribute to the change in the vaginal flora, they are certainly not the immediate cause. So you’re not necessarily nasty, there’s other stuff going on!
Why and how did the baking soda work?
In my desperation, I scoured the message boards. Stumbled on a couple YouTube videos that explained how they drank baking soda water. My interest was piqued, so I searched for articles to read about this particular remedy. It said to drink 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water (on an EMPTY stomach), so I put a whole teaspoon in a regular 16 oz bottle of water, and only drink half of it each morning on my way to work so eact bottle actually lasted 2 days. To my delight, it worked!
Why did I stop?
Baking soda can interrupt digestion, so I stopped when I found a package that had the word ‘alkalize’ on it. It boasted 8 servings of fruits and veggies, and 38 superfoods, which was more than I could admit to eating each day. My logic was clear: I could kill two birds with one stone – get a more balanced diet and alkalize my body without risking my digestion – AND do so naturally! Since I had researched a bit to find that the absence of enough vegetables contributed to my acidic (read: bad-bacteria loving) environment, I hypothesized that my new supplement would work just as well against the BV. And boy was I right!!! I had finally won my years-long battle with BV, and it has been 2 years since my last diagnosis!
This oh so big victory lasted for about a year before my attention was directed to BV’s ugly cousin…yeast. Clearly, I had gotten rid of the bad bacteria that was causing the BV, but a few months later I started a new job where we ate out practically everyday. Although I was still drinking my veggies, my diet was horribly overloaded with burgers, bread, and pasta. My weight climbed back up again before I knew it. I was more lethargic, and I absolutely had to have pasta if I saw it on the menu. I literally craved it and other carbs and sweets. I had set up the perfect toxic environment for candida to take over where BV left off, because candida loves sugar. Thankfully, I’ve made great progress since last November and I’ve shared some of how I eat to maintain it here!