Hydrogen peroxide is a common household remedy for many diffferent problems. Some people use it to get rid of oral infections while others for removing blemishes.
A curious case is using the chemical as a treatment for stopping recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Before you jump into using it, you may want to know a few important things first.
- Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide for bacterial vaginosis (BV)?
- A vaginal bacterial infection can produce symptoms such as fishy-smelling gray or green discharge, burning and itching.
- Some women get rid of these using hydrogen peroxide with tampons and douches.
- Does this treatment work?
Research shows that at least 1 in 3 women has had BV at some time in their lives. Like other common vaginal problems, BV is commonly caused by poor sexual practices and douching.
The vagina has both good (lactobacilli) and bad (anaerobes) bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina which often results in inflammation and odor.
- Long term untreated BV can cause problems with fertility in the future, which is why it is important to recognize and treat the problem.
- Hydrogen peroxide is a safe remedy that works by eliminating the recurrent bacteria. The solution is widely available in drug stores and has an excellent tolerability providing it with great therapeutic efficacy.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
You may have all or one of the following symptoms:
- Mild or severe discomfort during or after sexual intercourse
- Greyish/whitish discharge. Your vaginal discharge may also become green.
- Fishy odor
- Itchiness in the vagina and the labia
- Burning sensation during urination
Can I treat it naturally?
When it comes to treating sensitive parts of the body, it is advisable that you get concerned about treating them naturally and effectively.
BV can be easily treated by utilizing variety of methods, but one of the most effective ways is using peroxide.
Can hydrogen peroxide get rid of BV?
Hydrogen peroxide has been known to kill bacteria and get rid of BV infections. Is it a safe treatment? It is an ancient cure alternative to conventional treatment.
A vagina being a sensitive part of a woman; therefore, one should entirely rely on natural remedies for cure. Here is why you need to try this remedy:
- As a natural disinfectant, it can eliminate main symptoms by killing the bacteria.
- It facilitates the normal vaginal bacterial population and pH balance
- It helps deplete inflammation-causing irritants associated with BV
- It cleans the affected tissues rendering them free of bacteria.
How to use it
There are different ways you can use hydrogen peroxide to cure bacterial vaginosis. The most common ways are by using it in tampon or douching with it.
1. Using a tampon
Using hydrogen peroxide for BV with a tampon overnight as a way to heal BV infections is NOT safe and we do not recommend it.
The recommended concentration is 1.5%. Since you cannot purchase it in 1.5% concentration, you add equal parts of water to 3% hydrogen peroxide to make such a solution. This is how it is said to be used with a tampon:
- Put a clean tampon into the already prepared 1.5% hydrogen peroxide solution
- Crouch as if you are peeing, and insert the tampon
- Ensure the tampon is not left inside for more than 30 minutes.
- Repeat the procedure twice daily for at least two weeks for better results.
Do not leave a tampon infused with peroxide to stay overnight. It may cause serious side effects.
We do not recommend this method. It can cause serious side effects.
2. Hydrogen peroxide douche
Hydrogen peroxide douche is another method used to get rid of bacterial vaginosis. This is how to douche:
- Get a silicone douche or just a 100ml syringe canister and fill it up with 1.5% concentrated hydrogen peroxide.
- Lie on your back with the legs propped up against something in a relaxed manner. Holding your legs up contracts the pelvic floor muscles, in that way the liquid is quickly pushed straight back most of the time.
- Push the douche as far up into the vagina gently not to hurt yourself.
- Squirt, then hold the liquid in your vagina as long as you can.
- Relax your legs and push fluid out.
Alternatively, you can also crouch and push like you are peeing. Repeat this procedure until you have used all the solution, and the liquid coming out does not smell fishy and is not discolored.
Is it safe?
Use of hydrogen peroxide for BV, Is it a safe treatment? It contains antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, making it a perfect option for rebalancing and cleaning the vaginal area.
Possible risks and effects
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent remedy for BV. It’s less harmful. Its benefits outweigh any associated side effects. Continued douching after BV has been cured will diminish lactobacilli predominance and create a risk for tract infections.
- Long-term douches with it may potentially increase your risk of pelvic inflammatory diseases. The infection is as a result of promoting ascension of lower genital tract infection to the upper genital tract.
- By changing the vaginal environment, there is an increased susceptibility of infection to the vagina.
- If not used carefully, a concentrated solution can burn your skin.
The good news is that the chemical is unlikely to cause side effects unless used without adherence to instructions. Otherwise, this remedy is very effective when it comes to treating BV.
Other natural treatments for BV
Besides hydrogen peroxide, here are other equally effective remedies against BV:
Of the most used standard treatments, Yogurt finds itself useful because it contains lactobacillus that helps fight harmful bacteria maintaining the correct vaginal PH.
What you need:
- Three table spoons of yogurt
- A tampon or cotton wood
- Dip a tampon or cotton pad into the yogurt and insert into the vagina for half an hour
- Rinse off with warm water without using soap, repeat the same procedure twice daily for at least five days
- Alternatively take a glass of yogurt daily to help restore your vagina’s normal bacteria balance.
2. Apple cider vinegar
The acidic properties of the vinegar make it a suitable remedy against BV.Vinegar naturally helps restore some bacteria in your vagina, additionally, it helps sooth the irritated areas.
What you need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Warm water
- Add a tablespoon of vinegar and add into warm water
- Cleanse the vagina twice daily using this solution, use for at least five days for better results.
- Alternatively, add honey to the mixture and drink daily for at least one week.
3. Tea Tree Oil
This compound contains both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Besides reducing and depleting the awful smell common with bacterial vaginosis, it profoundly helps kill the germs when used regularly.
What you need
- Two table spoons of tea tree oil
- Warm water
- Add three table spoons of tea tree oil into two cups of warm water
- Clean your vagina twice daily using this solution, use for at least five days for better results.
How to use hydrogen peroxide effectively
- Use a sensible amount. Usually, 300ml is enough
- Always aim at 3% strength, six percent is too strong
- Do not use hydrogen peroxide on irritated cells (bruises and scars).It will cause burning and irritations.
- Stop using hydrogen peroxide after bad reactions
- Always dilute the solution with non-chlorinated water since chlorine has a chemical reaction with hydrogen peroxide which may lead to vaginal tissue damage)
- A bit of stinging is normal. It usually subsides after some time.
Ways to support your natural vaginal health
If you are concerned about your overall health more so that of your vagina, here are ways you can support your vaginal health:
- Eat a nutrient dense whole food diet, low in sugar
- Take a high quality of probiotic supplement, alternatively a glass of plain yogurt a day is recommended.
- Avoid cleaning the vagina area with harsh chemical soaps, instead clean with plenty of water
- Always go for regular pap smears
- Use condoms with new sexual partners
- Always use natural remedies to treat yeast infections.
- Be prompt to visit your doctor the moment you notice a change in vaginal odor, itching or discharge.
When to see a doctor
You are advised to make an immediate appointment with your doctor if:
- You have vaginal discharge that is new and accompanied by fevers. The doctor will help determine the cause and possible effective treatment for your case.
- You have vaginal infections before, but the color and consistence of the discharge seems different
- You have more than one sex partner, or a recent new one. Sometimes the signs and symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection are similar to those of Bacterial Vaginosis.
- You have tried self-treatment such as use of hydrogen peroxide and over the counter treatment and your symptoms persist.
Bacterial vaginosis may be passed between women during sexual contact. If you have a female partner, you may benefit from using protection and carefully washing shared sex toys.
Bacterial vaginosis is generally not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). But if you are exposed to an STI while you have bacterial vaginosis, you are more likely to get the infection.
It is always important to prevent sexually transmitted infections, whether or not you have bacterial vaginosis. Preventing an STI is easier than treating an infection after it occurs.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES
- Using condom linked to a better vaginal health (July 2013): https://www.nhs.uk/news/medical-practice/using-condoms-linked-to-better-vaginal-health/
- Bacterial vaginosis (June 2016): http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bacterial-vaginosis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20198414
- Sexually transmitted infections-Bacterial vaginosis(March 2014): https://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stdfact-bacterial-vaginosis.htm