One More Reason to Avoid the Pill: It Contributes to Foul Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis


Although she has been seen by two doctors and tried multiple antibiotics, she cannot get rid of her bacterial vaginosis. Frustrating symptoms of discharge and foul odor continue to plague her. Her birth control pills are to blame - they cause hormonal imbalances that encourage the growth of bad bacteria within the vagina.

Case #: 
1478

Concern:

I always seem to be having problems with vaginal discharge and a very unpleasant odor. I have gone to two gynecologists who have both told me I have bacterial vaginosis, and both have prescribed either pills or creams to get rid of the discharge. None of these worked for me. I am currently taking birth control pills. What do you recommend I do for this discharge and odor?

Discussion:

The Office on Women’s Health reports bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge for women in their reproductive years. It’s not an infection – as in a yeast infection – but instead a condition caused by a change to the vaginal environment. Many women mistake BV for yeast, but this seemingly innocuous error can cause big health problems down the road.
 
The BV Basics
Itching, burning, fishlike odor, and white discharge…these classical symptoms must indicate a yeast infection, right? Wrong.
 
These signs, however closely they resemble a yeast infection, are those of bacterial vaginosis. BV ensues when “bad” bacteria take over the “good” within the vagina. Many women don’t know this, but the vagina is an organ that needs bacteria. Hence, an abundance of flora can be found there to prevent bad bacteria overgrowth and promote vaginal discharge. In other words, good flora prevent disease and keep the vagina clean.
 
But vagina’s healthy microorganisms can be significantly reduced by such events as menstruation and intercourse. This leads to a rapid increase of unhealthy bacteria that completely alter the vagina’s pH level and cause BV. However, to think of BV as being caused by one strain of bacteria is incorrect. Within the vagina are many, many strains of fungus and flora. Good bacteria are so crucial to this colonization because they facilitate sound reproductive health.
 
BV is of concern because it increases a woman’s likelihood of developing sexually transmitted diseases. It also makes a woman more susceptible to pelvic inflammatory disease and HIV. Women who are pregnant and develop BV may deliver preterm babies.
 
Birth Control as a BV Trigger
The exact triggers of BV are not fully understood. Douching and numerous sexual partners are two likely culprits. Hormonal fluctuations are a third.
 
Estrogen has undeniable influence on the vagina – it prompts the secretion of vaginal discharge and helps good flora dominate the bad. When estrogen levels drop, such as right before menstruation, the vagina becomes vulnerable to the overgrowth of bad flora. Thus, anything that causes estrogen levels to fluctuate can have a secondary impact on vaginal bacteria.
 
Birth control is one medication that substantially changes the body’s natural hormone levels. Composed of artificial blends of estrogen and progesterone, the pill can quickly cause an imbalance of the body’s most important sex hormones. This is more problematic than it sounds because estrogen and progesterone work to offset each other. The former stores fat and reduces vascular efficiency, while the latter burns fat and improves vascular efficiency.
 
Some women who take birth control experience an estrogen deficiency. This simply means progesterone is the dominant hormone, which can in turn cause bad bacteria to grow abundantly. Your own situation is proof of this – taking the pill has caused a hormonal imbalance that explains your recurring episodes of BV. Unfortunately, antibiotics won’t help you win this fight. What you really need is to detox your body and stabilize your estrogen levels.
 
Stop BV the Natural Way
Problems with vaginal infections and abnormal discharge are common enough that many studies have focused on how to treat both. Herbs are among the most effective solutions – they work with the body to relieve uncomfortable symptoms like itching and odor. When several different herbs are combined into one formula, they also improve liver function so toxins are expelled from the body. (TRY: Natural Herbal Formula for Vaginal Detox & Infection Relief) The most noticeable advantage for you will be balanced hormone levels and overall improved vaginal health.

What to do


Vaginal Infection Relief & Detoxification Formula

Antibiotics and birth control pills can alter the balance of the ‘friendly’ micro flora that subsists in the vagina. Pathogens from these drugs can result in yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, with symptoms ranging from abnormal discharge,... Read more
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