Quantcast

I Had Chronic BV Until I Said Goodbye To Antibiotics & Hello To Holistic Health

BV was the bane of my existence.

Women's Health

Are you familiar with BV? For those of you who don't know, BV, or bacterial vaginosis, is a common vaginal infection that accounts for more than three million cases a year. It occurs when there is a bacterial imbalance within the vagina between helpful good bacteria and harmful bad bacteria. Symptoms include itching, pain, and a foul smelling fishy discharge. If it reoccurs more than four times a year, it receives the apt title of chronic, or recurrent bacterial vaginosis.

While it is more common in women that are sexually active, it is not a sexually transmitted disease and can happen as a result of anything that disrupts the balance of bacteria in your vagina, i.e. douching, dieting, and using some feminine care products.

For the better half (read: worse half) of my adult life, BV made her appearance both known and felt in my life, especially in my sex life. My pH balance was all the way off. As a result, any given month, I remember dreading the six to seven days of my period coming and going, and what it'd leave in its wake. The metallic smell of blood, I could take. But the fishy aroma that would immediately appear in its absence was hella embarrassing.

BV was the bane of my existence and the fact that it seemed to come back just as quickly as it seemed to leave, made me think that something was wrong with me. Because, wasn't it?

My gynecologist thought so too. I would soon come to dread stripping from the waist down to put my feet into stirrups and be examined for the very thing I knew it was, just to do the same song and dance of a 7-day twice a day antibiotic treatment, followed by one to two doses of metronidazole for the yeast infection the antibiotics created.

Mostly, I dreaded it because it always felt like a temporary solution, and never the cure that would be the remedy to my recurring BV forever.

Ultimately, I didn't think that relying on antibiotics as a solution was beneficial and surprisingly, I was right. After a year or two of tried and untrue methods, I spoke with a holistic gynecologist that changed my perspective and understanding of vaginal health for the better. You can avoid certain health issues if you start at the root and begin within. Thus, I decided to work on what I put inside of my body and for the most part, allowed my vagina to do her own thing.

As a result, I can happily say that I haven't been BV-free ever since. (Knock on wood). Peep the 6 essentials below to learn how to curb BV and bacterial imbalances in a holistic way and thus, your pH balance on fleek.

(Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. The suggestions below are in no way to replace the expertise of a medical doctor, however these methods work for me. )

Get Your Water Intake Looking Right

I've gone from the girl who barely drank two glasses of water a day, to the woman that does three liters a day. Eventually, I hope to get to a whole gallon, but Rome wasn't built in a day. The recommended intake for women is two liters, which is half a gallon. That increases depending on how active you are, and other beverages you drink throughout your day. For example, for every cup of coffee, soda, or juice, try to follow up with a glass of water.

Start with a liter a day, and when that comes naturally, increase it to two liters. The important thing is to begin somewhere. Over time, drinking your recommended daily water intake is going to be the equivalent of breathing – just that easy.

Downloading a water app like my personal favorite, Waterlogged, will help you keep track of how much water you're consuming on any given day and will help you keep up with your goals.

Take A Shot Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Shutterstock

Apple cider vinegar doesn't include The Mother for no reason. The all-in-one vinegar can be used to remedy a lot of things, including sore throats, varicose veins, hyperpigmentation, dandruff, high blood pressure, weight issues, etc. Luckily for us, it can also assist with maintaining the body's pH.

Drink 1-2 shots of apple cider vinegar at the start of your day – be sure to dilute it with some water first. Likewise, you can take an ACV bath with some hot water and Apple Cider Vinegar. Soak for half an hour and consider yourself, balanced. Repeat the remedy up to three times a week.

Incorporate Fermented Foods & Drinks

media.giphy.com

In addition to fruits and veggies, adapt to a cleaner diet. Cook more, eat out less. Limit the junk food and reach for something healthy. Nowadays, I have decreased a lot of the sugar that I used to consume. I've learned that you can get your sugar tooth fix in other healthier ways, like the sugar from fruit. One of my favorite fruit indulgences lately are acai smoothie bowls. In addition to that, it's important to incorporate fermented foods and drinks into your daily diet.

Fermented foods and drinks include fermentation of bacteria strains that promote a healthy pH balance, which can do wonders for optimal vaginal care. Examples of fermented foods and drinks include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Miso
  • Pickles
  • Tempeh
  • Kombucha

Implement A Daily Probiotic Supplement

Shutterstock

If you find it difficult to have kimchi, yogurt, or kombucha on the regular, investing in a probiotic supplement to take daily will allow you to get the probiotics that you need without relying too heavily on a diet that might be inconsistent at times. It's always recommended to get your nutrients or benefits from food sources first, but if you can't, that's where probiotics supplements come into play.

Probiotics promotes better gut health, which in turn helps with your pH balance in addition to a wealth of other benefits like preventing and treating UTIs, improving digestion, and boosting your immune system.

Recommended: Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily

Choose Feminine Care Products Wisely

Cleanliness is next to godliness, but the great thing about a vagina is that she is naturally self-cleaning. You don't have to do all this extra stuff to clean her. Use a gentle wash externally, make sure it's completely dry before putting clothes on, and keep it moving. The sprays, the feminine washes, etc can mask themselves as feminine care products, but those products actually tend to be loaded with chemicals and parabens that irritate the vagina and throw off its natural balance.

If you feel like having a spray or a vagina-specific wash is necessary, stick to products with natural ingredients and remember the motto: the less fragrance, the better. The wash below is 100% natural and organic with a list of ingredients I can actually understand – extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, sea buckthorn oil, and beeswax. It's fairly odorless but still cleansing and moisturizing.

Recommended: Medicine Mama's Vmagic Feminine Wash

Treat BV with Boric Acid Suppositories

I know, I know the words "acid" and "suppositories" do not bring the best imagery to mind, but I promise you your vaginal health will love you for this addition to your self-care routine. Initially, I believed that it could only be used during an infection, but was told by my gyno to consider adding it to my routine on Sundays for maintenance. As it turns out, boric acid has been used to treat vaginal infections like candida and BV for hundreds of years. And since I added it to my lifestyle as a means of self-care, keeping up with it is easy.

I just simply insert it with a disposable applicator, and put on a pantyliner for the night, and call it a day. It's been a beautiful and seemingly effortless way to maintain my pH balance and restore the glory of my vaginal health.

Recommended: NutraBlast Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories

Your vagina isn't designed to smell like roses, but it isn't designed to smell like a fish market either. Luckily, by switching up your lifestyle in exchange for some of the aforementioned holistic health habits, your vagina will be feeling and smelling better than ever. No infection zone.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here to receive our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.

Originally published on December 17, 2017

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

If there's one thing Historically Black Universities are known, it's fostering a sense of interconnectedness for collaborative genius to thrive. Of all campuses, it was on the soil of The Mecca, Howard University, where She'Neil Johnson-Spencer and Nicolette Graves rooted their friendship and aligned their passion for beauty and natural brains. Today, the two have founded a skincare brand of their own, Base Butter, that has not only carved out their niche space in the market but rallied a community of women to glow from the inside out.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Maya's story, written by Charmin Michelle.

I know this may come to a surprise so many, but here we are. Yes, I got a BBL. If you aren't aware, a BBL is a Brazilian Butt Lift, a cosmetic surgery process where the doctor uses a combination of liposuction and fat-grafting, transfers the fat into the butt, resulting in added volume, defined curves, and a lift. It is technically lipo and a fat transfer. But yeah girl, this has been on my to-do list for a while. And now that I am able to afford it, I went for it.

Keep reading... Show less

As an extension of my monthly self-care routines, facials have become top priority when it comes to maintaining healthy skin. For months I've noticed excess oil, stubborn breakouts and dry cracked lips forcing me to seek an alternative to my everyday skincare routine. Unable to solve my skincare troubles, I decided it was time to seek the help of a professional to help revive my dull skin.

Keep reading... Show less

I will never make an apology for the fact that I adore the Scriptures. There is something very, remarkable is the word that comes to mind, about the fact that even all of these years later (thousands and thousands of years later), there is so much wisdom within the Bible that is still relevant and — if you want to live a content life — even necessary. Matter of fact, some of the people in my world who aren't Bible followers or even believers in God will admit to me that Proverbs (King Solomon's book of wisdom) has some real gems in it.

Keep reading... Show less

August invites you to shine bright like the sun which requires you to leave behind the sob stories of being the underdog. Recognize your power as a reflection of the Divine and watch how far you can go. Be mindful of that inner critic when Mercury enters Virgo. For every negative thought, counteract it with three compliments about yourself. When Venus enters her home sign, relationship matters get a whole lot sweeter after the wild ride that was Mercury Retrograde.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Find Confidence With This Summer Workout Created By A Black Woman For Black Women

Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson makes fitness goals attainable.

Latest Posts