Aunt Vadge: can I use ‘womb pearls’ to treat BV?

Hi, Aunt Vadge! 

I’m gearing up to start fermenting my own kefir to treat my BV at home. I bought a starter kit online (it comes with the grains and a nylon strainer). I should get the kit next week sometime. In the meantime, I’ve been reading up on something a friend suggested to me. I think it sounds dangerous, but I was wondering what you would think…  

She suggested something called a “womb pearl.” They’re very expensive ($60 for 6 of them, and three is considered one full treatment. That is also a “sale” price). I suppose they’re meant to suck up the “toxins” in the vagina. They’re a little net, but I’m not sure what’s inside of them. You’re supposed to have one in for three days! Having something in my vagina for that long sounds terrifying (and harmful). However, I’m very scared that the kefir+garlic treatment won’t work (my track record hasn’t been good with “cures” so far). 

I’m a little afraid I’m going to mess the fermentation process up with my kefir, or that the one I bought won’t be good enough. On the site where I purchased it from, it lists the strains that milk kefir *usually* has, but they cannot confirm the strain of probiotics within a certain batch. Here are the probiotics they list:

Bacterial Strains Common To Milk Kefir
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus brevis
Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis
Lactobacillus helveticusLactobacillus kefiranofaciens subsp. kefiranofaciens
Lactobacillus kefiri
Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Lactobacillus sake
Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
Lactococcus lactis
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. dextranicum
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides
Pseudomonas fluorescens
Pseudomonas putida
Streptococcus thermophilus

Candida humilis
Kazachstania unispora
Kazachstania exigua
Kluyveromyces siamensis
Kluyveromyces lactis
Kluyveromyces marxianus
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces martiniae
Saccharomyces unisporus

To elaborate a bit, I don’t exactly *smell* funky. Some days I seem to, but it’s not exactly overbearing (though if I were sexually active, I’m sure I’d be able to smell it more). I really just have an issue with light yellow discharge. There’s so much that whenever I get the chance, I swab myself with a q-tip. I have one cut on my labia minora that never seems to fully heal as well. I haven’t had sex since December and I don’t use any toys. The only thing that has gone up there are tampons!

I know this is sort of long, and I haven’t exactly *asked* anything, but I suppose I just need a little advice.

Thank you!
United States, Age 21

Dear Intrigued,

Please do NOT use ‘womb pearls’. There is no need for it, they have a terrible reputation as being poor quality with unknown ingredients, and they have absolutely no scientific backing at all. At that price, you’d want them to also make you coffee in the morning, so just avoid them at all costs. There are too many varieties of crap out there being sold to women to clean the non-existent ‘toxins’ out of their wombs. It is nothing more than a ploy to rob you of your money and prey on your fear of toxins. Womb toxins really isn’t a thing. There is nothing toxic in there.

I understand your fear of your treatments not working – you have good reason to be sceptical and doubtful, because the internet is full of crap – we know this very well, which is why we set up All Things Vagina. So don’t worry – we’ve all been there! Doubt away, but don’t let your doubts turn into despondency. Your vaginal treatments, whichever you choose, require your dedication and consistency.

Fixing BV is sometimes a really long and arduous task, and for most women, there is no quick fix. It takes time, educating yourself, and changing parts of your life and seeing what happens, which is time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating. At least now you have a better idea of what you are trying to achieve, so keep going – you’ll get there!

You will recall in the Killing BV book you have certain times of your cycle where the pH changes in your vagina, and this will exacerbate your symptoms, particularly the smell. Some women don’t have any smell at all.

You will do just fine with the kefir – it’s pretty hard to get a dud kefir grain, since the people selling them have zero interest in ripping you off – these grains proliferate quickly and easily (and pretty much for free), and the people who love fermenting, well, they just love it and they want you to love it too. There isn’t a big market for dud milk kefir grains! Read the instructions on how to care for your kefir, and just give it a try. It’s really quite hard to screw it up, since the milk kefir grains are very hardy and can take a lot of misguided punishment.

Avoid dried milk kefir grains – we explain why here.Avoid store-bought milk kefir – we explain why here.

Look around the Support Section and see what everyone else is scared of, making mistakes with, and talking about. We publish articles in here all the time to help reflect your questions and give you good answers.

Write back anytime.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge