Lauren tells us her BV story – read it!

Hello,

Wanted to write you ladies about my BV journey. I’ve had it since June of last year. A few months before that, I had 2 very strange, uncharacteristic, and intense stomach illnesses. In July, an ear infection. (?!!) Couple this with a new relationship, a very stressful job, and coming off from a stressful year and bad breakup before that, I think I had eaten and drank and lived my way into BV and bad health.

Not surprisingly, the BV came immediately back after a round of antibiotics. I started doing a ton of research, tried lots of home remedies. Made slight diet modifications but no great results. Probiotics improved things a bit–so that I couldn’t always smell my fishiness at work, yeesh–but the BV was so damn persistent.

Met with a naturopath who put me on a stronger (?) probiotic (Klaire Labs Ther-biotic Complete, 25 billion). Smell got better but didn’t go away. Before then and through this time I was trying the [Killing BV] treatment, but I had to stop because I needed to do a LEEP after a colposcopy. [For HPV/cervical cell changes]

The naturopath had me get some bloodwork done because I was having some slow healing cuts. Turns out my blood sugar was high (I was straddling the normal/prediabetic edge) and I had Vitamin B and D deficiencies. The blood sugar was surprising because I am 6’0″ 140 pounds, but I do have a family history of diabetes.

Come Jan. 1, naturopath put me on an elimination diet (no corn, dairy, soy, wheat, sugar, etc.). Four days later: BAM, no BV. Hell of a headache from various withdrawals. I stayed on the diet pretty well through Jan. 25, when I took a break to celebrate my anniversary. BV has not come back yet, so we will continue to heal the gut through at least mid Feb. I’m fine doing this for a few months as long as this beast does not return.

So a few things that I find interesting:

1. My naturopath (and studies confirm) there is a relationship between BV and HPV. We are going to do some suppositories and botanical tinctures to boost immune support and try to knock out both.

2. Diet is a great place to start for anyone, especially those who cannot afford probiotics or other expensive treatments. I was doing some diet modifications before the elimination diet–limited booze, clean eating, etc–but this really seemed to stop the BV in its tracks. Presuming because it gives the BV nothing to feed on and also allows the gut to heal.

3. The damage started a long time ago. A couple years ago I was living in a foreign country, living a fairly stressful lifestyle and dealing with an abusive relationship. I didn’t really realize the damage this was doing to me until one day a hairstylist cut my hair and asked, “Are you eating well? Your hair is so brittle.” All my life hairstylists and people in general have raved about how healthy and lush my hair is. It caught my attention; I also had BV symptoms and trouble during this time, though not nearly as bad.

4. Stress is cumulative. Between not eating great and working an awful job, I was truly burning the candle at both ends, as you say. I am now taking the time to eat and sleep and recover. Hoping that I can do my immune system some good and then slowly go back to a diverse and healthy diet.

Thanks for all you do. Really appreciate the thought and investigation you give BV. It’s such an awful thing, and I sympathize with anyone who has it.

Lauren, 31, USA

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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
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