Gynaecologists Have A LOT Of Thoughts About TikTok's Viral Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment
Another day, another product that’s doing the rounds on the clock app. No, it isn’t the HNB concealer or the viral powder puff used to set your make-up – in fact, it’s not anything to do with beauty or make-up at all.
It’s actually a product that claims to help cure bacterial vaginosis. Nearly every woman will experience bacterial vaginosis at least once in their life, hence why this product is being hailed as a lifesaver.
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The name of the now famous TikTok product is Vitaberry and it apparently helps women deal with BV, thrush, and other unitary tract infections. Several women on the clock app swear by this product but will it cure bacterial vaginosis?
Let’s ask the experts but let’s start with the basics – what actually is bacterial vaginosis?
What is BV and how do women get it?
“Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina,” Dr. Melanie Bone, an OBGYN and member of Daye’s medical board shares.
Though it’s not a sexually transmitted infection it may be triggered by sexual activity.
“Other factors that may contribute to BV include hormonal changes, douching, using scented products, and a weakened immune system,” Dr. Bone explains.
“BV can cause vaginal irritation, an unpleasant odour and sometimes itching. It may also cause burning pain during intercourse. Making a diagnosis isn’t always straightforward, and a visit to the GP may be needed.”
Can products like Vitaberry help with curing BV?
Dr. Susanna Unsworth, an in-house gynaecology expert at INTIMINA told HuffPost UK that she has not heard of Vitaberry before. “However, it appears to be a product that contains sage and nettle extracts. As far as I am aware there is no evidence to say that these products have any significant benefit in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis,” Dr. Unsworth says.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bone explains that “Vitaberry is a dietary supplement made from a blend of various fruit extracts.”
“While some studies suggest that Vitaberry may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that it can cure bacterial vaginosis (BV). It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for the treatment of medical conditions.”
What are some ways women can cure BV?
Dr. Bone says women can treat BV through various methods, including antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional, over-the-counter products such as vaginal creams or gels, and probiotics that contain Lactobacillus bacteria.
“It’s essential to complete the full course of treatment as prescribed by a healthcare professional to ensure the infection does not return. It’s also really important to maintain good vaginal microbiome health as there is a strong correlation between the vaginal flora and how likely a patient is to experience BV,” urges Dr. Bone.
“If symptoms do not settle quickly, antibiotic treatments are usually then prescribed to clear the infection,” adds Dr. Unsworth.
“There are different options including antibiotics used directly into
the vagina and also antibiotics that are taken orally. Following antibiotic treatment, it is important to maintain the advice of not over washing, and ongoing use of treatments that help maintain the pH can sometimes be helpful,” she explains.
When should women contact a doctor when they have BV?
Anyone who is struggling with a vaginal discharge that is not normal for them should seek medical attention. A discharge that is thin, watery and has a fishy smell is quite classical of bacterial vaginosis, according to Dr. Unsworth.
“If this is not resolving quickly with the simple measures described then I would encourage someone to see their GP for further assessment,” she says.
Dr. Bone adds that delaying treatment can lead to complications, such as an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections and preterm labour.
She suggests that you should contact a healthcare professional if you experience symptoms of BV, such as abnormal, grey-ish vaginal discharge, itching, and an unpleasant odour.