Using A Vinegar Douche

Apple Cider Vinegar and the Vaginaapple cider vinegar

Using a vinegar douche is common.  Women have been using them for a long time.  If you’ve noticed, most douches that you buy at the   supermarket or pharmacy have vinegar in them.  The problem is, they are also full of other chemicals and fragrances that shouldn’t be put inside your body.

Many women use apple cider vinegar, but in this case, regular vinegar would work just fine.  Vinegar is cheap and it works well.   It is also free of harmful chemicals.  But, don’t let that fool you – it’s powerful.

Why It Works So Well

The vagina normally has a pH of 3.8 to 4.2,  and it is extremely sensitive to pH changes.  When a woman has a yeast infections, there may or may not being a change in the vaginal pH.  When a woman has Bacterial Vaginosis, the pH rises to more than 4.5.  Apple Cider Vinegar, being a weak acid by nature, supports the correction in this pH change – lowering the acidity of the vagina (by douching and ingestion).

This leads to destruction of the harmful, disease and odor producing microbes.  Subsequently, this leads to replenishment of the the good  micro-organisms (e.g. Lactobacillus) which are prevalent in healthy vaginas. Their restoration would further check the regrowth of the unfriendly yeast and bacteria in that region. Using antibiotics for treatment, on the other hand, kills both the pathogenic and non-pathogenic forms of bacteria, leading to vaginal environments that promote recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis.

Bacterial Vaginosis and yeast infections are common problems that women experience, so there is no need to be ashamed when they occur. As stated above, they are caused by the overgrowth of bacteria and fungi, of multiple strains and genotypes.  Because of the strain diversity and issues of antibiotic tolerance, using a natural remedy as a treatment can be advantageous.

Common causes of Bacterial Vaginosis

  • excessive sugar intake makes the pH of urine and other body fluids more alkaline making the normal flora to succumb and infections to occur.
  • unprotected sex
  • infected intra-uterine devices/ sextoys

Causes of yeast infections

  • Pregnancy or Menopause
  • Oral Contraceptives
  • Diabetes
  • Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics
  • Use of Steroids and in other immuno-suppressed states

An easy and effective way to correct a pH imbalance in the vagina is by using a diluted vinegar solution in a douche.

What is a Douche?

A douche is a device used to introduce a stream of water into the body for medical or hygienic reasons, or the stream of water itself.

Note:  Research has proven that douching too much, with anything, can hurt your body.  So, it should only be used when necessary and with the advice of a doctor.

Research proves that vinegar douches help with many common problems:

  • Three vinegar-containing douches selectively inhibited vaginal pathogens associated with bacterial vaginosis, group B streptococcal vaginitis, and candidiasis, but not lactobacilli, suggesting to the investigators that vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) douches may be less harmful or may be beneficial [1].
Do not make the vinegar solution stronger than is recommended.  Doing so can burn or irritate the tissue in the vaginal lining, and make your problem worse.

Using a Vinegar Douche For Bacterial Vaginosis

Remember to be careful and work with a doctor:

A standard recipe is

  • one teaspoon of vinegar diluted in 2 cups of water (or 1-2 tablespoons per 2 litres of water).

This mixture is then poured in the douche bag, and used per the instructions for the douche (ex. insert inside the vagina and squeeze). The mixture can be used once daily until improvement is noted and the symptoms seemed resolved.  This is, of course, unless it doesn’t feel ‘quite right’.

Using a Vinegar Douche For Yeast Infections

Vaginal yeast infections are very common. The most common type of yeast (fungal) infection is caused by Candida sp., which thrives in moist, warm areas of the body.  A yeast infection can also occur after a round of antibiotic therapy (ex. antibiotics used to treat bacterial vaginosis, but then yeast thrives as an opportunistic infection in the friendly flora-deprived regions).

A standard recipe is

  • one teaspoon of vinegar diluted in 2 cups of water (or 1-2 tablespoons per 2 litres of water).

This mixture is then poured in the douche bag, and used per the instructions for the douche (ex. insert inside the vagina and squeeze). The mixture can be used once daily until improvement is noted and the symptoms seemed resolved.  Vinegar has been reported to end the itching caused by a yeast infection, within hours of a treatment.

You could also use a few drops of Tea Tree Oil in the douche solution, when using a vinegar douche.

Advantages of using Vinegar For Treatment of Vaginal Problems

  • Vinegar offers both a symptomatic and a radical cure for the problem
  • Conveniently at-home therapy.  Treat yourself from the privacy of your bathroom
  • Very economical
  • Side effects normally only occur when the use is extensive and repeated.  Douching with any solution can cause problems.

 

 

Best regards,

Susan Brown, B.A., B.S., MPH

 

 

Sources

1 Vaginal Douching: Evidence for Risks or Benefits to Women’s Health.   Jenny L. Martino and Sten H. Vermund.  Schools of Public Health and Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2567125/
www.naturalremediesforbacterialvaginosis.com
www.fightagainstbv.com
www.ehow.com
www.livestrong.com
www.curevaginalcandidiasis.com
www.home-remedies-for-you.com