PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A review of the research and literature regarding bacterial vaginosis (BV) by Boston Commons High Tech has concluded that probiotics can be beneficial in preventing BV, according to Maria Sophocles, MD, FACOG, NCMP, Medical Director of Women's Healthcare of Princeton, and a leading U.S. gynecologist.
"The study concludes that specific probiotics can help reduce the risk of recurrent BV by providing healthy bacteria --lactobacilli -- which combat harmful bacteria and maintain a slightly acidic vaginal pH, preventing overgrowth of harmful bacteria that cause most of the infections that migrate toward the bladder," says Sophocles.
The Boston Commons study, which addresses ways to prevent BV from occurring, states that "The RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic is an oral supplement designed to enhance your vaginal health by giving you a dosage of two lactobacillus strains: reuteri and rhamnosus. Probiotics with strains of lactobacillus have been proven to protect the delicate balance of the vagina."
Nearly half of all sustained vaginal irritation is a result of bacterial infection rather than yeast. Many women may experience itching, odor, burning, or pain after sex or menstruation, since blood and semen are alkaline and elevate the normal vaginal pH of 4.3-4.5.
"A probiotic lactobacillus and pH balancing gel can help to maintain vaginal flora in a normal range. Because excessive pathogenic bacteria in the digestive or urinary tract is associated with BV, introducing helpful lactobacilli can serve as a good preventive measure. RepHresh Pro-B maintains and restores microbial balance in the vagina," adds Dr. Sophocles. "Because many women do not know whether their symptoms are due to BV or yeast, they tend to self-treat with anti-yeast products that are ineffective against BV. It is preferable to be evaluated by a healthcare professional before using over-the-counter (OTC) products or if OTC treatments aren't working."
If BV becomes symptomatically severe or socially embarrassing due to strong vaginal odor, antibiotics may be necessary for treatment. A word of caution: antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria and can lead to a yeast infection. Because recurrence rates of BV are high, the best way to prevent recurrent BV is to maintain a normal, slightly acidic vaginal pH and keep both yeast and bacteria balanced all the time with vaginal or oral probiotics which contain lactobacilli.