Have you ever heard about biofilm? If not, here’s a quick explanation of what biofilm is.
Biofilm is a collective of one or more types of micro-organisms (in our case, harmful bacteria or fungi) that grow together, as a collective unit. Imagine a gooey, slimy, web of bad bacteria, growing together and creating a “bad bacteria powerhouse”. Biofilm in relation to BV can easily form on the vaginal wall/lining, especially during a BV infection where the vaginal pH level is higher than what it should be and makes it a favorable place for bad bacteria.
The biggest issue with treating biofilm is their resistance to traditional antibiotic treatments (the current medical treatment that is offered against bacterial vaginosis). Imagine these two scenarios:
1) You’re going to war, your enemy has a handful of soldiers, but they have spread around, and don’t work well with each other. You, on the other hand, have an army that is well trained to find these lone soldiers and capture them.
2) In the 2nd scenario, your enemy is more united. They created a city with multiple hiding spots and hidden allies where they can hide from your very well trained soldiers. Their city is built like a spider web with no rhyme or reason, and you could get lost in it very easily! You will still probably be able to defeat most of the enemy, but there is no way you’ll be able to reach and capture ALL of them. After you leave this complicated city, the enemy that survived, will be able to reproduce. It may take the enemy a few weeks or months to produce the same amount of fighters, but unless you take additional steps to stop them, you will have to go to war with them again.
Hopefully this analogy wasn’t too morbid! In our analogy, the “enemy” is the bad bacteria that are causing BV, while our “good army” is the antibiotics that are on a mission to kill the bad bacteria. When the bad bacteria had a chance to create their complicated “city”, aka biofilm, it makes it so much harder for the antibiotics to get to all of the bad bacteria in the vagina and destroy all of them. Unlike soldiers that will take years to train to rebuild a destroyed military, bad bacteria can easily reproduce and create another infection within days, weeks, or months. That’s a part of the reason why bacterial vaginosis is recurring in 50% of women that take antibiotics to treat it in the first place!
So, what can we do to resolve the biofilm issue and prevent recurring bacterial vaginosis? A review article published in 2016, focused on the possible solutions and treatments to help destroy the production of biofilm that can cause recurring BV. You can read the full article here. Here’s a summary of what the review writers found in regard to emerging therapeutic alternatives against BV:
Examples: dequalinium chloride, povidone iodide, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
Why: Antiseptics are believed to have antibacterial activity against a broad spectrum of bacteria, acting by disrupting their cell membrane and inhibiting their growth.
The science: a systematic review verified that most studies that were done about antiseptics are somewhat weak because follow-up studies were limited and their composition was poorly investigated.
2) Probiotics & Prebiotics:
Examples: Probiotics supplements, food that naturally contains probiotics (yogurt and kombucha), etc.
Why: Probiotics are good bacteria that can help women regulate their vaginal pH level. A healthy and balanced pH level (3.5 – 4.5) can provide a natural defense against bad/harmful bacteria and yeast overgrowth and prevent BV, yeast infections, and UTIs. Another benefit of specific good bacteria strains is that they may be able to restrain the growth of bad bacteria by preventing them from adhering to the vaginal wall.
The science: Many studies have found that probiotics can help relieve bacterial vaginosis symptoms and reduce the reoccurrence rates when taken during an antibiotic treatment. It’s important to note that there are specific types of good bacteria strains (Lactobacillus) that are specifically helpful for women’s vaginal health. Some studies remarkably showed that these good bacteria strains were able to incorporate themselves into the BV-biofilm and cause a disruption of the biofilm structure!
3) Acidifying/Buffering Agents:
Examples: Vitamin C, lactic acid, boric acid etc.
Why: These acidic agents may be able to lower the vaginal pH level to its normal and healthy level (3.5 – 4.5).
The science: The results of studies from the past 20 years are controversial. Some studies showed that these acidifying agents are ineffective, while others showed that they may contribute to the reduction in the recurrence of BV. Regular use of Vitamin C suppositories (6 days per month, for 6 months) decreased the risk of recurring bacterial vaginosis. A study from 2009 showed that using boric acid after an antibiotic treatment contributed to the reduction of BV infections as well. With that being said, more studies and experiments need to be conducted to determine the role of boric acid in BV prevention. It’s also important to note that it’s nearly impossible to get a prescription for boric acid because it could be fatal when taken by mouth and especially dangerous when there are young kids and pets in the house.
The bottom line-
V-Luxe is a huge advocate for high-quality probiotic supplements. Probiotics have been studied for years and many experiments show the effectiveness of the use of probiotics against bacterial vaginosis. It is important to consume the correct type of probiotics. Here at V-Luxe, we recommend you consider the following specifics when you purchase a probiotic supplement to treat your BV:
1) Potency: what is the CFU (Colony Forming Units) count? There should be at least 10 Billion CFU per serving. Our V-Luxe probiotics contain 15 Billion CFU and 50 Billion CFU in every single pill.
2) Prebiotics: does the formula contain prebiotics? This is food for the good bacteria! Our V-Luxe probiotics also include prebiotics so that the good bacteria can survive and thrive in your body!
3) Performance: have the good bacteria strains been clinically tested? You can Google each strain and make sure that there is enough good data about it and that it will actually provide you with vaginal health benefits. You can read about the good bacteria strains V-Luxe is using in this blog post.
4) Promise: What is the CFU count guaranteed through the product’s expiration date? Many supplement companies will only guarantee the CFU count during manufacturing. Our V-Luxe probiotics can survive extreme weather (for shipping purposes) and your stomach acid so they’ll stay viable even after you consume them!
5) Price: Probiotics should be taken on a daily basis for at least a few months. We encourage you to find a probiotic supplement that you’ll be able to purchase on a monthly basis, consistency is key! Our V-Luxe probiotics cost between $1-$1.8 per day. We do our best to keep our prices fair for our customers! When you subscribe to a monthly shipment, you can get an additional 20% discount.
You can click here to learn more about our probiotic formulas and as always, we’re here if you have any questions!