Do Antibiotics Really Treat Gardnerella?
Just like your Gut, your vagina nurtures its own ecosystem and similar to the different types of people you encounter in your global system; the vagina has its own share of good and bad bacteria. Normally, the Lactobacillus family constitutes the good bacteria, which lives harmlessly in the vagina and produces chemicals that keep the vagina mildly acidic. On the other hand, the gardnerella strains are the bad guys that cause infections and unpleasant symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis. In ideal acidic PH situations, the different types of bacteria live harmoniously; however, when the vaginal PH becomes alkaline, it results in the gardnerella strain becoming more powerful and proliferating rapidly.
Causes of Gardnerella
The most common causes of a gardnerella infection are:
- Sexual intercourse with multiple partners or an infected person
- Unprotected sex, since semen is highly alkaline and the vagina has to combat that to maintain its acidity levels
- Sexually inactive women could also become vulnerable if there is spontaneous change in their vaginal PH ( often caused by diet, hormonal levels, health conditions etc)
- Transmission of infection through douches, towels and wet swimsuits
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as low iron and zinc levels
- Use of contraceptive devices like IUD’s
- Immune compromised patients
- Stress and lack of proper sleep can lead to imbalances in the body’s homeostasis
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Wearing ill fitting undergarments and tight clothes. Synthetic materials are not good at absorbing moisture and could aggravate conditions. Snug fitting cotton undergarments help keep the area dry and oxygenated
- Lack of hygiene could be another causative factor
Symptoms of a Gardnerella Infection
The signs typically include:
- Unpleasant fishy vaginal odor
- Abnormal vaginal discharge- the discharge can be white (milky), chunky resembling cheese, gray and thin
- Vaginal Inflammation
- Itching, burning, and irritation in the vaginal area
- Burning when urinating
- Painful intercourse
Although, it is important to note that these symptoms could be related to another infection too and some women with the infection could remain asymptomatic as well.
Treatment Options for Gardnerella
The treatment of choice for Gardnerella vaginalis is oral metronidazole, 500 mg twice daily for 6 days. Other Antibiotics like Cephradine and Clindamycin may also be used for the treatment. All women with symptoms of bacterial vaginosis should be tested. Some physicians also recommend that women undergoing certain gynecological procedures should be tested and treated for bacterial vaginosis, even if symptoms are not present. This is because bacterial vaginosis has been associated with the development of pelvic inflammatory disease and other infections after procedures like endometrial biopsy, surgical abortion, hysterectomy, intrauterine device placement, caesarean section and uterine curettage.
Are Antibiotics Safe?
There is no doubt that antibiotics like metronidazole, Cephradine and Clindamycin have become the go- to treatment for Gardenerella vaginalis. However, these drugs have its fair share of risks. The most commonly experienced are:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of balance
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Dry mouth or unpleasant metallic taste
- Sneezing, runny or stuffy nose
- Swollen or sore tongue
The other deterrent factor is that microorganisms have the tendency to mutate into antibiotic resistant strains that no longer respond to antibiotics. Thus, treating with antibiotics is not always fruitful.
Natural Alternatives for Gardnerella vaginalis
Holistic doctors understand that if you want to combat any foreign invasion successfully, you need to be armed with a robust immune system. So, alternative therapies like ayurveda and homeopathy resort to targeting the underlying cause of any clinical manifestation to unearth the root cause of the problem. Traditional medicine has come a long way and several natural ingredients have been clinically verified for their potential benefits. Ingredients like Rubia cordifolia, Withania Somnifera, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Allium cepa, Sapindus laurifolia Vahl,Allium sativum etc are traditionally believed to possess immune boosting properties and are often used in alternative medicine to combat infections.
In fact, a clinical study highlighted that:
All the patients infected with Gardnerella vaginalis and advised a polyherbal solution intravaginally and over the vulva, twice daily for 2 weeks had full and effective relief from itching and abnormal vaginal discharge on completion of the protocol. 1
Some key Ingredient highlights with Clinical evidence:
- Sapindus laurifolia Vahl:
Also known as soap nut, this herb is popularly used in traditional remedies for promoting healthy skin and hair. A clinical investigation showed that an aqueous and ethanol extract of soap nut exhibited good antibacterial activity against the gardnerella strain. 2
- Saraca indica:
This ayurvedic herb is traditionally believed to possess detoxifying, immune boosting, and energizing properties. A clinical evaluation of a polyherbal extract containing Saraca indica showed significant antimicrobial activity against the tested microorganisms including the gardnerella strains. 3
- Symplocos racemosa:
This is a very important ayurvedic herb and is traditionally used to maintain healthy eyes, skin, and vagina. A polyherbal extract including Symplocos racemosa displayed potent antimicrobial activities against bacterial strains like Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Gardnerella vaginalis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 4
Biogetica focuses and strives to spotlight these natural remedies because it truly believes in the healing powers of nature. We have integrated the above listed natural remedies with other evidence-based ingredients .Our formulations are available as single remedies or in combinations like Biogetica’s Freedom Kit with OM 24 Formula and Biogetica’s Essentials Kit with C5 Inflammease Formula for comprehensive and holistic care.
Our groundbreaking multidisciplinary kits include:
Ayurvedic herbs: A combination of herbal extracts that are traditionally believed to improve immunity and rejuvenate and support the structure and functions of the vagina.
Homeopathic Attentuations: Potentized impressions of the Anterior Pituitary, Endometrium, FSH Hormone and Uterus that are traditionally believed to provide specific sarcode support to the target organs. Thus, reminding them of specific optimal functions.
Nutraceuticals: Supplements that provide essential nutrients that potentially nourish and improve the nutritional and energy state of the body.
To know more about our unique, precedent setting products or to get your health concerns addressed, chat with our Health Experts available 24/7 at www.biogetica.com now.
Dr Khyati Dave is a licensed Homeopathy Physician and Nutritional Consultant. With Biogetica, she has witnessed many patients, who had otherwise given up hope, heal faster supplemented by our natural methods. She considers consulting Biogetica patients her primary responsibility and honour. She often writes about nutrition, natural treatment methods and diet. Her mission is to apply her medical talents to help each patient heal faster and do her best to give the immunity of patients with so called ‘incurable’ diseases a fighting chance.