Bacterial vaginosis - BV for short - is the most common infectious condition in women.
The main cause of bacterial vaginosis is from anaerobic bacteria forming biofilms which are resistant to antibiotic treatment. The biofilms cause inflammation, raise the vaginal pH and elbow out the good, mostly Lactobacillus, microflora that is supposed to be there.
The most common of the bacteria to produce this pathogenic biofilm is Gardnerella vaginalis.1 (I've seen some strange spellings on this one - gardenella, gardenerella - you'd swear you were at a flower show!)
Gardnerella vaginalis is not something that sits about contemplating its navel. Within 72 hours of invading the vaginal area, it can cover a surface area of 567 microns squared, reach a depth of 16 microns and a density of 104 microns.1
To make sense of those figures, that is a spread of about half a milimetre. When you think how very very tiny one bacterium is then that is a large area. Imagine the spread after a week, two weeks?
In this particular study those levels remained until the Gardnerella was challenged by several types of Lactobacilli strains. Not unexpectedly, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 was the best at shifting the Gardernella.1
Lactobacillus reuteri RC 14 is developing a good reputation in woman's health and is easily purchased over-the-counter either on it's own or in combination with other probiotics to help treat bacterial vaginosis bv.
Fem Dophilus is my personal favorite of the supplements that contain L reuteri RC14 because it comes in the right strength and is the supplement used in most research.
BV is best tackled by eliminating the infection and then ensuring that the vaginal microflora is chock-a-block full of good bacteria.
The displacement of the Gardnerella vaginalis biofilm was NOT caused through the production of hydrogen peroxide which is produced in only low amounts by L reuteri RC-14.1
Somehow it changed the structure of the biofilm, with loss of the Gardnerella infection biofilm pods.
Pods! Sounds like something out of a scifi video!
And it is all happening in your nether regions. No wonder it feels like the invasion from hell!
A strain of Lactobacillus inners which is the most prevalent vaginal strain of Lactobacillus was also effective at destroying the biofilm, although not as well as the L reuteri RC-141 which is found in Fem Dophilus.
1. Saunders S, Bocking A, Challis J, Reid G. Effect of Lactobacillus challenge on Gardnerella vaginalis biofilms. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, Vol 55, issue 2 pp138-142 April 2007