This sitz bath recipe is good for women suffering from cytolytic vaginosis. It MIGHT help yeast infection but will NOT help BV.
You'll need a plastic sitz bath.
"What is a sitz bath" you ask? It's a bowl that sits over the toilet and is the easiest and most comfortable way to submerge your "nether regions". Some of these plastic sitz baths have overflow features so that you're not flooding out the bathroom and some have the ability to continuously add warm water to the bath so it doesn't get cold. The overflow of the water goes into the toilet.
You can buy a sitz bath at most drugstores or if you want to be more discreet, buy a Sitz Bath online. It's a quality product at a reasonable price. De luxe versions can price up to fifty or more dollars but the Carex model is very well priced and has good reviews.
Canadian ladies - Your best option is Mansfield DeLuxe.
You can also make do with a wide mouth plastic basin. The idea is to be able to sit in it so that your genital area is covered by the water but the rest of your body and feet and legs are not in the water.
If you're very short of cash and a petite size you can make do with a plastic bucket and simply squat over it so that the genital area is submerged. (That technique would never work for me! I'll stick with the Carex version!)
If you can't afford to buy a sitz bath, use your imagination with what you might already have. One reader emailed me to share how she managed.
"About 8 months ago, I tried the Sitz Bath. I actually was able to move the sink head and sit in the sink. It was uncomfortable, but it worked. I was relieved because I've been bothered by CV for years and I never knew what it was."
Uncomfortable but it worked. At the end of the day that is all that matters.
Now the reader who told me about this method has kindly kept me updated with her progress. She uses the sitz bath recipe once a week to keep things in balance and a further six months on is still clear of CV.
A most encouraging result with such a simple solution.
You also need some baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Just the sort that you have in the kitchen cupboard or can buy at any supermarket. Note: it is baking SODA - not baking powder.
You can buy food grade Pure Sodium Bicarbonate Powder if you choose.
Fill your sitz bath or container with about two inches of water (any temperature) and mix in 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda. Sit in the sitz bath or tub for 15 minutes twice a day. Do this two or three times in the first week.1
Then do it once or twice a week to keep the cytolytic vaginosis away.1 I'm not a doctor but I wonder if once you're into maintenance mode whether simply chucking a handful of it into your bath once a week to make a baking soda bath might be a simple way of keeping yourself free. Try to spread the lips of the vulva and ensure that plenty of this water flows in.
As a pleasurable maintenance method for those of you who live near the ocean, try bathing every day in the sea water. With a pH of 8, sea water is a perfect antidote for the acidity of CV.
"A Reader's Tip from her Doc""My doctors recommendation was a ratio of 1 tsp sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to 1 pint of water, and to do it 2-3x week one, and 1-2 times for weeks 2 and 3. After that only use if I sense any irritation or get discharge again."
Cytolytic vaginosis is caused when there are too many lactobacilli present in the vagina. (The usual problem is not enough!) The lactobacilli produce lactic acid and cv is the result of too many lactobacilli producing too much lactic acid. The vagina, which normally has a pH between 3.8 and 4.2, becomes overly acid.
Baking soda is an alkali so that the sitz bath recipe raises the pH level of the vagina and makes it not quite such a desirable residence for those lactobacilli. You don't want to eliminate the lactobacilli, just reduce their numbers. It is the number of them present that is causing the problem. If you totally eliminate them then you'd end up with a different set of symptoms!
This sitz bath recipe is such a simple and inexpensive treatment to try and Professor Hutti noted that "clinicians have had success in treating this condition with relatively immediate and positive results."
Don't go overboard on this treatment and start using the sitz bath recipe every day, week after week. If you eliminate too many of the lactobacilli you could push yourself right over into bacterial vaginosis. Just follow Professor Hutti's advice.
There isn't that much information about on cytolytic vaginosis so it is always helpful to other women to share results if you find the sitz bath recipe useful.
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1. Hutti MH, Hoffman C. Pearls for Practice. Cytolytic Vaginosis: An overlooked cause of cyclic vaginal itching and burning. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, volume 12 issue 2, page 55-58 February 2000.
Measures pH in the correct range for women's health