Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common condition in women where the balance of bacteria in the vagina is wrong, leading to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a decrease in beneficial bacteria. This can result in symptoms such as vaginal discharge, itching, and odour. The exact cause of BV is not known, but it is not a sexually transmitted infection.
There are several risk factors for bacterial vaginosis, including:
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Douching or using vaginal sprays or deodorants
- Using an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
- Having a new sexual partner or changing sexual partners frequently
- Being sexually active
- Using antibiotics
- Having a weakened immune system
- Having a previous history of bacterial vaginosis.
BV can sometimes clear up on its own, but it can also recur or become a chronic condition, requiring treatment with antibiotics or other medications.
Some scientific studies suggest that using vitamin C in the vagina can help prevent BV from coming back. To test this, a study was done with 142 women who had been cured of BV. Half of the women were given vitamin C vaginal tablets, and the other half were given a placebo. (A placebo is a substance or treatment that has no therapeutic effect on the person receiving it but is given for the psychological benefit of the patient, such as to satisfy their expectation of treatment or to serve as a control in a medical study. It is often used in medical research to compare the effects of a new treatment against the effects of an inactive substance.)
They used one tablet a day for six days each month for six months. The study found that women who used the vitamin C tablets had fewer recurrences of BV than those who used the placebo.
Efficacy of vitamin C vaginal tablets as prophylaxis for recurrent bacterial vaginosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. PMID: 23864922 PMCID: PMC3712888DOI:10.4021/jocmr1489w https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23864922/