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Here’s why you using coconut oil to treat bacterial vaginosis is a bad idea

Updated on:15 July 2021, 10:32am IST
Many consider coconut oil to be a home remedy for treating bacterial vaginosis but does it really work? Let’s find out if coconut oil can treat bacterial vaginosis.
Aayushi Gupta
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There can be a negative side to using coconut oil as well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Having a vagina comes with a great number of concerns. These concerns range from menstrual cramps to infections. You’re probably aware of the fact that there are multiple infections that women are prone to due to how the vagina is shaped and functions. When there’s trouble with the vagina, it is important to pay attention to the signs. This can help you get the right treatment at the right time.

One of the most common bacterial infections that affect the vagina is bacterial vaginosis (BV). It occurs due to the imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your vagina. It is the most common vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 to 44.

Here’s what causes bacterial vaginosis

BV is caused by the bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis. If left untreated, bacterial vaginosis can cause multiple complications, including infertility. It is easy to mistake BV for a yeast infection. Both the infections have similar symptoms but they’re very different from each other. Hence, the risk factors, causes, and treatments are also very different.

Also read: Bacterial vaginosis 101: All you need to know about this condition

So, what are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Look out for these symptoms: 

  • Burning sensation when you urinate
  • Experiencing thin, watery vaginal discharge
  • Itching and pain around the genital region
  • Soreness in the genital area
  • A strong and unpleasant smell, often described as fishy
  • Grey or white discharge
  • Painful sex
You’re not alone in this. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You should speak with a doctor if you experience these symptoms but there is a home remedy that can prove to very soothing when you are suffering from bacterial vaginosis. The home remedy is coconut oil!

Also read: Itchy vagina? Make note of these home remedies to soothe vaginal itching and burning

But does it really work? Let’s find out!

Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Topical application of coconut oil can help manage vaginal infections. But, in spite of this, coconut oil isn’t recommended for treating bacterial vaginosis.

Coconut oil is a fatty oil and it is high in medium-chain fatty acids. This clearly means that it does not dissolve right away in your vagina. Thus, it cannot treat the infection. In fact, coconut oil is an emollient that locks in moisture and this can create a breeding ground for bacteria, including the bacteria responsible for BV. 

Instead of trying coconut oil, you can opt for these home remedies to treat bacterial vaginosis
  • Yoghurt: It is a natural source of probiotics that may help restore the bacterial balance. 
  • Apple cider vinegar: It possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties which may help fight bacteria responsible for bacterial vaginosis.
  • Fenugreek: Fenugreek seeds exhibit strong antibacterial properties that may kill bad bacteria causing bacterial vaginosis.

So, ladies, try some home remedies to soothe bacterial vaginosis but do consult with a doctor for medical treatment.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.