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Old 02-20-2018, 10:42 AM
apurva apurva is offline
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Default How I Cured BV Naturally

How It Started + Initial Treatment with Antibiotics
My long journey with bacterial vaginosis (BV) started in the autumn of 2013. At the time, I did not know about BV, or that it can become chronic and persistent in many cases. It started with a burning at the time of intercourse, and I soon started getting an itch right at the vaginal opening and a slight white-ish creamy discharge, though it did not have much of an odour. I noticed the burning one day, just after intercourse, and alerted my husband to it. I had no clue what BV is up till that point. We thought the burning would just go away on its own, and refrained for a few days. The burning sensation did dissipate, but the itch and discharge had just begun. And any time we would get sexually active, the burning would come right back.

I was hoping that it would settle down on its own so I ignored it for a while. But it persisted. I started researching about my symptoms online, and came to know that they could either be due to fungal or bacterial infection. It was now more than 6 months since the problem had started for me, so I went to the gynaecologist. She examined me, told me that she could see the discharge and the vaginal irritation that was causing my itch, and deduced that my symptoms were due to a fungal infection. She prescribed an antifungal suppository for me to use over a period of 7 days. I followed her prescription, and strangely, my discharge and itching only intensified after the course. So much so that if I would scratch the itch, it would bleed.

I went back to the gynaecologist and she could see that things had become worse. The redness and irritation on the vagina were more pronounced on this visit than on the previous one. She prescribed antibiotics (Azithromycin), antifungals (Fluconazole) and anti-parasite medicines for both my husband and me to have so that anything and everything problematic could be eliminated, and we don't keep passing the infection on to one another. Hardly a chance of that, as it was nearly impossible for me to have sex at this point without my insides burning! Yet, she gave it for good measure and we took it. There was no testing done before these medicines were prescribed. We had the medicines, and soon enough, my symptoms started reducing rapidly in intensity - the discharge became negligible, the itch was gone. We started having sex again and it wouldn't burn. It was such a relief to be free of the infection, and to go back to living my life normally.

Relapse + Failed Antibiotic Treatments
Things remained fine for a year. Around May 2015, I started a new job that was very stressful. Soon after starting it, I noticed that I had begun to get a small amount of white, creamy discharge, similar to what I had had earlier. I would see it on the toilet paper every time I would clean the area. However no other symptoms accompanied it this time, so I did not think too much of it. I just assumed it was regular vaginal discharge, and had come on because of the stress of my work. This continued as weeks stretched into months, and the discharge increased gradually in quantity. About a year later, in spring of 2016, I realised that the discharge had increased a lot compared to when it started. I began to get really concerned by this and went back to my gynaecologist. She gave me another dose of the same antibiotics, antifungals and anti-parasite medicines she gave last time, and I took them. But this time, these medicines did not give me any relief.

I was getting tired of my increasing discharge, so I searched online for some answers. I saw many cases of women who had found relief from their BV symptoms using various home remedies, but one thing that I read in a post made a lot of sense to me. I read that it is crucial to identify what is causing the infection before trying to treat it, otherwise you're just shooting in the dark with treatments, trying to hit upon something that works. I took this advice and got my vagina swabbed at a diagnostic laboratory for all the potential pathogens; they did a culture of the swabbed discharge to search for bacterial infection, conducted DNA testing of the swabbed fluid for intracellular bacteria, and did a number of tests to search for fungal and parasitical infections, along with a pap smear to ensure that I wasn't heading down the cervical cancer road. The tests came clear for everything except for bacteria - I had Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus haemolyticus in medium to heavy growths. The antibiotic that both these bacteria were sensitive to was Linezolid. I went back to the gynaecologist with my report, and she cancelled her previous prescription and gave me a course of Linezolid. I had the full course, convinced that this would be the end of it. However, astonishingly, after finishing the course of the strong antibiotic, my symptoms remained intact! I was really disappointed by this. I got tested again, and though the infections had reduced slightly, they had developed resistance to Linezolid. They were sensitive to 1 or 2 other antibiotics, but I had begun to lose faith in this method of treatment.



Phage Therapy
At this time, my husband had been diagnosed with chronic prostatitis, which was also caused by an antibiotic resistant infection. While searching for cures online, we came across phage therapy. Phage therapy uses bacteriophages to treat bacterial conditions. Bacteriophages are naturally occurring viruses that feed only on bacteria. They are found abundantly in nature, and are present in every environment where there are bacteria. Phage therapy has been practiced in certain Eastern European countries for the last nearly 100 years. One of those countries is Georgia, which has the oldest institute researching bacteriophages.

In our research, one thing we wanted to be absolutely certain of was that there would be no harmful side effects of this treatment. We read a lot of research papers and spoke to a few scientists working in this field in different institutes across the world to gain better understanding of the treatment and its safety and possible side effects. From everything we read and learned, this seemed to be a viable treatment option for both our conditions, with no major side effects to be expected.

So with our fingers crossed, we decided to go for phage therapy for the treatment our conditions. At the clinic in Georgia, we were tested for pathogens that were causing our infections. The same bacteria grew in these cultures as well, and they were tested for sensitivity against standard phage medicines. The medicines that the bacteria were sensitive towards were given to me in oral as well as suppository forms, along with suppositories of Metronidazole and Clindamycin. Along with this, I was asked to get my vitamin levels tested, to ensure that my immunity was not impacted by low vitamin levels in the body. This would be important to ensure that once the infections were eradicated, other bacteria would not become pathogenic to take the place of the infection that was removed, thus preventing the condition from persisting any further.

Another thing I learned was that a reason such conditions can sometimes become persistent or chronic is because of bacteria's defence mechanism called biofilm. Biofilms are mucous-like protective layers that bacterial colonies build around themselves to protect themselves from the body's immune system, as well as most other attacks on the bacteria. Antibiotics are not able to penetrate through a biofilm to kill the offending bacterial strains. However, phages are effective in doing so, and that's one reason I could expect my treatment with phages to work well, and eradicate my infections from the root.

I took the treatment in November 2016, and came back with phage medicines and antibiotic suppositories to take through December 2016. My discharge disappeared in a matter of a few weeks. I got my vitamin levels checked, and took the correct supplements to bring them up to healthy range, so that my immunity could support and sustain my treatment.

Now
It has been over a year now since my symptoms disappeared, and I have not had them again. I am living discharge free, and my vaginal health feels better than I had ever hoped I would be able to feel again. I did not know anyone else who had taken phage treatment before I went for it, and there was no one who could talk to me about it or guide me with their own personal experience. I'm sharing my experience here so that anyone who is suffering from BV can benefit from the experience I have had and the knowledge I have gathered about phage therapy.
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Old 02-20-2018, 03:09 PM
jfh jfh is offline
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Thank you very much for sharing. I'm interested in phage therapy recently. I have no condition requiring the therapy, but I am interested. Just in case it might help others that I know.

Recently we had a new forum member, who went through the same process as you. As far as I can understand, he only had a bad experience with the lab he chose. Here is his thread. http://www.natmedtalk.com/showthread...593#post226593
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:08 PM
apurva apurva is offline
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Hi jfh,

I went through the link you sent. This person went to an independent clinic. I have seen this clinic from the outside while I was in Tbilisi. The independent clinic does not make its own phages, nor does it have its own lab, but uses the medicines made by the Eliava Institute. This person also seems to have gotten some treatments unrelated to phage therapy. He later got in touch with the clinic that is associated with the Eliava Institute. That is the one I went to, and I had a very good experience at the Eliava clinic. The doctors were open and candid in explaining to me the things I wanted to know about my condition, the tests they had to do, the results of these tests, as well as my treatment with their standard phage preparations. They did the testing in their own lab, and their medicines came directly from their pharmacy. My husband needed a custom-made phage preparation, and they were able to make that in their facility, though it took time. There were a lot of local and foreign patients getting treated at the clinic, unlike the other one where local patients do not go for treatment. I feel that with such treatments, it is important to go to the right place, with the right doctors, reliable lab facilities, and access to the appropriate medicines etc.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:57 PM
jfh jfh is offline
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Again, thanks. I thought the same, in that it is the lab which makes the difference. I hope your solution in met. Do you know how long this therapy will take, or does it depend upon the individual and the condition?

I hope that if phage therapy works well, it will move to other parts of the world. It seems expensive to travel so far, but if one is desperate, it makes sense.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:19 AM
apurva apurva is offline
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Yes, the lab as well as the medicine, they are both important. As are the practitioners who administer the medication to the patient.

I am 100% symptom free for the last 14 months, thankfully.

Each individual case takes its own time I believe. It is not a one size fits all type of treatment approach, but is more customised to each patient, and that is what makes it effective.

More than desperate, if one is suffering from a chronic condition, phage therapy can be very helpful in treating the condition. In many cases of chronic infection, antibiotics don't seem to work. This happens because of biofilm formation, as I explained in the original post. As a result, people suffer for years and years with a low grade infection and debilitating symptoms. As my husband once said, a chronic infection won't kill you, but it won't let you live either. And that's a painful place to be in. Phage therapy really helped us come out of that.
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