Most women will have heard of Thrush, but very few are aware of the condition called Bacterial Vaginosis, despite it being twice as common. 1 in every 3 women will experience it…that’s a lot! It’s characterised by a greyish discharge and a mild ‘fishy’ odour and can occur with or without pain.
Although it is not specifically proven to cause infertility, BV exists in up to 45% of women struggling to conceive, according to this paper, now that’s a hell of a lot!
It’s also implicated in pre-term delivery, as well as 2nd trimester spontaneous terminations, so this is a serious issue.
It was shown in the above paper that treating the vaginosis improved pregnancy rates…but not by a lot. My thoughts on it are that it is yet another ‘burden’ on the body of a woman struggling to conceive, and so treating it frees them up at least to some degree, and this -for some women- is enough to allow their body to get back on top and re-establish fertility.
Officially BV is caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Now if you think like I do you will recognise the contradiction in medicine whereby even though most doctors know that everything in the body is connected, the medical mindset regards everything in the body is separate, and it is this mindset that prevails.
So it’s no wonder that once a woman is diagnosed with BV the most common response is to treat them with antibiotics.
That’s what they did in the above study, and in my opinion that’s why they only saw a small (albeit significant) improvement in pregnancy rates.
What is not considered here is how gut bacteria balance is directly related to one’s vaginal bacteria balance. Nor is it considered that antibiotics are one of the major causes of longer-term bacteria imbalance in the gut, and thus they are implicated in causing the very condition they treat.
This is not an argument against using antibiotics to treat BV, it’s an argument to consider the longer-term effects of living with imbalanced gut bacteria, especially if you are having trouble conceiving.
Sometimes ‘nuking’ the bacteria that cause BV solves the issue and allows the body to get back on top, but if nothing more is done to help establish a good balance of bacteria systemically then the relief is usually temporary, and the can is just kicked down the road.
The imbalance of bacteria in our gut is caused by the way we live, by what we eat and don’t eat, so if all you do is nuke infections with antibiotics, sooner or later they tend to come back. What’s more, some bacteria will come back resistant to antibiotics making the next episode even harder to conquer.
The key to healing is not sudden shock therapy to correct the course we are on, it’s the willingness to change the little things we do daily that gradually contribute to long term problems. This requires the very thing most of us are not prepared to embrace…a shift in mindset!
In my early days I accepted any client who needed help, but many times I ended up engaged in a sort of arm-twisting game trying to get them to change. As I matured, I came to realise this is approach was only a pathway to perdition for both of us.
I love helping my clients make the necessary adjustments once they commit to the process, but I no longer work with people whose arms I have to twist. Since I made that leap everything has gotten better, including the results!