Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in pre-menopausal women. A new study has found that this infection is associated with Vitamin D deficiency. A study from the Journal of Nutrition examined 469 women at a Pittsburgh clinic. There were 209 white women and 260 black women in the study. More than half had Vitamin D levels below 37 nanomoles per liter. A level of over 60 is healthy. About 52% of black women had bacterial vaginosis, compared with 27% of white women. Darker skin prevents adequate synthesis of Vitamin D and this may have been why black women were almost 3 times as likely to be Vitamin D deficient.
In my clinical experience, some women have chronic vaginosis, meaning that even though treatment with antibiotics is effective, this infection continues to come back. It is not sexually transmitted, therefore a woman’s partner does not need to be screened. I have also found that the risk is higher when women are under a high amount of stress. The vaginal PH can shift to a less acidic environment, and make women more susceptible for this infection.
Some other alternative treatments for bacterial vaginosis include tea tree oil vaginal suppositories, betadine douche nightly for 5-7 nights, and oral and vaginal lactobaccillus suppositories. Evaluate your stress level and check your diet. Are you eating too many “comfort foods” consisting of lots of sugar and empty carbs? How are you sleeping? Definitely get your Vitamin D level checked. I screen all women for Vitamin D due to the enormous deficiency in our country. It certainly won’t hurt. Discuss other options with our practitioner.