Probiotic may help prevent recurrences of bacterial vaginosis

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Published: September, 2020

If you've ever experienced a bout of bacterial vaginosis, a vaginal infection that affects anywhere from 15% to 50% of reproductive-age women, a study published May 14, 2020, in The New England Journal of Medicine may be of interest. It found that women who inserted a type of probiotic called Lactobacillus crispatus (Lactin-V) in their vagina twice per week were less likely to have a recurrence of bacterial vaginosis than women who did not. Experts don't fully understand what causes bacterial vaginosis, but it is associated with an overgrowth of some microorganisms (such as Gardnerella vaginalis or Prevotella), which outnumber healthier types of vaginal bacteria, including a common one called Lactobacillus. In many cases, the condition will recur after treatment. All of the 228 women in the study were initially treated for bacterial vaginosis with the standard topical antibiotic metronidazole (MetroGel Vaginal). But after that treatment, 152 of the women were assigned to use Lactin-V for an additional 11 weeks. The remainder of the group got a placebo treatment. Researchers found that only 30% of the Lactin-V group had a recurrence of bacterial vaginosis by week 12, compared with 45% of the placebo group.

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