Those unwelcome, yet all too familiar, signs—vaginal itching and burning, icky discharge, nasty odor—announce that a vaginal bacterial or yeast infection has made an appearance. Can you fight back without resorting to antibiotics or antifungal medication? Yes, you can, with Lactobacillus acidophilus vaginal suppositories, said Laurie Steelsmith, ND, author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health.

Unhealthful bacteria and fungi thrive when the pH of the vagina becomes too alkaline, she explained. Using Lactobacillus suppositories, starting as soon as symptoms appear, populates the vagina with friendly bacteria, which in turn restores a healthy, more acidic vaginal pH. This combats existing infections… and ultimately helps prevent future infections.

Lactobacillus vaginal suppositories are sold in health-food stores and online. Dr. Steelsmith recommended Gy-Na-Tren Vaginal Health Solution Kit ($27 at, which is used daily for up to two weeks. The kit has two separate products—14 vaginal suppositories of a specific and effective strain of Lactobacillus combined with homeopathic Boricum acidum… plus 14 oral Lactobacillus pills to further support vaginal health.

A more economical alternative is to make your own suppositories using plain, sugar-free yogurt and the o.b. brand of tampon (which has no applicator and is inserted with a finger). Dr. Steelsmith advised, “Coat the outside of the tampon with yogurt—don’t soak it or it will get too wet—then quickly insert it into the vagina and leave it there for one hour. Do this once daily until symptoms are gone, then stop. Typically, this takes as few as three treatments, but intractable cases of bacterial vaginosis or chronic unrelenting yeast infections may take up to 14 days of treatments to be completely resolved. I also recommend using these suppositories to prevent a vaginal yeast infection whenever you are taking oral antibiotics.” Do not continue indefinitely—overuse can cause an overgrowth of Lactobacillus that exacerbates itching.

With either method, if your symptoms are not completely resolved within two weeks, see your doctor. You may have a different condition, such as a sexually transmitted disease, that will not respond to Lactobacillus suppositories.

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