One of the most generic of all the treatments for bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an iodine douche for BV. However, you should be warned that many women are sensitive, even allergic, to iodine douches so you need to be very careful if you have never used an iodine douche before.
Iodine for medicinal purposes is sold as a solution of povidone-iodine. This is because iodine by itself would “eat” the skin. While some women do make their own home-made iodine douches by mixing a small amount of povidone-iodine with water, it is very easy to get the concentration too strong when done this way. To use iodine douches for BV correctly and not cause harm to your vaginal skin, the povidone-iodine must be VERY dilute.
Most women who use iodine douches, buy them already prepared. These are usually referred to as medicated douches. If fact, your doctor may recommend an occasional medicated douche for BV. He or she may also refer to this type of douche as a Betadine douche, as Betadine is a brand name for povidone-iodine and it is very commonly used in doctor’s offices and hospitals.
One of the most popular medicated douches that contain iodine is the Summer’s Eve medicated douche. This douche contains a 0.3% povidone-iodine solution as the active ingredient, the maximum allowed in over the counter products. This douche is very inexpensive, costing less than $5 in most drug stores. Keep in mind that these types of products are sometimes kept behind the counter so you may have to specifically ask for the product if you can’t find it on the shelf. I’m not sure why they do this as it can be a little embarrassing to ask about it, not to mention a hassle. The good news is that you can easily and more privately buy this online and keep it on hand.
Using an iodine douche for BV can be a double edged sword. While iodine is a very effective antibacterial agent, it is also just as good at harming the friendly Lactobacillus species that live harmoniously in your vagina, and in fact, help you ward off BV infections. For this reason, and the fact that so many woman are sensitive to iodine, this is not my favorite remedy for BV. I prefer to recommend a hydrogen peroxide douche or a tea tree oil douche, neither of which completely harm the friendly Lactobacillus species that live in the vagina, at least not with only one gentle douche.