NATURALLY WORKS WITH YOU FOR YOU
For the treatment and prevention of vaginal odour and other symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
Section 1 : Frequently asked questions about Gynalac
GYNALAC is tried and clinically tested. The active ingredients in the product occur naturally in a healthy vagina and have been used to restore vaginal imbalance since the early 1990s.
Do not use GYNALAC if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. GYNALAC can be used during breastfeeding and during pregnancy, however, you should consult your doctor if you have any of the symptoms of a vaginal infection during pregnancy. Do not use GYNALAC if you are trying to conceive as the gel has a low pH, which makes the environment less suitable for sperm. Please note, GYNALAC should not be used as a form of contraception.
In rare cases, vaginal itching or burning may occur at the start of treatment. This reaction has also been observed with other vaginal preparations and usually goes away. If you have any concerns you should consult your healthcare professional.
If you have an allergy or reaction to any of its ingredients, the product should be discontinued. For more detailed information, please see the Warnings in the Product Information Brochure or on the packaging.
Yes, you can use GYNALAC immediately following an antibiotic treatment. Typical antibiotic treatments (metronidazole or clindamycin) for Bacterial Vaginosis infections can strip away beneficial bacteria, leaving conditions ripe for a new infection to begin, which means your latest bacterial infection might not be your last.
Using GYNALAC, immediately after completing a course of antibiotics can help put an end to these recurrences. GYNALAC helps restore the healthy vaginal flora required to aid in prevention of future infections.
Maintaining a balanced vaginal ecosystem is essential in preventing recurring infections. You can use GYNALAC even if you do not have a current infection, to maintain a healthy balance. We recommend you apply one dose (3 mL) of GYNALAC daily for 3 consecutive days at the end of your menstrual cycle.
Other tips to help prevent recurrence include:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet.
- If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, even for an unrelated condition, use GYNALAC, immediately after completing your course of antibiotics to help maintain a natural and healthy vaginal balance.
- Keep genital area clean and dry.
- Avoid using perfumed intimate products (soaps, vaginal deodorants, etc.) as these can disrupt the natural and healthy vaginal balance.
- Avoid excessive washing (or douching) of the vagina, as this may strip away the healthy bacteria lining the vagina that prevent the unfriendly bacteria from over growing.
If you notice a recurrence of symptoms around the time of your period, using GYNALAC immediately after your period can help to maintain the natural pH and prevent the symptoms from recurring.
If you use the product during your period, there is a risk that your flow could wash some of the product out, making it less effective. We recommend you apply one dose (3 mL) of GYNALAC daily for 3 consecutive days at the end of your menstrual cycle.
If you have been diagnosed with a Yeast infection, you will need an antifungal treatment, as GYNALAC alone will not get rid of the candida (yeast) causing your Yeast infection.
GYNALAC is a natural pH regulator and can be used as an adjunct therapy to your antifungal treatment, to help restore your normal vaginal flora and relieve symptoms of itchiness, burning and dryness.
GYNALAC is available without a prescription in most pharmacies across Canada. Ask your local Pharmacist today. You can also order GYNALAC online, visit the “Where to Buy” page on our website.
We strongly recommend you apply one dose (3 mL) of GYNALAC daily for 7 consecutive days. If you miss a day, there is no need to start over. Simply, resume the regimen where you left off. However, if you miss several days, you may find you may need to repeat the entire treatment.
GYNALAC is formulated to be rapidly absorbed by your vaginal tissue. In the event of leakage, a panty liner may be used.
It is best to use GYNALAC at bedtime.
Do not use GYNALAC before swimming or bathing. If you use the product before you swim or take a bath there is a risk that the water could wash some of the product out, making it less effective.
Yes, you can have intercourse while using GYNALAC. Please note, GYNALAC should not be used as a form of contraception.
Do not use GYNALAC if you are trying to conceive as the gel has a low pH, which makes the environment less suitable for sperm.
Yes, GYNALAC is safe to use during pregnancy. However, if you have any of the symptoms of a vaginal infection during pregnancy you should consult your doctor.
Yes, GYNALAC is safe to use when breastfeeding.
GYNALAC is natural and nontoxic. If ingested, there is no cause for alarm.
Store GYNALAC, in its box, in a dry place at room temperature, 15°C to 30°C. Do not use beyond the expiry date. The expiry date is stated on the tube and carton. Once used, the tube can be disposed of in accordance with local and environmental regulations.
Many women notice their symptoms start to improve after just one dose.
To effectively treat BV and relieve embarrassing fishy odour and abnormal discharge and discomfort associated with BV you should use 3 mL of GYNALAC vaginal gel per day, ideally at bed time for 7 days.
To maintain your natural pH balance and prevent recurrence of symptoms you can use 1-2 applications of 3 mL per week.
If you’re taking antibiotics GYNALAC can help to maintain your natural pH level if you administer a single application (3 mL) daily for 3 days after the end of antibiotic therapy.
If you notice you get BV around the time of your period, administer a single application (3 mL) per day for 3 days immediately after the menstrual cycle, for a minimum of 6 months.
It is not harmful to continue to use GYNALAC for longer than 7 days, however if symptoms do persist it is advisable to see your doctor.
Yes. In fact, using GYNALAC for four to five days at the end of a course of antibiotics can help to restore the correct vaginal pH and prevent the growth of organisms that may cause an infection.
Section 2 : Frequently asked questions about BV
All women experience some degree of natural vaginal odor. This scent will vary by person and may be described as sweet or musky. It may also smell metallic near your period or bleach-like following sexual intercourse.
These scents are normal and can vary depending on diet, exercise, and hormone fluctuations. There is no need to take any action to remove or cover up these normal odors.
Vaginitis (or vaginal infections) is a medical term used to describe various conditions that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain. The most common types of vaginitis are Yeast infections and Bacterial Vaginosis. Approximately 50% of all vaginal infections are classified as bacterial vaginosis, while only about 25% are classified as Yeast infections. If these kinds of infections are left untreated, they can lead to serious complications.
Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance in the bacteria normally found within the vagina so that levels of beneficial, lactic-acid producing probiotic bacteria (Lactobacilli) are reduced or absent, and there is an overgrowth of smelly bacteria (such as Gardnerella and Bacteroides) which are usually only present in small numbers.
These ‘smelly’ anaerobic bacteria thrive in the absence of oxygen by breaking down proteins to form chemicals known as amines which produce a characteristic ‘fishy’ odour, cause irritation and an unpleasant discharge.
As bacterial vaginosis is not a true infection, but an imbalance of bacteria that are normally present, it can be treated using remedies that restore the natural vaginal pH balance. Sometimes specific antibiotics are needed to get on top of the imbalance, but it is likely to recur unless you adopt measures that keep your vaginal pH balance acidic.
Bacterial Vaginosis, trichomoniasis and candidiasis (Yeast infection) are caused by different pathogens and must be treated differently. Each type of infection requires a specific treatment, and some infections have more than one cause.
Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common cause of vaginal infections and is about twice as common as Yeast infections. Bacterial Vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, such as Gardnerella or Prevotella bivia, whereas, Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida.
As the symptoms of both Yeast infections and Bacterial Vaginosis can be very similar, 2 out of 3 women frequently misdiagnose their symptoms and use the wrong treatment. One major recognizable difference between Bacterial Vaginosis and a Yeast infection is the bothersome unpleasant “fishy” odor associated with Bacterial Vaginosis, especially after having sex.
Bacterial Vaginosis affects at least 1 in 3 adult women at some point in their lives. Worldwide, between 10% and 50% of women are affected in different countries at any one time, making it the most frequently occurring vaginal condition in women. As well as affecting women of childbearing age, it is also common after the menopause when levels of beneficial Lactobacilli bacteria naturally fall.
Bacterial Vaginosis is twice as common as thrush (Candida yeast overgrowth) and 2 out of 3 women with Bacterial Vaginosis wrongly diagnose themselves as having thrush as symptoms are similar.
Most women (50-75%) do not experience symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis, but when they do they typically have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor. Some women report a strong fish-like odor, especially after intercourse. Discharge, if present, is usually white or gray and it can be thin.
Women with Bacterial Vaginosis may also have a burning sensation during urination or itching around the outside of the vagina, or both.
Other symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis include:
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal burning sensation
- Vaginal irritation
- Painful urination
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Vaginal discharge, usually thin and grayish/white; discharge may more noticeable after having sex
- Foul “fishy” odor
These symptoms are often mistaken for vaginal candida (thrush) and will partially respond to antifungal treatments before recurring. If you think you have recurrent thrush, it’s worth considering whether or not you could have bacterial vaginosis.
The offensive smell of Bacterial Vaginosis worsens when the discharge mixes with alkaline fluids. This occurs during and after menstruation, when the smell may seem worse, and after having unprotected sex because blood and semen are both alkaline. The smell can also worsen if the discharge mixes with alkaline urine.
You can overcome Bacterial Vaginosis without resorting to antibiotics if you take steps to restore the natural acidity of vaginal secretions, replenish friendly Lactobacillus bacteria, and correct any vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can reduce immunity – especially low vitamin D levels which are associated with Bacterial Vaginosis.
The first step is to restore the acid balance of the vagina which will allow healthy bacteria to flourish. A number of products are available to help prevent and treat Bacterial Vaginosis. Most contain lactic acid, while some also contain glycogen to provide fuel to promote the healthy growth of the normal bacteria (but cannot be used by anaerobic bacteria). GYNALAC contains these two ingredients as well as Sodium Hyaluronate which has a long-lasting moisturizing effect and promotes wound healing by enabling cells to retain moisture in the tissue.
Bacterial Vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection. Any male sexual partners you might have would not need any treatment. In addition, you do not need to be sexually active to get Bacterial Vaginosis.
Bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis are found in the normal male genital tract, and their presence could potentially increase the chance of a partner experiencing recurrent bacterial vaginosis after antibiotic treatment. However, a recent review of 7 trials, involving over 1000 people, found that giving antibiotic treatment to the sexual partners of women with bacterial vaginosis did not increase the rate of clinical or symptomatic improvement, and did not decrease the recurrence rate, compared with inactive placebo. While your male partner may be offered treatment, it is not guaranteed to make a difference.
If your partner is female, then it’s important that you both receive treatment. A review in the BMJ journal found that at least one in 4 and probably as many as 1 in 2 lesbians have bacterial vaginosis, and that both partners were affected in 87% of cases. Overall, lesbians were 2.5 times more likely to have BV than heterosexual women.
What triggers the bacterial imbalance is poorly understood. It is related to loss of normal vaginal acidity which, in turn, can result from hormonal and lifestyle changes. Once intimate pH balance is disturbed, acid-loving Lactobacilli (beneficial bacteria) disappear and the growth of less beneficial bacteria is encouraged.
Hormonal factors affect vaginal acidity and glycogen levels which normally promote the growth of beneficial Lactobacilli. As a result, Bacterial Vaginosis often arises spontaneously before and during menstruation, then resolves mid-cycle, although recurrences are common
Any woman can get Bacterial Vaginosis. However, some activities or behaviors can upset the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina and put women at increased risk including:
- Having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners
- Using antibiotics
- Using vaginal medications
Poor hygiene does not cause Bacterial Vaginosis. On the contrary, excessive washing of the vagina may alter the normal balance of bacteria, which may make Bacterial Vaginosis more likely to develop.
Yes, Bacterial Vaginosis needs to be treated. Although Bacterial Vaginosis will sometimes clear up without treatment, all women with symptoms should be treated to avoid complications.
If left untreated, the bacteria may get up into the uterus or the fallopian tubes and cause more serious infections. The good news is that treating Bacterial Vaginosis lowers this risk. Male partners generally do not need to be treated, however, Bacterial Vaginosis may be spread between female sex partners.
Treatment is especially important in pregnant women. It is estimated that as many as 16% to 25% of pregnant women have bacterial vaginosis.1 Bacterial Vaginosis is associated with some serious pregnancy related consequences and it is estimated that it contributes up to 30% of premature deliveries.2
All pregnant women who experience the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis should consult their physician and be treated. All pregnant women who have had a premature delivery or low birth weight baby should also be considered for a Bacterial Vaginosis examination, regardless of symptoms, and should be treated if they have Bacterial Vaginosis.
There are a variety of effective treatment options available to treat Bacterial Vaginosis, including over the counter vaginal gels, prescription antibiotics, and alternative remedies. These will help to reduce the risk of experiencing any complications caused by the infection or recurrence.
GYNALAC is an ideal and natural treatment for patients who are concerned or unable to take antibiotics. One dose (3 mL) of GYNALAC daily for 7 consecutive days is clinically proven to be as effective at relieving abnormal vaginal discharge and odor as a course of antibiotics (metronidazole).
For women that are prone to having many recurrences of Bacterial Vaginosis, GYNALAC can also be used to maintain normal vaginal pH and help prevent recurrence of Bacterial Vaginosis. Apply one dose (3 mL) of GYNALAC daily for 3 consecutive days at the end of your menstrual cycle for a minimum of 6 months.
GYNALAC is also ideal for use after antibiotics to promote lactobacillus regrowth and prevent future recurrences of Bacterial Vaginosis. Apply one dose (3 mL) of GYNALAC daily for 7 consecutive days immediately following antibiotic therapy.
When left untreated, Bacterial Vaginosis can cause serious complications and health risks, including:
- Pregnancy complications: Pregnant women with Bacterial Vaginosis are more likely to have a premature or low birth weight baby. They also have a greater chance of developing another type of infection after delivery.
- Sexually transmitted infections: Bacterial Vaginosis increases your risk of getting sexually transmitted infections, including the herpes simplex virus, chlamydia, and HIV.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: In some cases, Bacterial Vaginosis may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the reproductive organs in women. This condition can increase the risk of infertility.
- Post surgical infections: Bacterial Vaginosis puts you at a higher risk for infections after surgeries affecting the reproductive system. These include hysterectomies, abortions, and caesarean deliveries.
As many as 70% of women who have been treated for Bacterial Vaginosis experience recurrences within 90 days of treatment. Maintaining a balanced vaginal ecosystem is essential to prevent recurring infections.
You can use GYNALAC, even if you do not have a current infection, to maintain a healthy balance. Simply apply one dose (3 mL) of GYNALAC daily for 3 consecutive days at the end of your menstrual cycle for a minimum of 6 months.
Other tips to help lower your risk of developing Bacterial Vaginosis include:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet.
- If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, even for an unrelated condition, use GYNALAC, immediately after completing your course of antibiotics, to help maintain a natural and healthy vaginal balance.
- Keep vaginal area clean and dry.
- Avoid using perfumed intimate products (soaps, vaginal deodorants, etc.) as these irritate the vagina and disrupt the natural and healthy vaginal balance.
- Avoid excessive washing (or douching) of the vagina: this may remove healthy bacteria lining the vagina.
- Use a condom if you notice that sexual intercourse promotes symptoms. Semen is alkaline and can alter the natural pH of the vagina and predispose you to developing Bacterial Vaginosis.
Bacterial Vaginosis is three times more common to be found in infertile women than fertile women. Bacterial Vaginosis, and other infections in general, can cause decreased fertility in a number of ways:
- increasing inflammation and immune system activity, making a toxic environment for reproduction.
- causing damage to sperm and vaginal cells.
- interfering with the production of healthy cervical mucus during ovulation.
- blocking the Fallopian Tubes through scar tissue damage from infections, so that sperm and egg can’t meet.
Bacterial Vaginosis is also associated with a two-fold increase in risk of preclinical pregnancy loss, sometimes called a chemical pregnancy, following IVF. Bacterial Vaginosis is also associated with increased rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV infection. For women with Bacterial Vaginosis present during pregnancy, there may be an increased risk of miscarriages, preterm birth, and low birth weight complications for the newborn, as well as postpartum infections.
An unpleasant vaginal odor usually results from a pH imbalance which has allowed for the flourishing of odor-causing micro-organisms in the vagina. The optimal range of vaginal pH is 3.8 to 4.5 (acidic), and when imbalanced, the pH can increase and become more alkaline (less acidic), allowing unfriendly bacterial to proliferate. Vaginal odor may be yeasty, signifying a Yeast Infection or fishy, sometimes signifying Bacterial Vaginosis.
1. Riduan Joesoef M et al. Bacterial vaginosis. Clinical evidence.bmj.com/ceweb/conditions/seh/160, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. Pirotta M. Bacterial vaginosis more questions than answers. Australian Family Physician Jun 2009;38:394-7