Okay all. I apologize for this short story.
I hope that someone out there can relate. I've been having recurring bacterial infections for the past year--the foul "fishy" smell, abnormal off-white discharge, and light itching. Overall embarrassing, to say the least. Even before then, I had them on and off a few times a year for the last 5 years. I'm in a monogamous relationship and have been for over a year. I've had STD screenings and I'm fine. I've been treated numerous times with Flagyl (my boyfriend and I both, at times), Cleocin, MetroGel, Boric Acid suppositories(for Yeast Infection), Sitz baths, Acidophilus supplements...you name it, I've tried it. I've been to several different GYN's, and all seem to have a different reason as to why I continue to suffer from this. I take the meds, the infection goes away, and out of the blue, a few weeks later(if I'm lucky), it lurks it's ugly head again. Any antibiotic that I insert vaginally, I usually suffer from a yeast infection following treatment. So, I cure the yeast infection with meds (OTC or prescription), and here comes the BV again. Uggh. My period goes off, and guess who's back? I've switched from Tampons to pads, I don't take baths anymore, I don't bathe "down there" with soap.. but I have no clue why this keeps happening and I'm sick of it. I've read every article possible about this "very common" problem we women suffer from, but no sure answers.
My last appt., (to give you an idea, I've had BV 6x since the year started) my GYN said that if the Flagyl doesn't work..this time(which I think the infection is now immune to) then he will have to paint the walls of my vagina purple (I know, sounds ridiculous) and that is supposed to clean me out completely.
Really, I'm just looking for answers or suggestions ...ANYTHING that can give me some insight as to what I can do help this annoying problem.....Any responses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I just saw your message and hope you're still around to read my reply. I have had the same problems with bacterial infections as you. In fact, it all started on my honeymoon! I definately understand how painful/miserable/frustrating it is. I think I have been through the same cycle as you too... infection, medicine, one great week and infection again.
I've noticed that a few things have been helpful (in addition to everything you mentioned trying). For me, sex always seems to lead to an infection although my husband has been tested for everything possible. I read that sperm lowers the PH of the vagina and helps invite bacterial infections to settle. So, even though I'm on BCP, we began using condoms and that seems to have helped a lot.
Also, my doctor recommended watching my diet and trying to reduce the amounts of sugar and bread I ate which help contribute to the infection (after I started antibiotics I always got a yeast infection which ruined the one week that was free from bacterial infection!).
Also, she insisted that I couldn't eat enough yogurt and although I hate it I should try to make myself eat it at least once a day. Now I eat a cup of it each time we have intercourse (right afterward) and that seems to help balance the "good" and "bad" bacteria.
One more thing she told me to do (and I know this sounds really gross but desperate times call for desperate measures) was to make yogurt suppositories. She said to take plain yogurt and freeze it in the plastic tubes tampons come in (unused and having removed the tampon of course) and then to insert it in the vagina. The coolness helps relieve the burning pain immediately and the yogurt helps kill the bad bacteria and prevent yeast infections too. I've only done this a few times that it got really bad but I must admit it was helpful.
I don't know if any of this is new info. for you but I sympathize with your situation and wanted to share the few things that have helped me.
Wow. Thank you DG for responding. I didn't think anyone else was going through this.
I'll tell you that since I've posted that topic, I've gone back to the GYN and had a chance to sit with a midwife and she extensively went through this with me. That says a lot since the other male GYN's I've been to seem to just rush me out of the office with a few perscriptions. (I was worried that the awful stench was too much for them to bare :-) However, she told me that I have text book Bacterial Vaginosis and that although she sees women numerous times a day with this infection, she's never seen it in a case like mine. She reviewed my chart and saw that I was in their office practically every month. I can diagnose myself b/c I know my body and I've been suffering from this too long. But I always went back hoping for a solution. She really felt for me. So, saying that, we sat down and she went over a ton of things with me to help battle this.
I totally agree that after my boyfriend and I have sex, within a week the infection returns. I thought he was fooling around on me, but the midwife explained to me about the sperm and how it lowers the acidic level in my vagina. Thus, enabling the "bad" bacteria to have a grand ol' time. So we sustained from sex, did my week long bout with antibiotics..and try again-this time without ejaculating in me. Well, to no one's surprise, that still didn't work. Here is a list of things that she suggested I do. It's internal and it has a lot to do with my diet and not having enough vitamins in my system, among other things I'm sure.
First, she told me to treat the infection with the antibiotic Flagyl for 7 days. Once the infection is gone, I had to work on building up my immune system to help fight off the infection if it trys to return. Durning the treatment and after I began to load up on Vitamin C - 2000mg a day. I continued taking the acidophillus supplements, also now I take garlic pills (since garlic is a natural yeast fighter and also builds up the acidic environment) Garlique' is the the best since it doesn't have the odor. I also take Vitamin E daily. I've changed my diet. I drink LOTS of water now. I didn't before. I do this routine every singel day-twice a day. Not only do I feel so much better, the infection has not returned--yet. I'm going on about 3 weeks now since finishing the treatment. This is great considering the normal one week. My mother also suggested that I sit in a small tub of warm water and apple cider vinegar (or regular) only enough to cover my bottom. It cleans the bacteria from the exterior. And it worked. I try to do that once a week.
The midwife noticed that before my period I also began to get an infection. She suggested that a day or two before I take a 2 day course of flagyl, and then after my cycle take a 2 day course. We want to catch the infection before it starts (since it's prone around that time) She say I stay on this routine for about 3 months (but even after continue with the natural supplements) and see if we can't beat this thing out.
I'm very pleased so far and I'm excited that something is finally working. I am still paranoid and I'm always inspecting myself. I'm determined to kick this thing.
So all in all, I will take heed to your advice and I hope mine has helped also. I know that so many women are going through this (some don't even know it). And I know what a healthy vagina is supposed to look/smell like, and I'm on my way there. By the way, my bf has been very patient with me during this process and he notes that the results have been wonderful.
Good luck and if you have any other suggestions or questions, please share.
[This message has been edited by PetiteBliss (edited 03-26-2003).]
I just wanted to let you know that your post has made me think there may be some hope. I have been battling this same EXACT problem, and I am glad to know I am not alone. You are right the doctors just say all they can do is give you some Flagyll or other medecines that don't work as well. I mentioned to him about some of the herbs that I have tried taking, and he did not make any comments except for the acidophillus. I have been taking Olive Leaf Extract to deter infection, Cranberry pills for my bladder, 3 whole health vitamins, and acidophillus daily. I had first started off having horrible bladder infections chronically, then I started getting yeast really bad from the antibiotics, and now instead of yeast I get the BV all of the time. It is uncontrollable. I have breastfed my baby for 2 years and my mother thinks I have depleted myself of vitamins. This may be true, but I really feel like it is the antibiotics that I have constantly had to take for my bladder. Maybe breastfeeding contributed, I don't know. I am not breastfeeding any longer, and I am trying to be consistent with my pills but the bladder problems nor the BV are going away. I have read a lot of different posts from various sites, and yours is by far the best. I have tried everything. I believe in herbs, and I have considered going to an herbalist. I think I am going to do what your mid-wife has prescribed. I am open to anything. I thank you again for your post, and I hope you check back to let us know. I will do the same.
I am so sorry for being redundent here, cause I keep posting the same ol' post.. but a friend of mine has exactly the same issues as each one posting about BV.. HORRIBLE!! What she has done is take the acidolphlious pills with vitamin C 500 mgs a day and it is GONE!!!!!! along with a multivitamin each day... everything else failed! including treatments from the doctors.
I have this very same problem. I have taken Flagyl for years EVERY night at bedtime. I've also done the boric acid suppositories. I would only use the suppositories as needed, like when I felt one coming on. Well, I now have a different doctor who seems to think the Flagyl isn't good to take every day. He has took me off of it. No more refills left. Needless to say it has come back. The doctor said taking Flagyl regular like that would damange my liver. I think at this point I would rather take the Flagyl. All I drink is water. I do eat yogurt. I have read some of the other posts with some things on them. I need suggestions!
I would suggest you gals take acidophilus(probitic) pills daily, I haven't heard of the vitamin C but that couldn't hurt either. There are some really good probitics available that are a bit pricey but I'm sure a whole lot cheaper than going to the doctor all the time!
culturelle is a great probiotic. although it's expensive it really helps. i used it to prevent yeast infections while taking antibiotics and it worked like a charm. i also did the vitamin c thing but again....this was for yeast...not BV. i'm sure it all helps. the healthier your body...the less infections you'll get.
I use to get BV about three years ago when I was messing with my ex. Now, I havenít experienced any since I've been in my almost 3-year relationship but... I noticed that I use to get the infection when my ex would ejaculate inside of me. When I get my period, that's when the infection starts and I end up with BV.
When I decided to get on the shot (birth control) my ex still came inside of me and I never got the infection even though I was spotting due to the shot. So, I guess my period was to blame.
Now, my current partner doesn't ejaculate inside of me but he's had some accidents and I haven't gotten a BV yet. I do agree that diet may play a role in why it reoccurs.
Sorry, I don't have too much advice on how to get rid of it other then taking the antibiotics but... Try not to take it too much when you don't have the infection or you will become immune to the drug. Oh, and use antibacterial soap and wash before and after you have sex.
I was gonna say exactly what the last post said. I have had this twice in my life............and i hope never again! This happened when my husband would ejaculate in me too. I think it has to do with the PH balance in our bodie's, or we have a reaction to their sperm. What i have been doing is.......talking a shower right afterwards. He wants to be able to ejaculate in me, and i like it too..........but not if it's gonna cause BV. I havent had it since. Something else too.....i used to wash myself "like a freak" lol...........serious....I'd clean with soap inside and out! Now..........just wash the outside and i havent got this back! We actually are only suppose to wash the outside...........BUT............i used to go a little overboard. Really i dont think doc's know a whole lot about this infection....some told me that you can pass it back and forth with your partner...............some say you cant pass it back and forth. This BV was new to me.....i'd had yeast infections before..........but when i got BV........it's just plain nasty and frusterating!
I have had BV even if my husband pulled out or used a condom. Yes, every doctor I have been to has said it is the ph levels. Ok, so they know what it is. Why not do something that will work to fix it? I have tried everything except the acidophillus pills and I will try that now. Like I said in one of my other posts the Flagyl worked as long as I took it nightly but now my doctor says I have taken it for too long and that it could damange my liver so I am back to square one. Is acidophillus something you can buy at wal-mart? I am so glad I have found others with the same problems. I know that sharing all the experience will really help others. Thanks alot.