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Old 09-03-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
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Ammonia.

Hi there.

Just a quick question.

Lately, I have had an ammonia smell on my underwear. My discharge is normal, and the actual discharge doesn't smell, but when it is on my underwear, it begins to smell. Sometimes it is so bad, I can smell it with my pants on, and when I sit cross legged.

I have no burning/itching or frequent urge to urinate.. I've looked up symptoms of STI's and nothing matches up..

Could it be because of sweat? Or even the laundry detergent I am using? This is really bothering me..


Any suggestions?!

 
Old 09-03-2007, 08:44 PM   #2
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Re: Ammonia.

You could use a pantyliner that you can change in the middle of the day. I know it is not a solution to the health problem, but it can help you feel cleaner.
How long it has been happening? Do you think it could be something related to some cycle you are going through? Are you more stressed out, maybe your bacteriofauna changed slightly recently and it might come back to normal on its own.
Also, could you think of anything that has recently changed in your diet?

 
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:26 PM   #3
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Re: Ammonia.

Firstly are you sexually active? The ammonia smell is most likely due to you having a bacterial infection called Bacterial Vaginosis, which the majority of women who have this find that they get it after sex. Then again there have been a few women on the boards who are not sexually active and have it.

My doctor seems to think it could be due to anything ranging from a hormone change at a certain time of the month, wiping incorrectly after a bowel motion, soap ending up in/around the vaginal area when washing and also due to sex, or a type of bacteria which lives in the opening to the male urethra.

The only way to tell for sure is for a doctor to do a swab test and get it cultured. They then give you an antibiotic to take and it clears up. If you take an antibiotic you should be taking a probiotic also so that your good bacteria doesnt get killed off, resulting in a yeast infection.

My BV was recurring and now my doctor wants my partner to get a swab done just incase he has a form of bacteria living within the opening to his urethra (where guys pee from). She said 50% of males have no symptoms or side effects from this bacteria but it causes us females a lot of problems. She is the first doctor to inform me of this. She said that there are quite a lot of forms of bacteria out there that don't even have names yet and doctors dont know how to treat them, so they simply keep giving you antibiotics to see what will eventually clear it up. I'm fortunate she seems to have some knowledge and actually wants to help.

I found all this out on a recent pap smear test when i had to have a colposcopy and she noticed my cervix had some inflammation and some discharge sitting there. I had BV at the time. Now that my BV is clear she wants to see my partner and get him tested, but until he gets tested she wants us to use condoms as that is the only way so far not to keep getting BV if you are sexually active according to her.

 
Old 09-05-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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Re: Ammonia.

I often get the ammonia smell and have had it all my life. I think it just has something to do with your hormones. I am married and get yearly pap exams. I have never had vaginosis or any other bacteria. LIke you, I don't itch or anything. I notice the smell when I am getting close to my period.

 
Old 09-05-2007, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: Ammonia.

Yes, I am sexually active... Doesn't BV usually have a fishy odor? This is driving me crazy. I'm going to book a pap, and see what they say.

 
Old 09-06-2007, 03:15 PM   #6
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Re: Ammonia.

The problem with anything vaginal is that there are numerous smells and scents, some of them good and some of them bad. The only way to determine whether it is something good/bad is to get a vaginal swab done which they will then culture to determine whether it's yeast, bacteria or other, sometimes they will get you to do a urine test.

A pap smear will not tell you whether or not you have BV, unless the person who does your pap test actually does a vaginal swab also, which is always a very good idea as you are more or less killing two birds with the one stone as they say.

I never ever had BV until i began having sex with my current partner. I never even knew what it was. The first time i got the BV it had a very bad odour and when the discharge would happen i could virtually smell the odour permeating up through my clothes. Disgusting!! Antibiotics fixed that and that has only occured twice. Other times it's usually varying degrees of the
"ammonia" type smell. The discharge isn't like normal discharge either, it tends to be more watery.

My gyno has told me that all women have BV naturally occuring to some extent a bit before their period, due to the hormonal change. Some will notice the ammonia scent, others wont. This should all clear up once you have had your period and your hormones return to normal for a while until you begin to ovulate and the process begins happening again.

Some women will get worse cases of BV and not just prior to their period and this is, dr's believe, due to some form of bacteria, or the PH in your vaginal area getting out of balance due to something you are doing, meds you are taking, your diet etc etc. I do know using birth control pills can throw out a lot of things and cause a number of side effects from yeast, loss of vitamin B's, hair loss etc. It differs from person to person.

You can itch with yeast and with BV, but then again you can get no itching with both of them too. I have had yeast infections where there were no signs what so ever, just a bit of reddness, but would be sore having sex, then i've also had the typical yeast infections. Same goes for BV, sometimes it was accompanied by a light itch, other times not.

The only advice dr's can give me so far is if you are regularly affected by BV, then use a condom. As far as i can see i'm doing all the right things, my partner and i are both clean and there is no reason for me to be getting BV with him and not my ex husband. This is why next week he's getting a gram stain test done to determine whether there could be any form of bacteria at his urethral openning, just so we can eliminate all possibilities. The only other thing i have tried after sex is to go an wash the vaginal area with water straight after sex. I know this isn't very romantic, but on those occasions i was fine afterwards, so that makes me wonder whether it's anything to do with his semen and whether it's too alkaline/acid and ends up causing an imbalance with my vaginal PH.

Anyway, when you have your pap test, ask your doctor to do a swab and ask her about this issue. I always hope someone will come across a doctor who might shed some light on this mysterious issue which a lot of women suffer with. Best of luck

 
Old 09-08-2007, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: Ammonia.

When I had BV (for over 2 years!) I had the distinct Ammonia/bleachy smell AND the fishy one too, but the Ammonia was the first thing I noticed!!!! Id see a doctor!

Last edited by DNSX3; 09-08-2007 at 06:48 PM.

 
Old 09-09-2007, 02:16 PM   #8
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Re: Ammonia.

Now I've started to notice a somewhat thick milky white discharge... It doesn't smell, until it hits the underoos!

I was reading up, and I think it could be BV.. esp with the thick white discharge

 
Old 09-10-2007, 09:46 AM   #9
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Re: Ammonia.

Can you have BV and not even know it for years? I've had an ammonia smell for many months probably years... my GYN always told me it was early stage incontinance and that I was actually leaking small amounts of urine during the day. I also sweat quite a bit down there.

I would think as I've been tested for bacteria, yeast, paps and all kinds of other stuff that it would show up on one of those tests if I did have that right? Or do you specifically have to ask your OB to test you for BV?

 
Old 09-10-2007, 09:49 AM   #10
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Re: Ammonia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowbrite77 View Post
Yes, I am sexually active... Doesn't BV usually have a fishy odor? This is driving me crazy. I'm going to book a pap, and see what they say.

yes BV has a fishy odor......not an ammonia smell...

urine has an ammonia smell....it's normal

 
Old 09-11-2007, 12:36 AM   #11
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Re: Ammonia.

Amy26, i have never had a fishy odour with BV, always an ammonia smell. The very first time i had it a gp told me that it just meant that i had an over abundance of good bacteria, hence the ammonia smell, then he sent me on my way. Later i thought this can't be right, something is definitely different here as i had never experienced this before. When my gp finally did swabs they always came back as normal, but after some time i went to a sexual health clinic and they did the swab and put it under the microscope right away and within 10mins they give you your result. Each time it has come up positive for BV, sometimes a strong case, other times a not so strong case.

Now why didn't the swabs my gp took, then sent to a lab somewhere, come back showing BV? Who knows how long my swabs sat in his clinic and likely dried up so they couldn't find anything!! I only ever go to the nurses in the sexual health clinic now, they don't trivialise things and have quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to womens health.

Sounds like everybody is/has experienced something different with their BV. Like i said, with mine it is majority of the time an ammonia smell, i never had it prior to my current partner, when he went away for work and we couldn't have sex i never got the BV or the ammonia smell and then when we used condoms i never got it either and every time i've taken the antibiotics for it the smell and discharge has gone.

For me, if it was early stage incontinence it would always be there and wouldn't come and go according to sex and BV antibiotics wouldn't clear it. I would look into it more carefully if i were you as we all tend to be individuals and end up with varying symptoms when it comes to a lot of illnessess and infections.

 
Old 09-12-2007, 10:56 AM   #12
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Re: Ammonia.

For me it doesn't come and go... its always there.

 
Old 09-12-2007, 10:59 AM   #13
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Re: Ammonia.

I agree, everytime I had BV I had the ammonia smell. (sometimes thats why I went to the doctor) It was ALWAYS BV. Just go to the doctor and get something for it. Cant hurt.

 
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