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morceau 02-21-2012 09:55 AM

Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
Hello all,

I am a 21 year old female and have been having vaginal discomfort for about three months. Throughout the day I feel itchy and tenderness/soreness inside the vagina. I have not had intercourse since the symptoms started – it is much too painful.

I went to my primary care physician and she told me it was more than likely caused by using antibacterial soap in that area. She performed a lab test by swabbing inside. I couldn’t believe how painful it was when she put the utencil in to do the lab test. That test came back showing that I had Strep-B. I was diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginosis. She then referred me to a gynecologist. The gynecologist prescribed Amoxicillin 500 MG capsules, which I took by mouth three times a day for 21 days, for a total of 63 capsules. However, I was still experiencing the symptoms.

The gynecologist, thinking that a possible yeast infection had began during the treatment for Step-B, prescribed me Fluconazole 150 MG tablets, which I took by mouth once every 7 days for 21 days, for a total of 3 tablets. This did not work either – I was and still am experiencing the symptoms.

After speaking with my gynecologist yesterday, he told me he was at a loss and unsure of what to do next. I asked him if he thought a vaginal tissue sample would be the next step, but he didn’t think that would help the situation. So it appears I may need to look for another gynecologist.

So, I called my primary care physician and left a message asking for her recommendations. I am waiting on a call back.

I feel so frustrated – I am unsure what to do – should I suggest having my primary care physician take a vaginal tissue sample? I just don't feel right suggesting remedies to the doctor.

Does anyone that’s been through this have tips as to what I should do?

Thanks for the help, I certainly appreciate it.

By the way, I did see the sticky at the top recommending douching with Hydrogen Peroxide - that may be something I'd be willing to try if it came down to it.

sue0317 02-21-2012 10:32 AM

Re: Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
Yeah, I was going to suggest the hydrogen peroxide douche. If you do that, make sure you follow it with a plain water or salt water douche, otherwise you'll end up very irritated.

I find it weird that the GYN is at a loss. I don't think a vaginal tissue sample will help. That's just not done. Your PCP certainly won't do it. I wonder if they performed a test in the lab to see what antibiotics will work. Usually they do, but it wouldn't hurt to ask. Do you use antibacterial soap? Is that why your suggested that? It's not uncommon to have an overgrowth of group B strep in the vaginal area. They test and treat pregnant women all the time for GBS before delivery.

One thing I can suggest is a probiotic formulated for women, like Rephresh Pro-B or the brand Enzymatic Therapy Pearly (they have multiple formulations) or Jarrow Formulas Fem Dophilus, which has very good reviews. If you end up doing the hydrogen peroxide, you definitely need to use a probiotic afterward. Go to Amazon online and look around. If you take a few minutes to view products, you'll find some where women say it's the only thing that helped them.

For most medical problems, I believe that prescriptions can help, but BV seems to be one where women claim that the meds just don't help and the infections keep coming back. Alternative treatments seem to be the way to go.

twohands 02-21-2012 12:30 PM

Re: Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
I think it's unacceptable that your gyn is at a loss. Time to find a different gynocologist as far as I'm concerned.

Your PCP is most likely not all that familiar with treating such a gynocological issue, and they would probably just give you more antibiotics which isn't in your best interest unless there is a serious infection.

I agree that if, after seeing another gyn to rule out more serious concerns, you still have symptoms then going alternative medicines might really help you.

The vagina is a slightly acidic area and your body normally creates a hostile environment that fights off infections there. Recently taking the antibiotics also kills off good bacteria and it takes your body some time to recover from that.

It would be good for you to eat a yogurt every day, and a glass of cranberry juice every day can also help your bladder/vagina/colon fight off infections.

If you have an alternative health store near you, usually their staff are very knowledgeable and can recommend supplements/foods to help your body get better.

Make sure you're eating a lot of fruits and vegetables to give your body the nutrients to get back to full health and fight off any residual infections.

slenderella 02-21-2012 12:38 PM

Re: Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
Any chance you are taking birth control pills? My daughter had BV when she first started on birth control. Once she went off of it and onto a different brand, her symptoms went away.

sue0317 02-21-2012 01:46 PM

Re: Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
Cranberry juice can be great to prevent most UTI's. Just be aware that it's only been found to help prevent e. coli UTI's. It doesn't seem to be effective with other types of UTI's or vaginal infections. So don't rely on cranberry as your only approach to your problem.

You said your PCP performed the vaginal swab. Did your GYN swab you too? Maybe you have more than one type of organism causing your symptoms and the initial test didn't pick up all of them. You should be asked to be swabbed again, by a GYN, since you still have symptoms.

morceau 02-22-2012 08:04 AM

Re: Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
Thanks all for the replies.

sue0317, I was using antibacterial soap in that area while shaving, but now have switched to a non-antibacterial soap. Thanks for suggesting the probiotics. The gynocologist did not perform a swab, he just looked inside, asked if the primary care physician already took a swab, and just left it at that.

twohands, thanks for the insight. I don't eat yogurt or drink cranberry juice, and I have fruits every once in awhile. But perhaps I should start. I'm a vegetarian so I mostly eat pastas and salads, so I try to get my vegetables that way.

slenderella, I do take birth control pills - I take Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. I've kind of wondered if they could be causing this issue, but I'm just not sure.

Well, I got a call back from the primary care physician and she is referring me to gynocologist #2. The appointment is on March 7th. I'll be sure that this one gets a new vaginal swab, and I'll also ask if they can perform a test on it with antibiotics to see what will work.

captjane 02-23-2012 04:41 AM

Re: Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
morceau i agree with sue about the hydrogen peroxide douche, it really is effective against bv and can also help with yeast. The problem is that since your bv symptoms are so similar to a yeast infection symptoms it's hard to know if the irritation is being caused by the bv or yeast (from the antibiotics). Peroxide naturally occurs in your vagina from the acidophilis (also found in probiotics) and helps keep the ph acid. If you get the 3% h peroxide any irritation usually lasts about a few minutes but if it bothers you then just wash the external area with water afterwards. Just one other thing, don't use soap of any kind down there, it's just too alkaline so look for a ph balanced soap free wash and use that instead.

MountainLily 03-31-2012 06:12 AM

Re: Bacterial vaginosis - unsure of what to do next
I would consider these things: mycoplasma and ureaplasma. Two types of underlying conditions that can cause repeated infections with bv.

Important steps:

1. During treatment, it's important to refrain from sex with partner, and for partner to get treated too, otherwise you can pass it back and forth. Request that your doctor do a dna swab to test for these infections, as they are not detected by a simple bacterial swab (they have no cell wall, and are not visible under a microscope).

2. Must get treated with antibiotics for mycoplasma/ureaplasma - zithromax, doxycycline, minocycline. You may have to treat more than once, however, the percentages show more than most respond to the first treatment. Keep in mind, this will not kill the "bv", but will kill the underlying problem.

3. THEN, must undergo treatment for bv again, with tinidazole or metronidazole.

4. THEN, must follow up with a good probiotic, nature's way or another full-spectrum probiotic to replenish the healthy bacteria in your body.

Hope this helps!

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