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bacterial infections for the last 6 months. Been treated 6 times by 2 different doctors

By Anonymous June 29, 2009 - 11:59am
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bacterial vaganosis was my diagnosis. I have had many antibiotics oral and vaginally. I go back tomorrow for another check-up. There is no odor, just cottage cheese discharge, itching and burning, and I feel nausia all the time. My stomach feels swellon. Please help.

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I'm so sorry you have been dealing with this for 6 months! From what I can gather, BV is a very uncomfortable and often painful condition.

For the benefit of other readers who may not be familiar with Bacterial Vaginosis, here is Empowher's information page on the condition :

Bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection of the vagina. Although it is usually treated easily, it may be a sign that you have other, more serious conditions. It can also lead to complications, including the following:

◦Pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight and premature delivery
◦Higher risk of pelvic inflammatory disease if the bacteria infect the uterus and fallopian tubes
◦Higher risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases

It is important to contact your doctor if you think you may have bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis is caused when the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted. Normally, the vagina has helpful bacteria ( lactobacilli ), as well as more harmful bacteria (anaerobes—bacteria that do not need oxygen to live).

Sometimes the harmful bacteria overgrow, and not enough helpful bacteria are left in the vagina. The cause of this overgrowth is not understood. In some cases, it may be related to sexual activity through transfer of harmful bacteria from a sexual partner.

Risk Factors
The following factors increase your chances of developing bacterial vaginosis:

◦Using douches or feminine sprays
◦Having sex without a condom
◦Having a new sexual partner or multiple partners
◦Using an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control

Some women with bacterial vaginosis do not have any symptoms. Others experience the following symptoms:

◦Abnormal vaginal discharge
■Color: white or gray
■Consistency: thin
■Odor: fish-like, especially after sex
◦Burning feeling while urinating
◦Itching around the vagina
◦Vaginal irritation
◦Pain during sex

If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to bacterial vaginosis. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.

Tests may include the following:

◦A pelvic exam to look for signs of bacterial vaginosis
◦A sample of fluid from the vagina to test for signs of infection

It is important to treat bacterial vaginosis if you experience symptoms, or if you are pregnant and do not have any symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.

Bacterial vaginosis is easily treated with antibiotics, in the form of pills or vaginal creams prescribed by your doctor.

To help reduce your chances of getting bacterial vaginosis, take the following steps:

◦Abstain from sex or remain monogamous (have only one sexual partner).
◦Use condoms during sex.
◦Do not use douches or feminine sprays.
◦Visit your doctor for regular pelvic exams.
◦To avoid a recurrence of bacterial vaginosis, finish all medication prescribed by your doctor, even if the symptoms go away.
◦Wash diaphragms and other reusable birth control devices thoroughly after use.
◦Avoid wearing panty hose and other clothing that can trap moisture in the vagina.
◦After bowel movements, wipe from front to back (away from the vagina).

Anon, I have a couple of questions for you. Have other tests been administered, in addition to testing for BV? The cottage cheese discharge you are talking about is indicative of a yeast infection. Have you been tested for this? Have you been tested for HIV?

Also, do you have a sexual partner? Many doctors don't believe that a man needs to be treated if a woman has BV, but many BV sufferers believe that they should. Some have found that when their partner is also treated, it clears up.

Also, consider taking a probiotic. Probiotics are the "good" bacteria that our bodies need to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria. You can read all about probiotics here and the information is really good - http://www.empowher.com/community/share/why-do-we-need-probiotics

What kind of antibiotics are you taking? If you can answer a few of these questions, we can help you more. And remember to only wear cotton underwear and defintely stay away from douching. There is no need for any woman to ever douche. It actually bothers me that these products are still on the market!

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this for 6 months without relief and we'd really like to help you get to the bottom of this. We look forward to hearing from you again!

June 29, 2009 - 12:42pm
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