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I developed BV after sex with one female partner. She is reluctant to treat it, but agreed . so we both took Flagyl. I now have it back, and she doesnt' want to do use Flagyl again, what else can we use to treat it?

By Anonymous January 11, 2010 - 8:57am
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We are two women,, menopausal, now exclusive, we wash sex toys.She thinks it's not important to treat,says it has no other consequences, but the odor bothers me. How can we restore and keep our natural vaginal flora, and not keep getting BV? And, is it important to treat it?

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BV infections are very common and tend to recur in women who suffer from them. It is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, but rather an imbalance in the normal vaginal flora. A few things to consider based on your situation are vaginal pH and gastrointestinal health.

The lack of estrogen in menopausal women contributes to a more alkaline pH, which allows unfavorable bacteria to overgrow and good bacteria get crowded out. In addition estrogen's influence on the vaginal tissue produces food for good bacteria and a decrease in estrogen diminishes this food source and further depletes the good bacteria. Oral as well as vaginal probiotics can really help with this.

Gastrointestinal flora is linked to vaginal flora and we often see GI imbalances when women have chronic vaginal infections. It may be a good idea to visit a qualified Naturopathic Doctor in your area. www.naturopathic.org is a good source.

January 11, 2010 - 9:59pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Most health care providers (and women) think it's important to treat BV. Not only is the smell offensive (and not very considerate to a partner) there can be underlying health concerns as to why one keeps getting infected or consequences to elected to have no treatment.

According to our Encyclopedia - BV is 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.

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, as you can read, an antibiotic or vaginal cream is usually used but there are also natural treatments. You can read an article about that here : http://www.empowher.com/community/share/how-cure-bacterial-vaginosis-naturally

Here is another article that discusses the more natural method of using a probiotic insert to help with BV:

A diet with plenty of fresh water, fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotic yogurts, as well as flax seed and whole grains can help stave off an infection. Avoiding coffee, alcohol and processed foods is also recommended.

Ask to her to read up a little more on BV and how there are natural preventative methods as well as natural ways to treat it (although you may end up needing an antibiotic but changing your diet can help avoid another infection). I am not sure why she would want to remain with BV, and have that odor but she may have her own reasons. However, it's not healthy to live with untreated BV as it's not the natural balance in the female reproductive system and is an infection. Untreated infections (of any kind) can cause multiple health problems.

Does this information help you? Please let me know if I can help you further and we wish you both the very best!

January 11, 2010 - 2:42pm
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