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  • BV/Yeast infections/Cervicitis/what now?

    Hello all,

    This is pretty embarassing but I'm pretty desparate to get opinions on what might be going on.
    WARNING: Very private details ahead. I figure I should write it all down in case something is significant.


    First some brief info: I'm female, 26, in overall good health, exercise regularly, eat fairly well (except for sweets), and am not taking any meds aside from birth control (OTC-lo). I don't know whether any of this is connected, but my hunch is that these problems are related somehow.

    I had my first urinary tract infection around 11/04. Not a big deal, took antibiotics, and it was taken care of.

    Then I got 2 UTI's within the first 2 months of getting married (6/05) and having sex for the first time. Chalked it up to that and the fact that I'd had sex in my swimming pool, and the chemical levels may have been a little off. Antibiotics again knocked them out. I took cranberry supplements for a while to prevent further occurrences.

    Fast forward to this year...no longer taking the supplement (only a multi-vitamin most days of the week). Around 2/06, I was diagnosed with cervicitis...inflamed cervix... and given a z-pac antibiotic, which took care of it. No reason given by the doctor; she said it sometimes happens randomly.

    I come back from Florida and lots of ocean swimming, and in late 3/06, I'm told I have bacterial vaginosis. Possibly from the ocean water (huh?), possibly from all the heat and humidity (note to doctor: I live in TEXAS, where it's hot nearly all the time). Anyhow, I'm given Flagyl, which I hate because it makes me feel physically sick, but it takes away the vaginosis...temporarily. No sooner do I start having sex again that the symptoms return. The nurse tells me that my husband should have been prescribed the antibiotic too, and that we were probably reinfecting each other. Why the doctor (gynocologist) didn't mention this initially, no one knows. So we both take the Flagyl, both feel sick, but both experience relief from our symptoms.

    I get my wisdom teeth pulled in 5/06, which turned out to be a pretty major procedure. I was practically dead for a week and had to get IV fluids after the first few days because I couldn't keep anything down. Was given 2 steroid pills after the procedure, which apparently caused oral thrush and then -- you guessed it! -- vaginal thrush as well. (Although that one only occured after I started having sex again.) The gyn diagnosed it as a yeast infection, even though I didn't have the classic yeast infection symptoms, and gave me that 1-dose medication (can't remember the name). Symptoms disappeared after a few days.

    It's now nearly 2 months later, and I'm again miserable. It feels like the same thing as every other time (namely, itching) but this time I haven't seen a doctor because my health insurance is in transition. I'm not very optimistic about going anyway, since I'm getting tired of the take-a-pill, come-back-for-another-pill-when-symptoms-reappear routine. I'm beginning to think something is really wrong. This time I don't know what to blame it on. Yes, I went swimming in a pool recently, but the chemical levels were fine. The symptoms only appeared after having sex twice in a one day and once the day before. Yes, it was our 1-year anniversary, and now we're BOTH itching.
    I don't know what the problem is. I can rule out an STD for sure. Do I have candida, and all the sugary stuff I eat is making it worse? Could it be a, um, logistical problem between my husband and I? (It sounds silly, but he is very large, and it can hurt a little at times.) Is there something I can be doing nutritionally to prevent or remedy this?
    I am all ears.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    J

  • Bv/yeast

    Hi Jenn,

    I've had the same problem for the last few years. Numberous yeast infections, uti's and bv. I've tried everything and spent a small fortune buying over the counter treatments. Not douching, wearing cotton underwear and eating my daily yogurt did nothing. My Dr suggested Yeast Detox but that didn't help either. He cant figure out what causes the infections. I've found a new product that has helped. Its call Rephresh, a vaginal gel. I use every 3 to 4 days and it has helped dramatically cut down on infections. You can find at Wal-mart and CVS. Hope this helps.

    Comment


    • Shell,
      Thank you so much for that information! I will definitely try that. I also posted on a homeopathy forum, and it was suggested that I try basically all the things you mentioned...acidophilus, yeast cleanser, etc. Today I bought some acidophillus supplements, a yeast cleanse, and sulphur tabs (supposed to help the itch). Will see how those do and also check on what you mentioned. Thanks again!

      Comment


      • First of all, using those vaginal cleansers are only going to be doing what the pills were doing... killing the bacteria, but not determining the cause. The first thing you need to do is analyze your habits, which you have done failry well. I also had a period of my life where I had frequent yeast infections and BV. You must understand the causes of these infections.

        First of all, urinary tract infections generally occur when you have physically introduced bacteria into the UT. This usually happens by touching that area without washing your hands, sex, or using sex toys that are not clean. Occasionally UTIs occur on their own.

        Yeast is naturally occuring in the body and is balanced by other chemicals in your body. Every woman has yeast. When you get a yeast infection, there is an overabundance of yeast. This is caused by excessive heat and moisture which causes the yeast to multiply, stress which causes your natural balancing chemicals to not work, antibiotics which also throw off your chemical balance, douching or using cleansers that cause an imbalance of the good chemicals, and also repeated introductions of new bacteria through contact.

        Bacterial Vaginosis is a bacterial infection that is transferred through contact. This could mean contact from your hand, toys, penis, toilet seats, underwear, dirty water, you name it. High stress can also make you more susceptable to the growth of BV.

        Knowing all of that, the common factor in all three is contact. So ask yourself this... could you be spreading infection by masterbation, touching yourself for other reasons souch as shaving (shavers can contain a LOT of bacteria), are you using wash rags (they can also contain bacteria), and are you making sure that both you and your partner wash your hands and private areas before sex???

        I suggest trying ALL of these things to prevent contact infection...

        -- ALWAYS wash your hands AND private areas before sex with soap (do not get the soap inside the vagina).
        -- ALWAYS make sure the other person has thoroughly washed his hands and private areas.
        -- ALWAYS wash any toys used for sex with soap.
        -- If you are using any sort of lubrication, make sure you are not contaminating the bottle or tube by continuosly touching it during sex.
        -- Be sure to regularly clean your toilets and bath tub (if you take baths) with a cleaner containing Bleach to kill all bacteria.
        -- If you use a public restroom, place tissue on the toilet seat before sitting down or squat on the toilet.
        -- Always wear clean underwear.

        I suggest these things to avoid increasing your risk of bacteria growth...

        -- Wear breathable clothing and underwear such as cotton. Tight clothing will cut off airflow and cause excessive heat and moisture.
        -- Do not use douche or vaginal cleansers because they destroy the natural chemical balance which is necessary to control bacterial levels. This will make your problem worse.
        -- Do not take bubble baths or sit in water containing soap. The soap throws off the natural chemical balance.
        -- Avoid excessive stress.
        -- Antibiotics cause yeast infections. Keep that in mind.
        -- Cranberries are known to contain an acid that helps kill bad bacteria in the Urinary Tract. So taking those was a good idea.

        You may also want to keep in mind that you do not have to go to the doctor for yeast infections. They are extremely common and can be safely treated with over-the-counter medications such as Monistat or Vagisil. They are very effective and inexpensive. A lot of them also come with a cream that relieves itching.

        If you think you have BV (no itching, but a fishy odor), then you might ask your doctor to give you a different medication. Let him/her know that the one you had taken before makes you sick.

        When I took preventive measures like the ones I listed, my bouts of infections stopped. Don't feel bad because many women go through the same things.

        Comment


        • BV Buddies

          I also just got the news that I have a BV. Thank you Jessica for giving lots of good advice about how to proceed. I would not want to have to deal with this over and over...I am still uncomfortable and have itching and burning. Just started on Flagl and am hoping for the best. Thanks again.

          Still itching in midwest,
          Rose-I

          Comment


          • "You may also want to keep in mind that you do not have to go to the doctor for yeast infections. They are extremely common and can be safely treated with over-the-counter medications such as Monistat or Vagisil. They are very effective and inexpensive. A lot of them also come with a cream that relieves itching."


            I feel the need to pipe in here. The over-the-counter yeast meds are evil. If you are having problems with recurring infections, these are definitely not the meds to use. Besides the actual med in monistat, the base cream contains chemicals that will irritate your already tender tissues. If not right now, they will some time in the future.

            BV is not always caused by introduction of bacteria. Many times, it's just an over growth of the normal bacteria that lives in the vagina. If your ph is too high, the bacteria are going to multiply and cause symptoms.


            A few more tips from a past sufferer. Never use soap to clean your genitals. Don't use scented sanitary products. The chemicals in the Always brand pads are known to cause reactions, they continue to make them anyway. No thongs, they are a bacterial highway.

            Watch your diet if you are prone to yeast infections. Splurging on sugar or alcohol can set you up for an infection. Also, some women find they are sensitive to gluten. Might be worth keeping track of what you eat.

            Keep in mind, you may not be experiencing a YI or BV. If you get repeat infections, you really should have a culture done to determine whether or not you really do have an infection. If you treat without diagnosis more painful problems can occur. If you do use over the counter meds, make sure to use the 7 day treatment and not the shorter ones. The concentration of med in the shorter ones are also known to cause severe painful reactions.

            Most importantly, start keeping track of what you do, what you eat and when your symptoms started, what symptoms you are experiencing, what treatments you used, how well they worked or didn't work. Most likely you are going to end up being the one to figure out what is causing these to reoccur. I would also avoid sex in a pool. Even if the chemicals are correct, those chemicals kill bacteria. You need a healthy population of bacteria in your vagina to keep things on an even keel.

            Comment


            • urinary infections

              Good to hear someone put out there the fact that bv is actually an overgrowth of a bacteria normally found in the vagina because the ph is out of wack....
              I was always taught and have read several places that a girl needs to empty her bladder after sex. In other words if you pee it will flush out whatever might have been shoved up there. I've never had a urinary tract infection.
              However I am suffering bad from alternating bv and yeast infections. I had sex for the first time several months ago when I got married and also tried tampons for the first time and it has been nothing but trouble since then. I refused to take the antibiotic the dr gave me for bv knowing that it can cause a yeast infection...I finally gave in and it did give me a yeast infection. So just got the yeast infection cleared up and it looks like the bv is back. :-( We have a sex free marriage now because of some sad issues...but even not having sex doesn't seem to be helping me. I'm taking an oral probiotic and eating lots of yogurt and I was using yogurt topically and just nothing is helping. However the yeast infection was so bad that it spread to my behind and I had it in my nose and feet and also oral thrush and so I'm wondering if maybe I have candida internally or something from using an antibiotic. I'm really depressed. I used meds on everything external and rinsed my mouth with hydrogen peroxide and it seemed to go away but now my mouth looks kinda funny again. At this point I'm just feeling like who the heck cares since I don't really need to be squeaky clean anymore anyway. Maybe eventually my body will regain control.

              Comment


              • babyface,

                Have you looked into the candida diet? Perhaps dietary changes can help. Also, you could try boric acid suppositories for treating either the bv or yeast. If your ph is high, the bacteria will thrive. The boric acid will lower your ph and there are hardly if any side effects.

                Nobody really knows why we can end up in the endless cycle of frustration and it sucks that men just don't understand.
                peace

                Comment


                • Hi girls , a 2 of folk remmedies tht my mother taught me for ''downstairs'' yeast infections from Spain that i'v passed on to Uni freinds with similar problems that have helped them .
                  If you add a 100ml of APPLE CIDER VINIGAR to your bath water [sorry dont know US or UK measurements about a good shake from the bottle] or if you shower dilute the APPLE CIDER viniagar some with water and dabb the problem area with a sponge after your shower . This should be done all the time , weather you have a curent infection or not .
                  All the women in my family swear by this and touch wood have not had any problems . Also all the freinds i'v told are now clear of problems1 freind had terrible problems with reacurence with standerd treatments but now is clear.
                  The second tip is a bit icky but helps the inflamation/iritation : you put a small table spoons worth of GREEK LIVE YOUGUT ''downstairs'' after you go to pee covering all the iritated area, you will need a sani pad in your panties of coures !
                  My frenid with the BAD problems said it realy helped and she was pretty desperate !
                  That's all girls , i hope you try the first tip if not the second as it cant hurt and at lest your not **********ing up your bodys balence with coventional meds!

                  ps it's interesting that most of the problems and fixis seem to be about acid balence !

                  pps sorry for the spelling!

                  Comment


                  • We are not alone,

                    Hi, i just had to add, i'm so sympathetic to this chronic BV/yeast problem. It is enough to make you partially insane. The fact of trying to "figure out" where it comes from, how you control it, is all maddening, or it was for me anyway. You expect the doctors to have the solutions...I hated the doctors after awhile.

                    I am continually surprised to hear how many other women go through these problems...I have a small suggestion to share, which is, and this only works for me, but douching periodically with an acidic douche. I use 3 cups of distilled water (purified water) along with 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide which you can buy over the counter at the drugstore. When i can tell an infection is coming on by the discharge and odor, i'll douche with it.

                    Then, it's important to replenish the level of good bacteria (lactobacillus or acidophilus) with a capsule made by GyNatren or Natren, that you can gently insert into the vagina, after the douche.

                    I hope this helps, it's worked for me. My body for some reason, probably because of my constant stress and anxiety levels, my body cannot seem to fight these infections off naturally. I just accept a little bit, that I have to help it by keeping my vagina acidic and adding the good bacteria which aren't reproducing well naturally.

                    So far, I've had clear vaginal cultures for the last year, so i know it's working.

                    But, a word of caution not to douche too frequently, certainly not every day, ever. It is destructive to do it too often.

                    Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • I'm not a proffesional, but I know from talking to some of my woman friends that more than a few time's my friends husbands had to go on the same regime of med's as the wifes and abstain from sex until finnished to cure the problem, woman Can pass along a yeast inffection to the men at all times ,,so maybe look into to that opption next time you seek medical help

                      Comment


                      • This has all been great information - I have recurring yeast infections due to a severe hormone flux - don't know WHY but I get a y.i. exactly a week before my period, every month to every other month from last November until this past December. Over the counter meds burn me to death, I can't even put into words the feeling. I have to use prescription Terazol cream or the Diflucan pill. I'm thinking of going back on BCP just to make it go away.

                        BV is actually the more common infection, and I haven't really ever heard of Flagyl being used for that - my husband had Flagyl for a c.diff infection he got in the hospital, it was a very powerful drug. Clindamycin cream is more commonly prescribed in this neck of the woods for that, maybe you can bring up the name of med to your doc the next time you get BV so that you don't get such bad side effects from the Flagyl.

                        I too got UTIs very easily. A nurse practictioner I used to love told me, always pee before and after sex. Never skip it, don't fall asleep without doing it. It rids the urethra of the germs that collect around it from sex. I haven't had one since 10/01. And three cranberry pills right after sex seemed to help, also.

                        Rephresh is great also, esp. after your period and after a yeast infection.

                        Comment


                        • other birth control problems

                          Something else that has tendencies to cause recurring yeast infection is the birth control that you are taking. I was taking ortho tri cyclen lo for about eight months. I was getting so sick of going to different doctors trying to figure out why I kept getting yeast infections, bv, and utis. I would also get cuts all over my vaginal and butt crack. After switching to a different gyno, he told me that some women have bad reaction to their birth control. I switched from otc lo to yaz. I just started to new pill so I can't say for sure whether or not it is better but since I've been off otc lo, I've been feeling so much better. No more cuts, and no more yeast infections so far. The doctor said he may take me off the pill completely if they do come back and I will just have to switch to a different method of birth control.

                          I also read somewhere that taking a multivitamin everyday (one that has 100% daily value of zinc) like One-A-Day Womens, can help regulate your body and prevent certain occurences. I guess good hygiene and following the same routine every time is the best answer. I think I have another uti right now but that may be because I was starting to take less precautions since I was feeling better. For women like us, who have these problems, we can't let our guard down once the problem is solved. If something works for you, keep doing it even if you no longer have symptoms. Take down a journal everyday of activity and symptoms. You'll start to find patterns. I get really upset sometimes because none of my friends are having these problems but women everywhere are even if the ones you know aren't.

                          Thanks for all of the previous info, hope this contributes, and DON'T GIVE UP!!! These are problems we can beat

                          Comment


                          • Curing BV with organic applecider vinegar

                            I read on another forum of a lady taking organic applecider vinegar for general heath purposes and she discovered it cleared up her longtime and chronic BV and has been free of this for some time now. I put 3 tablespoons in cup of water and drank this morning and at noon with 2 tablespoons in water. Also Reuteri Probiotics, folic acid 800 mcg and B-complex 100mg (you want the B6 100 mg in this). So far the burning is already gone just in these few hours and I've had this on and off for several years now. I will let you know if it clears up and stays away as with this other lady. It almost makes sense as we need the acidity and probiotics in the vagina and this stuff goes directly to the intestinal tract and vaginal area

                            Comment


                            • HI There this is my first time on this forum and I want to say that I hear and feel your pain I have now been suffering from chroinc yeast infection/BV for 10 months now. They started with an antibiotic that I took caused a yeast infection and since then I have never been able to ge trid of it completely. I have gone to three doctors and all they do is give me the same creams and diflucan which helps for a couple of days but then it comes back. I have found releif in boric acid suppositories it seems to flush clean my vagina out. I found them on the web they are called "Yeast Arrest" and they are made by a female naturopath. I have to keep using them but at least they keep me iitch and irritation free. Good Luck.

                              Comment

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