Posted by Keeping.it.real (San Diego) on 02/11/2014
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] Hi! First of all, sorry this is a lot to read, but I wanted to include EVERYTHING specific to my case. I find that many of the longer posts on this topic are more informative, which I personally appreciate. Short posts are usually useless. No offense to short posters out there. I tried to organize the info as best I could, for ease of reading…
I've been dealing with this "BV" for about 6 months now. I didn't even know what "BV" was until I stumbled across a blog by MaskCara, about 6 months ago, discussing the topic and the "cure" that she outlined as a simple hydrogen peroxide douche. After reading her post on BV, I started realizing that this might be a diagnosis for the very minor "issue" I was having, and barely noticed. The only symptom I was having at that time was very slight odor during/after sex. I guess I shouldn't say "only, " since in my opinion, this is the WORST part of it. So anyway, after reading her post, I did a ton of research online, as I always do when I'm curious about something, and the more I read, the more I was convinced that I had either BV or a simple yeast infection. So, I went to the OBGYN, (Planned Parenthood since I am currently without coverage), and they diagnosed me right away with BV. Of course, they gave me antibiotics, the Metra or Metro-whatever pills. But I didn't take them, since pretty much EVERYTHING I read on the topic says they do not work, and I don't want to put my body through that for nothing. (However, the longer I put up with this crap, the more I think I should just give it a try. We'll see. I'm getting desperate, but I'm really trying to do this the natural way).
1. ODOR - this is the most annoying symptom I have. Everything else is not so noticeable. The odor for me is mostly noticeable after sex and exercise. It's not totally "fishy" though, as I read so much about. For me, it seems more sour - which makes me wonder about a yeast infection. However, I do get the "fishy" smell when I wash with Dial soap, as I'm washing, I'll notice it. I actually just read today that I should be using a more mild soap, so I'll switch to Dove, or possibly Johnson & Johnson Baby Soap, but my point is, the fishy smell comes up with Dial.
2. Discharge - white, thick, gross. Mostly noticeable after exercise.
3. Discomfort - mostly just a slight itch, not constant, but pretty consistent and annoying.
My Medical History:
I'm 30 years old. I've always been very healthy. I don't get sick, and have always had a very strong immune system. I have never had any serious illness besides the flu, once in my life. No chicken pox, no measles, no nothing. I can't understand WHAT is causing this. My diet has pretty much always been the same. The only difference is that I've actually been eating more healthy foods as I get older.
I keep thinking back to when this started, and I try to think of the things that could have caused this.
1. I ran a half marathon in June, (6 months ago), and had only been running for 6 months. Never ran before that. Sometimes, I think, maybe this could be the reason for my pH imbalance. The extreme training, out of nowhere. Maybe?
2. I never had this issue before having sex with my boyfriend. NEVER. I've had one yeast infection in my whole life, and that was maybe 14 years ago. My boyfriend and I started dating a year ago, and 6 months later, maybe sooner - I don't know, I come down with BV. I know this isn't supposed to be a sexually transmitted disease, but I can't help but wonder how that's possible. If you have sex, I would imagine that bacteria could go from penis to vagina and back again. This leaves me wondering if A) My boyfriend gave it to me, and continues to do so. Or B) It is simply his pH messing with mine, as I've also read. Side note: We have engaged in anal sex. I'm not a fan of this, so it's only happened a small handful of times, but it did happen. Maybe this somehow caused the infection? There was no cross over, though. Who knows. I just wanted to throw it out there just in case there's a connection.
So, I keep reading forum after forum after forum, searching for ANYTHING that might help me, or might clue me in on how to treat this more effectively. There's got to be some kind of connection. But it's all the same thing: contradicting information. "This works great! " "This didn't work at all! " I'm honestly hopeless, but I obviously can't give up.
My Personal Vent:
I don't like the way I look at sex anymore. Anytime I think of sex, or think about my sex life in any way, I'm embarrassed, ashamed, and I try to avoid it. It's not fair to my boyfriend. He's sexy. I am not. I feel gross, so I haven't even told him that I have BV. What is the use? I don't want him to look at me like the gross person I see myself as. I just tell him that I'm dealing with a pH imbalance, and I tell him about the things I'm trying to do to correct it, but I haven't actually said BV. It's embarrassing. I'm always worried about him wanting to have sex, and me being "unprepared."
In addition to the obvious symptoms, I'm also very irritable sometimes. I'm obsessed with finding a cure for this. I'm always reading up on it, then deleting browser history. It's embarrassing. My vagina straight grosses me out, and that right there makes me want to cry my eyes out. I'm a sexual person...I enjoy sex, and foreplay, and being passionate and intimate. Now I'm to a point where I just want to get it over with as quickly as possible so my boyfriend doesn't notice the smell. Most of the time, he doesn't seem to notice anything, meanwhile, I do. I literally CRIED during sex the other day, not because of pain, but because I was so embarrassed at the slightest whiff of that “odor” that came up. I wasn't facing him, he didn't notice, but I still felt so gross, and even worse for crying silently during sex. This is RUINING my sex life and the way I look at my body. It's a nightmare, and I PRAY to God every day that it will just...go away. I can't understand WHY this is such an epidemic. How is there no cure?
By the way, I find it somewhat annoying that some/most women post their "cures" as something they're just now trying, with a "Wish me luck! " at the end. And no follow up. I can't stand that. It's useless info. I feel that we should be trying what we think will work, without using the word "cure, " and reporting back. REPORTING BACK, people, please!
Once "diagnosed" with BV, I immediately tried the hydrogen peroxide douche that MaskCara had written about, since she said it was her cure. And yes, it did/does help a LOT, but did not cure. It went away for about a week, or at least, was not noticeable, but sure enough, it came right back...and it seems worse.
It's all been kind of a whirlwind of things that I've tried, but here's my list...
1. Hydrogen Peroxide flush for 7-10 days. (I haven't actually done the HP Flush for that long, though. Maybe that's my problem. But MaskCara had written that she only did it for 3 days. So I did a 3-day treatment. Then I did it for 5 or 6 days, still nothing. Just temporary relief. I am currently on day 2 of a new 10 day HP treatment, because I figure I might as well try one last time, and go for broke. Note: If nothing else, this has been an EXCELLENT, and I mean EXCELLENT temporary cure. I find that I can at least get rid of the odor, discharge and feel FRESH for a day, if I do this. I can have sex without feeling completely disgusting. But it doesn't last, and I don't want this to be an ongoing thing. It's a pain in the ass.
2. Goldenseal – (2) 400mg capsules daily, orally. (I'm only on day 2 of this treatment)
3. Probiotics, 90 billion CPU – (1) daily, orally. (Honestly doesn't do anything, but I take them anyway, since I paid $40 for the suckers).
4. Cranberry & probiotic supplement– (2) daily, orally.
5. Acidophilus – (2) daily, orally. (Same with the probiotics above…no noticeable difference whatsoever).
6. Folic acid – (1) daily, orally.
7. Vitamin D – (2) daily, orally.
8. Epsom salt bath - I discovered this on my own, then confirmed the info online. I went on a vacation and found myself taking several baths because we had access to a jet tub, and I just felt like taking some baths. I used the bath salts provided in the bathroom, and soaked for 20-30 minutes, and didn't think anything of it. Looking back on that vacation, I realized I was BV-free for the entire time: 10 days.
Other things that I was doing while on this vacation:
A. Not drinking AS much, but still drinking alcohol daily. Not so much wine, as I usually do, but I was drinking scotch whiskey. Also, it might be helpful to note that I normally drink Gallo wine…which is basically crap, but I'm on a budget. On vacation, we were drinking GOOD wine, and not as much of it. Maybe this helped?
B. Salt baths
C. COLD and DRY weather - maybe this helped?
D. No smoking whatsoever, (I am a marijuana smoker - not cigarettes, what can I say), but I didn't smoke ANYTHING for 10 days.
E. Very limited sugar. I ate a lot of carbs and dairy, though. But not nearly the amount of sugar I normally eat. Not NEARLY.
Back to the Epsom salt bath: I find this works just as good as the HP Flush, above, only it seems more conventional which makes me feel more normal. I just mix some Epsom salt in a warm bath and soak, allowing the salt water access to the affected area. It really seems to bring some relief, and it's just like taking a relaxing bath. I don't feel like a grosser having to douche all the time, so I like this best. Sometimes, I even put a little Epsom salt IN my panties, (cotton, of course! Blah blah blah), to alleviate the itch. It works for me, but is in no way a cure. Last night, I actually did the HP Flush and then soaked in a salt bath and I came out feeling amazing. This morning, though, I'm back slightly noticeable BV.
Moving right along with the treatments I've tried...
9. Cotton panties, of course.
10. Loose clothing
11. No undies to bed
12. Drink lemon water
Things I will be trying, going forward:
1. Cut sugar
2. Alkaline diet – this sounds like crap. I'm supposed to stop drinking coffee? Eew. Sure!!! No problem! WHAT! NO! I will most likely continue to drink coffee, because after all, I was drinking a TON of it while on that vacation, mentioned above. But, I will make an effort to watch my diet.
3. Drink alkaline water – I heard good things about this.
4. ACV bath
5. ACV orally
6. Monistat 3 – because maybe this will help, who knows. I hear things from all over the spectrum.
7. Antibiotics – I will take these in a month, if nothing else works.