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Women's Health Message Board

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I have had recurring bacterial vaginosis (BV) for the whole year of 2006. It has been frustrating and devastating. My sex life with my boyfriend has really been affected by this problem. He is not able to cope with it and constantly accuses me of having sexual relations with other men. You really have to have a supportive and understanding partner. So, I've been dealing with this by myself.

I've gone to my gyn and he has prescribed to me Cleocin. I've taken Flagyl in the beginning but it made me nauseous and gave me an upset stomach. Those are common symptoms. Cleocin seems to make it go away, but then it comes back around the time that I'm on my period or right after. I have the gray-thin discharge, and burn or pain to urinate or the urgency to use the bathroom almost every hour. I've always preferred to take Cleocin each time.

I've talked with my gyn about this problem. We have discussed what contributes to the BV. There are so many factors. It can be related to stress, diet (eating unhealthy or eating too many sweets), hygiene, sexual practices (oral sex), the detergent used for washing clothes, wearing tight clothing, wearing cotton underwear, the soap used (I use Dove), birth control pills (I take Nortrel), your menustration, if your partner is being faithful (mine was cheating with other women), taking baths, etc. I have taken preventative measures, like cutting down on eating unhealthy foods and sweets. I try not to drink too much coffee. I've switched to only cotton underwear. I've switched my detergent to Dreft (gentle for babies). I've stopped taking the birth control pills and will notify my partner to use condoms. I don't take baths. I only drink water and cranberry juice. I don't have oral sex with my boyfriend. I can only attribute my problem to stress and menustration. Another thing that my gyn said was that the male sperm can trigger the change in the vaginal area and cause the overgrowth of the bad bacteria. It is as if your body is reacting to the "foreign visitor" in your vaginal area. Or probably, my body could be allergic or incompatible with the sperm of my boyfriend. Of course, this is all too disturbing to hear and hard to take because I've been with this same boyfriend for 9 years and didn't have this problem during the beginning years of the relationship.

I was told by my gyn that any change in your hormone levels is due to stress and your menustration, which can trigger the change in the pH balance of your vaginal area. I've tried to eliminate some stressors in my life and have taken the approach to stand up for myself or to tolerate things to the point that I won't let it get to me. In addition, I have 4 jobs on the side to pay for my mortgage and bills. And around your menustration, perhaps the sloughing is light that the bad bacteria takes over the good bacteria and then a woman develops BV. Perhaps it could be the hormone levels and it changes the pH levels that it changes the chemical makeup in the vaginal area triggering the overgrowth of the bad bacteria. So, my doctor has decided to put me on Cleocin a day or two before my period begins, then on my period, I will discontinue the cream. When my period is over, I will continue the rest of the cream until finished. This will hopefully cut down the count of the bad bacteria or control it as he puts it.

I've decided to take some extra steps by eating healthy, get more exercise, eliminate more stressors, try to relax more often, take multivitamins, take Echinacea to increase my immune system, use condoms, and also eat yogurt. By eating yogurt, this will populate your vaginal area with the increase the count of the good bacteria. I remember that I used to eat a lot of yogurt a couple of years ago and never had recurring BV. During those years when I ate yogurt, I only had it 1-3 times that year, which wasn't so bad.

I've posted this message for those who have this recurring problem to let them know they are not alone. This is a common problem for some women. Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure to take of it permanently. You can only take preventative measures. You can only try some methods that other women have posted and hopefully, it helps. I hope this sheds some light.

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