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Author Topic: Reoccurring BV
princess562008
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Hello, I have a BV infection that just won't go away. I have been prescribed Metronidazole Gel .75% twice now for it. The fishy odor will always disappear while I am on the treatment, but it always comes back within a week. What could be going on? Should I go back to the gyno? I have been dealing with this embarrasing fishy odor for way to long and I just want it to go away. Any suggestions?
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Heather
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When you were prescribed treatment both times, your doctor did tests first? If you have been sexually active in any way, did you tell them so they could be sure this was BV and not an STI?

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princess562008
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They did do the specimen test and told me that I had BV bacteria. They did not ask me directly "Are you sexually active?" but they also prescribe me birth control and I have talked to them about that, so I would assume that they would know that I am. What kind of STI could cause a fishy odor?
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Heather
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Have you ever asked for STI tests? To my knowledge, you've been sexually active for a at least a couple years now, including engaging in some forms of sex (vaginal and anal intercourse) those pose high STI risks.

Often, you have to ask for STI tests. So, if you don't know if you have ever been tested, I'd say that's something you really need to find out about, pronto. And if you haven't been, I'd say you're late on those and should catch up ASAP, especially with what seems like chronic infections.

A doctor won't always assume people are sexually active because they use hormonal contraceptives: after all, many people use them for other things besides contraception. That said, I'm also very surprised to hear than an OB/GYN or other sexual health provider is not asking patients if they are or have been sexually active or isn't putting that on their intake forms. It's very important information for providing quality sexual/reproductive healthcare.

Ultimately, many kinds of STIs can cause unusual discharge or odors. Most are asymptomatic most of the time, so someone can have one and have no odor, but if one has been going on without treatment for a long time, that's when symptoms are more likely to start showing up.

Can you call your doctor's office now and ask if they have ever done STI testing for you?

[ 07-26-2011, 12:58 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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princess562008
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My gyno office has never done any STI testing on me. However, a year ago I did go to planned parenthood and was tested for the four basic STIs (think it was chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, and syphillis, but I am not sure)I was told that they would call me with the results and that as long as I didnt hear from them immediatly I was fine. I never heard from them again so i just figured the tests were negative.

The reason why I have not had testing at my gyno was because I am on the mom's insurance and I was not sure if it would show up on her bill that I had it done. I know the testing is really expensive though and I don't really have a couple hundred dollars to spend on it out of pocket at the moment. Where I live there are a couple free clinics, but they have really long waiting lists. Do you know if my mom would be able to see that I had the testing done through her insurance?

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Heather
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You'd have to call your insurance provider to find out about how they do invoicing to know that.

The thing is, though, this testing is really important, especially when you seem to keep having infections and have engaged in high-risk activity.

At the very least, has your partner recently been tested?

Also, a long waiting list gets a lot longer if you don't get yourself on the list. Are you on any of those waiting lists yet? If not, how about at least getting in line?

[ 07-26-2011, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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princess562008
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This is pretty horrible, but I don't know if he ever has been tested. I know that he hasn't gone for a physical or anything for a long time. We have been dating a year now, and before we had sex the first time I asked him if he had any STIs or anything and he said no, and that he was 100% healthy. I truly wished I had asked more questions about if he just assumed that or if he really knew, but I didn't. I am too scared to ask him about it now because i feel like it will look like I don't trust him. We never use condoms because I am on the pill for protection. I don't know if it is worth mentioning, but I get UTIs a lot too. I am 21 years old and I have had probably around 7 UTIs in my life.
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Heather
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I totally disagree that it is too late to have the kinds of conversations you should have had. There should never, ever be an expiry date on these things.

This isn't about trust. A lot of people figure if they had no symptoms, they have no STIs. A lot of people say that have no STIs when they have never been tested to know, and sometimes that's because they don't know they need to be tested to know.

Plus, it seems like you've had sexual partners before, so for his health, this isn't just about if you have been exclusive while you have been dating. If he had any partners before you, the same is true for him.

You're having sexual health issues. You're also choosing to engage in sex that could put you at high risks without information that really informs those choices well.

So, I think it's time to suck it up and start having those talks immediately.

If you want an easy way to start them, it can be as un-loaded as something like, "As you know, I've been having a lot of sexual health issues lately. I just realized we never even talked about if you have been tested for STIs before, and I figure you might also want to know where I'm at with that for your own health choices. I know you said you have never had any STIs, but do you know if you have been tested? If so, when did you do that last?"

A partner who cares about you should care more about your health than their ego, seriously. Do you have any reason to think he wouldn't?

[ 07-26-2011, 01:26 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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princess562008
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No I know he would tell me and be honest. Maybe I am just scared of his answer. I feel 99% sure that his answer is going to be that he never has acctually been tested. I guess I have just been living in denial. I have only ever had sex with my current boyfriend and my ex. Both my ex and I were each other's first (i know this without a doubt). However, I know that my boyfriend has had sex with 2 other girls (one of whom I know had sex with others). This is really scary to me. Does it make any difference that I have been having this fishy odor since before I ever even had sex with anyone?

When I was in the third grade, there was a guy who molested me. However, he didn't acctually have sex with me he just fingered me. Could I have gotten something then?

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Heather
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You know, even if his answer is that he has never been tested, that won't change the reality of the situation. Know what I mean? You can't turn back any risks you may have already taken them, and remaining unaware of them only puts your health at a continued risk.

What having the truthful answer will do -- that not having it likely won't -- is to help both of you make choices more in alignment with what's best for your health moving forward.

All kinds of genital sex can present a risk of STIs. Manual sex poses less risks than most kinds, however. This infection now may or may not be about an STI, so it's possible this is chronic BV and that's all. However, like I said, most of the time, for most people with STIs, there are not any symptoms, So, even if you didn't have this issue, that would not mean you're clear of infections.

But how about this: you've been around the site for years now, and I know we've talked about your health before. have you ever taken time time to read some of the in-depth information we have about STIs and safer sex?

If not, how about I set you up with some places to start, then you can read it and we can talk together to help you step out of any avoidance or denial you may have been engaging in around this, and make choices which are less risky moving forward?

As well, can you do some work today to get on a waiting list or get to a PP again or do something to get that testing soon? How about having this talk with your partner ASAP, also?

[ 07-26-2011, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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princess562008
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I'm going to go ahead and call my gyno to see how much my co-pay would be for testing. I guess if my mom finds out oh well, at least I am being safe. I would like to read whatever articles you have in mind though.
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Heather
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Well, we can also talk about how to talk to your Mom about this, if you like.

So, here are a few links that should give you a really good start:

• Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-To
• STI Risk Assessment: The Cliff's Notes
• Testing, Testing...
• What Safer Sex Isn't

If you want to talk more after you read them, just give a shout. [Smile] It sounds like you could stand to, and I'm happy to make myself available for whatever it is you need or want to talk about or clear up.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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