March 30, 2008,
D.S. asks from Santa Rosa, CA on May 09, 2007
Any Moms Who Have Had Bacterial Vaginosis And/or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
I have always suffered from yeast infections since my teens but this is the first time being diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). Does anyone know what causes it or have ways to prevent it. I am also using an IUD as a birth control method and wondering if that has something to do with it. I would love to have some feedback from those who have experienced this condition.
As for my second request, when I was 20 years old (1989) I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS) however, not much was known at the time as to the cause or treatment or the health hazards for that matter. So, my treatment included stopping the androgren production with spironolactone in order to diminish the excessive hair growth all over my body. Over the years many doctors have told me that it is not life threatening to not have your periods but I didn't realize that I was supposed to tell them that I have POS. Anyways, one doctor recently told me those with POS must menstruate monthly because they have a higher risk of uterine cancer. I was also told that I have a higher chance of getting diabetes and being that diabetes runs in my family like a plague that puts me in an extreme danger zone.
So, my request is to know if anyone else has experienced POS and what was your treatment. Also, what were your symptoms? Being that infertility is common for women with POS, I was blessed with a child four years ago but now I am worried if I decide to have another baby which is very likely.
Thanks Moms for all your help in these matters
J.C. answers from San Diego on March 07, 2008
B.D. answers from San Francisco on May 09, 2007
I am a women's health nurse practitioner and also a mom. Here's the scoop on bacterial vaginosis, or BV. This is actually more common than yeast. Many women have itching, burning or other symptoms (sometimes a fishy odor) and assume it's yeast, and use an over the counter rememdy, but the symptoms just return. It is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, and is not sexually transmitted, so male partners do not need to be treated.The treatments are typically creams that are inserted vaginally each night for 1, 3 or 5 nights. There are no long term side effects from Bacterial Vaginosis. It may recur, so it's best to treat it as soon as you notice symptoms. i hope that helps.
I agree that WebMd is a great resource, and here is another one that explains PCOS. The good news, is that you did get pregnant in the past, and if you need assistance, there are new medications that are effective in helping women with PCOS ovulate--Metformin.
You are right about the increased risk of diabetes, but remember it's not absolutely going to happen, and keeping your weight down is the best thing you can do to avoid diabetes.
Here's a link to iVillage: http://health.ivillage.com/gyno/cysts/0,,7zg90p1g,00.html
When you're ready, consider seeing a good endocrinologist or OB/GYN who can help answer your questions in more detail.
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V.W. answers from San Francisco on May 11, 2007
I only had one yeast infection in my life - but was diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginosis a few months ago - the doctor said it was my pregnancy, but I do believe it had something to do with a bacteria my fiancee had - before I met him that he was hospitalized with the week before I was diagnosed - although the doctors claim the two couldn't possibly be related.
C.M. answers from Fresno on May 11, 2007
I have had BV a few times and it's such an annoyance. I wish you good luck and I will say a prayer for you. Here's some info I got off of www.WebMD.com for you. I hope it helps.
What causes bacterial vaginosis?
The cause of bacterial vaginosis is poorly understood. But, experts have found a number of risk factors that can lead to a drop in "good" lactobacillus. (These bacteria normally keep "bad" bacteria from overgrowing in the vagina. They are different from dairy lactobacillus.) These risk factors include having multiple sex partners, having a female sex partner, recent or current infection with certain sexually transmitted diseases, douching, and intrauterine device (IUD) use.
What are the symptoms?
The most notable symptom of bacterial vaginosis is an excessive, bad-smelling, grayish-white vaginal discharge. A "fishy" smell, which is usually worse after sex, is a telltale sign of bacterial vaginosis. However, about half of women with bacterial vaginosis have no noticeable symptoms.
How is it treated?
Bacterial vaginosis is typically treated with antibiotic medication. Metronidazole or clindamycin are the first-choice treatments for bacterial vaginosis. If you aren't pregnant, you can choose to take it by mouth (orally) or by inserting it into the vagina. If you are pregnant, you will most likely be given an oral antibiotic: this is considered the safest way to treat during pregnancy.
Antibiotic treatment for bacterial vaginosis can lead to vaginal yeast infections because the medications change the balance of organisms in the vagina, allowing an excess of yeast to grow. You may be able to prevent this by regularly eating yogurt with active Lactobacillus acidophilus culture or taking L. acidophilus dietary supplements.
Because bacterial vaginosis is not caused by sexually transmitted organisms, treating your sex partner does not help cure you.
Here's the link so you can see the page I got this from:
T. answers from Las Vegas on May 10, 2007
From what I understand, bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria that is normally and naturally in the vagina. Anything that irritates your female parts can set it off. Obviously there are some things like sex with a new partner or sex with multiple partners can upset the balance in your vagina (another advertisement for condoms). I had a horrible case of BV the last time I was pregnant - and I wasn't having sex at all because I have high risk pregnancies. There are just some things (and it can be as simple as ovulating or having your period) that can change the environment in your vagina and set off an infection. So in some ways, you can increase your chances of not getting it (use condoms, don't have multiple partners, make sure you wipe from front to back) but I don't think you can avoid it entirely, especially if you are prone to it.
I actually know a few people with PCOS even though I don't have it myself. I would highly recommend that you get a referral to an endocrinologist. The two most obvious problems caused by PCOS are diabetes and infertility. Both of those problems can sometimes be treated by losing weight and watching your diet very, very carefully. But the women I know with PCOS have a heck of a time losing weight and gain weight very easily. You can find more info on endocrinology here http://www.hormone.org/public/endocrinologist.cfm Getting appropriate medical treatment now and taking care of yourself and your PCOS consistently will give you the best chance of not developing diabetes (and treating it effectively if you do get it) and maintaining your fertility. Good luck to you!
V.O. answers from San Francisco on May 10, 2007
I have PCOS and take Metformin for Insulin Resistance. This is a common form of treatment for PCOS. Also, try to avoid sugar and lots of carbs as it's harder for us to break these things down. As for Infertility, I had to do Intrauterine insemination to conceive my son and we are getting ready to do IVF this time around because of PCOS and age (factored together). This is not necessarily the case for everyone with PCOS. If you're planning on having another baby you should probably get the fertility workup soon as it's time consuming. I would recommend seeing an OB/GYN that specializes in PCOS patients. If you can't find one than try one that deals with high risk patients.....they usually have a lot of knowledge in PCOS. Hope this helps! Good luck!
K.V. answers from San Francisco on May 10, 2007
Hi- I was diagnosed w/PCOS in about 1999 while we were trying to get pregnant w/our first son. We now have 2 boys via intraurine (SP?) insemination or the old word, artificial insemination. With our oldest son, born in 2000, it took us a couple of years to get it all figured out & of course, since we have Kaiser, I kinda had to go thru their silly protocol. My older sister has PCOS as well as endometriosis so I had a leg up on knowledge & therefor, was a bit pushier w/the whole process. For most women, the symptoms include an irregular cycle. For me, as a teenager & into my 20's, I'd have a period for a month (not fun when you've just started a new relationship!) or sometimes not have a period for a month. Most women w/PCOS tend to be on the chunky side & we carry that chunk right around our middles giving us a lack of waist line as well as the lovely little roll over the tops of our pants! I haven't done much investigating on PCOS in a while so I didn't know that we're at risk for unterine cancer. The diabetes makes sense cuz most women w/PCOS process & break down food similar to people w/diabetes. Some doctors put their patients on a diabetes drug called metformin. I took this inbetween pergnancies & had a horrible reaction to it. Upset my stomach & caused me to spend quite a bit of itme in the loo. But once I was on it for a while, that sub-sided as my body adjusted. Not sure of the success rate & that drug for women w/PCOS trying to get prgnant. Now that we're done having kids, I'm not taking any meds for it. I did go back on the pill cuz the extra testosterone was giving me way to many zits for my liking so now my hormones are balanced. Plus, right after I turned 40 last fall & had lost 35 pounds, I did get pregnant the old fashioned way.....much to our surprise. Unfortunately, I lost the baby which made us decide we were done & didn't want to have to go thru that again. In order for me to get pregnant both times, I gave myself shots for 10 days & did blood draws for all of those 10 days -I had some nasty bruised elbows & looked like a druggy! When the time was right, my husband 'gave' some of his 'guys' to a clinic who swirled them around to a very clean mix & then we took that to the OB's office & had it injected. Oddly, after the birth of our first son, my periods have become very regular but not usually enough ovulation to get pregnant, except that one time in the Fall. You could need this medical interevention, coudl need more or coudl need less. My suggestion is to find an endrocronologist/infertility doctor & go from there. I dont' know where you live but we live in El cerrito & have Kaiser. I LOVE my OB/GYN who also happens to be an infertility specialist & I'm pretty sure an endocronologist as well. Not sure if you have to one to be the other. She's in Oakland on Piedmont & her name is Dr. Erica Brenneman. She's great & super friendly & a mom herself. We see her at our gym & she always remembers both my boys (she only got me preggers w/#2) & is also great w/them. I was lucky enough that she saw me thru my whole pregnancy & still does. Most specialists only get you preggers & then pass you back to OB/GYN. I was just re-reading this & I'm all over the place so hopefully, you can find something useful in all of this. Please feel free to emailme: ____@____.com Luck-
D.C. answers from Fresno on May 10, 2007
I have PCOS as well, and have as long as I can remember. Your best bet would be to work with an endocrinologist, or a reproductive endocrinologist if you're ready to have a child. Unfortunately, there isn't any one set of symptoms for PCOS as they vary from woman to woman. For me, I've always had an irregular cycle (except for the last two years, which for PCOS women could indicate menopause is on the way (I'm 40)), facial hair, hidradenitis suppurativa, unexplained weight gain, extreme difficulty losing weight, and I'm on my way to possibly being diabetic.
I don't currently have any treatment - my doctor wants me to lose weight before putting me on meds, which is incredibly hard for me to do. So, I'm trying to find a doctor who is more supportive and understanding, but I'm not having much luck.
Because of the PCOS and some immune issues I have, was not able to carry a pregnancy, but someone else did it for me.
Feel free to chat with me privately, if you'd like!
R. answers from Las Vegas on May 09, 2007
I too recently was diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginosis. I also had alot of yeast infections as a teen. I knew something was wrong, but no one really listened to me. My doctor prescribed some medicine, and for the first time, I feel normal again.
Some think it was due to my pregnancies, but I had the problem before that. I don't remember the medicine, but I looked up info. on the web. I usually look at www.webmd.com for medical stuff. Sorry that I couldn't help more.