Thursday, September 25, 2014

Could it be? Am I really BV free?!!

Alright ladies, let me start off by apologizing for taking so long to get this update posted. Over the last 20 months I have been absolutely BV free! 

A quick recap for those of you who haven't read my first two blogs - 

I had been suffering from bacterial vaginosis for over 8 years. It was controlling my life. My husband and only partner during this time had been treated for BV repeatedly. Both of us had done everything we could think of. Nothing worked. I have had a nurse practitioner that has been with me through most of this. She has tried everything as well. My last blog left off with a referral to an internal medicine specialist. I had hoped this would be my answer, my saving grace, from this terrible, debilitating infection. Now, lets go back to 21 months ago...

My husband and I were actively trying to get pregnant, so lots of sex and lot's of BV. I made an appointment with the Internal medicine specialist and was looking forward to that appointment when I found out I was pregnant. Because I was pregnant they would not see me. I had one bout of bacterial vaginosis very early in my pregnancy and was treated with Flagyl. That was the last time I have had a single occurrence of BV! I'm sure you all are on the edge of your seats wanting to know the name of the magic pill that I took. Unfortunately it wasn't (and i knew it would never be) that simple. 

Because of a prior miscarriage my husband did not want to have sex during my pregnancy and that was FINE by me. As sad as this is to say I'm positive the only reason I wasn't having BV symptoms was because my husband and I weren't having sex. When I brought this up to my doctor she said "maybe pregnancy just agrees with you." Uh, no, it doesn't, and if that was the case what was going to happen when I was no longer pregnant?! Shortly after I had my son via c-section (not BV related) my husband was complaining of lot's of stomach pain and suffering from fatigue. He had to get a endoscopy and have other tests done. His doctors found that he had lots of bad bacteria in his stomach and colitis. He was told that he would need to take a series of medications for the next 6 months. When I realized he had bacteria looming in his gut and was then prescribed one of the medications we had both been prescribed for BV I was sure there was a connection. 

Now after 9 months of pregnancy, recovery from a c-section and a husband who was also felling very ill, it was more than 12 months before my husband and i had sex again. During this entire time I was BV free. We are back to a very healthy sex life, thank God. But we didn't begin having sex until after he had begun his treatment. He also recently had tests done that showed a huge improvement in his bad bacteria levels. I'm going to get all of the scientific names for you, I promise. But I've done my research and I'm positive he was transferring his bad bacteria to me. 

I look back on these blogs that I've written and I have forgotten how sad and hopeless I had felt from the constant bouts with BV. I have a doctors appointment on Oct. 22nd with the nurse practitioner that has taken this journey with me. I'm going to tell her all of this and see what she says. 

I know that not all of you who are suffering from this have been with one constant partner and because of that I don't have an answer for you, yet. But I'm determined to bring attention to this because it is something that is absolutely debilitating. For those of you who have been with the same partner while suffering with this I suggest bringing it up to your healthcare professional. Could there be a correlation with bad bacteria in yours or your partners intestines that could be causing this? Something is causing this. 

Well ladies, I hope that I haven't jinxed myself by writing this. I still can't believe I have gone so long without a single episode. I will continue to share my story and take you with me on this journey. Hey, what if I'm on to something amazing :) 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The BV Prescriptions, OTC medications & Home Remedies I Have Tried

Trying to keep things as light as possible for this damn blog I thought I would get festive for St. Patties Day!

I know you all want to know what I have tried to keep the BV away and not just hear me say over and over everything. I have become that women who is no longer goggling for suggestions because I have tried it all. I'm going to you what I have tried and how each has worked for me. I would also love to hear what has worked for all of you. Now remember just because some of these didn't work for me doesn't mean it wont work for you.

To back track just a moment for anyone who did not read my original blog "The great bacterial vaginosis roller-coaster" I am a week shy of my 30th birthday and have been suffering with chronic BV for over 8 years. I have a great doctor is determined to figure this out. She just referred me to a Infectious Disease Specialist and as soon as I have an update regarding that I will post it. Now to the OTC remedies and prescription medications I have tried. 

  • Lifestyle changes: I eat clean and exercise regularly. This wasn't always the case and while I notice the amazing benefits that come from eating clean and being active this hasn't had any improvement on BV. 
  • Condoms: I was on birth control for almost 10 years but have been off for the last 5. I have been told to use condoms to prevent BV but it hasn't made any difference.
  • Prescriptions Oral: - Metronidazole/Flagyl, Clindamycin, Tindamax - All of these medications work while I am taking them but my BV comes back within days or weeks of the last dose. 
  • Prescriptions Vaginal: - Metro-gel & Clindamycin these medications are great at getting rid of the BV symptoms but doesn't cure it. 
  • Over the Counter: - VH BV (homeopathic) pills & Vaginal inserts. The pill form I currently take in conjunction with a daily Pobiotic. This seems to help with the frequency but it doesn't prevent BV from coming back. These can be found at your local health food or drug store - DO NOT confuse this with the VH lubricant you can find at the dollar store. RePresh is another one that comes in both pill and vaginal insert form. They are costly and I did have some relief with the pill form. 
  • Acidolophilus with & without Bifidus:, FEMdolophous is a popular one. I also make sure to get a serving of unflavored yogurt with live cultures each day - I think this may help keep the good bacteria alive but I have read studies that suggest the lactobacilli found in yogurt and these probiotics are not the same as the ones our bodies produce. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: - I use the organic Bragg's brand you can find it at any health-food store and usually any grocery store super cheap. I drink it daily and have tried the vaginal suppositories (you mix them with two parts water one part ACV and freeze them. Then insert as you get into bed) This has just been irritating no benefits forfor me. 

  • Hydrogen Peroxide Douche: While I found this helpful for making me feel "fresher" for the time being this had no lasting effect it did not kill the bad bacteria. 

  • Yogurt (vaginally): I have done the tampon in the yogurt and any other way I can get it up there, again it did relieve some of the worst symptoms for the moment and I can see how this might work for others but not for me
  • Vinegar & Water douche: NO benefit for me
  • Glycerin soap: This hasn't cured anything but it has no dies or harsh chemicals and I don't think it's hurting. 
I may be missing some but off the top of my head the above is what comes to mind. Please let me know if you have any questions for me and I will happily respond. I have a great group of girlfriends and they know what I go through. I believe 2 of 8 have had BV and as far as I know they have each had it once. That is NORMAL! I have had one yeast infection in my life that is NORMAL having either on a regular basis is not. My doctor said more than 4 times a year is chronic and not normal. If you have any questions you would like me to take to my trip to the infectious disease doctor post them & believe me I will ask & re-post! 

One thing I would like to add is that at this point I think that my reocurring BV may be a symptom of something else and not the cause. I had a woman on a medical forum tell me my story was just like hers and her doctor tested her for (don't quote my spelling, EVER) Ureaclampsea & Myclampsia - you can google them. She said she was treated for those and is now cured of BV. So that might be worth looking into.

Alright chicka's if you took the time to read this whole blog, God Bless you, you must be going through a tough time. Ask away & Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Great BV Roller Coaster

If you are one of the thousands of lucky women to experience the roller-coaster of bacterial vaginosis you are not alone! If you are like me you have been to plenty of doctors who happily tell you "it's normal" hand you an RX for flagyl aka metronidazole and send you on your merry way. At first your hopeful and after the first few days of taking a nasty medication that leaves an even nastier taste in your mouth that you can try to rinse away with mouthwash so long as it doesn't contain so much as a drop of alcohol, you begin to notice those nasty uncomfortable feelings and that ungodly oder seems to be going away until.. Lord have mercy it's gone! You have been cured! You want to tell yourself it was like a bad dream. You feel like it is all behind you. Like your the smiling girl in those yeast infection commercials. Amen!  Then a couple of months later EVEN a couple of weeks later your holding on tightly while you prepare for this physical and emotional roller-coaster all over again.

We're women were suppose to be resilient but what do we have if we have the shame of this recurring disorder? I have been on this roller-coaster for over eight years. I have spent more money on doctors, specialist, nutritionist, personal trainers, cotton panties, probiotics etc! I have had to give up body wash bubble baths and so many of those girly things that seem so normal to the average women. I have a self proclaimed PHD from Google on this nasty subject. I have a husband, bless his heart who has also been treated with the antibiotics. He is the only other person who can confirm my worst fear...."your infection is back." If your like me you know that even if you really know your body your not 100% positive your infection is back until you are in the most intimate and vulnerable state, SEX. Yes SEX. Come on! 

I am so tired of the endless home remedies and opinions of those women who are lucky enough to suffer from this a time or two and feel they have it all figured out. Oh not to mention if you search enough there is a woman out there, a doctor no less who has the CURE! She has it and she is even willing to share this priceless secret of how to cure this nasty debilitating infection for only $59.95 ! Maybe she thinks this is a bargain? I think it's a slap in the face to prey on the vulnerability of women who are suffering, whose relationships and self esteems may be suffering. If you are the writer of that book please call me i have a few choice words for you. 

My story gets worse because I was pregnant from August to October and had a miscarriage. Not only did I have BV twice during that time I was convinced it had something to do with the loss of our baby. But thats a whole other blog for another day. 

If there is anyway I can help anyone out there then this all hasn't been for nothing. I am here to share my experiences and give any advice I can. After 8 years and countless doctors I feel  Optimistic maybe it's the calm before the storm. 

They say BV is the most common vaginal infection of women in their reproductive ages but I am the only women I know personally who has gone through this. I know that the drug stores have always been packed with an array of choices to help rid your yeast infection and only in the last couple of years have I seen the rephresh and the other OTC BV remedy that name escapes me at the moment. SO if this is SO common why the hell am I still suffering!!!

Today is February 5th. I had an appointment with a new doctor who is on my side ready to go into battle with me. She prescribed Tindamax for both myself and my husband. Yes I know what your thinking "does her husband have a vagina?" No. As far as I know he does not but this doctor isn't the first doctor to suggest he get treated as well. At this point if she suggested my dog take it I would say why the hell not! 

I'm on a mission ladies. I am going to post my progress and answer any questions you may have. If this medication doesn't work I wont stop until...well you get the idea. If your reading this and are shaking your head in agreement to any of it you know this is bullshit! Stay tuned & tell me your story! Respond to this blog or shoot me an email.