Recurrent BV is a troubling condition that most medical researchers can’t fully explain. It is typically marked by discharge, vaginal odor and variable degrees of irritation of the vulva which is the tissue surrounding the vagina. Recurrent BV is often diagnosed on cultures which is not the correct way to apply BV as the diagnosis. Also when providers note that when anything is not quite right on vaginal wet preps in the absence of yeast, the diagnose of BV is often applied. This is incorrect. Thus BV has become a “trash bin” diagnoses. Consequently, most the time when BV is diagnosed, its not BV. In these cases the underlying abnormality is an altered vaginal micro-flora problem but not BV. BV is properly diagnosed either on gram stain or by Amsel’s criteria. In fact, in clinical medicine its observed that BV does not cause recurrent symptoms over periods of time greater than 4 months. Meaning recurrent BV does not really exist. Episodic BV is quite common.
Symptoms of true episodic BV
Recurrent vaginal symptoms with unprotected intercourse is the most distinctive symptom of episodic BV. The reason for this that women who are prone to have more anaerobic bacteria in the vagina will have those strains proliferate with exposure to semen. The reason is the very high alkalinity of semen elevates the vaginal pH which fosters the growth of anaerobic bacteria which results in BV.
Will antibiotics treat “recurrent BV”?
Even though BV is never the cause for chronic/recurrent vaginal infections, you may be one of the women who have been told you have “recurrent BV.” So while antibiotics are commonly prescribed by providers for chronic vulvovaginal symptoms, they only offer temporary relief, and moreover they tend to perpetuate the underlying problem rather than lead to long term benefit. The symptoms will recur if the underlying problem is not recognized and addressed.
So what causes recurrent bacterial vaginal infections?
In order to effectively treat recurrent bacterial vaginal infections, an analysis of the vaginal fluid must be done, so as to identify the true alterations in the micro-flora. The majority of the time, the cause for recurrent bacterial vaginal infections is one of the altered vaginal micro-flora patterns.
Where can you get diagnosed?
Altered Vaginal Micro-flora patterns are some of the conditions treated at Fowler Gyn International (FGI) in Phoenix, AZ. They specialize in helping women with chronic vaginal conditions who are unable to get the help they need. FGI has a laboratory associated with the practice known as Fowler Gyn International Laboratory which is CLIA certified. A specialized test known as the Vaginal Fluid Analysis (VFA) test is utilized the clarify the constituents in the vaginal secretions. The VFA test enables them to precisely diagnose the factors contributing to your vulvovaginal symptoms. Based on the results, we can then tailor a simple treatment protocol involving medications and products to treat recurrent vaginal infections (click here).
If you are experiencing any vulvovaginal symptoms and cannot get the relief you are looking for, contact FGI for help. Call them today at (480) 420-4001 to schedule a consultation with board certified gynecologist Dr. R Stuart Fowler. You can also contact us online at www.fowlergyninternational.com/contact-us, and request a pre-registration call.