Every so often (3-4 times in 6 months)when my girlfriend and I would have sex, an extremely fishy odor would eminate from her vagina. It freaked us out the first time and she said it had never happened before. Sometimes (not always) when the smell occured, we would have had sex the previous night, and she wasn't able to wash her area before we had sex again the next morning. She seemed to think it had something to with me or my semen. She said she asked her doctor about it and he told her it was a product of our individual bacteria mixing to make that smell. I have never heard of that before, so I think she was too embarrased to ask. I did however read about Bacterial Vaginosis, and the smell seems to fit that condition. If she does have BV, could the bacteria transfer/reside inside my penis and give my semen a really bad taste? I ask because after having vaginal sex, she finished me orally and said the taste was horrible (even for semen). Past girlfriends have said my taste was normal. I have been tested for STD's and am negative. If it can affect me, how do I get rid of the bacteria? We are no longer together, so if it sounds like she has BV, do I tell her?
Extemely informative web site, by the way. Great Job.
Thank you for visiting the Family Practice Forum.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is not transmitted sexually. It really sounds like your girlfriend, based on the symptoms you are describing, may very well have BV. Bacterial Vaginosis is a vaginal infection caused by several bacteria including Gardnerella, Mycoplasma and Bacteroides. The discharge is typically grey/yellow grey and is associated with a "fishy" odor. To diagnose this, the doctor will take a swab of the vaginal secretions and look at it under a microscope.
I did actually have a case a few years back very similar to what you describe however, and when the "taste" of the semen continued to be very foul we gave the gentleman antibiotics for 10 days and the problem cleared up. The antibiotic we used in this case was Metronidizole (Flagyl). This is the antibiotic used to treat BV. You may want to let her know that it sounds like a vaginal infection that needs some antibiotics to clear up.
Again, BV is not a STD. However, she really should see the doctor to be examined/treated. While BV is not typically "serious", it may persist for many,many months if she is not treated.
I wish you well and let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Dean M. Tomasello, M.D.
I was curious about why would a woman not get BVs then all of a sudden seems like they come every 3 to 6 months? Why do they occur so often? Would regular iodine douches help stop or curb this. It is so annoying when we do our best to stay clean and fresh for our partners.
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