STDs Expert Forum
Is there a cure, or prevention, can it be passed between partners?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Is there a cure, or prevention, can it be passed between partners?

I have had reaccoring problems with Bacterial Vaginosis.  I have been to the Dr multiple times, on antibiotic after antibiotice.  Can this be passed back and forth between me and my partner?  I have a single partner, I don't douch, I don't switch partners or anything that they say can cause it, so I'm at a loss for what to do.  I'm sick of going to the Dr time and time again, and need to know if it can be passed, if there is something I can do to prevent it, or if there could be something wrong with me, or a chemical, or something that my body is not producing which causes these to reaccure... Its embarrasing, and at this point i am at my wits end with it.  What can I do?  Where do I turn now?  20 dollars everytime I go to the dr and at least 20 to 30 dollars for my script to get rid of it, and then a month or two later, i'm right back to the Dr.  I need help.  Can someone help me?
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239123_tn?1267651214
Although the cause(s) and transmission of BV aren't fully understood, most cases do not result because of transmission of infection other factors between sex partners.  Some women have a persistent/recurrent problem that just doesn't clear up; you probably are in that category.  You probably have lost your normal Lactobacillus, the chief bacteria in normal vaginas, which protect against other infections.

If you have not been examined by an infectious diseases specialist, or an ObG doctor with expertise in infections, see if you can find one in your area.  Most academic medical centers will have such expertise.

In the meantime, it is unlikely that you and your partner are sharing anything, or that you are being reinfected by him.

Good luck-- HHH, MD
11 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
well im not for sure, but i do believe that it can pass onto your partner..but im not saying that it can..or that it cant...but about it reoccuring, you need to see a specialist...as in a female doctor, or some dr who knows what he/she is talking about, especially in that kind of case. ive had problems before, and it just kept on reoccuring, so i had to go to specialist. But my guess is to ask your doctor if there is a cure, a prevention, and can it be passed between partners, and also, if you already have, and they tell you "i dont know" then maybe you should ask a specialist...thats my help..i hope it helped..!
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but of course...im not a doctor....so just forget all that i said...i totally forgot this was a forum post for a DOCTOR to answer...wow..i feel very very very very very very VERY dumb..welp...goodbye
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79258_tn?1190634010
BV can be really, really tough to treat. I had it last fall, and I ended up going back three times before I finally got rid of it. It isn't a STD, and men don't contract it, so you aren't passing it back and forth. I think the only thing you can do is keep taking the meds.
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Avatar_n_tn
Are you a Dr?  Your information made me feel better that i'm not passing it back and forth.  Dr's in the very rural area that I live in are not always the best, and I've got in contact with a Dr about an hour away who will see me tonight, so Hopefully I can get my questions answers and figure out how to stop this from happening time and time again.  One more question, could it possibly be that my partners PH level in his semin is high enough that pre-*** causes my PH to go to low, causing the BV?  or his saliva?   Is that possible?
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79258_tn?1190634010
Nope, not a doctor - I just had it, and I frequent a couple of sexuality and gynecology boards where this is a pretty common subject. From what I know, BV is caused by an imbalance in the vaginal flora, and doesn't have anything to do with semen, pre-ejaculate, or saliva. It's weird, because it's not a STD, but it does seem to be linked to sex - yet men aren't affected and don't get treated.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you very much for the information.  Luckly I was able to get into a very good Dr yesterday evening, and he seemed to be very good..... Your information was very helpful as well.  thank you very much.  Guess its something I'm going to have to deal with an the Dr said that he is going to analize the bacteria and study the trend of when I get them etc. and go from there.  It sucks, but guess its one of those things that comes along with being a woman. I'm glad its not something that can be passed back and forth.  
Thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
I actually found an article on the web about Lactobacillus.  I'm not exactly sure what it is, but if that is something that I've lost, is there anything that can be taken to put this back into my body, or shall I say for lack of better words, help me regain normal Lactobacillus?  
Thank you for your information.  I did see a Dr in another town who seemed to be very good.  He treated me with a new cream that you use once.  It obviously is working but as usual, i'm afraid off reoccurrence.  Is there something I can do besides visit the Dr every time it happens so that these infections don't continue to happen.  I'm actually discouraged from being intimate with my partner for fear that I'll end up at the Dr again, and spend 20 dollar on co-pay, and office visit, and then prescriptions.  I know it sounds petty, but it adds up after a while.  Any insight in regaining my normal Lactobacillus would be greatly appreciated.  thanks again
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239123_tn?1267651214
That's a very insighful question; you've been doing well on your homework!  Since lactobacillus is depleted, why not just replace it?  That's exactly why there is a long history of recommending dairy products, especially yogurt, either  by mouth or in the vagina, for vaginal infections.  (Lacto is Latin for milk, and lactobacillus was first identified in associate with milk and other dairy products.)  Problem is, the types of lactobacillus in dairy products are not the same as those in the vagina, and yogurt or other dairy products just don't work; they die rapidly in the vagina and do no good.  The same is true for lactobacillus capsules and other products you can buy in health food stores.

Research has been going on for 10+ years to identify the right kinds of lactobacillus and prepare them as a treatment for placement in the vagina.  Many drug companies likely are working on it; the potential market is huge. Unfortunately, there hasn't been success so far--a few promising results, but still no product.  But maybe someday.

One approach that has been tried is for women with recurrent BV to take periodic treatment to stay ahead of the problem.  For example, a single dose of metronidazole, either by mouth or the vaginal cream, might keep your BV in check.  But before you ask your health care provider to try that, please follow my original advice about finding an infectious disease specialist or a gynecologist who is very familiar with BV and other infections.  There are several kinds of treatment, and perhaps you just haven't yet found the one that will work best for you.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
That completely makes sense.... Hopefully they will find a cure or prevention medication in the near future.  I will do some more research on finding a specialist in Infectious diseases, as well as see my new OBGYN Dr.....
I've hear the Yogurt thing for years... kind of the same thing as Cranberry Juice and UTI'S.  I used to get those horribly as well.  Some people believe them and some don't.  I used to take Cranberry pills from the pharmacy and honestly I haven't had a UTI problem since.. could be just coincidence, but, I don't know.
At any rate....
Thank you for everything... You have set my mind at ease and have helped me with what direction I need to head in.  If I ever have anymore questions or concerns, I will be sure to ask, via this website.  
thanks again.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Believe it or not, cranberry juice probably helps prevent UTI.  There is more scientific basis than for dairy products and vaginal infections, specifically ingredients in cranberries that inhibit bacterial growth in the urine and attachment of bacteria to the cells that line the urinary tract.  On the other hand, many women with recurrent UTIs eventually outgrow the problem, so there's no way to know whether that's what helped you.

Thanks for the thanks.  Best wishes--

HHH, MD
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University of Washington
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