my wife and I aren't overly sexually active but she has developed a condition that has us concerned. Her symptoms include a white discharge and a foul smell. She says it isn't itching or burning, ( she's had a yeast infection before ) . It started after the last time we had sex, I went down on her but there was no smell or discharge but right after we finished I did notice a smell. I have noticed the smell before but it's been awhile and isn't often just every once in awhile. Also occasionally there is a white substance I'll notice while were having sex but not always and not always with the odor. Thats usually in the middle of her cycle and I always thought it was ovulation. She douched and I told her not to do that because I heard that was bad for you. She's been using a cream for yeast infections the last couple of days. She's also due for her yearly and will be going soon. Can you help ? treatment ?
The most common cause of odor with discharge is bacterial vaginosis. Other things can do it, but BV is by far the best bet, especially in the absence of risk for STD. Your story is so classical I could use it to teach residents and medical students: the odor tends to be released when alkali (base) is added to vaginal secretions, and semen is alkaline--so odor often is more prominent immediately after sex.
BV is the result of abnormal overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. Although most common in people who also are at risk for STD (multiple partners, new partners) if often appears out of the blue in monogamous couples.
You are exactly right about douching. Not only will it not help, it tends to make BV worse; and it increases the risk of a complication, in particular PID (fallopian tube infection). The yeast infection cream will not help. Your wife needs to stop the vaginal cream and make an appointment with her health care provider. (And she must not douche before she visits the provider; that will just make it more difficult for him/her to confirm what is going on.) BV is easy to diagnose quickly at an office visit.
If there has been any STD risk--that is, if either of you has had other partners recently--then both of you need to be checked, and tested for other STDs. But most likely that's not an issue, and most likely you do not need treatment.
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