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Mysterious discharge/no more sex
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Mysterious discharge/no more sex

I am 41 and after sex with a new partner, I started to have an unpleasant discharge with redness and itching.  I stopped having sex.  It has been 3 months and I have been tested for every STD (negative) and have been treated for bacterial vaginosis.  The antibiotics relieved the symptoms while I was taking them but they returned once the course was over.  I have returned to the GYN and he said I no longer have BV.  He took a biopsy and has given me a scrip for Clobetasol to treat lichen sclerosus but I don't think that's causing the discharge.  He seemed to be at a loss about that too, telling me it might just be "normal" for me now.  If that's the case I don't think I can ever have sex again.  I am too self-conscious.  It's not normal, it looks like infected pus and there's so much of it I can't even wear underwear anymore.  This is a very serious issue for me.  Giving up on intimacy is not an option.  I have never had problems like this before, with or without ANY sexual partner.  Please help.
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139792_tn?1299416777
Yes it is a serious problem. Do not lose heart. Keep searching for solution. You may find one. Squirting is almost similar problem.  Google squirting by women or some similar phrase. you may find some website giving you relief.
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143113_tn?1366615307
I don't consider "squirting" to be a similar problem at all.  That's perfectly healthy and normal for some women and many men consider it to be appealing.  

The discharge I'm having doesn't correspond with sexual arousal at all, it's a constant, everyday occurrence and very aesthetically UNappealing.

I don't know where to search for a solution, except to go to a doctor, which so far has not helped.  If you have any specific suggestions, I'd like to hear them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Did your Dr check you for a yeast infection? Did you have sex with your partner again after you started treatment? If so, he could have reinfected you because he may need to have been treated too. Did your Dr do a swab the second time you saw him to make sure the BV was gone? You can't tell just by looking.
I would think the the first thing your Dr would have done was to check for a yeast infection. You never know about some Drs though.
If it were me I would see a different Dr.
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143113_tn?1366615307
I don't have a yeast infection.  The discharge doesn't even remotely resemble yeast, and I've never had problems with yeast before.  

I didn't have sex with this partner more than once.

I have seen and been treated by 3 doctors multiple times.  

The first doctor diagnosed and treated me for BV with 3 different antibiotics (which also would have gotten rid of trich, if I had indeed had it).  

I was given diflucan by another doctor for yeast, even though that clearly wasn't the problem.  

The third doctor swabbed me a second time and said I don't have BV anymore.  He biopsied me and said I have lichen sclerosus, and gave me ointment for it.  However, this type and amount of discharge is NOT listed as a symptom of lichen sclerosus, and he didn't seem to know what was causing the discharge.  

How many more doctors can I see before it will make a difference?
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Avatar_f_tn
You may need to see a gynecologist specialist. They will do more in depth testing.
It sounds like you've been tested for every kind of infection and all is fine with that. Now it's time to testing on your cervix, uterus and other reproductive organs.
Are you having any other symptoms like pain in your lower stomach, anything you can think of? Are your periods normal?  
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143113_tn?1366615307
I don't know what else could explain this other than some kind of internal organ infection.  I had already been having pain in my left side, which turns out to be an ovarian cyst (which wouldn't cause this discharge).  Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary.  All of the people who have looked at my cervix said it looks normal.  The only thing I could try is to remove the copper IUD, which I'd rather not do and which I don't think is responsible for this anyway.  Again, I didn't start having any problems at all until I was with this new partner.
The GYN I've been seeing says that this discharge may just be "normal" for me now.  He mentioned that women's vaginal flora sometimes just changes.  I want it back the way it was.  He prescribed boric acid suppositories, which he says can help "sometimes".  It's a nuisance to get them because I need to go to a pharmacy that mixes compounds, which is apparently not something that all of them do.  So I haven't had the opportunity to see the results of that yet.  All I know is that I have never had any unpleasant appearance, smell or taste down there -- my partners have always commented on how relatively nice it was -- and I don't want to give that up.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh, you have an IUD? That could be the cause of your problems. Is your Dr sure the IUD is still in place the way it should be? Since you know you have a cyst I take it you've had a scan done already? Sorry about all of the questions. I kind of have to disagree with your Dr. If you start having discharge that is different then something is going on. If you were going through menopause then you could have vaginal changes. I see that you're young but it would'nt hurt to have testing done to see if you may be going through early menopause.  
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143113_tn?1366615307
I don't think early menopause is the answer.  My periods are still quite normal.  The IUD is in the right place, I've had this confirmed by several dr's.  Anyway I had it in for quite some time and it never gave me any problems before this incident.  I don't know if the bacterial vaginosis may have somehow permanently thrown off my body chemistry, even though the bacteria themselves are no longer present.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you actually had the IUD checked since this all started?
I still think it may be worth it to have your hormones checked even though you're having normal periods.
This must be so frustrating for you. I do understand because I had endometriosis and had no idea what was going on. I did know I was having alot of abnormal discharge. It was like water and caused itching and burning. No infections, my Dr checked for everything. It took a few years to finally get a diagnosis. I told you my story because it ended up being an internal problem. Since you've had all of these tests and you have no infections then it might be time to look into this being an internal problem.
Have you thought about having an ultrasound done? Or, is that how you found out about the cyst?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there-  I came across your thread while researching something else and wanted to comment to you...

While it's not unusual to have an increase in discharge when using an IUD, it's very unusual to have the color you describe along with the odor. It really is the IUD causing this...I have no doubt.  It doesn't matter how long you've had it; this type of thing happens and the fact that it happened after that one time partner is just a coincidence, I think.

IUDs are notorious for holding on to bacteria. So even though you've had treatment, the infection will just return. It can wax and wane and appear negative on testing because the bacteria may be gone at that moment.

I think that IUD needs to come out. Three months is a long time to put up with this and it's not healthy for you. I think it's worth it for you, seriously. I hear the frustration in your words.    Oh...and I'm an RN and worked with an OBGYN for many years so I've seen this in the past. I'm sure the IUD is the culprit here along with maybe an anaerobe that would require a different type of antibiotic...

I hope this clears up for you. Let us know how you're doing!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read your post on the Women's Health forum and the description of your last sexual partner...I take it back!  This may very well be from him...

I believe the same thing though...the IUD is hanging on to bacteria. No harm in pulling it out; you're not having sex now anyway and won't be until this is cleared up...Good luck!
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143113_tn?1366615307
Thanks folks.  Ok --

1-- I DID have an ultrasound.  That's how I found out about the ovarian cyst.    

2-- I don't know why the IUD would be causing problems for me.  When I first had it inserted I was very sexually active with my partner at the time, and had no strange discharge.

3-- If it is a bacterial issue, the second doctor who did the swab after I'd been treated with all the antibiotics would have seen some sort of bacteria, right?  He assured me I no longer had BV.  The only thing he said about the IUD was that he "didn't recommend" me taking it out.  I am still willing to do so if it would solve the problem, as I don't currently have a regular sex partner.  I just wonder why he recommended against it.  Is it dangerous to have one removed?  If it is indeed the culprit, would the bacteria eventually clear away enough for me to have another one put in?  Whenever it comes up  in the future, I'd prefer the copper IUD to hormonal birth control.

What are the signs of early menopause?  My periods are consistently normal, as are my monthly hormonal fluctuations, and I can still tell when I'm ovulating.
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Avatar_f_tn
Like the above poster said, the bacteria could be coming and going. Meaning that when you've seen your Dr to have tests there may not have been any bacteria but it does keep returning.
No, it's not dangerous to have an IUD removed. They're not meant to be left in for life and have to come out at some point anyway. Yes, if this IUD is the culprit the infection will most likely go away for good. See your Dr again for another test. What the above poster said really does make sense about the infection coming and going.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
By the description of your monthly cycles, it does not appear that you are going through menopause.  The first symptom of menopause is erratic periods, hot flushes (flashes), moods swings.

Because you have been on a lot of antibiotics, that in itself can change the pH levels and cause fungal infections.

It is fine to use creams on the skin area to control soreness and itching, but the creams will do nothing for your discharge.

I would suggest that you do not use any soap, shower gels or feminine sprays on your genitals.  These dry the skin and change the pH levels.  Also only wear cotton underwear that has been washed using non biological detergents.
Use the creams as prescribed by your doctor if this is helping you.  If not you may need a different cream or a pessary.  The doctor may prescribe a steroid cream if the cream you are using is not helping your external problem.

You could try a one dose oral capsule called Fluconazole for fungal problems.  You can buy this at the pharmacy or get a prescription from the doctor.  I know that you do not agree that you have a fungal problem, but as you have been on antibiotics, it would be worth a try.  

If you are still experience the redness and itching, as a home remedy you can apply natural live yogurt after you have washed and gently dried.  Try not to scratch if the area is itching, because not only will you experience the itch scratch syndrome, scratching damages the skin causing the lichen sclerosus.  You may be at the stage now that you will just have to manage the external problem as you may have already experienced that it does get flare ups.  As well as applying the cream that was prescribed to you for this, a moisturising emollient may also help relieve the itchiness of the lichen problem.  You can get Dermol 600 which is a bath emollient and Dermol 400 which is a lotion.  There are other emollients that are available.
Taking a bath with a couple of handfuls of oats is helpful too.

I also agree with other comments that you do need further investigation with regard to the discharge.

If you have diabetes or a glucose intolerance, uncontrolled sugar levels can also cause itchiness and soreness.

Best wishes.
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