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BV with new partner

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Hi. I'm a 32 year old healthy woman in a serious, monogamous relationship. No smoking, occasional drink. I've never had an infection or experienced symptoms of BV until I started this new relationship. (Previously in a long-term relationships, had sex, NEVER had an infection with any partners.) A few days after the first time I had sex with my new partner, I noticed a terrible smell of death, and was just horrified. Tried natural remedies and finally gave up, swallowed my embarrassment, went to the dr. Was diagnosed with BV, and got on antibiotics. Cleared it up. We used condoms for awhile because I was certain he had caused it, even though some docs say men don't cause it, but I know my body. And I'd never had it before, so what else could it be?!? We stopped using condoms (I was on bc) and then I got it again, immediately. Are our bodies just not compatible because his bacteria screws up mine? Should he get treated? I've read studies that say men don't cause it, but I only get it after sex with HIM. I'm pulling my hair out. I can't see us getting married and having to rely on condoms to not get an infection. I'm teaching in Mexico at the moment and we hadn't seen each other in three months. No BV. Saw him over the holiday and bam, have it again. Thoughts, please.

Category: OBGYN

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Category: Infertility Specialist
 25 Doctors Online

Thanks for writing to DoctorSpring.

As you very well know, BV is NOT caused by a male partner.
Thats the long and short of it.
BV occurs because of a shift in the normal delicate flora that is intrinsic to the vagina.
That , in turn, happens because of a pH imbalance.
Now, BV is caused more often when there are multiple sexual partners involved ( not applicable in your case ) or when you have a new sexual partner ( this might be the reason ).
Again, this does not mean he is causing it, just that different men have varying pH in their seminal fluid, and hence, the new partner might be having a pH of his semen that is triggering the BV ( which is why condoms protect you ).
You cannot say your bodies are not compatible, its just that you need time to adjust to a ' new ' sexual partner ( How long have you been in this relationship - sexually speaking ? ).
Sometimes, BV is difficult to clear. It remains dormant in the body ( inspite of antibiotic coverage ) and flares up when intercourse happens again.
You might need prolonged ( longer period of ) antibiotic therapy to clear the infection, if nothing else works.
Also, have you been indulging in any of the following, that would significantly up your chances of having BV -
- douching
- cleaning and rubbing extensively
- using scented, medicated ' feminine hygiene ' products
You need to continue condom usage till you are reasonably sure that your vaginal flora is now stable.
Please increase the intake of lactobacilli in your diet - you can take lactobacillus spores orally, or just eat a lot of curd and yoghurt.
However, rest assured, that he is not ' giving ' the infection to you, and a point of time will definitely come when you can have unprotected sex, and still not land up with BV.
Just dont wash and scrub or clean too vigorously.
All the best.
Please feel free to discuss further.

Dr. Aarti Vazirani
Category: Infertility Specialist
Residency: Obstetrics & Gynecolog, BJMC,Civil hospital, Ahmedabad, 2008
Post Graduate: MS (Obstetrics & Gynecology), B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, 2008
Medical School: MBBS, B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, 2004
Dr. Aarti Vazirani and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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