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  • Fed up with these symptoms

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this...I don't have yeast problems or a vaginal infection. I have been tested for both and everything always comes back negative. But I do have a heavy discharge and a terrible odour, and I don't know what to do about it. I have has this for years now. Nothing makes it go away except when I shower with scented soap it masks the odour a bit, but it just comes back a few hours later. The discharge is so bad that it leaves my underwear and sometimes even the outside of my pants soaked. It is ridiculous. I am especially sick of the smell. It is very embarrassing (although no one else can smell it). I do have vulvodynia but that can't be causing the odour and discharge.
    I have seen two different doctors about this. They both told me that since I do not have any yeast or bacterial infections, that there is nothing they can do for me and I will just have to live with it. One of them told me that it could be a side effect of birth control pills. Has anyone heard of this?
    I would appreciate any suggestions as to what I can do about it. There aren't any more doctors I can see about it so I need some suggestions on what I can do on my own. Or what I can ask a doctor about. Does anyone else have these symptoms or have any ideas on what it could be?

  • #2
    Hey there!
    I don't know what causes the heavy discharge, ( I have it too) but I know that pantyliners have been a godsend for me. I use several a day at times, and I find them really helpful in controlling the odor and wetness, as well as protecting my panties from the characteristic pyridium orange stain - ick! I also try all sorts of things to try and feel fresh, but I'm sensitive to perfumed soaps, so I'm limited in what I can do. I hope that maybe someone else will have a better answer!
    Blessings, Kelly
    "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights."
    Psalm 18:32 - 33

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    • #3
      If there is an odour, it's not normal. I think you should see an infectious disease gynecologist. I had a yeast like discharge for a long time, with no itch and no odour so it didn't fit the profile of any common vaginal conditions. I had several gynecologists tell me it was "normal", even showing me their culture results, until I found an infectious disease specialist who did the correct test and diagnosed and treated me. In all my research, I know for a fact that that is not normal. It's really a shame that it took so long for it to be figured out, because all the wrong (bad, invasive, etc.) treatments the doctors did to me is what triggered my IC.

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      • #4
        Hi, thanks for the replies. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with something like this. I could check but I'm pretty sure there aren't any infectious disease specialists where I live. We don't have many kinds of specialists that are availble in the US and in the larger cities in Canada. So far I've seen two gynecologists plus my urogyn who treats my IC and unfortunately there just isn't anyone else I can see about it. It's really looked down upon here to keep going from doctor to doctor getting different opinions anyway.
        I have tried pantiliners when the discharge was really bad but I just found them too uncomfortable. With my severe vulvodynia pain, I find that they rub and cause even more pain and burning to the point where I can hardly walk. I have tried many different brands but have found that just living with the slight "wet" feeling is much less uncomfortable for me.
        Thanks anyway for the suggestions, I'll post if I do find out anything new.

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        • #5
          There were none too close to me either; I actually had to travel to see the doc I was referring to. Now he's moved even farther away. It might still be worth looking into (i.e to travel to see another doc). I just can't imagine a doctor saying there's nothing you can do...sometimes you have to really push to get an answer. Believe me, I learned that lesson the hard way Is the discharge clear discharge or coloured? What is the odour like? Sorry that sounds gross, but I know a lot about this stuff. Did they look under a microscope or just send it off to culture? (that doesn't work for all infections). What have they suggested at all? Any creams, antibiotics, etc.? Have you have a colposcopy to look at your cervix? It sounds like your current docs are sort of laissez-faire about it and I can't stand doctors like that.

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          • #6
            Well, it's hard to describe. It doesn't smell like anything that I can compare it to, it's just awful and very strong. The discharge ranges anywhere from clear, white, yellow, brown, to greenish. It seems to keep changing.
            How far did you have to travel to see this doctor? I am nearly housebound and unable to travel in car, ferry or plane without great difficulty. We also just cannot afford to go out of province to see a doctor. My dad is facing possibly losing his job soon and as it is our budget is tight and we can barely afford the at-home tutoring that I am starting soon to work towards getting my high school education.
            I am not entirely sure whether they looked under microscope as well as had it cultured. I know both culture results were negative. I have been on antibiotics (Flagyl) once. This was around last Christmas. I was put on it by a doctor in emergency because of my urinalysis results. I went in thinking I might have a UTI (I didn't) but they said they had found the type of bacteria that causes vaginal infections. I had severe side effects from the Flagyl and would never go on it again if my life depended on it! It didn't seem to make much difference to my symptoms except that it aggravated my IC.
            Neither of the gynecologists I have been to have suggested antibiotics because of my negative cultures. One prescribed a cream for vulvodynia which is her own blend, but it is not for the infection-like symptoms.
            I haven't had a colposcopy. Is it something I should ask to have done? I would have to take painkillers and sedatives to have this done, for both the pain from vulvodynia and IC. However, I will look into it if I have to.
            Thanks for all your help.

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            • #7
              I travelled about 2 hours by car ( this was before IC though). Another time I actually flew to the US to see a specialist but that was a disaster and he's the one who made me worse. Have you ever taken clindamycin? It is more broad-spectrum than Flagyl. Maybe you should ask to be tested for things like mycoplasma as well. Have you been tested for all the other STDs? I don't know if a colposcopy would help, but I think they need to have a look and maybe see what is happening with your cervix - if you have cervicitis, if that is where the discharge is coming from , or if it is just a vaginal infection. The variety in colours is very strange, but there is definitely something going on. This just doesn't sound like something that should be ignored and a good doctor would want to investigate further. Sorry if I'm writing in sort of hasty style; this all makes me sad because this is how my life got ruined

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              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestions. I will ask my urogyn if he can do further investigations. One of the advantages of living on the mainland is being able to drive nearly anywhere you want - I would have to fly or take the ferry and then drive. Hopefully my urogyn will be able to figure out what's going on. The other two were so hopeless I wouldn't go back to them anyway. I hate it when doctors seem unintersted in treating their patient's problems.
                No, I haven't been on clindamycin. Is it the same or similar to erethromycin (sp?) If so I am allergic to it. I haven't been tested for STD's because I am not sexually active.
                If you don't mind my asking, how did this ruin your life? I'm sorry to hear that the doctor you went to see in the US made you worse. I know how annoying it is to have a problem left untreated for years because of ignorant doctors. It took me 7 years to get dx'd with IC.
                Again, thanks for the help.

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                • #9
                  I have this also, just recently. I am so embarrased of it, that I dont know what to do. I have scheduled a gyno app. for next week. I was so wooried to go, I feel better knowing that I am not the only one. I have had 3 children, and I am married, so I know that I dont have anything. With the children they run every test possible. I keep buying the over the conter yeast infection creams, and they are not helping. I have also purchased every kind of duesh (sp) known to man kind....lol. The medicated doesnt even help. I dont understand what it is, or why it is happening, but I know it sucks. I feel for everyone that has this problem. I know I am a very clean person, and its a horrible feeling to have some funky odor, that wont go away!!!!
                  Hugs to all ya!!!
                  Hope everyone is having good poddy days!!!!!!!

                  ~Jasmine~

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                  • #10
                    Hi All!
                    I justed started taking Elmiron 4 days ago & I have noticed a discharge ever since. Are you on Elmiron also?? Could there be a connection? Since Elmiron causes a mucus membrane to form in the bladder, couldn't it cause more mucous in other areas?? Just a thought!
                    Take Care!
                    Tammy

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                    • #11
                      That's an interesting thought Tammy. I have been on Elmiron for 3 years. None of my doctors have connected it to the Elmiron, but one said it might be related to birth control pills. I have been on those for a little over 3 years too. I find it hard to believe that Elmiron would cause such a terrible odour in addition to the discharge, though. I think I'll be able to get an appointment with my urogyn over the next few weeks. Now that I know what questions to ask. I'll let you know what I find out.

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                      • #12
                        As far as the odor... I haven't really noticed any. Except after I took a Pyridium, I only took it once though (the evening of my hydro). I have been feeling great since then. If you don't have any infections, could it possibly be some of your other meds causing an odor?? just another idea....
                        Take Care!
                        Tammy

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                        • #13
                          Has your doctor ever mentioned or checked you for a cervical ectropion?

                          I too saw numerous doctors for a discharge that changed in amount,color, smell constantly over the course of a year......it eventually led to symptoms of vulvodynia. It always came back as normal when tested except that my gyn noticed the pH was not normal (very alkaline) which in her opinion inturn caused the vulvo symptoms (redness, burn, itch even a skin condition called lichen simplex). We tried nuumerous things Boric Acid, Metronidazol, Betadyne, etc also cremes for the vulvo. Nothing helped and I kind of just tried my best to get on with my life and to ignore it. Then I went back about 6 months later (because of what was later diagnosed as endometriosis pain) and the ectropion was seen very clearly. She then said the ectropion clearly explained the discharge. Problem is the discharge preceded the diagnosis of ectropion by almost a year.

                          If you search cervical ectropion....you will find it is a lengthening of the cervical neck that often causes a increase in discharge. Problem is doctors consider this a normal condition....very common in teenage girls, pregnant women and women taking hormone replacement......IT SEEMS EXCESS EXTROGEN MAKES THE CERVIX LENGTHEN AND THEREFORE CAUSES EXCESS DISCHARGE. At the time I didn't fall into the three catagories of women it is considered normal to have....but shortly therafter I was diagnosed with Endometriosis (pains which started about the same time as the discharge, etc.) So it all kind of made more sense...since endo sufferers tend to have excessive estogen because of the endo implants growing. Sorry to be so long winded.....just wanted to give another perspective. It all seemed to clear up after I had surgery to remove the endo.....now it is back again...but I'm pregnant so again I am told it is very normal to have it??? Go Figure?

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                          • #14
                            My gynocologist said I have a disorder where there are mucous membranes on the outside of the cervix. Normally they are only inside. She said that birth control pills can cause this condition to develop if you don't already have it.

                            I'm afraid I can't remember what the condition is called, though! I don't want to suggest that this is what you have, but if someone else is familiar with what I'm talking about and remembers its medical term, maybe you can inquire into it. Anyone?

                            -Liz

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                            • #15
                              Thanks so much for all the suggestions. Now I know what things to ask my doctor about. He'll probably be thrilled about it too - he's the kind of doctor who actually listens to his patients when he's stumped (as opposed to so many doctors who WON'T admit that they don't know what's wrong so they just pretend it doesn't exist.) Now that I have some ideas as to what it could be, I shouldn't have too much of a problem getting my doc to investigate.

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