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Symptomatic Group B Strep Vaginitis HELP!!

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have just been diagnosed (after going to one gyn practice for months and being told there was nothing wrong with me) with symptomatic (constant burning) group b strep vaginitis. At first I thought it was a yeast infection, but I have come back clear for yeast cultures various times. I have researched this to no end on the internet and only find links to women who have it while pregnant - and they always state that it is rare for it to cause any symptoms. My current gyn who has been around forever did a culture and it came back with very high colonizations of beta strep bacteria. He gave me a 10 day course of penicillin and also told me to use betadine douches 2 times during the 10 days. I did this - twice and each time by the third day it would feel pretty much gone - but then by around the 12th day it would come right back!!!

Does anyone know what I can use to get rid of this thing? I've had it for 5 months and I am beside myself. The burning is pretty much constant - if I shower - it seems to help some but it almost never goes away. I think I may have gotten it from my husband and he may be reinfecting me - but I am not sure. My current gyn basically told me that there isn't much more he can do. He told me to use betadine douches no more than 2 x per week until my next appointment in 6 months!!! He had a patient who had it for like 20 years!!! YIKES!! I am only 37, have two young children and cannot imagine having this forever.

In researching online I found an article by a midwife who wrote about how a clove of garlic inserted vaginally can get rid of yeast infections and also it has been known to help lower the strep colonizations. So I emailed her. She wrote me back a brief note as she is on vacation (I'm hoping to hear more from her once she is back). She said that antibiotics will not help my problem and I should NOT douche at all. It is very rare - only 1 in 10,000 women get it. Lucky me She said she has heard of women who have used garlic and it very slowly will get rid of it. I'm on my 3rd day of garlic (the taste it puts in your mouth is gross). The burning is still going strong (I have no idea how long to do this for). I am doing everything I can to boost my immune system too - good multivitamin, herbal immune system booster, acidophilus, grapefruit seed extract. I even just started taking colloidal silver. I just wish I knew how to get rid of it. I have not been with my husband in about two weeks - trying to see if that affects my problem. I also have (in the past) tried inserting acidophilus vaginally as well as tea tree oil.

Lastly, I found a study (in Norway) where two women had what I have and were treated w/antibiotics - the symptoms came right back once they were done with the meds. The finally got rid of it with chlorhexidine gel 1% (also called Hibiclens). The study does not say how long they used it or how they applied it. I went to my local drugstore and found Hibiclens solution (not gel) 4%. I have read that some midwives have their patients who've tested positive for GBS and are pregnant use a douche with this solution / water just before delivery - but there is nothing out there for using it for a problem like mine.

I am desperate for any suggestions or help that anyone might have. I have found a few postings on the internet about women who have had this - but never any resolutions. I appreciate any insight anyone might have into this.

Thank you in advance!!!

Kind Regards,
Kirstie
post #2 of 59

same problem

Hi Kirstie,
I feel your pain as I too have had the same problem for a few years now too. I am frustated with how its affecting my relationship with my partner. We go for long periods without any interaction because of my discomfort which turns me off wanting to do anything like that.

I also wonder if my partner keeps giving it back to me because he isn't being treated. He doesnt have any symptoms though, so I doubt he is.

I was always treating it as thrush with canastine cream initially. That helped relieve the discomfort, but didn't actually get rid of the cause.

I tend to think it has something to do with diabetes. When I lose some weight the symtoms seems to ease. I had seen a specialist a while back who said that I have pre-diabetes symtoms and its possible this is just another of those symptoms. I admit that I really like my sweets and probably have way too much sugar. I also try having a better balance diet now, but it doesn't seem to show much change.

I also read online about home remidies such as inserting garlic and tried that once. It didn't really do much. Instead I am taking garlic tablets as garlic is a good source of antioxidants. Honestly I don't think its helping much, but it doesnt hurt to take them.

On my last visit to the doctor he said he would enquiry with a specialist who knows more about this issue. He already had 3 patients with the same symptoms and didn't know what else to give us. Penaclin seems to help for a short time, but didn't get rid of the problem completely.

The specialist wrote back and suggested Dalacin V vaginal cream. I read details about it online and its definately for symptoms we have. I am yet to try it, but am concerned that even if it works, symptoms will likely re-occur because I'm not solving the actual cause. You will need a script for Dalacin V from your doctor.

Regards,
Smilyn
post #3 of 59
Hi, sorry to hear abt you two suffering b/c of this. I had it while pregnant with no symptoms and the abx did nothing. I was able to get rid of it by taking vit C, tinctures of echinacea and astragalus, and raw garlic everyday. I would crush the garlic and mix with honey then swallow a lump or 2 of it like a pill. If I stopped the treatment the strep would come back. (bee propolis is also recommended in addition to what i did.)

I can maybe offer some insight though. The strep is growing beyond healthy and comfortabl;e proportions b/c your internal body ecology is off balance, the usual healthy bacteria and other stuff that should be there in proportions enough to keep gbs in check is not there.

This can be due to eating processed foods and taking anti-biotics. Even in amts considered "normal" by today's standards. I would definitely eliminate "white" foods like sugar and white flour, if you have a cronic problem like you described. We dont eat those foods b/c of my kids and dh's allergies. IME it is harder to eliminate foods when you are doing it for your own health than for your kids. I read on these bourds abt ppl who cheat and my dh does on his diet and make themselves sick. If I cheat my nurseling gets sick so I just dont. It is not fun sometimes but mostly it doesnt bother me. Maybe think of it as something you do for your marriage.

I also recomend taking a strong probiotic - on an emptly stomach.

Goodluck.
post #4 of 59
Just a suggestion: does this involve excess cm? Have you tried wearing a small tampon during non-menstrual days for a couple hours at a time. I have found success doing this when I've had really bad yeast infections. I'm assuming it works 'cause it helps "remove" excess.

Good luck - I hope you find a permanent solution.
post #5 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by keepsmilyn View Post
Hi Kirstie,

I also wonder if my partner keeps giving it back to me because he isn't being treated. He doesnt have any symptoms though, so I doubt he is.
This is quite possible, since Strep B bacteria colonizes both male and female "carriers". I would suggest a test (swab) just to make sure.
Some people do not show any signs, they are just carriers.

Good luck with everything!
post #6 of 59

Strep B too

Thank God I'm not alone in this!!!

For a long time I've had what I thought were yeast infections. Then, last November on my Pap smear it came back with Bacterial Vaginosis.

So then, this year I had another pap in March which also showed Bacterial Vaginosis. I was sick with a different type of infection and on antibiotics for a while when I started itching again and assumed from the antibiotics that it must be yeast. So, I self treated with yeast medicine and things got rapidly worse. Everything itched and I ended up with a very painful uti although it didn't feel like a full UTI because only my urethra hurt.

So, I went to the doctor and they did a culture and it came back Strep B. I was totally confused how this even happened. I have the worst itching and burning and pain in all my areas down there and I couldn't figure out what was going on!!!

I hope something works soon.
post #7 of 59
Hi All,
Well I am still suffering from the same discomfort (6 months after my original posting). Some days are worse than others. Some days I feel like it has gone away and other days its quite uncomfortable. The cream my doctor last prescibed hasn't done much to help. I used it for most of the days recommended and missed one in between, but still saw no difference in my symptoms.

Having these symptoms really puts a dampen on my sex life with my partner. I have no desire for sex when I feel sore and itchy. My husband is very understanding, but I wonder if he will always think this way. When the burning and itching seems to go away my sex life is a little more active, but it doesn't last for long because the symtoms seem to come back quite quickly.

I know exactly what you mean about being told its all in your head. I've been told that many times in the past too. I only wish it was all in my head, but the uncomfortable feeling I get down below tells me otherwise. Thankfully the results of culture tests also incase that something isn't right along with the red inflamed skin.

I tend to think it is related to poor diet or poor health or perhaps related to diabetes. My eating and fitness levels are not great, but I don't know if everyone else who gets this is just as unhealthy. I am by no means fat, just a little overweight for my height (168cms at a size 12 australian ladies). I also don't drink much water and have been told that perhaps my urine isn't diluted enough. I personally don't like the taste of plain water. I tend to drink juice, softdrinks and cordials more often than plain water.

I find it frustrating to think that so many people are having similar symptoms but no one can find a cure. Perhaps if we all continue to discuss our symptoms on these forums more doctors will realise this is a common issue.
post #8 of 59
I had bacterial vaginosis while pregnant and used peroxide to rinse after going to the bathroom and this really seemed to help.

I am not a big peroxide person and not a believer in douching but it might be worth a shot.
post #9 of 59

Alternative options

I tried a detox diet a while back and that seemed to clear up my system for about 3 and a half months.

The specialist I'm seeing seems to think that it may have just been a co-incidence that it cleared up around the same time I did the detox diet, or perhaps my positive thoughts during the detox process may have helped. Either way, it probably doesn't hurt to try if nothing else has worked.

I suggest you consult with your doctor before trying a detox diet. Some doctors are really against detox diets, but if it helps relieve your symptoms or get rid of it, then why not give it a go. For the record I tried the Lemon Detox Diet.
post #10 of 59
I've had strep vaginitis for 8 months. My dr. put me on Levaquin, then Miconazole 7, then Vantin. I was tested between meds. to check the growth. Finally, the test came back, with "little" growth. He didnot want me on any more antibiotics but he never discussed my diet. I finally found this post last Friday! I believe we are on the right track by reviewing our diet! After the detox diet did you go back to the same foods you always eat? I think Gilamama is correct! As for me, no more of the ground wheat which is in my freezer. A friend grinds it for me, so it is raw wheat but maybe I can't handle it. Anyway it's my best guess and the only thing in recent years that I've incorporated into our meals. A friend mentioned that I may be sensitive to all wheat or flour products!
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsinsweaters View Post
I've had strep vaginitis for 8 months. My dr. put me on Levaquin, then Miconazole 7, then Vantin. I was tested between meds. to check the growth. Finally, the test came back, with "little" growth. He didnot want me on any more antibiotics but he never discussed my diet. I finally found this post last Friday! I believe we are on the right track by reviewing our diet! After the detox diet did you go back to the same foods you always eat? I think Gilamama is correct! As for me, no more of the ground wheat which is in my freezer. A friend grinds it for me, so it is raw wheat but maybe I can't handle it. Anyway it's my best guess and the only thing in recent years that I've incorporated into our meals. A friend mentioned that I may be sensitive to all wheat or flour products!
Yes I did eventually go back to the same foods. I was hoping to try introducing different food groups slowly, but when I hadn't eaten properly for almost a week, I just wanted to eat everything around me. Everything smelt and tasted so nice. Unfortunately it came back about 3 and a half months later. It's hard to tell whether it came back of its own accord for some unknown reason, or whether its diet related as I had eaten so many different things by that stage.

My specialist said perhaps it was a co-incidence or even just the power of positive thinking while being on the detox diet that made it go away, or seem like it went away. But I beg to differ with her opinion as I felt better than I had for a long time down there and really felt like it had completely gone for a while.

The tablets I am on at the moment seem to be helping suppress the symptoms, but some days I still feel slightly itchy and uncomfortable. I can tell it hasn't completely gone away, but its definitely better than it has been in the past.
post #12 of 59
I know there is a "protocol" of natural remedies pregnant women do to get a negative result for their GBS test, diet being a big part of it.

Diet
Hibiclens
Garlic clove in the vagina
Probiotics orally & vaginally
Yogurt orally & vaginally
Kefir
Naturally fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut
Vit C
Homeopathics
Echinacea
Bee propolis
Goldenseal
GSE
Oregon grape root

To me it only makes sense that your partner would be colonized with GBS as well. Test and treat your partners too.
post #13 of 59
Thanks for the idea of having my husband tested. We have been married for 25 years! One marriage and faithful . How in the world did this happen? I am so frustrated!
post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsinsweaters View Post
Thanks for the idea of having my husband tested. We have been married for 25 years! One marriage and faithful . How in the world did this happen? I am so frustrated!
GBS is naturally occurring in most of our bodies in small amounts. It's when there is an imbalance that it can get out of control. Unfortunately it's easy for it to get out of control and hard to fix it. Sometimes it take 25 years for something like this to get bad enough to notice and need to do something about it.

All of the antibiotics they put people on only makes it worse in the long run. Now you have to wrok from ground zero to build up your immune system again. It's a vicious cycle.
post #15 of 59
I'm going to move this to health and healing. Enjoy the ride!
post #16 of 59

but how do you know to treat them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsinsweaters View Post
Thanks for the idea of having my husband tested. We have been married for 25 years! One marriage and faithful . How in the world did this happen? I am so frustrated!
If I never seem to fully get rid of it, wouldn't I just keep passing it back to him whenever we have intercourse?

If my partner never has any symptoms, how do we know when to treat him?

Does he need to be treated every time I am treated then??
post #17 of 59
I am taking a strong probiotic from the health food store and garlic. I'm avoiding sugar and flour, ( but I am still getting very small amounts in foods). My husband has been VERY patient all these months. We have not passed it back and forth, it got stronger again anyway, which leads me to "blame" diet, at this moment in time. I may change my mind another day, of course. I also pray often! I'm trying to figure this out day by day, open to learning.
post #18 of 59
I feel even better today. Remember to stay away from vinegar products; they're fermented! I've lost weight on my "no sugar, no flour (no yeast products) diet", which I will continue, for fear it will return. I don't know how long I need to be on Probiotics . I just hope my posts help other women!
post #19 of 59

Hello

Hi guys, I've been having the same problems every now and then I am having an urinary infection and I've been treted with anti-biotics and It caused me a strong yeast infection, the doctor required a culture form me and my husband he was negative but my results showed I am B Strep positive, and this is bad because the anti- biotics causes me Yeast infection and It is affecting my relationship because I am not enjoying! Seems I am so dry down there. I was excited when I found the article about the garlic but reading your posts I think maybe that's not the answer. However I am going to try.


Thanks for you comments
post #20 of 59

GBS for 5 years

Hello ladies - I'm not sure if anyone will get this post to this older string but I've been dealing with GBS for the 5 years we've been trying to conceive and my frustration with the typical symptoms I'm having this morning leads me to digress a bit from the user name I must have set up years ago (when I was quite optimistic about becoming a mother and actually had a subscription to Mothering) to vent here.

The infection flares up right at ovulation with the typical discharge, itch, pain and redness, and brings bloating and pain in my uterus/ pelvic cavity. Sometimes it lasts all month, sometimes just before my period. Sometimes it causes my period to come a week or so early. My culture always comes back - normal vaginal flora positive for GBS, only relevant in pregnant women. HA - I plan to gently change that assumption as well as the idea that this is only a vaginal (not endometrial) infection if its the last thing I do on this earth.

My natural doctors do believe that this is causing my infertility as the infection has obviously colonized my endometrial lining and my husband and I are for sure passing it back and forth. He always has white blood cells in his semen analysis which clear up with antibiotics but come right back after we've been trying for a month. To the person questioning her husband's faithfulness, this is something you can pick up at your doctor (health care workers often convert to positive between pregnancies), something that occurs 'naturally' in many women without symptoms, and even something you can have had since you were born, having been passed through the vaginal canal (per Dr. Toth).

I do believe in boosting your immunity and dealing with it as a systematic illness and have cleansed and fasted and eaten all raw, supported my body with extra protein, lost weight, done pelvic opening yoga, uterine massage, and the whole gamete. I wish that this was entirely lifestyle related, it would be much easier to manage if it was but we do all live in a world in which many toxic variables are out of our control and sometimes this approach is crazy making which doesn't help either.

I don't know the answer to curing it but I do know that misconception on this is the norm by all number of NP's, MD's, DO's, midwives and the lot. This is something symptomatic and very real for many women and not relevant only in pregnant women!

The remedies that midwives 'prescribe' for colonization during the third trimester of pregnancy have yet to work for me and doctors don't have any better ideas because antibiotics make it worse. Likely a sensitivity report to the actual strain we have might be a better approach than throwing antibiotics at it at random. I have yet to find a doctor locally to help with this.

Two resources that are very interesting and helpful but not natural are The V Book by Elizabeth Stewart, MD and the giant e-book offered at no charge by Dr. Toth at fertilitysolution.com. Both are high tech antibiotic remedies which I'm not yet prepared to use but do find some solace in the idea that both of these doctors at least take symptomatic GBS seriously and perhaps the anti-antibiotic camp can extrapolate their information to more natural ideas.

As for me, I have an appointment with an infection specialist at the University of Washington in a few months and my acupuncturist is conjuring me up an herbal tampon based on specific herbs with anti strep b properties per her TCM textbooks and studies. I'll let you know if it works and I hope this conversation stays alive as I know we're not alone and if something has worked long term for you, please share.

I wonder if it is possible that as I keep throwing generalized natural anti-biotics like garlic at this, I'm making it just as resistant as using a prescribed antibiotic that isn't specific to GBS? I've been playing this game a long time and it is debilitating to my entire life - my business suffers, my marriage suffers and we've been through 5 years of heart wrenching infertility with this so I feel all your pain and hope we can put our heads together and share what does eventually work.

Peaceful blessing of health to you all.
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