Question: What is Gardenella? My wife says it is a STD, and she has it, but neither of us has been unfaithful? Her OB/GYN doctors told her she had it today and both of us are baffled.
Answer: Gardenella Vaginalis is a bacterial infection of the vagina. The discharge is a watery, gray or yellow color, heavy and foul smelling. Gardenella is a common cause of vaginitis. However, it is not clear that it is sexually transmitted. It is associated with sexual transmitted disease risk factors, but no single organism has been identified. Also, treatment of male partners does not change the risk of reoccurrence in women - true of the other STDs. It may be sexually transmitted, but there is some thought that it is vertically transmitted from mother to daughter at birth. Don't get too paranoid about this one. It's very common and little known of the cause.
In the last two months, I have been treated three times for Bacterial Vaginosis. Once with Oral Metronidazol (500mg 1, 2x daily, 7 days),
then with an internal cream (I have forgotten the name but it had littleor no effect) and finally with Flagyl (750mg, once daily for 7 days).
Each time I have taken the oral meds. there appears to be some "clearing up" of the symptoms; however, it has never completely gone
away. Today, I still have a light greyish white discharge and very occasional itching. However, during the course of this problem, neither
my husband nor myself notice a "foul" smell.
I am wondering a couple of things. Should I be treated again? Is this abnormal to need so many treatments?
It seems reasonable but recurrence rates can go as high as 75% with BV so it may or may not help. If you're going to try it again, your doctor may wish to consider treating you for 2-4 weeks.
Before the second treatment, my doctor's office did lab work and found an overgrowth of gardenella, which is, in my limited understanding, one of the factors of BV. However, could this be something else?
Frequently, treating for a longer period of time is very successful. This is NOT considered an STD but on occasion (and no one knows why), treating the male partner helps.
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