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You make me sick...
April 7, 2012 6:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm super attracted to him. My ladybusiness apparently isn't. (AROOGA AROOGA TMI NSFW alert)

So I've been seeing someone new for about a month now, and from all indications things are great. I mean, yeah, this could still suddenly end next week, but I like him a lot, he seems to like me, we're Facebook friends (dumb arbitrary detail but this has never happened with guys who faded), and I'm more attracted to him than I've been to anyone, ever. Just his being in the room is enough.

The problem is, literally every time we have sex, I get vaginal issues -- weird discharge, weird itching, weird pain, sometimes all of the above. It's starting to interfere with our (otherwise excellent) sex life, because it kind of puts a damper on things when every time he tries something I'm in excruciating pain.

Because someone will ask, I got tested for STDs the first time this happened and came up clean. They tested for everything but HPV and herpes, and I feel like if I had either of those, especially the first time, it'd be obvious. (I was clean before this, too.) He says he's been tested recently, too, and is fine. There's a (fairly decent; we've been over it) chance he's sleeping with other people, but we always use condoms, and I don't think I'm pregnant but I guess that's a remote possibility.

Other details: When they tested me they said I probably have BV, and I've taken the antibiotics they gave me on and off (because work functions involved drinking, and you can't take them with alcohol). That didn't help. The symptoms honestly seem more like yeast, so the other day I took the 1-day OTC stuff, which helped for a few days until it didn't. Because we've had intercourse since then.

Possibly red herring: A few days ago this really, really, really, really weird and scary thing happened where the closest comparison I can think of is my water breaking. It was exactly like that. I have no explanation for this.

I haven't told him any of this except the part where I've been tested and am OK and the part where things hurt. It seems like the sort of thing that would freak someone out if phrased poorly, especially this early on.

Anyway, enough TMI: Is this even a thing? Can you be allergic to a person? Google gives me a bunch of New Age crap.
posted by dekathelon to Human Relations (70 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Off and on antibiotics will not get rid of a bacterial infection. Get a new prescription, start over, and take them as prescribed. And don't drink until your course of antibiotics is finished!
posted by lulu68 at 6:58 PM on April 7, 2012 [56 favorites]


The symptoms honestly seem more like yeast, so the other day I took the 1-day OTC stuff, which helped for a few days until it didn't. Because we've had intercourse since then.

I don't know how likely it is, given that you use condoms, but it is possible for a man to have a yeast infection and constantly reinfect his female partner with it.

Also

Off and on antibiotics will not get rid of a bacterial infection. Get a new prescription, start over, and take them as prescribed.

This is totally true! AND antibiotics can cause yeast infections, so you might have a bacterial infection AND a yeast infection.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:02 PM on April 7, 2012 [23 favorites]


a) do your full (get a new Rx) course of antibiotics! no excuses! come on!!
b) it could be yeast - ask for diflucan (one dose pill) rather than OTC cream/suppository OR do a 7-day treatment of OTC yeast infection product
c) herpes may never have symptoms, BTW, or may have very delayed symptoms
d) you could be allergic to the spermicide on the condoms you are using, or allergic to the lube

(the water breaking, i have no idea, but i'd be on the horn to the doc pronto with that were it me)
posted by tristeza at 7:03 PM on April 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yikes! I'm not doctor but if there's one doctor thing I know, it's take ALL your antibiotics. Take them AS PRESCRIBED until they run out. Seriously. This is why we get resistant strains of various infections.
posted by Glinn at 7:03 PM on April 7, 2012 [16 favorites]


You might be allergic (or super sensitive, or whatever) to latex condoms.
posted by elizardbits at 7:03 PM on April 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


ARGH ENTER KEY stop thwarting me.

Meant to add - all the issues you have during sex are what happen to me when I use horrible gross nasty latex condoms, to which I am allergic. Maybe try non-latex ones, in addition to all the other awesome suggestions above?
posted by elizardbits at 7:05 PM on April 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


What kind of condoms are you using? Can you try some different types (especially non-latex and without spermicide) and see if that clears things up?
posted by MadamM at 7:06 PM on April 7, 2012


updates (sorry to threadcamp):

I know it's bad to do that with antibiotics, but I really had no choice in the matter - horrible timing in general. In this case, though, they really did absolutely nothing. The yeast infection stuff helped almost instantly (and the symptoms really are more commensurate with one of those, like, it's a classic round of symptoms.) Except now it's back. Milder, but still.

We use a different kind of condom than I'm used to (nothing with spermicide or stuff like that. I think.) but the manufacturer is the same. I've never had issues with latex before. (And I guess this might've gone without saying, but I have never had anything like this happen to me before.)
posted by dekathelon at 7:07 PM on April 7, 2012


First guess: latex allergy.
posted by ead at 7:08 PM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It sounds like thrush to me, too. I had it, and I think Mr T and I passed it back and forth between us: it didn't seem to clean up until we were both using antifungal stuff. My symptoms were exactly like yours.
posted by thylacinthine at 7:10 PM on April 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


In this case, though, they really did absolutely nothing.

Could be because you didn't take them all or on the prescribed schedule. Taking them as prescribed makes a difference.
posted by tristeza at 7:10 PM on April 7, 2012 [27 favorites]


Go back to the doctor. A medical professional will help you figure out the root cause whether it is an infection or allergy. Follow whatever course of treatment, including prescriptions, to the letter. Honestly, since most antibiotic regimens are 7-10 days at most, you should be able to abstain from alcohol that long even if work functions are involved. I'm not saying it's easy to pass on drinking when everyone is having a good time, but it's short term & this is much more important.
posted by katemcd at 7:13 PM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


If / when you've exhausted all other avenues of investigation, you may want to consider a sperm allergy. It's rare, but you could be allergic to the proteins in his semen.
posted by TorontoSandy at 7:13 PM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Antibiotics often take several days to give you noticeable results and that's with perfect use. It's not at all surprising that you would see no result with antibiotics not taken as prescribed. Also, with yeast infections, it's totally common for medication to make you feel much better at first (if a cream, a lot of the creams include numbing or anti-itch ingredients, that make you feel better immediately) but don't quite clear the infection all the way.

If I were you I would do this. Go back for another antibiotic prescription during a block of time when you know for a fact you will be able to take them as prescribed. It will need to be a different antibiotic to the one you took before. At the same time, take the strongest anti-yeast infection medication they are willing to give you.

Just this past winter I had a horrid cycle of needing to take antibiotics ---> yeast infection ---> needing to take more antibiotics for something else ---> yeast infection. This went on for two months and I was in such pain at the end of it. What I did will be just as TMI if not more than your question, but for my last round of antibiotics when I could not handle another yeast infection, I basically coated all my ladyparts with yogurt inside and out, every night before going to sleep. Worked like a charm. I would suggest this more as a preventative measure than something to do when you already have a yeast infection.
posted by cairdeas at 7:14 PM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think you're going to get an answer you can be confident of with this until you:
a) take a full course of antibiotics
b) have your new manfriend get tested for everything and get treated for anything that might come up, including yeast/thrush stuff
c) have yourself tested for herpes and HPV
d) find out if you have a yeast infection and treat it with prescription medicine if so
and I guess e) confirm with a doctor that you aren't pregnant.
and maybe f) switch to a condom you have used comfortably in the past.

You've got a whole bunch of stuff that you need to conclusively rule out with a doctor-person before you can get your sexy sex on with no worries, methinks.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:15 PM on April 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


i'm not sure if i'm reading this correctly or just interpreting it. when you say "The problem is, literally every time we have sex, I get vaginal issues " do you mean "in general" or "after his condom-covered bits touch me i get itchy".

because everything that everyone is saying is right (@snarl furillo names the whole list that you'll need to go through) but, um, maybe start with the condom switch, rather than 4 million creams and doctors' visits? you might have to go that route in the long run, but it seems like the least involved option and could be super miracle times waiting to happen!
posted by andreapandrea at 7:28 PM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It highlights this on all the over the counter yeast medications, but women are notoriously inaccurate at diagnosing themselves with yeast infections. And yeast infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of, if by chance it is that, so the fact that a single treatment did not solve the problem also means nothing.

I agree with you that HPV or herpes or pregnancy as a cause of these particular symptoms are much less likely than the other possibilities of BV, yeast, or irritation from condoms. Trichomonas is probably another possibility if you haven't had a test for that.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:53 PM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Possibly red herring: A few days ago this really, really, really, really weird and scary thing happened where the closest comparison I can think of is my water breaking. It was exactly like that. I have no explanation for this.

i know this seems embarrassing to you, but can you talk more about this?

do you possibly mean that somewhere around the time of ovulation you had a lot of liquid, uh, fall out, seemingly out of nowhere - like a plug had been undone? if so, that can be pretty normal. for me, it didn't start until i was in my late teens and it's not as bad now that i'm in my 30s, but for a while there, if i were walking around in a skirt and no panties i could soak my entire leg. i'd also have cramps right before. sometimes it was totally clear, sometimes it was more viscous. generally speaking, as long as it's white or clear and doesn't have a strong odor, it's fine and within the normal variation of women's experiences.
posted by nadawi at 7:58 PM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


as far as general advice -

it seems like there's a lot going on here -

stopping and starting antibiotics, new guy, new condoms, 1 day yeast treatments...i think you need to simplify.

don't have sex for a week. bathe every day but don't use a soap with a lot of perfumes or lotions (also, ask him about his soaps, lotions, or cologne). make sure to dry fully afterwards. don't wear thongs for the week if you normally do. go to the doctor, have them examine you and tell them what you've already done. they might put you back on antibiotics and i agree if this happens you need the one pill treatment for yeast infections. then get a condom you're used to. if you're using lube, use one without sugar (i like slippery kitty).

trying to rush all of these suggestions and treatments and such in the space of one or two or three days doesn't seem to be working. simplify. give yourself a break. get healthy and then get back to raucous rolling around.
posted by nadawi at 8:06 PM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your gyno can do a test to determine whether you have BV or a yeast infection. Both of those things can take more than 1 treatment to get rid of. It's also possible that your man has a yeast or bacterial infection and has no symptoms. Have him go to his doctor and describe your symptoms so he can be tested.

For quick symptom relief try bathing with a cup or two of cider vinegar in the water. Vinegar kills bacteria so it's a good thing to do after sex.
posted by entropyiswinning at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2012


this really, really, really, really weird and scary thing happened

Like nadawi, this is not that unusual in my personal experience though it can be freaky if it seems to come from noplace. Just another data point, fyi.
posted by jessamyn at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2012


Thirding nadawi and jessamyn; sudden, really really liquid and profuse discharge hit me when I was 22, and I was really freaked out. Turned out just to be the new order for me.

Re the other things, I would start with different condoms and lube, and experiment from there.
posted by pickingupsticks at 8:17 PM on April 7, 2012


this really, really, really, really weird and scary thing happened

Like nadawi, this is not that unusual in my personal experience though it can be freaky if it seems to come from noplace. Just another data point, fyi.


This happens to me, too.

And yes, BV--->yeast--->BV--->yeast is a terrible cycle. I was stuck in it for a while until I got SERIOUS about what I was using. Got a bidet, got some soap with zero fragrances or dyes (Vanicream), and stopped taking baths (even just hot water!). I think my husband's... chemistry might react weirdly with mine, since I've had a number of sex partners since I was a teen, I've never had ANY pain or irritation, or weird discharge, and I am/was tested regularly for every STI under the sun. Especially after the funkiness started with my husband, I've had a lot of testing done and it was only ever either BV or yeast. So, yeah. Take those antibiotics and antifungals, change up your routine a but if necessary, and try to stay calm. Stress can exacerbate sexual dysfunctions and that's the last thing you want.

Good luck!
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:26 PM on April 7, 2012


Ok, nthing everyone who has said that:
a) YOU NEED TO COMMIT TO HEALING LIKE YESTERDAY, no excuses, NONE!
b) you MUST take a break having the vaginal penetrative sex until you've done that.

(There are plenty of other delicious sexy things you could do for 7-10 days!)

I'm assuming because you talk about using condoms that you're not getting your partner's ejaculate anywhere near you, right? Because I've had a friend who had an allergic-ish reaction to her partner's jizz, and also had recurrent yeast infections that seemed to be triggered by that, and her gyno was like "Yep, you might just need to let your body get more used to his jizz." Sure enough, worked out in the long run.

But you're in a condom-wearing arrangement at the moment, and so you need not worry about that yet. What you might want to think about is that most of the OTC yeast infection treatments include mineral oil as an inactive ingredient in the base, which can destroy latex and therefore put you at risk for pregnancy and STIs.

If you stay committed to healing your body (with full treatment) and giving your vagina a rest from being literally pounded at the macro level while it's also being pounded on the micro level, you can probably figure out wtf is going on and how to fix it! Good luck to you!
posted by Betty's Table at 8:44 PM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to agree with the gentle scolding about not messing with the antibiotics. They really won't do (much) if you don't take the whole

As for the cause: if this is a new thing that hasn't happened with any other partners, it is either a coincidence or his junk is dirty. Either he's got something that hasn't yet shown up on the STD tests, or he isn't cleaning properly/often enough. (Could be dirty fingers soiling the condom, too.) Could be a fungal thing maybe?

Possibly red herring: A few days ago this really, really, really, really weird and scary thing happened where the closest comparison I can think of is my water breaking. It was exactly like that. I have no explanation for this.

Was it out of the blue, or during happy fun time?
posted by gjc at 9:50 PM on April 7, 2012


I went through what sounds like a pretty similar vicious cycle with an ex for the better part of our relationship. For me, it was a combo of yeast infections and BV that just kept happening over and over again - the BV antibiotics gave me a yeast infection, the yeast infection stuff helped until I got BV again, etc. It's very common for your partner to pass these things back to you even after you've healed. So:
- Finish your antibiotics, and do it right. I know you've been scolded for this already, but seriously, just do it.
- No sexy time until you feel 100% normal again. Hopefully by that point whatever it is will be clearing from your partner so he won't pass it back to you. And there's nothing worse than associating pain with sex, which will happen if you keep trying to have sex while you have infections, etc.
- Make sure your partner is clean before sex. Yes, this is really awkward, but it's important. My ex was a mover so he had a tendency to get dirty and sweaty and grimy everywhere. Sometimes he didn't have a chance to take a heavy duty shower before we got down to business. I noticed that I got a lot more infections with him than I have with any other partner. I'm not saying you have to throw the guy in the shower, but if you notice really dirty fingernails and he's going to use 'em on you, ask him to wash his hands.

Good luck! It seriously took me five or six months to clear up this ridiculous cycle. Don't let it drag on like that for you!
posted by anotheraccount at 10:06 PM on April 7, 2012


Oh, and another thing: if you're still struggling with a possible YI, try taking acidophilus pills. My gyno recommended them to me when I was going through all of this and I haven't had a yeast infection in a few years since I take them regularly. If I feel itchy or out of sorts down there, I'll pop a few extra and it'll go away.
posted by anotheraccount at 10:08 PM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


FINISH YOUR ANTIBIOTICS yeah like everybody else said. You do not want the superpowered drug-resistant vagina-germs you'll generate by intermittently killing off the weaker germ competition. Drink water at your work functions involving alcohol. Lots of common drugs (acetominaphin!) interact badly with alcohol, no one needs to know or care (you can always say you're on antibiotics for acne, but really it's no one's business).

Because someone will ask, I got tested for STDs the first time this happened and came up clean. They tested for everything but HPV and herpes, and I feel like if I had either of those, especially the first time, it'd be obvious. (I was clean before this, too.) He says he's been tested recently, too, and is fine. There's a (fairly decent; we've been over it) chance he's sleeping with other people, but we always use condoms

Have you actually SEEN his test results or are you taking his word for it? Whip out your test result paper copy and invite him to compare notes.

If this is a latex allergy as speculated, there are nitrile female condoms available.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:45 PM on April 7, 2012


I got tested for STDs the first time this happened and came up clean. They tested for everything but HPV and herpes, and I feel like if I had either of those, especially the first time, it'd be obvious.

"Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it."

"Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. Most individuals have no or only minimal signs or symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection."
posted by nicebookrack at 10:56 PM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is some great advice above, and I hope it helps. You have a bunch of things this could be, and like nadawi says, you should slow down and figure out what the key parts are.

In addition to the actual fucking, are you guys doing oral or touching with fingers? It might not be the condoms at all (though you should absolutely switch back to a known variety), and instead might be his mouth or hands that are giving you problems. If I want to give my partner a UTI or sometimes a yeast infection, all I have to do is go down on her without brushing my teeth first -- BAM! guaranteed doctor visit, every time.

Most of all, you need to reduce this to an easy checklist, and get yourself back into the doctor's office. Right now, it's too much -- STD? improper antibiotic use? condom issue? etc -- and it would be better if you could reduce it to the central parts.
posted by Forktine at 11:03 PM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just coming right down here to say that sometimes the one off yeast cure does not always work. You may need to try the 7 day.
posted by amodelcitizen at 11:35 PM on April 7, 2012


Hi again.

Re: that thing - yeah, I guess it probably would have been around the time of ovulation if my cycle's like it should be. It just scared the shit out of me because it was a weekday, I was minding my own business, surfing the Internet, and I look down and there's this ginormous puddle on my sheets out of nowhere. I don't remember any odor or anything. Probably a coincidence, but timing, you know? And the fact that it'd never happened before.

Re: condoms - We can't switch to a known variety. It's, um, a size issue. (I'm not on birth control otherwise, so yeah, they have to stay at the moment.) I haven't seen his test results but for him to be lying about this would be some primo fuckery which, at this point, I'd say is highly uncharacteristic. People can be dicks, but I feel like this would be some next-level dickitude.

Re: everything else: I took about 4 days of the antibiotic before the work thing happened and I had to stop. The OTC stuff was a suppository. The clinician I saw literally laughed at me (in a friendly way but still) after examining me when I was freaking out (as one does) about possibly having a STD, so I feel confident I don't have anything more serious without any other evidence.
posted by dekathelon at 11:54 PM on April 7, 2012


I've taken the antibiotics they gave me on and off (because work functions involved drinking, and you can't take them with alcohol)

Taking antibiotics is like a holy commitment. You start on them and you put other things aside, because you want to get well more than you care that someone notices you're drinking juice or soda instead of booze.

Take your Rx seriously and do the antibiotics properly.
posted by zippy at 12:15 AM on April 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


Get better, put the condom on something (not him), insert, and see if you're allergic to it.
posted by Feisty at 12:23 AM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're using something like Magnums, there are also others, LifeStyles King Size, Lifestyles Skyn, Durex Maximum Love, can be found on Amazon for pretty cheap.

You may have misunderstood the laughing thing, otherwise I am not sure why a clinician would laugh about the idea of a person whose sexual partner is sleeping with other people getting STD testing done. Or, honestly, any person who is sexually active who wants STD testing done.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:37 AM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Like others have said, you don't have to go around wondering -- a doctor can run a test while you are still in their office that lets them know if you have a yeast infection or BV. In fact, surely they did that? They take a swab and then walk out of the room for a minute? That's the test. Although the smell is very specific and characteristic, so I'd think they'd have a good idea before the rest of the test whether it is BV or yeast.

For the antibiotic, if you prefer a suppository they have them for BV. It is metronidazole (brand name is Flagyl), and although it's not on WalMart's list of $4 prescriptions it costs about that (it's cheap).

I had BV once and it kept coming back, and I was religiously taking the antibiotics. The doctor finally put the guy on antibiotics too, because although the studies don't conclusively say one way or another, it seems it is sometimes possible to pass this back and forth and my detailed notes kinda showed that's what was happening with us. But that was after 4+ rounds of antibiotics for me (I think they said there was no way to test the guy?).

My advice is to go back to the doctor and tell them you didn't complete the course of antibiotics. Ask for in-office tests to determine what is wrong. If it is BV, and you don't like the pills, ask for the suppository. Don't have sex while you are taking the antibiotics, just to be sure. After you finish the course of antibiotics, mark on a calendar when you have intercourse, and if you have symptoms again mark those on the calendar. If it reappears, go back to the doctor with your calendar and your friend in tow.
posted by Houstonian at 2:44 AM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I developed a latex allergy late in life, after having experienced no issues with them. We fucked around with many different combos of low irritant lubricants, unflavoured, the works, before just switching to non latex and it was a freaking revelation. Seriously, it could be that simple. I was also getting UTIs and yeast infections regularly because my body was irritated by the latex and more succeptable to infection.

Latex free condoms are cheap and come in a bunch of different sizes. Not hard to check that one.
posted by Jilder at 4:40 AM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


An IVF doctor told me that those gushes come from blocked Fallopian tubes, usually caused by chlamydia. Which in effect dislodges implanting embryos and in combination contributes heavily to infertility.

That wasn't our problem, but that's what he told me. I hope this is not the case with you but something quite different.
posted by taff at 4:53 AM on April 8, 2012


Re: everything else: I took about 4 days of the antibiotic before the work thing happened and I had to stop.

Yeah, if they give you 10 days worth of pills, you need to take 10 days worth of pills. 4 days isn't going to do anything other than slow the infection down. It's not like a cold medication where the symptoms disappear as soon as you start taking the medication.

Antibiotics don't work if they're not consistently used until they're gone. A lot of people abandon using them when their symptoms are gone too, only to find that the issue comes back. The length of the treatment prescribed to you is how many you need to take. Full stop.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:31 AM on April 8, 2012


Can we please, just for my own sanity, assume Occam's Razor and that he's not lying? I've already been through this particular line of worrying and don't want to go there again.

And considering I've tested negative for chlamydia, I would also hope that wasn't the case. (The laughing wasn't malicious AT ALL, they were very nice, more like "aw, look how worried you are over nothing." Laughing might've been the wrong term. The point was that she was pretty emphatic that it was probably something else, and they see enough people that I trust them.)
posted by dekathelon at 5:41 AM on April 8, 2012


Okay, so assuming that he's not lying, I would advise that you still need to go back to your doctor, get a confirmation that is it BV or yeast, and complete the medication that they give you. And abstain from sex throughout the course of antibiotics.
posted by anotheraccount at 5:53 AM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's probably the condoms or lubricants you might be using. I had the same issues when I had sex with my then boyfriend. But then, he also gave me something for life so... just be safe, darling.
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 6:03 AM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen his test results but for him to be lying about this would be some primo fuckery which, at this point, I'd say is highly uncharacteristic. People can be dicks, but I feel like this would be some next-level dickitude.

I don't think you have an STD. But just as a point of fact (and assuming that he is telling the truth), all that those negative results mean is that as of a while back he didn't have whatever they tested him for (probably HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, plus maybe one or two more if they were feeling wild and crazy at the doctor's office, and sometimes fewer; there is no universal protocol for this). Since then he's been having sex with you and other people, and there are STDs for which there are either no test for men (eg HPV), or for which they never test without having some indication of an infection (eg herpes).

My point is not that you have an STD (like I said, I very much don't think you do), just that you shouldn't take "I've been tested and I'm clean" to mean more than it does, and it's not a suggestion of dishonesty or dickitude to be aware of that.
posted by Forktine at 6:43 AM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oops, hit post too soon.

You can buy sample packs of large-sized condoms, which would be a way to both check if the current variety is giving you problems and keep him comfortable. I've seen lube sample packs, too, in case you need to test varieties of that, too.
posted by Forktine at 6:46 AM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


You seem to be making a lot of excuses for your aversion to solidly establishing your genital health... cutting off your antibiotic treatments (... but you have a reason! ... which has nothing to do with the need to FINISH THE COURSE BEGINNING TO END)... deciding you can "tell" if you have HPV or HIV "the first time" (Huh? No, you can NOT tell).

Honestly, get over your fears about it, and make sure your reproductive organs are SAFE and HEALTHY! It's not for him, it's not for the sex, it's for you.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:52 AM on April 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


Hunt around for XL non latex condoms.

My husband used to use these http://www.condomjungle.com/Trojan_Supra_Condoms_p/tj0006033.htm they are the same size as the magnum XL. Look for the width measurement in millimetres the details not if they have XL etc on the box, one mans Large is another mans XXL where condom naming is concerned

I would almost be willing to bet all your symptoms lead back to a latex allergy. As a point of reference, my case came on suddenly, and I only react to it in condoms, I can still manage latex gloves OK, though I don't wear them a lot, so it might not show up anywhere else.
posted by wwax at 6:53 AM on April 8, 2012


Re: everything else: I took about 4 days of the antibiotic before the work thing happened and I had to stop

Please take a minute to adjust your thinking about this, because it is really important: you do NOT have to drink alcohol at a work function, NO, not even if everyone else is doing body shots off of the boss's navel.

I haven't told him about any of this

Why not? This stuff happens when adults have sex. Better to be honest now. If you keep panicking, trying something for a few days and then giving up on it, you're just going to get sicker, and he'll know something is up evemtually.

You are a grown-ass woman in a sexual relationship who doesn't tell her partner she has sexual issues, doesn't change what she's doing even when it is clearly counter to her own health, doesn't take her meds, doesn't even ask her partner to get checked out by his doctor again just in case (not just for STDs, but because he could be innocently passing yeast infections back to you).

Cowgirl up, stop making excuses and take charge of your own health!

Go back to the doctor, get tested and get a definitive diagnosis and follow the instructions they give you to the letter. And for heaven's sake, open up to your partner about what's going on already so you can deal with it together.
posted by misha at 8:23 AM on April 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


More non-latex condoms to sample, including a female condom (note that Naturalamb/lambskin does NOT protect against STDs, only pregnancy).
To narrow down potential allergens, Babeland has some really nice lubes for sensitive skin: go with unscented, water-based, paraben-free, glycerin-free, & condom-compatible. If the condoms/lube you've used contain spermicide, many women have developed irritation/sensitivity to those.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:30 AM on April 8, 2012


The laughing wasn't malicious AT ALL, they were very nice, more like "aw, look how worried you are over nothing."

IMO, this is still not typical behavior for a clinician in regards to concerns over STD/STIs. There would really be no way for them to know that “you’re worried over nothing” without definitive test results from a full panel. I ask for a full STD/STI + HIV panel yearly at my gyno and there is no judgment in either direction. I’ve never had a clinician “tut tut” me for concerns over my health*. That just seems weird to me…

I wouldn’t jump to assume that he’s lying to you about being tested, but in your situation I would want to know the specifics: when exactly was he last tested? What exactly was he tested for? A lot of people are kind of haphazard about their sexual health (without even meaning to be), so even though he’s not doing anything malicious… the word “recently” means different things to different people who might have different standards.

Snarl Furillo's list is excellent, and you should definitely give it a go.

Good luck! Hopefully this will get resolved over the next couple of weeks and you can go back to making sweet sexy sex without any of these complications!

*except that one time when I had poison ivy and I told the ER doc I was fairly certain I had necrotizing fasciitis.
posted by OsoMeaty at 9:02 AM on April 8, 2012


On the red herring; like other have said, that's normal and can kinda develop out of no where. It started for me, super embarrassingly, when I was 14. And yeah, there was a lot of volume (like, seeping through pants, no pad will help scenario. Just in time for junior high, yay!). What stopped it for me? Hormonal birth control. I'm not sure if you can't/don't want to use it since you say you're not on it, but if the watery discharge bugs you a lot, that's an option.
posted by Paper rabies at 9:13 AM on April 8, 2012


Did the antibiotics specifically say that you can't take them with alcohol? Because a lot of people think that you can't drink with antibiotics in general, but that's not actually true - it doesn't make them stop working. There are a few antibiotics, like flagyl, that you really, really can't take with alcohol. Most others, they just advise against it because antibiotics upset your stomach, and drinking could make it worse.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:30 AM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Boy, I had this with a partner once, it was an endless dance of yeast and BV. Man, if you are only taking the BV occasionally, and you don't nuke the yeast with firey justice from heaven you are going to run the risk of developing a strain of either that is resistant to traditional antibiotics and yeast treatment.

A few days ago this really, really, really, really weird and scary thing happened where the closest comparison I can think of is my water breaking. It was exactly like that. I have no explanation for this.

This has happened to me when I have a yeast infection.

Suggestions:
1) Get tested for yeast and BV. This does not sound like an STD. This sounds like some kind of vaginal infection that you haven't been sufficiently aggressive enough about attacking.

2) If you still have BV, take your damn antibiotics, all of them. If getting rid of this infection is important to you, you will find the will within yourself to just hold off on drinking in favor of taking antibiotics for a week or so.

3) If you don't have yeast but do have BV, get some acidophilis pills and use them as vaginal suppositories while you're taking the BV medication. Depending on the antibiotic, the antibiotic will also kill off your natural flora which leads you open for yeast infection (and a delightful cycle of BV-yeast-BV-yeast that goes on FOREVER). Put them in at night. You may get some discharge. This is normal.

4) If you do have yeast, get a 7-day yeast treatment. When I was having issues like yours, regularly recurring vaginal issues that kept popping up after sex, my well-woman person (who was basically a woman problems ninja) said that sometimes in order to kill the yeast off good you need a longer treatment that keeps hitting the yeast over and over, and the one-day stuff may not be enough to keep it down. Yeah, 7 days is a pain, but do you want to have fun sex or unhappy vagina sex?


This website is totally awesome about offering yeast infection/BV treatments and going over all of the options you have. Hopefully the above suggestions work. If they don't, you may have to try different antibiotics, anti-fungals, etc. I'm serious when I say be aggressive about this--you do not want to end up taking ketoconazole for a month and Cipro for a week because your infection developed super powers.
posted by schroedinger at 9:50 AM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and don't have penis-in-vagina sex while you're getting this stuff treated. You don't want to irritate it more.
posted by schroedinger at 9:50 AM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another large-size non-latex condom option, Lifestyles SKYN which is polyisoprene. Latex and spermicide can cause a variety of problems, should be fairly easy to experiment with that.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Sockpuppetry at 11:54 AM on April 8, 2012


I came in to say that if you keep having recurrent BV even after taking a proper course of antibiotics, some women report relief by using boric acid as a vaginal suppository. I have not done this but seriously considered it at one time.

I saw another comment above about trichomonas, which is another possibility but I assume it would have been part of your STD testing. You might want to check your results just in case.

Also, have you considered that it could be the lube and not the condoms? Have you tried other bands/types of lube?
posted by cabingirl at 12:01 PM on April 8, 2012


If you still have BV, take your damn antibiotics, all of them. If getting rid of this infection is important to you, you will find the will within yourself to just hold off on drinking in favor of taking antibiotics for a week or so.

Yes. Seriously, "I'm taking antibiotics" is a perfectly good reason not to drink, even if your actual job responsibilities generally involve things like tasting wine at the caterers'. Your co-workers will understand.

You don't know what's going to happen until you a) take a full course of antibiotics, and b) abstain from any penetrative sex until you're done with the full course of antibiotics. Agree with the folks who suggest switching up condoms and lube as well.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:07 PM on April 8, 2012


A few days ago this really, really, really, really weird and scary thing happened where the closest comparison I can think of is my water breaking. It was exactly like that. I have no explanation for this.

Huge volumes of thin, watery vaginal discharge can happen with bacterial vaginosis. And they can happen from yeast infections. And they can just happen for no particular reason. It may be that this is a symptom from your BV or your yeast infection, or it might be a total coincidence that this is the first time in your life you have had this just happen for no particular reason.

If it happens again, see if the discharge smells sharp (probably BV) or starchy (probably yeast) or just like nothing except maybe a slight hint of sweat and/or pee (that's the "no particular reason" discharge).
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:13 PM on April 8, 2012


I’ve never had a clinician “tut tut” me for concerns over my health*. That just seems weird to me…

I completely agree with you, but for whatever it's worth, I have gotten the head-patting and "there-there"'s from doctors over tests that I have wanted to have, and have at times had to insist on something to the point of creating an uncomfortable situation, but I have turned out to be right about my concerns more than once. So I guess the takeaway is that patients should take their own concerns seriously regardless of any tutting or lack thereof, and doctors should be thorough.
posted by cairdeas at 1:02 PM on April 8, 2012


Really, you have BV, didn't finish your antibiotics, but you took enough of them to give you a yeast infection. Go back to your doctor and in the meantime drink plenty of water. Eating right and drinking lots of water really helps me ward off yeast infections.

And there are a hundred brands of condoms, no matter what size you need there has to be a second brand.

As for drinking with coworkers, just order a club soda with lime. Looks like a gin and tonic.

Be honest with this guy. Talk to him. If you can't tell him about this, are you ready to build something long-term with him?
posted by manicure12 at 1:31 PM on April 8, 2012


I know you said the condoms don't have spermicide or anything, but are they coated in anything at all? That may be the source of your issues (barring a latex allergy). I'm fine with plain lubricated condoms, but I've had horrible reactions (similar to yours) to those coated with nonoxynol-9.
posted by jenny76 at 3:44 PM on April 8, 2012


>>The laughing wasn't malicious AT ALL, they were very nice, more like
>>"aw, look how worried you are over nothing."

> IMO, this is still not typical behavior for a clinician in regards to concerns over STD/STIs.


FWIW, I once rushed to my very excellent doctor in a panic because of a sore red nether lump, and she literally chuckled, patted my knee, and told me it was a pimple. And that if it had appeared on any other part of my body, I would never have panicked.

As for the OP, I'm guessing you now have BV and a yeast infection. I went through similar turmoil once upon a time, and my doc at the time told me to never bother with the one-day OTC yeast cures. They are largely ineffective. She said both the 3 and 7 day OTC cures are fine, though. Definitely get tested again, take the entire prescription of anti-biotics as prescribed, eat a ton of plain yogurt, and keep things out of your vagina for a little while.

You don't mention anal play, but even if you are being very careful (nothing goes in your vagina after being in your butt until it's been cleaned) that can exacerbate the BV situation.

Oh, and as my mother horrifyingly admonished when I foolishly mentioned the cootch problem, always be sure to wipe front to back, dear.
posted by looli at 9:20 PM on April 8, 2012


Just so we can make these replies as cringingly detailed as possible: if you typically use tampons during menstruation, it's probably a good idea to use pads instead while you're clearing all this out, to minimize potential irritants you're adding to your genitals and prevent any medication creams from being soaked up.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:37 PM on April 8, 2012


Alcohol doesn't impact the effect of antibiotics. It's just more taxing on your liver etc. to be working through both antibiotics and alcohol at the same time. This is far from medical advice, but it's probably best to keep on the pills no matter what; a little drinking (USUALLY) won't kill you on top of the antibiotics
posted by MangyCarface at 7:38 AM on April 9, 2012


Call your doctor and tell them you didn't take the medicine properly and need a refill. I know having to visit usually keeps me from going because I'm lazy, so maybe they will give you a refill after a phone call. Take them properly this time for the entire course. Your body, especially your vaginal health when it's causing you so much stress with your guy, is way more important than having cocktails with coworkers... although it took me many years to learn to be strict with myself about medicine. The antibiotics will probably give you a yeast infection full force again, because that's what antibiotics do, and when that happens use the 7 day monostat/generic store brand kit. Any fewer days than that is just a gimmick and doesn't work. The breaking water might have been "runoff" from the partly-treated BV or partly-treated YI. Agreed with others' suggestions that you should use pads to let everything clear out, and take a break from penetrative sex and give yourself a breather. Please ask him to get tested as well, even if you are using condoms. Hell I'm sure he'd like to know if he has something, too.
posted by Sayuri. at 8:51 AM on April 9, 2012


I think I successfully won, and ended, the thread with the use of the term "run off!"
posted by Sayuri. at 11:18 AM on April 9, 2012


Be sceptical of Dr tutting etc.
For some reason, I often have to talk Dr's into running the full STD screening on me.

Especially if I'm looking quite 'nice young lady'-ish, combined with having Mirena IUD & regular condom pickup, I guess I look very responsible, and it flicks their hypochondriac switch, which means I then have to get a little TMI about profile of past sexual partners (Bi! Poly! World travellers!), and then they go 'Oh', and do the standard tests.


And, y'know, echoing Sayuri's advice. (And MangyCarface's for that matter).
Combined with the, get him to take the yeast meds too, so he doesn't reinfect you.

And, these are pretty small-fry things, that aren't something to get hung up about talking to him about. Just, something like - "This awesome sex we've been having might be setting off a yeast infection for me. Any chance you could help me out with this so we can get back to the sexing, pronto?
Cheers!
posted by Elysum at 7:24 PM on April 9, 2012


Please take a minute to adjust your thinking about this, because it is really important: you do NOT have to drink alcohol at a work function, NO, not even if everyone else is doing body shots off of the boss's navel.

True that, but if you don't drink, people start asking questions about it. I have to watch the alcohol for medical reasons and end up trying to work out what the best lie to tell is. I don't drink on antibiotics because I'm irrationally afraid it will make my head fall off or something, but this is how the situation happens.

Have you seen a gynaecologist? From my experience sometimes you need to get a specialist to take a look if all the simple answers have been tried.
posted by mippy at 9:52 AM on April 10, 2012


True that, but if you don't drink, people start asking questions about it.

Pour something in a cup. If you want to be really sneaky, randomly mix non-alcoholic drinks together, so it looks like a mixer.
If anyone offers you a drink, say "Got one already, thanks!". Laugh loudly.
If anyone asks whats in it, be honest. If anyone is weird about it, say I'm not drinking tonight. If anyone is further weird about it, you really don't need to hang out with them.

I don't understand the conformist culture around alcohol drinking. As my non-drinking, non-smoking younger self, I ended up hanging outside with the stoners at parties, as they were less likely to be drinking, and had no objections to my not smoking. Thanks, peer pressure!


But back on topic - take the antibiotics regardless. Unless you have a bad liver.
posted by Elysum at 3:39 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Overall, I am going to go with all the stuff everyone up there said. I am one of those super allergic/sensitve to everything ladies.

Here is one I didn't see though, and I am so sorry, this maybe a little gross, but some guys (and girls) are just not very hygenic. Its not just dirty sexytime bits, but those other dirty bits like fingers and mouths.

Does he ever smell less than clean? If so, I would ever so gently suggest he wash his hands and fingernails well everytime he goes to the restroom and before he touches your ladyparts. Make this about you being sensitive to everything rather than him being nasty if you can. :) Offer to shower together before sex, all that.

But to again pile on what everyone else above said, first you have to break the infection cycle, the BV, the yeast, whatever it is. Then start reintroducing and switching things, one by one if you can, just to see if it is something you are sensitive to.
posted by stormygrey at 2:27 PM on April 12, 2012


Hi. Saw the doctor, who said I was basically fine, and the lack of symptoms now bears it out. Hooray. (For now?)

But before I mark this resolved I really really really really want to reiterate that the people at the clinic were really nice, really professional and not at all condescending. It wasn't a tut-tut so much as a there-there, which makes sense because I was literally crying and freaking out because none of my sex-ed or life experience had prepared me for this, and WebMD just makes you crazy. Honestly, I'm just glad stuff like this exists some places.
posted by dekathelon at 4:25 PM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


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