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Infertility

Recurring Vaginal Infections and Fertility

10/22/2008

Question:

My husband and I have been trying to concieve for 2 yrs. I have had 3 unrinary tract infections in the past 4 years of marriage. My first one was on our honeymoon. I have been having difficulty with vaginal infections ever since. I have forgotten what normal feels like. I might be ok for a couple of weeks or a month and end up with bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection.

Most recently I had a UTI. I was treated with antibiotics. About a month later I was diagnosed with ecoli in my vagina. I finished the antibiotics and now I feel like I have a yeast infection. I bought an onvercounter cream suppository. I took it last night. I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme itching and irritation. I tried vagisil and it only made it worse. It was so bad that I fell to my knees in a crying fit. I didn`t take a dose tonight (its 3 am). I am too afraid. These infections are destroying any enjoyment I have with my husband and we can`t even have sex often enough because I am sick all the time. Please help me understand why this is happening. I`ve been to several doctors. They treat me and not long after, I`m sick again. They don`t seem to care or understand what I`m going through. My mom had endometriosis. I`m afraid of not getting pregnant soon, which will lead to me not bearing any children at all. Please help.

Answer:

You sound like you have a very difficult problem that is having a significant effect on both your sex life and your health in general. Recurrent vaginal infections are frustrating for you and your husband, as well as your gynecologist. However, in most cases, your symptoms can be taken care of. After all you have been through, you need to see someone who specializes in difficult cases of recurrent vaginitis. The best place to start is to ask your physician if he or she knows anyone in the local area with such expertise. If not, you should call or Email the chairman of the nearest medical school Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and ask if he or she knows of such an expert. There are several such experts in vaginitis throughout the country, and hopefully you can find one near where you live. It might take several visits, but most recurrent infections can be cured when the causes are determined and treated.

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Response by:

William W Hurd, MD William W Hurd, MD
Professor of Reproductive Biology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University