How Can I Get Rid of Vaginal Odor? (I Don't Have an Infection)

>> Friday, October 28, 2016

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This week I want to address your questions about Vaginal Odor without an infection.

I am perplexed that such an important topic, such as vaginal odor and certainly one that affects so many women, has so little data and so few treatment options. Everywhere you go for answers, even medical books, it is described in the context of bacterial vaginosis (BV), being the main cause.

For the most part vaginal odor is accompanied by an increase in the pH of the vagina, normal pH usual runs lower around 4.0. It is this acidic environment that allows the 'resident' bacteria to remain higher than the yeast and infectious forms of bacteria. When the pH rises it can allow for an overgrowth and takeover by the yeast and infectious bacteria and with this comes the symptoms of malodor.

Sexual intercourse is a common cause of increased vaginal pH and is one reason women will notice strong odors after intercourse. The normal pH 7.8 for sperm allows them to live and is also very surgary in order to nourish the sperm. However, the alkaline, sugary solution can drastically affect the vagina as the 'bad' bacteria enjoy the surgary alkaline environment and begin to multiply. This, as stated above, can cause odor.

There are other changes a woman's body can go through that may change the normal vaginal odor such as pregnancy, menopause, and the taking of certain medications and vitamins. We talked about this a little bit last week, and this should not be in such a way as to create stress, irritation, foul odor or abnormal discharge. In these cases it would be best to be seen by your doctor for a check up.

The real concern are the many who battle with unwanted vaginal odor without an infection. Almost on a daily basis and no matter what treatments they have tried, it always comes back, always. This can be extremely heartbreaking and embarrassing as no matter how often creams and gels are used or how many times the area is cleansed the odor remains. One more trip to the doctor and you are given the same medications again and once again all the cultures and tests are negative, but the problem is still there.

I'm frustrated as a Doctor and I didn't know what to do until now. The one new thing I've found, most recently, has me so excited and I feel so good about getting you started with it. I stumbled on it by accident and after seeing it and getting it for the office for my patients to see and begin using, the results were amazing.

It is called WaterWorks Vaginal Cleansing System and is a simple device that resembles a douche, however, the nozzle portion is made of stainless steel and it has a reservoir for plain tap water and they connect together with a small tube. It works on the concept of a douche , using no chemicals only plain tap water, and it can be used as often as you like. It eliminates odor by the reaction of the stainless steel & water reaction with the vaginal mucosa. The same as chefs use stainless steel bars in the kitchen to remove onion and garlic odors from their hands when they are cooking.

The most wonderful part is my patients reported that their odor was eliminated the first time they used it. WOW! I was so happy for them. No more having to take medications or making the problem worse by over the counter douching or using harsh soaps. This is gentle, safe and effective vaginal cleansing device for anyone. Plus it is FDA approved. You can see for yourself. Go to Oh, and most importantly, reusable that made us all smile.


Can Douching Prevent Pregnancy?

>> Thursday, September 29, 2016

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When douching, a woman pours a solution of water mixed with soap, vinegar, iodine or other chemicals into a squeezable bottle with a long neck. The neck is inserted into the vagina and the fluid pushed up inside. This is usually done in the shower or tub area so as not to make a mess. Most douches today are found premixed and are sold in most grocery and drug stores.

Because of the way douching forces fluid into the vagina, it should never be used as a method of birth control. Sperm are extremely fast swimmers and most have likely made it through the cervix and into the uterus before you have even thought of sitting up to go douche. Even if you had it by the bedside and ran to the bathroom, it would probably be too late. In fact, douching can actually push sperm into the uterus and towards the fallopian tubes faster.

But in the worst case, not only can sperm be pushed further up toward the uterus, but so can all types of bacteria and viruses, including those which can cause STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Resulting infections of the uterus and fallopian tubes, called PID(pelvic inflammatory disease), can cause scarring of the tubes and can lead to ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the tubes). This makes it impossible to get pregnant without assistance from a fertility center.

Some women are taught to douche to keep themselves clean down there, when in reality the vagina is one of the cleanest parts of the female's body because it cleans itself out everyday with its natural lubrication. The white/clear discharge that a woman finds in her underwear or on the toilet paper is from the vagina cleaning itself out. Once a douche is used, it can disrupt the natural environment of the vagina, removing the normal discharge and preventing the self-cleaning action.

I know that many of you douche anyway, even knowing all these facts, because I talk to the women I see in my office everyday. Many of you are concerned about odors that are impossible to get rid of. But, douching can just make it worse, as it removes the natural bacteria that clean and help keep the vagina odor-free.

Thankfully, there is a natural way to cleanse inside the vagina without traditional douches and harsh chemicals …..and which many women are now starting to use.

The new WaterWorks system is the only FDA-cleared natural way to cleanse inside your vagina. It will not remove the natural bacteria or make you more susceptible to yeast and bacterial infections. This is a reusable device that uses only plain tap water and that can be used in the privacy of your shower as many times a week as you wish.

The secret is in the medical grade stainless steel nozzle that is designed to fit easily into the vagina, while the water gently sprinkles out to rinse out semen, blood or discharge. The reaction that takes place between the water, stainless steel and vaginal mucosa effectively removes unwanted odor. Please note that, like traditional douches, WaterWorks does not prevent pregnancy.

So, dismiss the old idea that douching can prevent pregnancy. Continue to use proven birth control methods. But, leave the cleaning to WaterWorks. It's the only proven, natural, drug-free and chemical free way to rid yourself of unwanted feminine odors.


Not again! How can I stop these migraines?

>> Monday, September 26, 2016

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Dear Dr. KnowYourV,

I really hope you can help me. I have been suffering from migraines since I was 12 years old. I am now 27. I have been to several doctors, including specialists, who have helped me control the symptoms, but nothing seems to keep them from happening month after month. I know the things I have to watch like allergies, getting over-tired or dehydrated, too much chocolate and keeping regular meals so as not to over-stress my system. But no matter what I do it seems that every month with my menstrual cycle a new migraine shows up. This is so horrible for me that I have to lie in bed with the covers over my head to block out smells and light from the rest of the house. I usually wake up with the migraine and feel nauseated. I take my prescribed medication for migraines which helps for a little while, but it always comes back within a few hours. At it’s worst this can last up to 3 days of my cycle, interfering with my job and just everything in my life. There are times I have even worried that I have a brain tumor, but the tests are always negative.

Are there any new treatments or medications I haven’t heard of? Please Dr. Boyd, I hope you can help.

Thanks in advance,


Wow Sandy, I’m sorry to hear about your pain and discomfort, and what a bummer to have to deal with it every month. This is the most common, disabling condition in women that we encounter and menstrual migraines are definitely the most frequent and hardest to treat.

Many women suffering from it feel it is just a “normal” part of the monthly routine. They continue to use the same remedies to help relieve their symptoms that were used by all the women in their family (mom, grandmother or aunts) all of which only provide a little relief. But after awhile, when work is missed month after month and the headaches begin to spill over and interfere with daily life, most will seek help from their doctors.

So what is a migraine? And why do they come with menses and are so much more debilitating than a regular headache? Menstrual migraines are more severe, last longer and are more resistant to treatment than migraines that come at other times. MM (menstrual migraines) are usually characterized by 4 criteria: Severe pain, throbbing, unilateral location and intensifies with activity. At least 2 of these must be present to be categorized as MM.

MM can also include nausea, photophobia (worsening with light) or phonophobia (worsening with sounds). They can last from 4 to 72 hours if untreated. MM are usually disabling because symptoms usually will not improve until you stop what you are doing and lay down and rest.

Migraines can have different triggers, but MM are triggered by the decline in estrogen that occurs at the end of the menstrual cycle just before your period begins. This is why most oral contraceptives do not improve the onset of MM - they are designed with 3 weeks of active pills, then one(1) week of placebo pills. The placebo pills have no active hormone in them, so every month with or without the pill your estrogen falls off just before your period triggering another MM. Some of the newer pills have added some estrogen into the placebo pills to help counteract this drop off and hopefully prevent MM from happening.

MM can be associated with neck stiffness, tension and nausea. The migraine triggers cause over dilation of the blood vessels in the brain which can slow blood flow and bring on the severe pain. Migraine medications are designed to cause vasoconstriction, which relieves the migraine. The exact mechanism of MM with estrogen drop off is not completely understood.

So what should you do to treat this monthly problem? The best way is to talk to your doctor and have the appropriate tests done to make sure that there is no other medical issue that needs treated first. If all tests are normal and you are in good health, many doctors will recommend that sufferers add low dose estrogen during the week their menstrual cycle is due. One special way to treat is to take an extended cycle oral contraceptive that cycles every 3 months and at the beginning of the placebo week add 0.9 - 1.0 mg conjugated estrogens or estradiol. This regime has helped completely eliminate MM in many women. Any other migraines that may occur can easily be treated with any regular migraine medication.

Thank you Sandy for your question, I know it has helped a lot of women today to know there is help. Also, ask your doctor about prescribing medical oxygen if you are sensitive to taking medication. Please follow your doctor’s advice.

I also wanted to let you know that many of my patients who have been using WaterWorks for several months now have not had recurrence of their vaginal odor and are experiencing less problems with discharge. WaterWorks can be used daily as part of your usual hygiene routine and to cleanse the excess semen from vagina after intercourse. My patients are reporting more confidence using WaterWorks before sexual intercourse as they are not preoccupied with worries of vaginal odor during sex which lets them relax and enjoy the time with their partners more.

WaterWorks has been FDA Cleared for elimination of vaginal odor. It is totally unlike regular douches from the store shelf. WaterWorks is known for its unique design - a stainless steel nozzle that works along with plain tap water to eliminate odors. WaterWorks uses a gentle cleansing action, not forceful pressure like disposable douches. I encourage you to check it out. I’m sure you will love how it works.


Can WaterWorks Help Prevent Yeast and Bacterial Infections?

>> Friday, August 26, 2016

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Yeast and bacterial infections come as a result of vaginal imbalance that can be caused for many reasons. Some of the more common causes are taking antibiotics, wearing a wet swimsuit or nylon/lycra clothing during long periods of time in hot weather, wearing thong underwear, douching or allowing semen to remain in your vagina.

Yeast infections can cause an abundant amount of thick, whitish discharge, vaginal swelling, and intense puritis or itching that can be unbearable. This irritation and itching may also be felt around the anus, labial area and urethra. It can also cause burning on urination. I have had many patients come in worried about a urinary tract infection, when it was really a vaginal yeast or bacterial infection.

Now, as for the men - you may have heard or boyfriends talk about 'jock-itch'. Well that is usually just external yeast or fungal infections men get from sweating in the heat. In answering the question as to whether we pass yeast or bacterial infections to our partners, the answer is no. But men can get a little itching for a few hours after sex that usually goes away quickly.

Women have found that the odor associated with their infections can really interfere with intimacy, and they have been turning to alternative solutions to help. More and more women are seeking non-pharmaceutical ways to prevent yeast and bacterial infections from coming back again and again.

Waterworks is the only vaginal cleansing system made just for this purpose. It uses only natural tap water, with it's uniquely designed stainless-steel nozzle, to clean out the vagina of unwanted discharge or left-over semen. Many women are reporting that they stopped vaginal odor the first time they used it, even after battling with vaginal odor for years. The best thing is that since WaterWorks can be used everyday they have been able to stay ahead of yeast and bacterial infections by keeping the vagina clean and rinsing out semen right away, before it has a chance to change vaginal pH.


How Do I Get Rid of Vaginal Odor?

>> Friday, July 15, 2016

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I continue to be amazed when a couple comes into my office for various health issues and, during the conversation, they are surprised to learn that odorous vaginal discharge is not normal.

One husband told me, “Well, Doc, all men know it's like deep sea diving, just take a deep breath and go in." Really? That's pretty sad to think that so many women (and the men they love) feel that pungent, strong or "fishy" vaginal odor is just normal.

So what causes vaginal odor to start in the first place? Why is it so hard to get rid of? Why does it keep coming back over and over again? Can it cause health problems?

It concerns me that so many of you, because you're worried about odor or cleanliness, continue to believe that DOUCHING is 'okay' once in a while. Right? You ask yourselves, “What can it hurt? It makes me feel clean and fresh, and it's so nice to clean out discharge or old period blood. I don’t’ want him down there if it's not fresh and clean.” But it's this obsession that causes the problem in the first place. We are not supposed to smell or taste like chemicals or perfume! It is shocking to a man to smell that, and the perfumes and chemicals in douches, mixed with the odor you are worried about, is like covering up the bathroom with freshener spray. The smell is still there, just now mixed with freshener – which can be worse.

An estimated 40% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 continue to use a vaginal douche, even though there are no studies that have ever shown that douching has benefits at all. In fact, we know that douching can actually increase the risk of infections, cause pregnancy complications, and create other health problems.

Douching started many years ago and is practiced in Europe and many other countries. It is a method to wash out the vagina, usually with a mixture of water and vinegar. Douches that are sold in drugstores and grocery stores contain antiseptics and fragrances. A douche comes in a bottle or bag and is sprayed through a tube upward into the vagina toward the cervix, sometimes with too much pressure.

Douching is known to cause many problems for women. One of the most common is vaginal infections like yeast or bacterial vaginosis. That's because it upsets the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina (called vaginal flora) which has the purpose of maintaining a low, more acidic, pH. Changing this acidic balance makes the environment more favorable for the growth of bacteria that cause infection. We have talked before how the low pH is the vagina's defense against infection and how it is able to self-clean. If the good bacteria is constantly being washed out, how can the vagina protect itself?

We know that women who stopped douching were less likely to have bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and vaginal odor. Note, having bacterial vaginosis can increase the risk of preterm labor and other more serious infections:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries that can actually get inside your entire body through the tubes as they are open into your abdomen. Douching can push infection from your vagina into your uterus through your tubes and into your abdomen. Women who douche have a 73% higher risk of getting PID!
  • Women who douche more than once a week also have more difficulty getting pregnant than those who don't douche.
  • Douching also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy – for the same reason it puts you at risk for PID. With an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants outside the uterus, like in the fallopian tube or ovary.
  • Douching at least once a week has also been linked to an increased chance of developing cervical cancer.
You can see now why you should avoid douching. Having some vaginal odor is normal. However, if you notice a very strong odor, it could be a sign of infection. The acidity of the vagina will naturally control bacteria. Simply washing the vagina with warm water is best, using mild soap is enough to keep the outside clean.

WaterWorks, which is FDA-cleared to alleviate vaginal odor, is a wonderful help to women. It has a design like a douche, but is very different. With WaterWorks, the water sprinkles outward, not upward, to gently clean the inside of your vagina. It uses only fresh, warm water (no chemicals), so it is all natural. It is used by so many women for regular feminine hygiene, like cleaning out period blood, semen after sex and excess discharge. It can be used daily as part of your normal bathing. The unique, patented design of the medical-grade stainless steel nozzle is what prevents and removes vaginal odor.


Feminine Hygiene

>> Friday, June 17, 2016

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Feminine hygiene is so important to our overall health. In addition to keeping our skin clean and free of bacteria, it can prevent odor, itching and discomfort from perspiration.

Feminine hygiene involves more than just bathing or showering. It encompasses a whole spectrum of practices women should follow to be healthy. Most of us learn these skills from our mom, sister or friends. Or we just figure it out for ourselves.

But, not every aspect of this topic is well-known. For example, whoever taught us to always wash our new jeans, panties, shorts, or other clothing bottoms before we wear them? You should, because dyes and other chemicals on new clothing can cause your vaginal area to become irritated or infected. I have noticed some clothing that will put this on label, but not often.

During your menstrual cycle, be sure to wear fabrics that allow your vaginal region to breathe. Wear loose, breathable, clothing like loose panties that allow for air circulation. Natural, breathable fabric such as cotton is preferred. Wear thigh-high pantyhose or pantyhose made with a cotton crotch to reduce the vaginal sweating caused by nylon and other synthetic fabrics.

When not on your cycle, try to sleep without wearing panties or pajama bottoms if possible, as this will provide your vagina with the air circulation needed to help prevent infection.

Tight pants, shorts, or panties made from synthetic fabrics can reduce the air circulation around your vagina and cause it to sweat, which can increase your chances for odors and infection.

Remove wet, sweaty bottom clothing as soon as possible. Wet or sweaty panties and pants can cause bacteria to multiply and increase your likelihood for getting odors and infections. Take a shower and wear fresh, clean clothing after you have gone swimming or exercised.

Of course, bathing or showering daily is the beginning of developing healthy habits. It is so important to wash the skin daily to get as much bacteria off as possible to prevent sickness and infection. Sweat is the body's way of removing waste & bacteria from the body. So it should be washed off every day. In the shower, wash the vagina externally with mild soap, then rinse with fresh water and dry off immediately with a clean towel. For internal cleansing, use WaterWorks, which is described at the bottom of this post. If you have problems with excessive sweating, abundant discharge, rashes, folliculitis, or pimply lesions on your Mons Pubis or inner thighs, be sure that you use a new sharp razor to shave and that you change the razor after 4-5 uses.

You can use a blow dryer to gently dry the external vaginal area around pubic hair, inside the creases & around the vaginal lips (Labia Majora & Minora), between your buttocks and all over the outer groin area. This can reduce irritation and infection.

Use moist baby wipes instead of toilet paper and always wipe from the front toward the back. This will help ensure that fecal matter and bacteria won't be pushed into the vaginal canal.

Never use chemical douches, deodorants, sprays or powders. We never recommend douching, as these products usually cause more infections by disrupting your natural pH, hormones and the delicate chemical balance of your vagina. Women who use these products and douche with chemicals will be battling ongoing irritation and infections on a regular basis.

Be sure to change tampons, sanitary napkins, and panty liners frequently - this means every time you use the restroom or at least every 3-4 hours. When pads and tampons are worn for long periods of time bacteria can build up. Not only can it cause foul odors, but especially with tampons, it can cause mild to very serious infections like toxic shock syndrome.

If you can, try to use menstrual products that do not contain scents or dyes. And try to find the all-cotton pads and tampons because some of the commercial products contain fiberglass. This fiberglass can find its way into your vagina or under your skin, causing non-infectious irritations.

Always wash your vaginal area after sex to rinse out the semen, bodily fluids and residue from condoms and other intimate products. All of these can cause infection, irritation, and odors if not removed. For this purpose, WaterWorks is wonderful, as it is an all-natural, FDA-cleared method for feminine cleansing. (See for more details). WaterWorks is so gentle. It uses only the pressure from gravity for a gentle water flow to rinse the vagina. It can be done every day while in the shower.

I think it's important for us all to just get into a routine like we do with our hair and nails. Then it just becomes easy and we feel better.


Combating Vaginal Odor with WaterWorks

>> Friday, May 13, 2016

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A few patients I saw this week reminded me that they had been using their WaterWorks for over a year now. How exciting! I am happy to hear them report how much it has helped them. Joy was in yesterday, and she said that she uses it almost every day in the shower, after her menstrual, and after intercourse, and has felt so much more confident and comfortable during sex, because the odor and discharge she had before is gone! How awesome is that? And she has not even had to use any of the usual vaginal gels, creams or antibiotics that she used over and over again before she started using WaterWorks.

That makes me so happy for her because she is one of so many of women out there who have the same problem. I know this because for 15-19 years in my practice I have heard all of you struggling to get rid of vaginal odors and excess discharge. But the products available over-the-counter only bring temporary relief, and then it all comes back, sometimes worse than before, right? I also know there are home remedies and natural remedies that are passed around, such as Colloidal silver and lemon juice tampons, vinegar and peroxide douches and various herbal solutions.

In my opinion, these do work for a time, just like the prescription medications, but they are not helping your own vaginal defenses to “kick-in” so the cycle of healing can take place. The vagina is very good at self-cleaning because it has host of natural bacteria that reside there and problems occur when other substances enter the vagina (or we have a change in our bodies from illness, childbirth, or menopause).

The natural good vaginal bacteria is lactobacilli which is the same bacteria used to culture yogurt. Normally the smell or taste of vaginal discharge is similar to plain yogurt; a neutral, non-offensive odor. The different odor comes from the type of bacteria that are infecting at that time. Each bacterium has a unique smell. Dirt smells like dirt because of the bacteria that naturally lives in dirt. So I could blindfold you and hold a plate of dirt in front of you and you would know it was dirt by the way it smelled, or I could hold a vial of the “dirt” bacteria to your nose and you would think I had dirt in front of you.

My excitement over WaterWorks as an OB/GYN and a woman is that it is an all-natural, green product. It is meant to be reused and it is used with only tap water, no medications, no chemicals. I have a lot of you write in worried about using tap water and want to use distilled or bottled water but that is just not necessary. People brush their teeth, shower and cook with tap water. The WaterWorks system works by a reaction that takes place between the stainless steel nozzle and the water with the vaginal mucosa to extinguish unwanted odor. It’s so simple, don’t make it complicated. The water sprinkles out gently, unlike regular douching where it shoots out and can push infection up into your uterus and tubes. This makes WaterWorks much safer than traditional douching.

I hope for those of you still battling vaginal odor and discharge that this helps you understand about the WaterWorks Cleansing system and why it is so exciting to all of us.


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