Vaginal Discharge and Odor Relief

>> Friday, July 24, 2015

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Good afternoon, I hope you all had a good week.

This week the question that has been asked is: what should you do if your discharge has an odor with it that doesn’t go away after bathing and douching for a week. This is one of the most common benign problems that I hear about from my patients. But for some, the problem is so persistent and bothersome that they become desperate to try ANYTHING that will make it stop so that they can return to normal. Here is what Sarah wrote:

Dear Dr. Boyd, I’ve hesitated to write to you as I have been having trouble with vaginal discharge for awhile now and no matter what I do it keeps coming back. At times there is a foul odor that comes and goes. I saw where you talked about the WaterWorks device and how it may help with discharge and odor. Can you please help me? I am frustrated. I feel that I am a clean person but don’t understand why I keep having discharge.

Well, Sarah, your first inclination may be to douche so lets talk about that. Douching means to soak or rinse out the vagina. Usually water, vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda or iodine is used, but other mixtures have been used as well. This practice has been shown in recent years to cause more harm than good because it can destroy the normal vaginal flora that is present to maintain a normal healthy environment. The vagina is effective at self-cleaning due to the fact that it maintains an acidic pH. It is this that keeps the yeast and abnormal (smelly) bacteria from over growing. But there are ways that the pH can be thrown off, such as from normal period blood or from semen, because they are physiologic pH and disrupt the normal vaginal flora.

There are many reasons we as women would want to reach for a douche: to clean the vagina, to rinse out period blood after the cycle is over, to clean out a foul odor, to clean out sexually transmitted diseases or wash out semen. But douching can cause more harm than good. If you have a true bacterial or yeast infection you may need a prescription to help get rid of it. Douching can also make an STD worse by forcing the infection up through your cervix and causing infection in your fallopian tubes. This can cause infertility. Douching is also not a good way to prevent pregnancy because the forcefulness of the stream of fluid again can force the semen through your cervix and carry the sperm closer to the egg.

Your discharge could well be caused by a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections are not dangerous and they are treatable. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic pill or gel to eliminate the infection. If the odor remains, which it may, after the infection has cleared up DON’T DOUCHE!!! As we've seen, over the counter douches are dangerous. However, there is a product out there now that goes a step farther: WaterWorks Feminine Cleansing System. The reason it is so awesome is that it is FDA cleared for eliminating vaginal odor and it is chemical free. And it uses plain tap water from your shower and doesn't use soaps or harsh chemicals of any kind. WaterWorks is the only feminine cleansing system with the patented stainless steel nozzle that reacts with the water and eliminates odor from your vagina.

The best part is that it’s completely reusable and can be used every day (or less, it can be used as often as needed) to clean the vagina. All parts are made of sturdy materials that are easily cleaned for the next use. When I first learned about it I could hardly believe it, but many of my patients, personal friends and even I have used it and can testify that it truly works. I know so many of you who have struggled for years trying everything over and over, and I want you to know WaterWorks is what you’ve been looking for.

Until next week,

Dr. Susan Boyd

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Relieving Vaginal Discharge Issues

>> Thursday, July 9, 2015

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Hello everyone, it’s been a great week and I trust all of you feel the same. I have had many of you writing in because you are struggling with an increase in vaginal discharge that sometimes itches but mostly has an odor that won’t go away no matter how often you shower.

Mandy wrote in worried about just that problem:

“Dr. Boyd I really don’t know if you can help me or not. I am 26 years old and I have had a discharge for about 6 months now that comes and goes. I know having some discharge is normal, but this is so much more than what I normally have that when it’s there I have to use a tampon or a pad all the time. Then when I take the tampon out there is a terrible odor. I’m so worried because it never gets better no matter how many times I bathe or shower. I’m concerned I have something really serious like a cyst or cancer or a serious STD that could make me infertile. I have been to my primary care doctor who gave me some pills that only helped for a week or so. I hope you can help me, I’m really worried. Thank you, in advance, for your help.”

Vaginal odor can be a very difficult thing to deal with, especially when it keeps reoccurring for no known reason. It is a good idea to make an appointment with a gynecologist when you have an ongoing problem like this. Your doctor can send you for an ultrasound to make sure your uterus and ovaries are normal and that there are no polyps or cysts present that could be causing abnormal discharge. At the same visit vaginal cultures can be done to insure that you do not have an STD or other infection.

Cancer is very rare in someone as young as you; if you have an updated pap smear that is negative and the ultrasound was also negative, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Most of the time women end up trying many different products, including douching, to try to get rid of the odor. Some of these products may help for a few days (just as the “pills” you were prescribed by your Gynecologist) but the odor always returns. The vagina is self-cleaning and should maintain a healthy pH level on its own. A healthy pH level prevents the growth of yeast and unwanted bacteria. But anything that disrupts this pH can disrupt the self-cleaning. Semen and menstrual period blood can cause a rise in the vaginal pH, resulting in recurrent bacterial infections and ODOR. This cycle can go on and on. Uuugh!! It makes you feel like everyone else can smell what you smell as you walk by them. Not to mention sex, who wants him down there when it smells like that?

Well, lucky for all of us, bacterial infections are not dangerous and they are treatable, and have never been shown to cause problems with infertility (other than avoiding sex because of odor problem - LOL). But seriously, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic pill or gel to eliminate the infection.

If the odor remains, which it may, after the infection has cleared up DON’T DOUCHE!!! Over the counter douches are dangerous. However, there is a product out there now that goes a step farther: WaterWorks Feminine Cleansing System. The reason it is so awesome is that it is FDA cleared for eliminating vaginal odor and it is chemical free. And it uses plain tap water from your shower and doesn't use soaps or harsh chemicals of any kind. WaterWorks is the only feminine cleansing system with the patented stainless steel nozzle that reacts with the water and eliminates odor from your vagina.

The best part is that it’s completely reusable and can be used every day (or less, it can be used as often as needed) to clean the vagina. All parts are made of sturdy materials that are easily cleaned for the next use. When I first learned about it I could hardly believe it, but many of my patients, personal friends and even I have used it and can testify that it truly works. I know so many of you who have struggled for years (or maybe only 6 months like Mandy) trying everything over and over, and I want you to know WaterWorks is what you’ve been looking for.




Until next week,

Dr. Susan Boyd

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Vaginal Odor and WaterWorks

>> Friday, July 3, 2015

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Vaginal odor is an embarrassing problem and can interfere with intimacy because, well who wants him down there with that problem, right? Most everything we are taught to do can actually worsen vaginal odor, like douching or washing with harsh soaps and/or cleansers. They even make feminine hygiene sprays to cover up the odor like perfume or deodorant we use on other parts of our body. Of course that's just silly & desperate really.

As a gynecologist my best recommendation to you when you take your shower is to be sure to allow the soap suds to gently run over and lather the pubic and groin area but don't scrub or allow the soap to get inside the vagina. Never douche. Not even with medicated solutions, diluted lemon juice or vinegar solutions. Daily soap usage inside the vagina or douching will cause an imbalance of the normal flora (bacterial environment) which is there to fight off the unwanted smelly bacteria that can also be associated with infections.

You may know this but let's just go over it to refresh your memory, ok? The normal bacterial flora in the vagina is predominantly lactobacilli which keeps the vagina slightly acidic to prevent the overgrowth of unwanted, smelly bacteria & yeast. It is also the main bacteria used to culture milk into yogurt. Wow! So that is why the vagina usually has a very pleasant smell or taste, or often no smell or taste.

So what causes the imbalances that bring on the odors? Mostly things like our period or sex, and also the many hormone imbalances we go through with childbirth, menopause or our monthly cycles. Blood is normal pH & this rise in pH encourages the abnormal bacterial & yeast growth.
Semen is sugary & normal pH to keep those sperm alive for their long journey.

But recently, within the past few years, a new product called WaterWorks has been out that is FDA approved for the treatment of chronic vaginal odor. I personally saw it first on a daytime tv show called "The Doctors". I was so excited that I made an order cause I wanted to see for myself if it worked. It did.

WaterWorks is a reusable vaginal cleansing system. It has a sturdy bag that is filled with warm shower water with durable tubing and a stainless steel tip that is inserted into the vagina. During your shower you release the warm water and let it flow into your vagina. The stainless steel reacts with the vaginal mucosa in such a way that it removes odor immediately. Chefs in restaurants do the same, in that they have stainless steel bars they use to strong odors like onion & garlic off their hands.

The amazing thing is that WaterWorks can be used everyday, or to rinse period blood out and many women use it right after sex to rinse semen out right away which prevents odor. The water gently sprinkles out so you never have to worry about pushing bacteria upward into your uterus & tubes.

I love WaterWorks because it really works for my patients and they aren't using medication over and over again. Many of them have struggled for years with no hope & now after one use their odor is gone.

I hope this helps you so you can finally get some relief & feel good & confident. It's always a good idea to see your doctor to make sure you don't have an infection or other problem. Then go to our website; www.KnowYourV.com or WaterWorksHealth.com & check out WaterWorks. Let me know if u have any other questions, be safe, and have a wonderful week.

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Does Birth Control Affect Sex Drive?

>> Friday, June 26, 2015

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Amber’s question this week is, "Can birth control pills lower my sex drive?"

The answer to that is, "Yes, anything that manipulates your hormones can affect your sex drive negatively or positively." This includes hormone injections, patches, rings or implants.

Birth control prevents ovulation by blocking certain surges in hormone levels that signal the body to ovulate an egg. If an egg isn’t available for fertilization, then pregnancy will not occur but these hormone surges also regulate a woman's sexual desire.

Sexual desire rises during the hormone surges that cause ovulation. This makes sense because that is the best time to get pregnant and propagate the species. If women have been on birth control for many years, it can have a profound effect on their sexual desire, leaving them and their partners frustrated.

This is why so many women have been choosing non-hormonal forms of reversible birth control (like the newer IUD's or condoms), or permanent forms (like Essure or tubal ligation).

Of course, sexual desire is a complicated combination of many things. It can be physical, physiological or hormonal. It can also have a lot to do with what is going on in the relationship. If a woman feels comfortable and beautiful and there is good communication, then that can help.

Once off the pill for one month, it is a good idea to have your hormone levels checked to be sure your body has adjusted back to its normal balance.

You may also want to do everything you can to feel fresh, clean and confident (in the bedroom and in everyday activities). A natural, safe way to help is WaterWorks. This douching alternative has completely cured so many women of troublesome vaginal odor, some of whom struggled with the issue since puberty! Feminine odor can be an embarrassing struggle that destroys women’s confidence, because no matter what they do, the odor never goes away.

WaterWorks is like a douching system, but it uses only plain tap water that gently flows through a reusable medical grade stainless steel nozzle inside the vagina to gently rinse away odor-causing elements. This reaction totally removes all vaginal odor and excess discharge. It can be used everyday when you shower, and used before sex to feel fresh and clean and after to rinse out semen. I know you will love it and you’ll want to tell all your friends about it.


Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for all your letters & questions. We love hearing from you.

God Bless,
Dr. Susan Boyd

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Everything You Need to Know About Feminine Odor

>> Friday, June 19, 2015

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Good morning!!

I sure hope everything in your life is good. Today, I want to help those of you that are concerned about the type of vaginal odor that seems to get better and then, for no reason, will show up again and again. It is so frustrating because you know you haven't changed your hygiene habits, so why does it keep coming back???

The thing is, women have always struggled with vaginal odor, rashes and irritation. Why? Because period blood, sex and many medicines can disrupt the normally-low vaginal pH and create an environment for odor, bacterial and yeast infections to return over and over.

Many women struggle with how to clean up inside the vagina and have only learned what our mothers and grandmothers told us. The truth is, most of us over clean, and grab every product we can, in an effort to help - whether it is douches, sprays, special soap for "down there", creams, lubricants or inserts. We even read on the Internet about "natural" ways to cleanse and heal the vagina. For some reason, we think natural is better, and we use douches with vinegar or lemon juice, or soak tampons with vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, lactobacillus, colloidal Silver, and an unending number of herbal products.

But, unfortunately, the odor and irritation does not get better and returns anyway, which makes us work even harder to clean up inside. This goes on and on.

The vagina was made in such a way that it does not need help from us to heal or cleanse itself. Yet, we feel the need to intervene. Many women do not "feel" clean unless they can clean up inside their vagina. Especially with the change of vaginal discharge throughout the month, a change of your sexual partner (or finding out that he cheated on you or if he gave you an STD). The natural vaginal environment is acidic (lower pH) than the rest of our body. Semen, period blood, douches, soap, vaginal creams and lubricants can raise the pH and completely hinder the vagina from healing and cleaning itself.

It is a healthy feminine hygiene practice to use soap to cleanse the outside of your body, around the vagina, anus and labia. But up inside, if you feel the need to rinse out your vagina to clean out semen, blood or excess discharge, you should only use warm water.

A lot of women are using WaterWorks now because it has been FDA cleared for vaginal cleansing to remove odor. WaterWorks is very different from store bought douches. It is made to be reusable. Therefore, you can save money and the environment by using it. It is designed with a refillable bag to fill with warm shower water connected to tubing with a medical grade stainless steel nozzle. The nozzle is placed inside the vagina and sprinkles out the warm water. It is the reaction of the stainless steel, water and vaginal mucosa that removes vaginal odor. It is a wonderful, useful discovery to help women with excessive discharge and odor. It can be used daily or as often as needed.

Have a happy and safe week.
Sincerely,
Dr. Susan L. Boyd, MD

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Does HPV Cause Cervical Cancer?

>> Thursday, June 11, 2015

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HPV or Human Papilloma Virus, which is a sexually transmitted virus which has over 100 different types. Some can cause visible warts, while others are not visible to the naked eye, but can cause cancer to mucous membranes like the cervix, labia, anus, rectum, mouth, throat or penis.

Many of you wrote because you had mothers who had cervical cancer. This may have worried you for a long time because you don't know what it means about your own risk for getting cervical cancer. Well, the good news is that, unlike other cancers like breast and ovarian, cervical cancer is not passed on genetically. In fact, it is sexually-transmitted HPV that can cause this type of cancer. So your mother's history of cervical cancer has nothing to do with whether you will ever get it or not.

HPV is what can cause cervical cancer, and you only get HPV if you are sexually active. The virus is actually so tiny that it can actually slip through the small, naturally-occurring pores in a condom, thus women can get it despite how careful they are being. It is estimated that 80% of women will have some strain of HPV in their lifetime.

Women who get yearly pap smears will be able to detect HPV infection early. Through the pap smear, it can also be identified as high or low risk type & any visible condyloma (warts) can be documented & removed.

If you do have an abnormal pap smear with high risk HPV that is the type that can lead to cervical cancer, it can be treated & removed from your cervix. Women who see their gynecologist, and follow-up for treatment when needed, will clear up the infection long before it has a chance to become cancer.

Next week we will want to discuss how you can keep from getting HPV and treatments for those of you who already have it.

I hope this helped clear up some of the confusion surrounding HPV & cervical cancer.

Be sure to write in your questions.

Thanks to all of you,
Dr. Susan Boyd

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Pain When I Pee After Sex?

>> Thursday, June 4, 2015

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Good morning. I hope you are all well and happy, and if not, I pray all your worries and problems resolve.

Many of you are asking me if it is normal to have a sensation of burning and pain when you pee after having sex. Well, yes, it can, depending on a few things. Pain that comes after sex should resolve on its own within a few hours. If it is due to a bladder or vaginal infection, it may get worse as time goes on and you may need medication.

During sex, the repeated thrusting motion, especially if there is not enough lubrication, can cause soreness or a rash that feels like a burn around your urethra, clitoris and outer vagina. It can also feel the same inside your vagina, depending on what time of the month it is. Why is this? Because the tissues are many times more sensitive during ovulation and a week after, due to hormone changes in your body.

Of course, sex lasting longer than an hour, and trying different positions and sex toys can also contribute to soreness and irritation.
Soaking in a warm bath after sex can provide some relief. So can time. You can also use a soothing moisturizer externally, like natural coconut oil. But, if you notice abnormal discharge or burning when you pee, and the irritation doesn't get better, you may need to be seen by your doctor.

Here's another question I often get: Does birth control make it harder to get pregnant after you stop using it? Many of you worry about why there is a delay in the return of your period after stopping the pill. This is called post-pill amenorrhea, and it is common, but it has nothing to do with fertility. It has no impact on whether you can get pregnant. In general, if you were able to get pregnant before starting on birth control, you will be able to get pregnant after stopping birth control.

The reason this happens is because of the way birth control works. Birth control pills, injections, implants and IUDs cause the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, to be thinned by progesterone, which is why periods are shorter with less bleeding while on birth control. This lining will regenerate and thicken up to normal once birth control is stopped. The thinning of the lining while on birth control is a positive affect for those who have painful, heavy periods, and since we aren't wanting pregnancy at that time we don't need a thick lining for implantation of the embryo.

Once we stop birth control, our own hormones take over and rebuild the lining quickly. In fact, women are more fertile after stopping birth control because now the ovaries are free to ovulate and actually super ovulate. That means they will pop out 4 or 5 eggs with each cycle for the first 6 months, rather than just one. This makes you more likely to get pregnant with twins or triplets in those first 6 months. Birth control is cleared from your system within 48 hours to a week. So you can get pregnant immediately after stopping the pill. The injection may be different and take your system longer to clear it and normalize.

Sometimes the hormone imbalance can cause unpleasant vaginal odor. This bothers most of us, of course, but it is due to hormone imbalance, not an infection. Either way, it can be bothersome and embarrassing during sex.

This is when using WaterWorks can be of help to remove the odor as your hormones rebalance. It can be used daily or to clean out old period blood or semen after sex. It is reusable and safe, as no chemicals are used.

I hope you have a wonderful safe week. Please write if you have any questions.

Dr. Susan L. Boyd, MD

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