Check Up: She has a bad odour 'down there'
Kimone lives in Mona. She gets a 'funky' smelling vaginal discharge before or after her period every month, like clockwork.
She visits doctors for it, but even if it gives a two or three month break after treatment, it soon returns. She asks Check Up what she needs to do to get rid of the discharge permanently.
Sadly, at this time, I don't believe that anyone can claim a permanent cure from this troublesome female discharge.
The two common organisms which appear with frequency in relation to the monthly menses are yeast vaginal infection and bacterial vaginosis (BV). Neither is considered to be an STIs and can be found in virgins and children, although in a small percentage of couples it is spread via the sexual link.
In many women, it recurs quite frequently, causing a discharge which, in the case of BV, is usually grey coloured and odorous.
Yeast infection tends to vary from a white grainy discharge to a greenish, cheesy, clumped discharge which may also carry a scent. Some STIs can also cause vaginal itching.
There are several reasons why these (non-STI) discharges can occur with great regularity in some women.
- The organisms love heat and thrive in the current extra hot climates which we are experiencing recently.
- Yeast and BV thrive in a moist environment.
- Many women wear panty shields all month and these have a plastic lining which just makes the genital area warmer and sweatier, aiding in the growth of the organisms.
- Some vaginas have an acidity which favours growth of the organisms.
- Yeast likes a sweet environment.
- Not commonly, some men do contract these infections from their partners and the organisms are spread back and forth between the couple.
- The organisms have become resistant to some of the medication used successfully in the past.
To prevent the organisms from recurring in sufficient amounts to cause symptoms, a number of factors must be in place.
Continuous healthy lifestyle changes will need to be instituted:
- The vaginal and perineal region will need to be kept dry, clean and cool. Change underwear as often as they become moist
- Shower after sporting activities and change out of the wet, sweaty clothes immediately.
- Include acidophilus, a probiotic, for daily consumption. This keeps the genitalia healthy.
- Include high-grade, low-sugar yoghurt in the weekly diet as this is a natural probiotic.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing when it is hot to keep the genitalia cool.
- Avoid simple carbohydrates.
- Change pads often during menstruation and confine the use of panty shields to a few days before menstruation and just after menstruation seems to have ended.
- If yeast recurs often, have both partners treated at the same time to prevent 'ping pong' effect.
- Ensure that all medications are taken fully as prescribed to prevent development of resistance to medications.
- Occasionally, your doctor can prescribe a longer course of treatment to cover before menstruation for a few months.
If you are tired of discharges which recur with menstruation, you will need to make the changes and follow the suggestions listed.