Chronic vaginal infections but lab says no bacteria

I am 40 years old and have had recurrent vaginal infections for the past several years. I had my first ever bv infection back in 2005 after taking a popular supplement back then called Dual Action Cleanse. It was a colon cleanser and just 3 days in to taking it my vagina erupted in the most horrible and painful rash I have ever had up to that point.I went to the Gynocologist and she tested me and diagnosed me with BV.Im not sure if the supplement caused it but It happend right after i began taking it so assumed so.

A tube of metrogel cured it up and I was fine for a while after that.About 2 years later I started noticeing the onset of vaginal iriatation after eating or drinking anything with sugar, like bread,pasta,sweet tea or sugary treats like cake or pies back in 2005. 

These foods would flare my vagina up and I learned over time what triggers the flares and as long as I avoid those foods I would be fine. The problem is giving up all those food!! I have struggled so hard with this! I believed for years I had candida overgrowth but now I no longer think I do. When reading the symptoms of candida overgrowth they just don't match me. 

My issues are completely vaginal. I took birth control pills for 24 years straight and felt the pills were my problem but continueing taking them because my husband and I do not want children and the pill was just easy. Over the past few years the infections increased and instead of getting one 2 or 3 times a year they happened 4 to 5. I just could not control my diet.I self diagnosed my vaginal issues and used herbal remedies to treat the symptoms all these years with success until now. 

In December 2017 after vaginal infections off and on for 4 months and an abnormal pap in March 2017 I stopped the pill. At first I got better but then something changed. I felt this weird feeling inside my vagina. It wasnt an infection but felt like a pressure. I was eating what I wanted to with no vaginal flares, just this pressure. I went to the doctor and had a pap that also came back abnormal so this was my second abnormal pap in a year.

A colcoscopy and biospy later I was diagnosed with cervictis. My infections cleared up for a couple months when I stopped the pill until the end of Feb. I have had an infection every since! I was given flagyl, metrogel,cleocin cream and clindamyacin and nothing has cleared me up. My vagina is so swollen and inflammed I can barely walk! There is no discharge just itching, burning and inflammation. My skin is also slothed off and raw skin revealed. Im in agony!

I went to the doctor last Tuesday and they took a swab of my vagina and said they could not prescibe me anything until the results came back showing them what bacteria is causing the infections. A week later call me and say there is no bacteria showing on the lab work! I am just left to suffer!

The doctor referred me to a specialist and said in her opinion she feels my hormones may be causing this. She said 24 years is a long time to take birth control pills and feels my hormones may be imbalanced. I also pee 25-30 times a day and could possibly have diabetes since both my parents did. I have an appointment May 16th and am hoping tihs doctor can check these things. 

Can hormones cause frequent infections that show no bacteria on the labwork? I am just trying to figure this out. I am on my period right now and suffering so bad. I am eating clean right now and doing good at avoiding trigger foods too but can't understand how/if hormones and sugar are related to my issue. Can anybody offer any insight?

Original Post

Oh what a journey you've had. This sounds just wretched and the symptoms, brutal. I am not qualified to comment on what might or might not be happening for you. 

Ideally you would see a gynaecologist (glad to hear this is coming up) and also a licensed naturopathic physician (ND) who specializes in gynaecology. The ND might have some herbal sitz baths that could help you and some homeopathic symptom control.

I cannot recommend any soothing relief as that would be giving medical advice.  Your very inflamed state makes you vulnerable to infection from anything impure.  The posts in the women's section do offer some ideas (sitz baths, flax gel etc). 

In case it offers a tiny bit of usefulness I'll share some things that I've learned form what others have shared with me over the years. Again, these are NOT expert opinions.

I would not think your swabs could miss yeast or bacteria. But if you are inflamed  despite, perhaps it is an allergic-like topical reaction (to soap, laundry detergent, feminine hygiene products, semen or?) Also, the topical medications can be pretty hard on sensitive tissue and could cause burning sensations, especially if they are mixed with each other in unintended ways.

I don't know if it's possible a food could cause this but it's unlikely. Still, you could keep a diary.

I've never heard of any colon cleanse or any herbal products causing a BV or rash. 

I have heard of a couple of women with very strong sensitivity to sweets, or even carbohydrates, who believed they experienced vaginal symptoms in response to small amounts of carbs and to foods they were intolerant to. What you're describing is quite serious sounding though. 

Sorry I couldn't provide more clarity for you. Best of luck with your explorations and diagnosis.


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