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Women's Health

Trichomonas or BV

07/07/2010

Question:

I have not had sex for 4 yrs and had intercourse for the first time in the 4yrs did not use a condom, he said he was clean and I believed him and some days later I started having a foul greenish yellow discharge and odor, my dr put me on flagyl the cultures are not back yet since it`s a holiday, if it`s bv does he need to know and isn`t it 100% that he have it to me or could I have had it for all these yrs and not known even though I have not been sexually active and he has.

Answer:

You ask a very good question. Of course, the best answer would be given after knowing the results of the cultures. Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common, if not most common, vaginal infection in women. The "infection" is due to an overgrowth of bacteria that is normally found in the vagina - with the overgrowth comes the fishy odor. It is really not a "sexually transmitted illness" although it is more commonly found in women who have a new partner. Usually the male partner has NO symptoms. A great web site to review more information about BV is found at the link below from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Now, if the infection is due to Trichomoniasis, that is a different story, as it is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world. Men may or may not have any symptoms. Women can be infected for years and not know it. Great information about Trichomoniasis can be found at the link below from the CDC. Both BV and Trichomoniasis are normally cured with metronidazole (flagyl).

Related Resources:

Bacterial Vaginosis - CDC
Trichomoniasis - CDC Fact Sheet

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University