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livelaughlove21's avatar

NSFW: What are the chances one round of antibiotics isn't enough?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (14303 points ) November 29th, 2012 from iPhone

I was given a seven-day Doxycycline prescription for a vaginal infection. I still had some symptoms afterward, so I saw my gynecologist for a follow-up. He said that everything looked normal and there was no sign of an infection, but he didn’t swab me to be sure. I’ve been having unexplained symptoms for awhile, so he advised me to leave it alone and see if my body takes care of it on its own. This may sound weird, but I’ve asked a couple questions about this and, let’s just say it’s a long story and after 3 doctors and many medications, it’s a mystery.

Three weeks later, the same symptoms seem to still be there and worsening: itching, rawness, thin white odorless discharge (NOT a yeast infection; just got through a round of Diflucan). I’m just wondering what the chances are that one round of Doxy didn’t quite kill the infection? My doctor seems to think not, and said not many things are resistant to Doxy, but if the infection was there for a long time before treatment, maybe a ten- or fourteen-day prescription was needed. Plus, it said to not take it with food, but I had to in order to not get sick, so maybe that affected the absorption..?

If that’s unlikely, what types of things can cause recurrent vaginal infections? I’m worried it could be something non-GYN related that is causing it, but I’m not sure what that could be.

I’m seeing a doctor next week, but I just want some input beforehand so I know what to ask him or maybe mention to him.

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29 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

Vaginal itching and discharge are side affects of doxycycline. Read about it here. Douche with yogurt.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@bkcunningham I’ve been off the Doxy for 3 weeks.

bkcunningham's avatar

How long have you had the itching and discharge?

bkcunningham's avatar

Did you take the doxcycline and then a round of diflucan?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@bkcunningham Well, when these symptoms started, I thought it was a yeast infection, and I had a diflucan refill at the pharmacy. So I went ahead and took it, but no results.

bkcunningham's avatar

So in a three week period you have taken a round of doxcycline and a dose of diflucan?

bkcunningham's avatar

That is a lot of antibiotics and antibiotics can cause vaginal itching and discharge because they can kill anitfungal bacteria that live in the vagina. It throws your normal environment out of whack. See your doctor. Douching with the yogurt won’t hurt. Neither will a round of the over the counter vagainal cream or suppositories for a yeast infection.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@bkcunningham Heh? Diflucan is an anti-fungal. If the antibiotic caused a yeast infection, Diflucan would get rid of it.

bkcunningham's avatar

If you didn’t have a yeast infection to begin with and took the diflucan, it could have helped cause a yeast infection, @livelaughlove21. Read this.. I thought you took the diflucan first. But, I obviously don’t know what to advise you medically. I would do what my physician advises.

JLeslie's avatar

Doxi is often prescribed for 10–14 days for vaginal infections. However, I believe if it had been working for you you would have been feeling much better, symptomless within a week, probably within 5 days, similar to when you take antibiotics for strep throat, usually by day 3 you start to magically feel much better. A yeast infection can complicate knowing if you feel better through. The only way to really know if you have a yeast infection is for your doctor to look under the microscope or culture.

Doxi usually does not easily cause yeast infections, unless someone is prone to them. Doxi does not kill off a lot of the good bacteria, ut it still can cause an imbalance of course. People take doxi for months for various infections.

I really don’t think your overall problem is yeast, but it doesn’t mean you are not getting yeast complications to to the antibiotics. One diflucan does not always conquer a yeast infection. You might need 2 or 3. Or, a pill and some intravaginal yeast cream all at once.

The symptoms you are having are different than the original reason you took the doxi, is that correct?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, the hypersensitivity is gone (for now anyways), but the rawness that is worsened by the discharge is still there, along with some itching that wasn’t there before.

I found something online about allergic vaginitis being caused by spermicidal lubricant. I decided to try sex again because my symptoms were hardly there. Nothing happened immediately after, like it would with a latex allergy, but it showed up 2 days later. My doctor mentioned that spermicide us an issue for some people, so I don’t know. He told me to stop using condoms, but I didn’t start my birth control in time to feel safe going without one.

I just don’t know why I’d get two separate infections in a row. Oh, and my Diflucan was a 3-day one.

JLeslie's avatar

:( Honestly, you sound so much like my problems.

If you got “sick” again 2 days after having sex, that sounds like an infection from your partner. But, it is confusing since the symptoms are different.

Another idea, you said you started your birth control again, could that be contributing to your problems?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie No, I never actually started it. I just don’t see how it can be him if it’s not an STD and we used a condom. We don’t even rub against each other prior to where skin touches skin. There’s discharge, so it’s not just a skin reaction. If only the condom touches me inside, then the probability of it being him seems like it would be slim.

Also, he’s been on Doxy twice recently for an infected ingrown toenail, so…I don’t know.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, I misunderstood, you used a condom, I thought you didn’t. I agree, not an infection from him. There is a theory just having sex can cause an imbalance in some women, but I don’t really believe it. If the condom is latex I do think it could be aggravating the area possibly. Try nonlatex condoms I guess.

If the doxi isn’t working it isn’t. Each antibiotic only kills certain bacterias. If you have a bacterial infection, which it seems we cannot know for sure, it might look at the doxi molecule and laugh. There are tons of antibiotics used for nonspecific vaginal infections when a doctor is not sure what they are fighting. Flagyl, Keflex, Cipro, Augmentin. There is a little bit of voodoo in it, guessing and hoping.

I don’t remember if I have asked you if they have checked your thyroid and basic hormone levels. Do you cycle normally when you are off the pill? No nipple discharge? Nothing out of the ordinary in that realm?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie I have not asked him to check my thyroid levels, mostly because I don’t think I have any other symptoms. I asked him about hormones and he said “not at your age.” I might insist he check my levels this time. All if this started 3 months after I stopped taking birth control, but I was on Tri-Sprintec, which I’m told has very low doses of hormones. Plus my periods are roughly on time without birth control (usually a week late, but I have one each month) and no, I don’t have any nipple discharge. So he’s probably right, but I just want him to run all the tests he can just so I know what the problem is. I just want to know it’s nothing serious.

JLeslie's avatar

Too young is not an acceptable answer. At this point you have suffered enough, time to check other possibilities. If you check your thyroid make sure to look at the numbers even if you are in normal range, see if you are near the ends of the range. Thyroid normal ranges are argued about in the medical community for years now. Day 3 testing for estrogen and other hormones associated with your cycle are more informative than a test on a random day, but most GYN’s won’t be familiar with that test. It might be pulling at straws, but at this point I think it is worth a shot.

Honestly, I often felt like doctors Thought I made too much of my symptoms, that it was not that abnormal or something? They would say things like discharge is nornal, or there can be more discharge certain times of the month (duh). I flipping had my period for 10 years before I started having problens, I know what nornal is. It was annoying.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie I totally agree! He seems to empathize, but I don’t think he understands how annoying this is. Not being able to have a normal sexual relationship with my husband is a serious issue. I’ve had 2 doctors tell me the white discharge is normal, but my normal discharge has always been clear, and never caused itching or rawness. Therefore, not normal.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Is the white discharge like cake icing? Nornal discharge is more like raw egg whites. Viscous.

I have decided doctors see a lot of sick vaginas and so it has become statistically normal, but not healthy nornal.

There are a lot of women in pain and discomfort, something isn’t right. It’s not normal.

hearkat's avatar

I’ve had a rough day and have removed my glasses for the night, so forgive me if any of this was already discussed…
Could you be having a reaction to the latex in the condom or the spermicide/lubricant chemicals in it?

25 years ago – before Diflucan, when Monistat was a 7-day prescription-only treatment – I had similar symptoms to yours. I blamed the pill, but problems persisted with condoms, the sponge or a diaphragm. Then the antibacterial soaps forst came out, and I was using those to wash, and they seemed to help – they were super irritating in their own right, though. I have also considered that my ex might have been reinfecting me with whatever it was (although I’ve never tested positive for any STDs).

I never got an answer, and still have a flare-up or two every year. What seems to have helped the most has been minimizing chemical exposure – I only use sensitive skin soaps externally, and cleanse the more delicate parts with Summer’s Eve Feminine Wash for sensitive skin – all are fragrance-free. When I have a flare-up, I make sure to eat yogurt every day and push the fluids (because I generally don“t get enough) and soothe the irritation with Miracell oil.

I hope you do get an answer and effective treatment. I just thought I’d share my experience with you and what seems to help me a bit. Good luck!

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hearkat's avatar

Just a thought from another question you posted: baths often result in vaginal irritation – especially if you add anything to the water like bubble bath or calgon-like stuff.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@hearkat I don’t use anything scented, I wrinse the area with clean water afterwards, and warm baths actually temporarily relieve my symptoms.

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livelaughlove21's avatar

Well I went to the doctor yesterday. She said I had a prickly heat rash on my vulva that she says signifies a type of external yeast that doesn’t respond well to Diflucan. She swabbed me on the inside and said everything is normal, but she saw no latobacillus, so she gave me probiotics to restore my good bacteria balance that the antibiotics screwed up. She said it’ll take about two weeks for that.

She gave me nystatin cream to use twice a day on the outside, so today was my second of five days. The itching isn’t bad today, but the irritation almost seems worse. I’m hoping it’s just a “it gets worse before it gets better” type of thing. I don’t think I’m having a reaction to it because I’ve used this cream before, but it looks red and just feels very irritated.

I don’t know, I guess I’ll just wait it out.

JLeslie's avatar

Nystatin comes in ointment also, that might be less aggravating if the cream is bothering you.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for telling me that! I left a message for the nurse to see if I can get that instead.

JLeslie's avatar

Sure.

Also, if you have any OTC yeast stuff at home that you know is usually fine you could try it.

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