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Cytolytic Vaginosis questions
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An_252419 posted:
Eight weeks ago, about 10 days before my period, I started getting some white (or slightly yellow) discharge with vaginal itching and burning. I thought it was the start of a yeast infection and tried to treat it how I typically treat the itching that sometimes follow a period--with garlic. But it didn't respond and became quite unbearable. I then tried several yeast treatments: Monistat 7, Diflucan (2 pills), YeastAway (homeopathic suppositories with boric acid), and FloraFemme (probiotic suppository). I also took oral probiotics. My diet was fantastic before the burning and itching started--no alcohol or sugar, high veggies, no refined carbs. I'm married and in my 30s and there was no change to my hygiene or personal care products (which are all organic and fragrance free) and have only had 3 yeast infections in my life.

Since the "yeast infection" was obviously not responding to treatment, I visited my GYN and had two cultures done. Both came back negative for yeast and bacteria. For the second culture, I refrained from all treatments for 48 hours before the swab. The second culture came back with a diagnosis of "heavy mixed urogenital flora" and I was told to douche with baking soda and water. Online searches label this as cytolytic vaginosis.

Cytolytic vaginosis occurs when there's an overgrowth of the "good" vaginal bacteria--the lactobacilli that are normally there producing acid and hydrogen peroxide to prevent the growth of other organisms like yeast or bad bacteria. When the lactobacilli grow too much though, they create a very acidic environment that causes the burning and itching. From the name, I assume cells are also being destroyed by the acid. My questions are:

1. What causes cytolytic vaginosis in the first place? Too much probiotics? Hormones?
2. What is the discharge? Dead epithelial cells?
3. Why is the only recommended treatment douches, sitz baths, or capsules with baking soda? Yes this may balance out some of the acids created by the overgrowth of lactobacilli, but don't I need to halt the growth of lactobacilli too for complete relief? Will a rise in pH do that?
4. The baking soda is not stopping the burning and redness. How do I treat that?
5. How long does it take to balance out the vaginal flora again? Already, it's been 2 months of burning and no sex. At this point, I can hardly wear underwear without discomfort. I would really like some relief.
6. Are there any vitamins or supplements I can take to help the vaginal wall heal?
7. How can I prevent this in the future? It seems unwise to mess with the vaginal pH too much, as I'm currently doing to treat this condition.

I appreciate any insight! I'm so uncomfortable and am going on vacation next week. I would love to not have to be constantly thinking about this burning and irritation!
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