2. “Ewwwww! Sometimes I have an odor the morning after sex. Why does it happen and what can I do?”
Dr. Streicher says: First of all, don’t worry—you aren’t dirty and washing with perfumed soap or douching won’t help—it will only make it worse!
This happens because your vaginal pH has been thrown out of balance. Think of your vagina as a delicate ecosystem that needs to be maintained at a pH of 3.5 to 4.5. The pH of semen has a pH of 7.1 to 8, so, when introduced to the vagina, an odor or itch can occur –usually the morning after having sex the evening before. Lots of women douche to feel clean and fresh, but understand that water has a pH of 7—so while it might make you feel fresh for a short time, it won’t solve the problem.
Here are a few things I recommend to my patients:
• Avoid douching
• Don’t use feminine products that contain deodorants or scented soaps
• Over-the-counter, RepHresh Gel has been clinically shown to restore the normal vaginal pH and eliminate vaginal odor
3. “I have a lot of discharge and irritation, but over the counter yeast medications don’t work. What should I do?”
Dr. Streicher says: Less than one-third of women who think they have a yeast infection actually do. Two thirds instead suffer from bacterial vaginosis (BV), a proliferation of “bad” bacteria, often caused by an unbalanced vaginal pH.
If you aren’t sure whether your symptoms indicate BV or a yeast infection, you should absolutely see your doctor before you apply any over-the-counter treatment. Not only is bacterial vaginosis uncomfortable and frustrating, but untreated BV can also increase the risk of premature birth, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even sexually transmitted diseases. Once BV is diagnosed, a course of antibiotics is required to eliminate the symptoms. Recurrence rates are very high. The best way to prevent recurrent BV is to maintain a normal vaginal pH .
So, going to the Gyno isn’t always at the top of our list, but it should definitely be right up there. It’s okay to be nervous, but remember…these highly trained men and women did not go through years of school for NOTHIN! We may not be used to someone snooping around our lady parts, but as far as our doctors are concerned, it’s no biggie! A well established relationship with your Gynecologist is a MUST in order to have a successful visit. If you are nervous about the exam, take your notes and questions in with you so you don’t forget. Talking about your anxieties can make the rest of the appointment a piece of cake!
So, spread the word and share my sexy secrets—
Until next time,
Suzi Kirsh’s life experiences have contributed to her passion for educating women about their physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. Her “Sexy Secrets” cover embarrassing questions you’ve always wondered about but were too afraid to ask. Suzi will let you know how the country’s best ob/GYNs respond to your tough questions—so, ask away!