I can certainly understand how upsetting this situation must be for
both you and your wife. And your wife is sure to be overwhelmed,
especially when she is doubting your fidelity while you both struggle
to raise three children. I only wish her doctor had been more
forthcoming with background information concerning Vaginal Beta Strep.
I must admit that this has been a difficult undertaking. I have been
working on this question most of last night and all of today (and now
into the next day!), and I still do not have the definitive answers I
wish I could obtain. However, I believe the information I have
compiled will at least allow your wife to reconsider her opinion that
Vaginal Beta Strep must have come from an episode of infidelity on
Most information relating to VBS revolves around the issue of
transmission to a newborn during the birth process. Aside from these
concerns, VBS poses little health risk and presents with virtually no
Before I continue, I must stress that I am not a doctor. Any
information compiled by GA researchers is not meant as a substitute
for medical advice. Therefore, I can only offer you the information I
have found in my research.
I will summarize my findings first in order to make this answer less
confusing. You can then read through the various references to find
out more detailed information. While some of the excerpts might seem
repetitive, I have included as much variety as I can so the most
important points are emphasized!
It is my hope that after reading the following material, you and your
wife will have a better understanding of Vaginal Beta Strep and be
armed with information in order to consult with a doctor or midwife
who is willing to work with your wife to ease her condition.
Group B Strep (GBS), or Beta Strep, is a common bacteria that resides
in the intestines, vagina and rectum of up to 30 percent of women.
There is little understanding concerning how a woman becomes a carrier
of Vaginal Beta Strep. VBS usually presents no symptoms and the
bacteria rarely poses health problems unless it is detected in the
vagina during pregnancy, which raises concerns for the baby.
* In fact, because of the lack of symptoms, a women often does not
know she carries the Beta Strep bacteria until she is tested positive
during pregnancy with a vaginal swab or urine test.
The biggest danger from Beta Strep is to a newborn during childbirth.
If the Beta Strep bacteria has made it's way into the vagina during
pregnancy, the mother may be put on antibiotics to prevent
transmission to the baby. Not all women are screened for Beta Strep
during pregnancy. Women who are considered high-risk will likely be
screened, while others may not.
Antibiotics, while effective for the short term during pregnancy, are
often ineffective in the complete eradication of Beta Strep. Some of
the antibiotics used to treat Beta Strep include Penicillin,
Amoxicillin, Terazol, Clindamycin, Erythromycin, Cipro and Cefoxitin.
There are many strains of Beta Strep that are resistant to a multitude
* The continued use of antibiotics can lead to yeast infections since
they often destroy the normal vaginal flora.
* Beta Strep is not considered a sexually-transmitted disease.
While your wife's test results revealed the presence of beta strep,
it is possible that she had the bacteria in her system all along. Was
she tested for Vaginal Beta Strep during any of her pregnancies? If
so, and if the tests were negative at that time, it merely shows that
the bacteria was not inhabiting her vagina. At some point,(time
unknown) the bacteria was introduced into her vagina.
There is no consensus on how women are infected with Vaginal Beta
Strep. However, it is entirely possible that the bacteria was
introduced into her vagina during a routine vaginal exam in the
hospital! There is also the possibility that bacteria from her rectum
was introduced into her vagina during sexual intercourse. These two
options are definitely worth considering before jumping to the
presumption of extramarital relations.
I am assuming that when your wife went in for a diagnosis concerning
the itching around her vagina, the doctors performed a multitude of
tests to rule out STD's. When the test results came back, she received
a positive result for Vaginal Beta Strep. However, did the doctor
stress that the Beta Strep was the cause, and the "only" cause, for
the persistent itching, or did he merely mention the presence of the
bacteria in her vagina without any further information pertaining to
other possible causes for the irritation? I ask this because while
many women have vaginal beta strep, they do not necessarily present
with itching around the vaginal area.
The irritation that your wife is encountering may not from the Beta
Strep itself, but from some other type of vaginal infection - possibly
a result of a disruption in the vaginal flora. I stress this because
the literature stresses that VBS does not usually present with any
symptoms! There may also be a dermatological component.
I would recommend that your wife visit another gynecologist who is
more open to engaging in a good dialogue with her (or perhaps a
midwife). If the persistent itchiness is only on the outside skin, and
not within the vagina itself) she might even consider visiting a good
dermatologist for a second opinion.
* What I am trying to stress is that the Vaginal B Strep and the
persistent itchiness do not necessarily go hand in hand.
OVERVIEW OF VAGINAL BETA STREP
"Up to 35 percent of U.S. adults carry GBS, generally in their bowel,
bladder or throat, and in women, GBS may also appear in the vagina.
GBS is bacterium that typically lives harmlessly in the body - adults
rarely get sick from it. When GBS-related illness does occur in
adults, it's usually because their immune system isn't functioning
properly. In those situations, problems may include blood infections,
skin or soft-tissue infections, and pneumonia."
"One of every four or five pregnant women in the United States carry
GBS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC). Occasionally these women may experience problems, including:
* Urinary tract infections
* Uterine infections - specifically endometritis
"By far the biggest concern for pregnant women harboring GBS is the
passing of these bacteria to their unborn baby during vaginal
delivery. As the baby passes through the birth canal, it may come in
contact with fluids containing GBS bacteria. When that contact occurs,
the baby may develop GBS infection."
From "Group B strep: A preventable problem during pregnancy." From
MayoClinic.com (Dec 4, 2002)
Beta Strep is not associated with vaginal infections:
"Beta Strep is normal Vaginal Flora (That means it is supposed to be
there just like we have large amounts of Staph all over our skin) and
DOES NOT cause vaginal infections."
(From OBGYN.net - http://forums.obgyn.net/womens-health/WHF.0207/1644.html)
"GBS is a naturally occurring bacterium in the body of both men and women."
"Group B Strep, also known as Beta Strep or GBS is a bacteria that can
live within humans. About 25% of women are carriers of this bacteria
and don't even know it. They don't have any feelings of illness and
are not sick. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, so you don't
have to worry about your husband or partner getting it."
From "Group B Strep," by Robin Elise Weiss. About.com
"It's not well understood how women become infected with GBS, but it
can be found in the bowel, vagina, bladder, and throat, usually
without showing any symptoms. GBS is usually only detected by taking a
swab of both the vagina and rectum for special culture. People who
carry GBS typically do so temporarily; that is, they do not become
lifelong carriers of the bacteria."
From "Strep B and Pregnancy," by Amos Grunebaum, MD. WebMD. (2001)
What is Group B Strep infection?
"Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is found in
the lower intestine of 10-35% of all healthy adults and in the vagina
and/or lower intestine of 10-35% of all healthy, adult women. GBS
should not be confused with Group A Strep, which causes strep throat.
A person whose body carries GBS bacteria but who does not show signs
of infections is said to be "colonized" with GBS."
* GBS colonization is not contagious.
GBS bacteria are a normal part of the commonly found bacteria in the human body."
From "Group B Strep FAQ's.
"The first thing to understand about GBS is that the bacteria itself
is present in approximately 33 percent of the population, living
primarily in the intestinal tract. It is completely normal and doesn't
cause any problems for a non-pregnant person or a pregnant woman who
has it only in that part of the anatomy. However, once GBS finds it
way into the area that is swabbed for culture, rectal and vaginal,
then it poses a health risk to the baby first and foremost. It usually
presents with no symptoms to the mother and is only discovered through
routine testing done at 36 weeks gestation."
From "Illness during pregnancy: group b strep."
"GBS is a usually benign organism that lives in many women?s vaginas.
Just like most of us have staph bacteria on our skin and e. coli
bacteria in our colon, GBS bacteria lives in many people?s bodies
without ever causing a problem or being in any way noticeable to
"If a woman has GBS in her vagina, she is considered "colonized" with
the bacteria. It lives in her vagina without causing her any problems.
The complications arise when a woman colonized with GBS gives birth.
The GBS can, under certain circumstances, cause a life threatening
infection in the baby."
"10 to 30% of women are colonized with GBS."
"Information For All Parents about Group Beta Strep," by Sam
McCormick, CNM, Birth Center Midwife (1998)
"All women (and men) have various bacteria in our bodies, no matter
how often we take showers, etc. One of your "brands" of bacteria
happens to be GBS. Although it does not cause a discharge or other
symptoms it can, in about 1% of cases, cause a serious and even deadly
infection in a newborn baby.
From Obgyn.net http://forums.obgyn.net/forums/womens-health/WHF.9805/1018.html
How does a person get GBS?
"Many people carry the GBS bacteria on their bodies but do not become
ill. These people are considered "carriers" but typically are only
temporarily colonized with the bacteria. Adults can carry GBS in the
bowel, bladder or throat."
*** "Person to person transmission is rare."
From "Group B Streptococcal Infections (GBS), Invasive." Disease Fact
Sheet Series. (Last revised Dec. 16, 2003)
"Beta Streptococcus (beta-strep) is a bacterial strain found in up to
30% of women. It is a normal inhabitant of the vagina and is not
considered an infection.
* There are no symptoms and no associated vaginal discharge.
From "Prenatal Care and Testing (Additional Tests)." Offices of Dr.
Jick and Dr. Lewen. http://www.drjick.com/prenatal2.php
Beta Strep may also be detected in a urine sample:
"Someone asked why a patient is considered colonized when group B beta
strep is found in the urine. My understanding is that because beta
strep is normally only found in the colon/rectum and not in the
bladder, when it IS found in the urine, that woman has a high
probability that her vagina is colonized as well. If the organism was
transferred from the rectum to the urethra, we know it encountered the
vagina along the way too."
From Midwifery Today. July 9, 1999 Volume 1, Issue 28
(This is why good hygiene and proper wiping is so important. If a
woman has an asymptomatic colonization of B strep in her rectum, it
can easily be introduced to the vagina accidentally)
GBS can be introduced in the medical setting, or by the woman herself!
"Any caregiver can introduce GBS also. I have watched docs and
midwives when they do vaginals. They lube up and then do this little
wipe of the vulva with their fingers (almost like foreplay) to lube up
the woman. During that wipe they can easily pick up GBS and insert it
with their fingers. And it is not unusual for anyone who has delivered
in hospital to have GBS."
"As everyone knows, docs do vaginals on the first visit of a pregnancy
(for pelvimetry and STD checks). I believe that with that first
vaginal they can introduce GBS to the cervix and all too often do."
"If a caregiver is going to do a vaginal in early pregnancy (& even in
late) then the vulva should be wiped first with a microbial swab."
Far better to avoid GBS then have to treat it.
** "I think the most obvious source of a GBS vaginal infection is the
woman herself. Even when women are scrupulous about wiping
front-to-back, there are many routes of transport from the rectum to
the vagina - the woman's handling of a tampon in a public toilet where
she doesn't have a chance to wash her hands before tampon insert; the
tampon string itself."
From "Group B Strep." Midwife Archives
Do people who are group B strep carriers feel sick?
"Many people carry group B strep in their bodies, but they do not
become sick or have any symptoms. Adults can have group B strep in the
bowel, vagina, bladder, or throat. About 25% of pregnant women carry
group B strep in the rectum or vagina. A person who is a ?carrier? has
the bacteria in her body but may not feel sick. However, her baby may
come into contact with group B strep during birth. Group B strep
bacteria may come and go in people?s bodies without symptoms.
* A person does not have to be a carrier all of her life."
How does someone get group B strep?
"The bacteria that cause group B strep disease normally live in the
intestine, vagina, or rectal areas. Group B strep colonization is not
a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Approximately 25% (1 in 4) of
pregnant women carry group B strep bacteria in their vagina or rectum.
For most women there are no symptoms of carrying group B strep
Will group B strep go away with antibiotics?
"Antibiotics that are given when labor starts help to greatly reduce
the number of group B strep bacteria present during labor. This
reduces the chances of the newborn becoming exposed and infected."
However, for women who are group B strep carriers, antibiotics before
labor starts are not a good way to get rid of group B strep bacteria.
Since they naturally live in the gastrointestinal tract (guts), the
bacteria can come back after antibiotics. A woman may test positive at
certain times and not at others. That?s why it?s important for all
pregnant women to be tested for group B strep carriage between 35 to
37 weeks of every pregnancy. Talk to your doctor or nurse about the
best way to prevent group B strep disease, or review the revised group
B strep guidelines to learn more.
Is there a vaccine for group B strep?
"There is not a vaccine right now to prevent group B strep. The
federal government is supporting research on a vaccine for the
prevention of group B strep disease."
Are yeast infections caused by group B strep?
"Yeast infections are not caused by group B strep bacteria. Taking
antibiotics can sometimes increase the chances of having a yeast
infection. When bacteria that are normally found in the vagina are
killed by antibiotics, yeast may have a chance to grow more quickly
Is group B strep the same as strep throat?
"No. Strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. Group A
and group B streptococcus are different kinds of bacteria. They both
belong to the same family, but they are different species."
From the FAQ's for Group B Strep Disease. Center for Disease Control
Can GBS cause vaginal infections?
"Yes, if you have vaginal irritation/burning, or yellow or green
discharge, you should see your health care provider to be tested and
treated. Although GBS vaginitis is not widely recognized by health
care providers, GBS can cause these symptoms."
forum thread about vaginal strep
See Gynocological Infections
"Can group B streptococci cause symptomatic vaginitis?" by Honig E,
Mouton JW, van der Meijden WI. Department of Dermatology and
Venereology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
BACKGROUND: Maternal cervicovaginal colonization with Lancefield group
B streptococci (GBS) is an important risk factor for neonatal
morbidity and mortality. About 15% of women are carriers of GBS.
Usually, they are asymptomatic. CASES: We describe two patients with
symptomatic vaginitis for which no apparent cause was found. Both
patients were heavily colonized with GBS. After antibiotic treatment,
both became asymptomatic and culture negative, but after
recolonization with GBS, symptoms resumed. This phenomenon was
repeatedly observed. After emergence of resistance to antibiotics,
local application of chlorhexidine appeared to be the only useful
treatment. CONCLUSION: We hypothesize that GBS-vaginitis may be a
possible disease entity. Although at present it is not clear why some
patients become symptomatic, we speculate that the immunologic
response is somehow selectively hampered in such patients."
What about Group B Strep in adults that are not pregnant?
"Group B streptococcus is a bacterium which grows normally in the
bowels (and stool) of people. At any given time, about 25% of people
have a group B streptococcus in their bowel at high enough
concentrations for us to detect. Group B streptococcus rarely causes
infection in healthy people."
"Infections due to group B streptococcus are associated with older
age, seriously compromised immune systems, and problems with the bowel
or bladder which make it easier for these bacteria to invade deeper
into the body. For instance, bladder catheters allow bacteria to grow
in the urine and cause infection more easily. Bowel problems such as
diverticular disease, cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease make it
easier for the bacteria to invade damaged parts of the bowel wall and
cause serious infections such as bacteremia."
"Group B streptococcal infection is not transmitted from person to
person, and you do not have to worry about contact with an infected
For medical readers, there is a good review of the epidemiology
(frequency, risk factors for) infections due to group B streptococci
in the New England Journal of Medicine 1993, volume 328, pages
1807-1811, first author Dr. M Farley.
From "Group B Streptococcus." FAQ's. Toronto Medical Laboratories
"My wife has had a persistent Group B strep infection for about 18
months. She has had several courses of antibiotics, all to no avail.
Her symptoms include vaginal irritation and clear, watery discharge,
often heavy. She is diligent in her hygiene, drinks lots of liquids
including pure cranberry juice, and avoids any irritating topical
substances. Her symptoms go through better and worse periods, often
stress-related, but ultimately persist. Her doctors don't seem to have
many answers. How can she get rid of this infection?"
"The normal vagina contains between five and 15 different types of
bacteria, including group B strep. Usually, the complex interplay
among vaginal bacteria and their byproducts, estrogen and vaginal pH
levels prevents any one form of bacteria from getting out of hand and
causing unpleasant symptoms. It is important to remember, however,
that not all discharge is infection and therefore bad -- a clear
discharge without odor, that does not produce itching and burning, is
most likely normal and does not need to be treated."
"Group B strep certainly can be associated with infection, but this is
most problematic in pregnancy, because it can infect the newborn baby.
Women who are found to have group B strep in pregnancy are treated
during labor to prevent transmission of the bacteria to the baby.
Group B strep can also cause uterine infection after a vaginal
delivery or cesarean section. In a nonpregnant woman, group B strep,
unless especially abundant, is considered part of the normal vaginal
flora and is not treated."
*** "If your wife is truly having symptoms of infection; if yeast,
chlamydia, gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis are ruled out; and if the
only thing found is an overabundance of strep B, then and only then
should she get antibiotics to eradicate the strep. Penicillin and its
derivatives are the usual choice. In order to prevent recolonization
and infection, it is important to help preserve the normal vaginal
ecosystem by avoiding douching, taking acidophilus supplements and
reducing refined sugars in the diet. If she is postmenopausal,
estrogen replacement should be considered. If she is on birth control
pills, she may want to stop these as they can affect the vaginal
environment. Sometimes a copious normal discharge can lead to
irritation just from chronic moistness; in this case, freezing
(cryosurgery) or lasering the cervix may decrease secretions and
"In some larger cities and medical centers there are clinics devoted
to vulvovaginitis; your wife may want to seek an opinion from one of
these specialized centers."
From "Persistent Group B Strep," by Kelly Shanahan, M.D. (1998)
The few references I found to Vaginal Beta Strep and sexual activity
do not provide much information other than the fact that the two are
linked. There is a distinction made between sexual activity and a
conditon that is sexually transmitted, but it is somewhat confusing!
"Group B streptococci (GBS) are bacteria that are commonly found in
the genital tracts of both men and women. The risk of infection with
these organisms increases with the level of sexual activity. Between
20 and 35 percent of otherwise healthy young women are infected with
GBS. Adults usually have no symptoms of GBS infection."
From "Sexually Transmitted Diseases." National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases. National Institutes of Health. August, 1992
"Group B streptococcus (GBS) is one of many types of streptococcus. It
can be identified and distinguished from other types of streptococcus
(for example, group A streptococcus, which causes a "strep throat") by
its unique characteristics in the microbiology laboratory."
"A person can become colonized with GBS. Colonization is the term for
when bacteria are present in the body but not causing symptoms or
disease; a man or woman who is colonized with GBS is called a GBS
"carrier." Colonization may be transient, intermittent, or chronic,
and, in women, primarily involves the bowel (including the anus) and
vagina. Colonization results from transmission of bacteria from mother
to baby at birth or close contact with a GBS carrier. Although GBS is
not considered a sexually transmitted disease, a person can become
colonized from sexual activity. Between 5 and 40 percent of women
(both pregnant and nonpregnant) are colonized with GBS in the
From the Arthritis and Rheumatology Forum. Med Help. (May 2003)
(The following newsgroup conversations are a bit dated. There is a
possibility that the links will not work when I post this answer. If
so, please go to www.google.com, click on groups, enter the search
term - vaginal strep - and look by newsgroup date on the first three
search pages for these links.)
"Is GBS a Sexually Transmitted Disease?"
"Since GBS is normally found in the vagina and/or rectum of colonized
women, one way it can colonize another individual is through sexual
contact. However, this bacteria usually does not cause genital
symptoms or discomfort and is generally not linked with increased
sexual activity. Therefore GBS is not considered to be a sexually
Newsgroups: misc.kids.pregnancy. Date: 1996/01/12
"GBS is a common bacteria that almost never causes symptoms in the
non-pregnant patient. There is no discharge, pain with sex, cancer,
etc due to this, and, in fact, it is considered a "normal" part of the
intestinal and vaginal bacterial flora of about 30% of US women. It
is most likely obtained as a child, and is not thought to be sexually
transmitted at all."
"If a patient has known GBS, most of us think it is futile to try to
treat it (other than in labor). Since it is found in the GI tract, it
usually comes back even after lengthy therapy. I only treat it in
labor, or if the patient has a bladder or water bag infection.
Otherwise, you run the risk of giving penicillin or ampicillin to
everybody and causing resistant organisms. Plus,it usually comes back.
My opinion is shared by many, but not all, Ob/Gyns."
D. Ashley Hill, M.D.
Subject: Re: Group B strep?
View: Complete Thread (3 articles)
"My S.O. recently came down with a bad case of Strep B in her vagina.
The doctor suspected one kind of infection, took a culture and while
she didn't find what she originally was looking for, she did find the
strep. Now, here's the rub - we both have been thoroughly monogamous
for almost 4 years now, and while the nurse indicated that having sex
was one of the methods for the strep bacteria to make it's way into
her vaginal, she couldn't easily explain any other ways."
So, I have a few questions for this group:
Does anyone know of a non-sexual method for a woman to get a strep B
infection in her vagina? What, (if anything), do I need to be
concerned about? What does this mean for our sexual activities
together? Aside from the fact that she's feeling better and is now
interested in sex again, is abstinence a good policy for now - and
for how long?
From "Strep B?
View: Complete Thread (3 articles)
The replies included the possibility of introducing the bacteria by
insertion of a contaminated finger into the vagina, as well as a
weakened immune system that cannot fight the strep that is already
SOME ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS
Vaginal wash with Hydrogen Peroxide:
"As a midwife, I've become very enthusiastic about vaginal washes with
hydrogen peroxide for yeast or anything pathogenic going on in the
vagina, particularly because it's much safer even than the
over-the-counter pharmaceuticals during pregnancy. The hydrogen
peroxide (H2O2) is very safe, breaking down into water (H2O) very
quickly; as it does so, an oxygen atom is liberated, which oxidizes
organic matter it comes in contact with on the surface of the vaginal
mucous lining. It literally washes out and kills pathogenic
* including yeast, group B strep, and a variety of other vaginal pathogens.
"Hydrogen peroxide is normally produced as a byproduct of acidophilus
metabolism, which is why acidophilus is a "friendly" vaginal bacteria
- it provides a continual bath of hydrogen peroxide to keep those
yeasty beasties and other pathogens from developing an overgrowth.
[NOTE - This treatment is generally considered safe during pregnancy,
but you should check with your healthcare provider first, in case
there's something unusual about your situation. If your provider
doesn't know anything about this treatment, you can suggest they
educate themselves and let you know when they have the answer. If
they suggest that alternative remedies are worthless and you should
use a pharmaceutical agent instead, they are what I would call a word
that starts with an "F" and rhymes with "Cool", or else they just
really enjoyed the last conference sponsored by the pharmaceutical
companies, and they want to ensure continuing pharmaceutical profits
If you have any kind of vaginal infection that's causing troublesome
symptoms, it makes sense to start with a vaginal wash while you're
doing other things to help re-establish a more healthful acidophilus
presence. You can use a vaginal wash in combination with other
treatments. Do the vaginal wash while you're in the shower, and then
apply your other treatments at a later time."
Read more for instructions:
From "Vaginal Infections."
If you have a naturopathic bent, you may want to consider the
following suggestions. There is always controversy surrounding these
treatments so I certainly don't vouch for any of them!
"Externally eliminates itching almost immediately...Wheatgrass juice
externally applied to the skin can help eliminate itching almost
From "The Benefits of Wheatgrass."
"As a precaution, or if you take the test and are told you have Beta
strep, my first choice would be daily ingestion of
electrically-generated colloidal silver. Colloidal silver has been
tested on 650 different microorganisms and has been successful in
killing them all with an exposure of less than 6 minutes in most
cases. You can take it orally, and use as a douche to kill the
bacteria in the vagina. It is virtually non-toxic when taken in the
electrically-generated form. Beware of colloidal silver made by other
methods, and with protein stabilizers added. These products are not as
effective as electrically-generated colloidal silver, and they can
become toxic if taken on a regular basis."
"Beta Strep." Center for Unhindered Living.
A clove of Garlic
"A fresh garlic clove inserted into the vagina for one or two nights
will also, most likely, reduce the colonization of the vagina with
GBS, with no known side effects, besides garlic breath. Chlorhexidine
vaginal gel or wash reduces GBS colonization, so the idea of using
local measures is not too radical."
"At the Maxwell Finland Laboratory for Infectious Diseases in the
Boston Medical Center, researchers examined the use of garlic for ear
infections (2). They found that fresh garlic was bacteriocidal,
killing even the dangerous bacterium Streptococcus agalactiae
(commonly known as Group B Strep) but is heat- and acid-labile and
loses activity when cooked or taken by mouth."
From "How to Treat a Vaginal Infection with a Clove of Garlic," by
Judy Slome Cohain, CNM. Midwifery Today. (2003)
"I handle GBS by giving women information on it regarding the risks,
treatment, etc. and leave it up to them whether to culture or not. If
they choose to culture, I do it at about 35 weeks. If the culture is
positive, I give them the choice of herbal protocol and reculturing in
two weeks to make sure the herbs worked. Or they can take antibiotics
orally when labor starts.
"The herbal protocol I recommend is as follows (it works for GBS,
trichamonas, or chlamydia):
"Add 1/2 teaspoon goldenseal tincture to 2 cups body temperature
spring water. Add this to a douche bag and douche once a day for a
week. Also take 500 mg. golden seal (or 1/4 tsp. tincture) orally TID.
Then, use a lactobacillus implant daily for 2 weeks (a gelatin capsule
of high quality lactobacillus inserted vaginally once or twice a day
From Midwifery Today. July 9, 1999 Volume 1, Issue 28
"I've used echinacea as a vaginal wash (versus douche) for bacterial
vaginosis with good success and feel that it will be *equally
effective against b strep* --some nice proper studies need to be done,
somebody! This is safe for pregnancy."
"I recommend 2 droppersful of echinacea tincture in 1 cup warm water.
I suggest to my clients that they get in the (empty) tub, scooch down,
open their labia with their fingers and pour the warm solution into
their vagina. (or they can use a short plastic funnel to direct it)
then I tell them to put their fingers in and swoosh it around for a
while, trying to get it into crevasses and folds (gently of course).
After a while (your tailbone won't like the tub too long) just sit up,
let whatever wants to run out do so, get out, wipe off! It can be
repeated bid for a couple of days as nec, but for bacterial vaginosis,
once is often adequate."
From "Vaginal Infections." Midwife Archives.
A host of natural remedies for treating Vaginal Beta Strep may be
found on the Midwife Archives Website:
Please click on "Reducing GBS Colonization with Alternative Treatments."
POSSIBILITY OF A DERMATOLOGICAL CONDITION
Since you mentioned that washing with Noxema provides some relief
from the itching, I am wondering if a dermatological problem might be
Please read the following article excerpt:
"..there are a number of other skin conditions that may affect the
external female genitalia for your specialist to consider when trying
to diagnose your problem."
"I would agree with you that they have rather difficult and confusing
names, the commonest ones being lichen sclerosus and vulval dermatitis
(sometimes referred to as lichen simplex chronicus). These conditions
are looked upon by skin specialists as being very different from
others such as eczema and psoriasis that may also affect the
"Specialists are now wondering if some women, because of their genes,
may be more likely to develop these conditions in response to local
natural irritants such as urine and vaginal secretions. The problem
can also occur as a result of allergy to fragrance materials and
substances such as latex in condoms."
"Fragrance materials are not only present in products primarily used
for their scent such as perfume, but also in cosmetics, toiletries (eg
shower gel), panty liners or tampons, and all kinds of household and
"Of the general population, approximately one per cent are allergic to
fragrance materials - eczema due to fragrances usually leads to
redness and flaking of the skin, often localised in the neck, behind
the ears, in the armpits or around the eyes.
* It is important to understand that allergy to fragrances, latex and
so on, can sometimes worsen pre-existing itching in the area of the
"The treatment of chronic itching around the vagina is generally
considered difficult. Steroid creams represent the most effective
topical treatment, but carry the risk of side effects such as thinning
of the skin."
"As your specialist has suggested, long-standing itching not
responding to conventional treatment may be treated with tacrolimus
ointment 0.1% (Protopic)."
"You will be pleased to hear that significant improvement has been
reported clinically after six consecutive weeks of treatment with
tacrolimus ointment 0.1% twice daily. Importantly, the use of topical
tacrolimus does not cause thinning of the skin and is safer than
steroid treatment in this respect."
From "Eczema around vagina," by Dr John ET Pillinger. Net Doctor (10-09-2003)
Please read over these other articles which highlight some conditions
that can cause vaginal itching. (You did not mention that your wife
has any other symptoms, such as discharge, etc)
"The Vagina - Common Vaginal Conditions." FPA Health. (July 31, 2003)
"Dermatitis is a very common cause for irritation around the vagina.
The main symptom is usually itching, but if a woman scratches the area
the skin can tear or split and this can cause burning and stinging as
Dermatitis can be caused by anything that irritates the sensitive skin
around the vagina eg the detergents used to wash underwear, soaps,
perfumes, bubble baths, shower gels, vaginal deodorants, lubricants
"Dermatitis can also be caused by an allergy, perhaps to the rubber in
condoms or diaphragms, to ti-tree oil, or to one of the ingredients in
vaginal creams or pessaries. Often the woman will have had other
allergies like asthma, hay fever or excema."
"Itching." Sexual Health Advice Center.
While your wife's belief and trust in your faithfulness is a matter
that can only be worked out between the two of you, I sincerely hope
that she will be open to reading over this information. I cannot help
but be dismayed that her doctor offered no explanations or background
information concerning Vaginal Beta Strep. For this reason, I also
hope you will both consider seeking another opinion. Since Noxema
seems to help the external itching, I also cannot help but think that
there "might" also be a dermatological aspect to this persisent
problem aside from the existence of VBS.
This is a lot of research to mull over. However, if it can ease your
wife's doubts and arm you both with information so you can ask some
informed questions of your doctor, it will be well worth it!
Wishing you the very best,
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