The Other Vaginosis: Cytolytic Caginosis Case Study

Education concept: Case Study with optical glass

Do you know BV?

Many women have heard of bacterial vaginosis (aka BV), which is a condition in which the Lactobacilli bacteria normally present in the vaginal canal are depleted and other bacteria overgrow, causing abnormal vaginal discharge.

But, did you know that there is another type of vaginosis that can cause abnormal discharge and other symptoms of vaginitis?

What is vaginitis?

Vaginitis is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain.”

In my practice, I find that vaginitis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection (such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or Trichomonas), bacterial vaginosis (aka BV), or yeast (aka Candida). For more details on signs, symptoms, and treatment options for these causes, see my article Vaginitis: What’s going on “down there”?

However, sometimes women have been treated for some or all of the above, but their symptoms have not resolved. In some cases, treatment has actually worsened symptoms!

What is cytolytic vaginosis?

Cytolytic vaginosis (aka Lactobacillus overgrowth syndrome or Doderlein’s cytolysis) is a lesser-known condition that can cause vaginitis symptoms that are often misdiagnosed, resulting in chronic irritation and/or discharge and unsuccessful treatment attempts.

Cytolytic vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of lactobacilli bacteria, resulting in acidity and irritation. This imbalance in the vaginal environment can cause moderate to profuse discharge which is usually white, thick, pasty, and odourless. Itching, burning, pain, and irritation are also typical symptoms.

Usually symptoms are worse before the menstrual period and then relieved with the menstrual flow – this is because the menstrual flow is more basic, so it helps to neutralize the overly acidic vaginal environment.

Cytolytic vaginosis is usually MISDIAGNOSED as yeast overgrowth (Candida), due to the signs and symptoms which look very similar. However, one hallmark of this condition is that it does not respond to anti-fungal treatment and in fact can be made worse by using vaginal probiotic suppositories! Here is a great article with even more detail about this condition: Cytolytic vaginosis: a review.

As far as I know, there is no conventional medical treatment for this condition currently. However, there is great naturopathic treatment that can resolve symptoms and correct the vaginal environment to restore normal function.

The following case study is a great example of a case of cytolytic vaginosis diagnosed and treated successfully using naturopathic medicine.

Case study: Cytolytic vaginosis resolved

This patient is a 32 year old female with a history of chronic yeast infections. They used to occur only 1-2 times per year but increased in frequency since beginning her current relationship 3 years ago. Now symptoms are early constant.

She was diagnosed with yeast overgrowth via a vaginal swab in December 2012. Treatment for yeast infections have helped a bit, but the symptoms always come back. She had tried both vaginal suppositories of both boric acid and probiotics but these caused greater discomfort and bleeding.

November 2014: Initial visit

Current symptoms:

  • Vaginal burning, itching
  • Clear or white discharge
  • Some swelling and redness of vulva
  • Pelvic pain on the left side which is sharp, stabbing
  • Increased urination with the pelvic pain
  • Pelvic pain is worse during the night, on waking in the morning, and with running
  • Symptoms seemed better with using Monistat and Epsom salt baths

Naturopathic Treatment:

  1. Nutrition: Staged Candida diet to eliminate any overgrowth of yeast systemically.

If you have ever done a Candida diet before, you know there is a long list of foods to avoid (which can be challenging!) and it is often recommended to follow this diet for quite a long time.

While I find that patients almost always feel much better on this diet, it is difficult to maintain and once they reintroduce foods their symptoms often return. So, I have developed a staged version of this diet which is easier to follow strictly.

It is so important to combine this diet with active anti-fungal treatment to eliminate any yeast overgrowth as quickly as possible as well as improve digestive function for the long-term so that the digestive environment is no longer conducive to yeast overgrowth when foods are reintroduced.

  1. Nutrition: Including oral probiotics and other supportive nutrients.
  2. Botanical Medicine: Including oral anti-fungal herbal combination and anti-fungal vaginal suppositories.
  3. Homeopathy: Combination product to reduce irritating symptoms.
  4. Biotherapeutic drainage: Personalized to improve detoxification and elimination functions as well as support healthy digestion.

After this visit I requisitioned the testing her medical doctor had completed, which showed the following:

  • December 2012: Vaginal swab positive for Candida (yeast) and negative for bacterial vaginosis, Trichomonas, Gonorrhea (Chlamydia was not tested)
  • Sep 2014: Trace blood in urine, leucocyte esterase positive (which could indicate a urinary tract infection)
  • October 2014: Pelvic ultrasound shows cysts in left and right ovaries

December 2014: Email

The patient emailed me to let me know that while she had been feeling better with minimal symptoms since our November visit, she had once again developed increased pelvic pain and the burning and itching were worse. This was also accompanied by increased urinary frequency.

My response was to recommend she use topical anti-fungal creams as needed to reduce symptoms as well as ensure she was drinking lots of water. I also recommended pure, unsweetened cranberry juice, which can be helpful to ward off early urinary tract infections (in case that was the issue here).

Finally, I recommended she try baking soda sitz baths as the diagnosis of cytolytic vaginosis was on my list of possible root causes and this treatment can be very relieving.

January 2015: Second visit

The patient reported that my suggestions in December helped reduce her symptoms within 3-4 days and she was feeling better overall. She had no pain, only slight vaginal discomfort. Her symptoms were less frequent and less severe.

We reviewed her past medical history and the patient noted that 3 years ago (which was around the time her symptoms became worse) she became very ill with an infection (which was never diagnosed) and was treated with antibiotics. This was interesting to me because I find that antibiotic use often precedes vaginitis complaints because they can disrupt the normal vaginal environment.

Naturopathic Treatment:

  1. Nutrition: Gradual food reintroduction from the staged Candida diet, continue supplements as per previous treatment plan.
  2. Biotherapeutic drainage: Personalized to continue detoxification.
  3. Botanical Medicine and Homeopathy recommendations concluded.

Later that month I received an email from the patient noting that her symptoms had returned! I made the same recommendations as in December and I encouraged her to return to her MD to ask for a referral to a gynecologist. We also planned to do further testing at her February follow-up appointment.

February 2015: Follow-up visit

I did a gynecological exam which revealed copious white discharge which I sampled with a vaginal swab to test for yeast, bacteria, and Trichomonas. I also completed an endocervical swab to test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

Naturopathic Treatment:

  1. Nutrition: Candida staged diet and reintroduction complete, continue to minimize sugars (especially packaged foods) and continue supplements as per previous treatment plan.
  2. Biotherapeutic drainage: Personalized to aid in balancing female hormones.
  3. Baking soda sitz baths.

April 2015: Follow-up visit

The results from the testing I completed in February came back negative for everything tested: Candida (yeast), bacterial vaginosis, Trichomonas, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea were all ruled out.

The patient reported that she had had another flare-up after our last follow-up visit, so she did the baking soda sitz baths regularly for 2 weeks (along with the rest of our treatment plan) and that all symptoms had resolved!

Naturopathic Treatment:

  1. Nutrition: Continue to minimize sugars (especially packaged foods) and continue supplements as per previous treatment plan.
  2. Biotherapeutic drainage: Personalized to continue addressing female hormone balance.

July 2015: Follow-up visit

The patient reported that her pelvic pain remains resolved and that other symptoms are rare – she may have some itching and burning prior to her menstrual period at times, and this resolves with the menstrual flow.

Naturopathic Treatment:

  1. Nutrition: Continue to minimize sugars (especially packaged foods) and continue supplements as per previous treatment plan.
  2. Baking soda sitz baths as needed


This was a case that initially presented similar to yeast overgrowth, including a prior vaginal swab positive for yeast. However, although anti-fungal treatment was helpful, it did not resolve the issue and the patient continued to have flare-ups of symptoms, despite excellent compliance following the treatment plan closely and consistently.

The correct diagnosis and treatment of cytolytic vaginosis was reached through a combination of patient-reported symptoms, medical history, and testing to rule out other causes of vaginitis. Having reached this diagnosis, naturopathic treatment was successful and the patient remains symptom-free!

114 Responses to The Other Vaginosis: Cytolytic Caginosis Case Study

  1. MelL February 6, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    Thanks for posting this article! Many women need to see this because many doctors seem to be unaware of cytolytic vaginosis. I have suffered with this condition for many years and have been to many doctors who have dismissed me or couldn’t help me.

    • Krys March 15, 2021 at 8:50 pm #

      Hey MelL, have you found anything to help you?

  2. Tammy March 12, 2016 at 3:49 am #

    Hello, I am dealing with this issue right now, I finally got to a specialist that diagnosed me with Cytolytic Vaginosis, he has been having me use baking soda douche and I am not getting that great of a response from it. So, maybe my diet is the issue?? Can you tell me more of what to avoid besides sugar??

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 16, 2016 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Tammy, I have found that an anti-candida diet can often help in the short-term, so not just cutting out processed sugar, but also reducing/eliminating grains and fruit temporarily. You can check out some guidelines for doing this in my post How to go sugar-free. However, in stubborn cases I have found that diet is not enough and personalized treatment with a naturopathic doctor is necessary to help the body regulate itself to eliminate this issue.

  3. Mykesha March 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    I have the same issue and everything has been ruled out as far as yeast and stds. I cant get any answers. I always have this white tissue like substance when I wipe or when I touch my vagina. and when I rub my fingers together it feels pasty. During sex my bf will ask if its tissue and its not. And white clumpy discharge will be on his (parts) its very embarassing. I just cry because I dont know what to do anymore.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 18, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

      Hi Mykesha, I’m so sorry to hear you are so frustrated! I recommend you get a referral to a gynecologist/gynecological dermatologist for another opinion and also find an ND in your area to work with.

    • Camy March 29, 2016 at 12:17 am #

      I never knew what this was. Treated yeast infection several times,even though it never itched. Realized through my partner my fluids were very sour. That was new. After researching found out what CV was,and a suggestion to drink warm water with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in it. You have to be sure it’s completely dissolved,and do not take it on a full stomach. Make sure it’s aluminum free baking soda not baking powder. I did this for three mornings, eliminated all caffeine and alot of sugar. Started doing baking soda sitz baths, and taking a tablespoon of honey every morning. Absolutely no discharge or sour taste. Hoping I can just continue with sitz baths now. I don’t think you should drink the baking soda long term. Talk to your doctor about making sure it wouldn’t hurt anything. I think it helped.

      • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 30, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

        Many women do not have to continue sitz baths indefinitely. If symptoms do not resolve, seek personalized treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor.

      • Lily Ryder October 30, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

        Hi are your symptoms still gone?
        Did you have burning when it flared up ?

        • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND October 31, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

          Hi Lily, I can’t comment on whether Camy still has symptoms, but I can tell you that the patient in this case study continues to be mostly symptom free with only occasional minor symptoms right before menses (when she used the baking soda sitz bath as needed).

  4. M March 30, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi Dr. Whimster,
    What is the ph level of a vagina with CV?

    I’m pretty certain I’ve had CV for a few years and last time I tried to bring it up to my gynecologist, she scoffed and said she never heard of it. She just diagnosed me with a yeast infection and sent me off. Nothing was resolved.

    Is there a way to bring it up to a doctor without seeming like one of those crazy people who overuse google and self-diagnose?

    Also, does CV cause vaginal dryness? I’ve been in a relationship for 4 years. I’m only 24 and after the third year of being together with my boyfriend, I longer got wet during sex.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 30, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

      Hi M,

      The normal pH of the vaginal canal is acidic (3.5-5) and because CV is caused by an overgrowth of acid-producing bacteria, the pH will be normal.

      My recommendation to you is to ensure your doctor does a vaginal swab to rule in/out the presence of yeast and/or bacteria before treating. I also recommend you get a copy of the results of this swab because sometimes although you may not test positive for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), it could also show “altered vaginal flora”. If the swab is completely normal (no yeast, no BV, no altered vaginal flora) and your symptoms fit with CV, then you can work off that hypothesis. I also recommend you share with your doctor this paper about CV:

      CV can cause vaginal irritation/discomfort, which can reduce your ability to become aroused but vaginal dryness may be unrelated.

      • sade October 23, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

        I’m having the same issues and it just will not go away I need help doctors think I am crazy and refuse to help me

        • Denise May 21, 2020 at 2:04 pm #

          Hi! I wonder how the baking soda sitz bath works? Am i supposed to steam or sit in it? How often? Does it have any side effects?
          Can you recommend anything else like an oil or something?

          Thank you!

          • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND May 22, 2020 at 5:03 pm #

            Hi Denise, the baking soda is NOT used as a steam but baking soda simply added to enough water to sit in. There is also more information about using baking soda as a douche instead in the article I link to in my post: Cytolytic vaginosis: A review. Keep in mind that for chronic cases, personalized treatment is often needed to achieve long-term resolution. Good luck!

    • Jolene June 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

      I too have been diagnosed, as all swabs for other bacterial and fungal came back negative 3x, my doctor is not over familiar or others I have seen, just mentioned this article as he read it he agreed. I was recommended the baking soda bath and douche, how long does this take to clear up? I’ve been doing it for a month, it helps the symptoms but when I stop it returns, Does it take a while or should I have seen quick results?

    • Faith January 9, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

      Same exact problems in my case. Tests came back negative for yeast and std. extreme dryness and white discharge that looks like tissue. It’s alarming and I’m frustrated with the medical drs. I do have fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis complicating things further.

  5. Nancy September 17, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

    Hello Dr. Kate

    I have been suffering from CV for what has to be almost 2 years now. I have been with the same person for almost 4 years and have been sleeping just with him. So I’m not sure why the sudden imbalance of pH in my system. However, just like many of their stories, I similarly got misdiagnosed with yeast infections. I did a lot of research and thought I suffered from chronic BV but it turns out the symptoms I experience is definitely CV. My question is- I’ve been doing the baking soda douche aggressively for 3 days now and although it is a miracle and it’s working, when I stop the thick discharge comes back slightly. Should I be douching more often with this mixture or consider going on a candida free diet? And will it ever go back to normal?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND September 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi Nancy,
      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling for so long! I cannot advise you on treatment as you are not my patient, but I will say that it is probably too early for you to see lasting results from baking soda treatment only (especially considering this is a chronic problem). I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution. Good luck!

  6. Liz October 2, 2016 at 3:57 am #

    I have a question, this has happened to me twice. I shower in tje mornings and change to get ready for my days but two times i’ve noticed discharge (which is normal) but not only that it seems as if my discharge is so acidic or idk what to call it that it has actually dissolved the crotch area of my underwear! I’m kind of scared now! The first time it happened i thought my washer ripped my underwear but this morning i put on a new pair and as i was getting ready for bed i used the restroom and noticed a giant whole!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND October 5, 2016 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Liz, I have not encountered this symptom in my practice but I have heard of it anecdotally. If you are concerned, I suggest you see your doctor for an exam and to test for infection (vaginal culture) and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea) to rule out any causes that would require treatment.

  7. Sally October 21, 2016 at 12:37 am #

    Hi, I have been suffering from vaginal irritation for about 4 years now. I was treated for bv once and have tested negative for bv and std’s since then. My main problem now is that I have frequent vaginal irritation that is mostly itching. I started taking lactobacillus acidophilus pills about a year ago in hopes that this would help give me more good bacteria. They have helped me a lot with the irritation however more recently the itching has come back. The only thing that seems to work is metronidazole suppository gel when it gets too bad. I have a constant white milky discharge with no smell and is really sticky that I don’t know why I have. Could this discharge be from too much of the lactobacillus pills? The irritation seems to get worse after sex or before or after my menstrual. Antibiotics only have worked for a short period before I was back to feeling this way again. Could my ph be off? I am tired of dealing with this.

    • Sally October 21, 2016 at 12:38 am #

      I also get really easily irritated by soap, perfumes, etc and can only use sensitive skin soap.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND October 24, 2016 at 9:22 am #

      Hi Sally, the symptoms you are describing could certainly be Cytolytic Vaginosis. I suggest you see your doctor to test for infection (vaginal culture) and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea) to rule out any causes that would require treatment. If these things are ruled out, then I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution. Good luck!

  8. Linda October 23, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    I have CV and I can’t have underwear for two weeks and the crotch shreds out to. I feel mine is from the CV

  9. Emily October 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Over the course of 2 months I have been treated with boric acid, diflucan, Metronidazole and now cleocin with very temporary relief from diflucan but besides that nothing. I have white discharge and intense itching of entire genital area. Could this be CV? Can i start treatment regimen without dr orders? I would be interested in working with you for your treatment referenced in this article.
    Im afraid all of these anitbiotics are seriously messing with my vaginal environment.

    Every time i go to the dr. she says “oh yeah that definitely looks like yeast” and then the litmus will light up but when the labs come back, “no yeast” I am going crazy with these symptoms. Some days they are intense, some days not so bad. I cannot live like this. Dr. Whimster, your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND October 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

      Hi Emily, The symptoms you describe could be cytolytic vaginosis. It is important that you see your doctor to test for infection (vaginal culture) and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea) to rule out other possible causes.

      I am a licensed ND in Ontario and can work with you in this province (here are my locations), but if you live elsewhere in Canada or in the United States, I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution.

      You can search for an ND in your area via the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Good luck!

  10. Cristine November 3, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi! I just found your website and I think its really great, sorry if there are mistakes in my writing, English is not my first language, and sorry for the long post but here goes my story:
    I’m 23 I live in South America and I’ve only had one partner who is my boyfriend, I had a really bad case of Candida last December, the doctor I saw at that time mistook it with HPV (I dont know why!) but as I was really scared, desperate and confused I believed it without doing any test. She applied me some acid (I think it was trichloroacetic acid) that burned a lot, I was also prescribed with antifungals and antibiotics, the candida symptoms went away but she did this to me two more times…in the third one this acid burned so bad that I developed a rash and fever after it. In that moment I knew something was wrong with that treatment so I looked for another doctor specialized in hpv and cevical cancer, he checked me twice and assured me that I had no hpv, my vulva was completely healthy but I still had some burns because of the acid and prescribed me a cream. In a month I was completely fine, burn and symptom free and had normal intercourse and life. Then in August I was prescribed Birth Control pills (Belara) for two months to treat an ovarian cyst (I had never tried bc pills before), the cyst is now gone thank God, but while I was on the second month taking the pill I started having really painful intercourse (even though I had sexual desire and was lubricating normally) and developed irritation around the entrance of my vagina even when I wasn’t having sex in months, it felt like something burning (it was not like candida, no itching ,no strange discharge, but it still burned) I started my research and I believed it was because of a hormonal imbalance due to the pill, I stopped the treatment of the pill a month ago, the burning has improved a lot though I have some milky white discharge, no odour but its kind of acidic. I can’t have intercourse cause the next day it hurts and itches, my bf and I are clear so its not STD. Now that I read about CV, I am really confused cause I don’t know if this could be it or just a side effect of the pill. After that candida case in December I drink everyday my yogurt with Lactobacillus and avoid all sugary food cause I don’t want to have it again. I don’t know either if the pill has something to do with it? I am even worried it’s vulvodynia developed after the burning with the acid, but it was like 8 months before it all started and I didn’t had any pain or burning until the second month of the pill. I’m not sure if I have to do some changes in my diet or take those sitz baths. I would like to know your opinion about my case, there aren’t a lot of specialists where I live, that know (or care) about this issue, so its difficult to have an accurate diagnosis, this thing is making me really depressed and its messing with my life, my studies and my relationship. My faith in God is the only thing that keeps me going…
    Thank you so much for helping me in my journey!!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND November 4, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

      Hi Cristine, I’m sorry to hear you are struggling with these symptoms! Unfortunately I cannot comment on your case as you are not my patient, so I recommend that you return to your doctor or seek care from a gynaecologist or holistic/naturopathic doctor in your area who can treat your specific situation most effectively. Good luck!

      • India January 26, 2021 at 8:37 pm #

        Hi there,
        I’ve just come across your website and I’m 99% I suffer from CV. I’m 19 and have been suffering for what has been diagnosed as thrush (with swabs coming back negative), all other swabs have also come back negative. I’ve have ultra sounds, blood tests and many trips to different gynaecologists. The last appointment I had with a gynaecologist admitted they had no clue what it was and just couldn’t help me, so I’ve done my own research and concluded that I may have CV. I will be phoning up the doctors to address my concerns however I’m expecting that I won’t be taken seriously. Do you have any Uk or Europe based contacts I can see? I have clumpy white discharge charge and coating in my vagina. I constantly have irritation and during my regular flare ups when it’s much worse I suffer from extreme burning (almost feels like a chemical burn), nothing I do soothes it or helps. Some days i just lay there unable to do anything in pain. Recently it’s got a lot worse and I’m unable to wipe after urinating and dry or even touch myself around the area without feeling pain. It is also very sore and tender just around the inside of my inner labia lips (I cannot use a tampon without being in excruciating pain). Do you think I could have CV ?

        • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 28, 2021 at 8:23 am #

          Hi India, I do not have any contacts in the UK to point you toward but I do recommend seeking a second opinion from another gynecologist as well as seeking the care of a naturopathic doctor/homeopath/integrative medical doctor/herbalist/nutritionist or whatever practitioner may be available to you there. Good luck!

  11. Charlie November 8, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    So your patient continued her probiotics as well? I’ve read several other articles that if you suspect CV to discontinue all antifungals and probiotics and it should help? However, is there a possibility of having BV/and or a yeast infection and CV at the same time? I have slight itching for about two months. No odor or discharge. I thought it was a yeast infection from the higher estrogen leveled birth control my doctor put me on. So I did two treatments of Monistat. Symptoms got worse so my doctor prescribed me Diflucan. Still no relief. Then I went back to the doctor and she screened me for a yeast infection, BV, clymidia and gonnereha all came back negative. My doctor went ahead and diagnosed me with BV and I started an antibiotic. Absolutely no relief. However I did see the hydrogen peroxide douches for BV and gave them a shot, they did help. But after finding this article I began to wonder if it’s CV. I just realized I do take 2 supplements with probiotics which maybe too many and caused the CV so I quit taking them and I am feeling better but have the occasional itch and burning. I also stopped the hydrogen peroxide douches and started the sitz baths. I also have lots of food intorences so I was already on the Candid diet for the most part. I’m feeling so much better but still have that lingering itch a little bit. Any thoughts on the supplements or the possibility having both?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND November 9, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

      Hi Charlie, in most cases of CV I see, there is a history of previous BV or UTIs (and antibiotic treatment for one or both of these, usually repeatedly) and/or Candida infections (also repeated treatment in the history). If you have ruled out other potential infectious causes (including Trichomonas, which you did not mention), then you may have CV and I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution.

    • Kerry Collard February 9, 2018 at 5:58 pm #

      I had this too. Garlic cured it. I used the Garlinase brand ordered from Amazon. Some people end up with us overgrowth, our body sees it as a bacterial condition, even though it is considered by most doctors as “good bacteria”. If you have too much of it, it is no longer good! Stay away from yogurt and lactic -acid producing probiotics. God bless you all!

      • Asia April 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm #

        Are you still symptom free and how long did you take garlinase?

      • Erin November 29, 2022 at 11:47 am #

        Hi Kerry. I know it has been a long time since your post but I was hoping that you would share your experience with Garlinase. I think everyone is different in how their bodies respond to treatment but I would really love to hold on hope for a garlic supplement as a cure or hell, just to manage the condition. Are you still symptom free? If so, what dose and for how long did you take Garlinase to get you to symptom free? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  12. Charlie November 8, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    I guess what I’m actually asking is do you think possibly someone could have had BV or a yeast infection and over treating it caused the CV?

  13. Tee November 23, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

    Hi so ive been struggling with my problem for 6 years now. At first i got red, swollen, cottage cheese like discharge, itching and burning when I pee. I had never had a yeast infection or any problems prior so I didnt know what was happening. The swelling, redness and burning seemed to go away after awhile on their own. My then boyfriend (who is circumcised) got itchy but he never said anything to me at the time. My boyfriend now (who is uncircumcised) got what his doctor said was a yeast infection. So I went to the doctor who told me to take monistat (she never tested me). I took it and saw no improvement in my symptoms. I went to my family doctor who took a swab and tested me for a yeast infection and told me to do another round of monistat treatment. My test results came back negative. My doctor sent me to a sex health clinic as I was still having symptoms. The doctor there took one look at my discharge and said I for sure have a yeast infection. She tested me but again everything came back negative. After a few more canestin and monistat treatments the discharge seemed to go away and all I was left with was the itching. My boyfriend always seems to get something when we are active without a condom but my tests always come back negative. I had a mild odor about a month ago the doctor thought it might be BV and gave me flagyl. Took those and still nothing. About a week ago I got a sharp pain in my lower abdoman on the left side and doctor said it might be a stone. They did an ultrasound and since I havent heard back im guessing they found nothing again. The pain in my abdoman seems more like a pressure now mainly when im sitting but every now and then ill get a quick sharp pain. To date I have been tested for yeast, BV, Trich, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and even syphilis. Everything always comes back negative. Could I have CV? What does my partner keep getting if I dont have a yeast infection? Is it possible for him to get infected if I have CV?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND November 28, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi Tee, the symptoms you are describing could certainly be Cytolytic Vaginosis. If your doctor has recently ruled out infection (culture) and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea) for BOTH you and your boyfriend, then I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution. Good luck!

      • Tee November 29, 2016 at 10:19 am #

        You said culture…is that a different type of infection test that is not normally done when testing for infections? Ive given urine samples and have had swabs taken. As far as I know my boyfriend has not been tested for anything else. When he treats himself for a yeast infection his symptoms clear up and only once we are active without a condom does his symptoms return. I have looked and looked and nothing ever comes up about men and CV. Is it possible for men to get yeast like symptoms after being sexually active with a women who has CV?

        • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND December 3, 2016 at 9:46 am #

          There are different types of cultures – for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Candida, Bacteria Vaginosis. There are also some gynecologists that test for more unusual strains of yeast.

  14. Nicki November 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm #


    So I have been suffering from chronic yeast infections for the past few years, but usually monistic or diflucan would clear everything up. Recently, it seems that neither of these work, and I have even tried an extended diflucan treatment plan of 3 months. I do not have an itch or discomfort, but I constantly have thick white discharge, that is sometimes clumpy, and EXTREMELY sour to taste. When I went to the doctors the last time, she told me I had a yeast infection, but a few days later told me that the culture came back negative (which confused me even more.) Throughout all of this, I am constantly taking a ton of vaginal probiotics. My question is could I perhaps have CV? and if I try the baking soda treatment, and I intact don’t have CV, could this actually end up making a yeast infection worse?

    please help!!!!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND December 3, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      Hi Nicki, If your doctor has ruled out yeast and treatments for yeast are not effective, you could have Cytolytic Vaginosis. I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address your concerns more effectively. Good luck!

  15. Makala December 16, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    Hi! I went to the doctor on Tuesday due to vaginal bleeding, and him pain. I got my lab results back today and was told i had an over growth in the “good bacteria” in my vagina. After doing a google search Cytolytic vaginosis is what looked up when trying to figure exactly what that meant. I was prescribed the antibiotic metronidazole. After reading different articles I haven’t found one where this was used as treatment. Should I be concerned? Is this the right treatment?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND December 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      Hi Makala, I cannot comment on what the correct diagnosis may be or what treatment is appropriate as you are not my patient, but I recommend you ask these questions of your doctor. Good luck!

  16. Jess December 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

    Hi there,

    I have been experiencing unusually heavy, white discharge for over a year now.

    After seeing my GP, sexual health clinic, hospital gyno and private gyno I am yet to be diagnosed with any infection as all tests have come back negative. I have been tested so far for STIs, thrush, tric, BV – all negative.

    The discharge has not responded to any anti fungal or thrush treatments.
    It is very acidic and apart from being uncomfortable, causes constant problems for my partner and I during and after sex as it burns his penis to the point where he has sores every time.

    Is it known for CV to affect your partner in this way?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

      Hi Jess, I’m sorry to hear you have been struggling so long with these symptoms! Among my patients I have not heard of this effect on your sexual partner, but I imagine it is possible. I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address your concerns more effectively. Good luck!

  17. Tammy December 29, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    Hello. I have had persistent burning, some itching, but mostly burning with a white discharge that changes through my cycle from thick to watery and vaginal odor like sour milk for four yrs. My discharge is acidic and sour tasting. I have had numerous cultures done for stds, yeast and b.v. all come back negative. I also have frequent urination and urethral irritation. I have tried boric acid suppositories and yeast creams, diflucan and flagyl which have given me no positive results. Do my symptoms match lactobacillus overgrowth or cytolstic vaginosis? Please help! This has ruined my life and is ruining my marriage.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

      Hi Tammy, the symptoms you are describing could certainly be Cytolytic Vaginosis. If your doctor has recently ruled out urinary tract infection, vaginal infection, and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea), then I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you treat your concerns more effectively. Good luck!

  18. Morgan January 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    Hi there,
    I’m pretty positive I have CV as well, the story above sounds like my story. All negative testing, and constantly prescribed Diflucan with no results and the same symptoms. Chronic itching, swelling, redness, burning, tingling for 2 years. Can I soak tampons in a baking soda and water mixture and use those? I heard filling gelatin capsules with baking soda and inserting them at night was good. Also will Oregano Oil help? And if you have CV should you be taking a probiotic? I stopped taking mine completely.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 16, 2017 at 9:50 am #

      Hi Morgan, if you have been able to rule out urinary tract infection, vaginal infection, and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea), then you may have CV. I cannot recommend or comment on any particular treatment for you as you are not my patient, so I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you treat your concerns more effectively. Good luck!

  19. Emma January 27, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    Hi Dr. Whimster,

    I have been suffering with vaginal irritation and burning for months. I have had 2 swabs come back as “altered vaginal flora”. Everything else (yeast, STIs) are negative.

    What does this mean? Could this be CV, or does “altered vaginal flora” mean a weak positive for BV?

    Thank you for providing so much great information on your site!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 31, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

      Hi Emma, if you have ruled out urinary tract infection, vaginal infection, and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea), then you may have CV. I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you treat this concern effectively. Good luck!

  20. Morgan January 29, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Yes, I was just tested for yeast, bv, and std’s all negative. My results came back today.

  21. Marie February 3, 2017 at 6:14 am #

    Hello to all,

    First of all I would like to point out how informative this article has been. It feels somewhat relieved, reading that I’m not going through this alone. Dr Whimster, I would like to ask you for your opinion re my case which I am going to try and explain briefly.

    I dated my first partner between 2009 and 2013. We were sexually active, but never had any problems what so ever with infections. I was also on birth control but stopped it in 2013.

    Between May 2013 and September 2014, I was not sexually active until I met my current partner in September 2014. Started birth control again in October 2014.

    A few months later, I got my first yeast infection. Went to my gynea for a smear test which confirmed the yeast infection. She prescribed me with the treatment which cleared up symptoms. From that moment on to this day, I started getting symptoms of yeast infections every month. I have changed 4 gynaecologists, because I feel that no one is taking me seriously. I get lots of white discharge which I don’t think is normal; this is ongoing throughout all my cycle until my period. Most of the time, my boyfriend is getting symptoms too. I also stopped the pill 1.5 years ago because I read that it could be causing a ph imbalance.

    What is your opinion please ?

    Thank you

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND February 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

      Hi Marie, the symptoms you are describing could certainly be Cytolytic Vaginosis. If your doctor has recently ruled out infection (vaginal culture) and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea) for BOTH you and your boyfriend, then I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution. Good luck!

  22. April Clark February 10, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

    It has to be a hormone imbalance for me- I am fine until about a week or so before my period and then I experience burning, itching. Very uncomfortable. Is there something I can do? Hormone therapy? Essential oil? I also lose a lot of my milk (nursing) a week before my period too. I was told to up my magnesium for my milk supply. Looking for answers.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND February 13, 2017 at 9:24 am #

      Hi April, Cytolytic vaginosis is often worse before the period and improves with the flow due to the changes in vaginal pH at this time. I recommend you see your doctor to rule out infection (vaginal culture) and STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea) and if these tests are negative, seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution. Good luck!

      • Jackie December 12, 2020 at 1:58 pm #

        Hi does this ever clear up after your period and not have to use baking soda to fix this?

        • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND December 15, 2020 at 8:42 am #

          Hi Jackie, for some the period flow may relieve symptoms and if they don’t return that’s great! If symptoms persist, best to get a vaginal swab to rule out other infections.

  23. Emma March 3, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    Hi Dr. Kate,

    After struggling with vaginal burning and irritation for months, I finally have an answer: aerobic vaginitis. It is similar to BV, but caused by different bacteria that antibiotics used for BV won’t treat (primarily Group B Strep and e coli).

    Do you know of any naturopathic methods of clearing up cases of aerobic vaginitis?

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi Emma, in addition to considering treatment with the appropriate antibiotics for the specific bacterial strains identified (either locally or orally), naturopathic treatment would be aimed at restoring the normal bacterial flora vaginally and therefore would not differ than much from diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations for treating other cases of vaginal dysbiosis. This will vary depending on the patient’s specific history and other health concerns, so I recommend you seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor who can help you address diet, digestion, immunity, and/or any other underlying issues in your case to achieve complete resolution. Good luck!

    • Jenn March 14, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

      Hi Kate,

      I believe I might have AV as well and am struggling to get a diagnosis. Would it be possible to provide me with the name of the clinician who was able to diagnosis this for you?


      • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 21, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

        FYI to those wondering about testing for less common causes of vaginitis. As an ND in Ontario, I can run a typical vaginal swab (tests for yeast, bacterial vaginosis, Trichomonas) and have the option to also test for Staphylococcus aureus and/or Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A strep). Group B strep is a different strain (Streptococcus agalactiae). To test for this, you would need to see a gynecologist.

  24. Anne March 7, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    This is so interesting. I recently started taking a probiotic supplement. At the same time, I started having heavy discharge. I guess my bacteria was already in balance and when I started the probiotics, it threw my bacteria out of balance.

  25. Nancy December 12, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    Hello Doctor,
    Can my partner get CV from me from unprotected sex? What if he had oral sex with me? Will he have it in his mouth?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 22, 2018 at 10:00 am #

      Hi Nancy, CV is an overgrowth of Lactobacillus bacteria normally found in the vaginal canal. Because men’s genitalia are exterior to the body, they do not harbour the same bacterial balance as women and are unlikely to suffer from CV. However, if your partner is experiencing symptoms, he should see his health care provider for diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Good luck!

  26. Red lily January 14, 2018 at 9:30 am #

    My question is will Preseed help with balancing my ph balance. My dr did diagnoses me with CV. I am doing baking soda baths and douches. The douches do allow much of the discharge to come out. I am very irritated in the vulva which is uncomfortable. I am in a long distance relationship and we both have been tested for everything with all teat being negative. What can I do to clear up the irration reduce the discharge? Will probiotics help?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 22, 2018 at 10:02 am #

      Hi Red lily, some people have tried Preseed lubricant with success for CV. Regardless, I recommend you seek diagnosis and treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your individual concerns with a personalized treatment plan.

  27. Lily January 21, 2018 at 6:36 pm #

    Thank you Dr. Whimster for this great article!

    I had been taking Lactobacillus Gasseri suppositories because I read that good probiotics could help my immunity and even aid in maintaining my weight.

    About 2.5 months of taking Lactobacillus Gasseri, I experienced what I misdiagnosed as an yeast infection. I was prescribed fluconazole for a week but the cervical itch remains.

    I had a swab test done for yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. All of these results came back negative.

    I thought I was going crazy, until I found your article.

    My question is, when could I start taking probiotics with Lactobacillus again if I am cured of Cytolytic Vaginosis?
    Also, should I take a variety of Lactobacillus and other probiotics, instead of just sticking to Lactobacillus Gasseri? I took so much antibiotics for the common cold or flu as a child that I’ve found my immunity has been compromised. I truly want to keep taking probiotics but now, I don’t know by how much. I had been taking the recommended dosage. I’ve stopped since I’ve discovered your article and plan to see a gynecologist.

    Thank you for your expertise and time.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 22, 2018 at 10:03 am #

      Hi Lily, I can’t recommend treatment for you as you are not my patient and for best results I recommend you seek diagnosis and treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your individual concerns with a personalized treatment plan. Good luck!

  28. Jessica January 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi Dr. Kate,

    My symptoms are similar to nasal discharge. Gooey, sticky which dries out & will get stuck in the hair. My dr said I have white along my vaginal canal, but I have little to no white discharge. I have no itching and very little pain urinating and no pelvic pain. I do however have a raw and sore vaginal canal that make intercourse very painful and cause some bleeding. Anything inserted in my vaginal canal hurt, even the swab and exasperate the symptoms. I have been tested for everything else you recommend and they come up neg
    Oral metronidazole did not help at all, but the Vaginal gel helped for a week before my symptoms came back. Do you think this could be CV? My symptoms do not seem to match the other people here on the blog.

    I also have a few questions regarding your treatment course explained above. You treated your patient with probiotics with lactobacillus and a candida diet at first because of a diagnosis of a yeast infection, not for the CV, right? I read that CV is bacterial, not fungal, however, you also refer to anti fungal treatments. It would be helpful if you could clarify what helped your patients CV, not each of her symptoms. Would you summarize just the treatments you used/recommend to resolve the CV? and if any of them are anti-bacterial? MOST IMPORTANTLY, did you have your patient stop the probiotics & lactobacillus in order to treat CV? since you state that CV is a result of increased lactobacillus. Thank you.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 30, 2018 at 10:18 am #

      Hi Jessica, if recent vaginal swab testing has ruled out yeast, bacterial vaginosis, and Trichomonas, then you may have cytolytic vaginosis.

      In this case study we began with the assumption that the patient was suffering from chronic yeast infections (based on past testing showing yeast). In cases of cytolytic vaginosis that are chronic, I still find that cleaning up teh diet (whether it be a full anti-candida diet or a less drastic approach) often helps. I usually combine this with anti-bacterial herbs as well as appropriate oral probiotics as well. However, each individual case is different so I cannot say what would be best for you. I recommend you seek diagnosis and treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your individual concerns with a personalized treatment plan.

      Good luck!

  29. miracle February 4, 2018 at 1:09 am #

    What can I eat in my diet because I’m still having pain and the doctor gave me cream but it didn’t work I’m really tired of going to the doctor can you please help me.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND February 9, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

      Hi Miracle, I’m sorry to hear you are still having pain! I recommend you return to your doctor for a vaginal swab to rule in/out yeast, bacterial vaginosis, and Trichomonas. If one of these is positive, then speak to your doctor about appropriate treatment.

      I also recommend you treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your individual concerns with a personalized treatment plan.

      Good luck!

  30. Sarah April 20, 2018 at 8:36 am #


    I have CV because my vagina swab came back negative for sti and infections and showed few white blood cells and lactobacillus. It was caused by several rounds of antibiotics for a ‘viral infection’ that turned out to be a food intolerance.

    I’ve tried baking Soda baths, preseed and baking soda suppositories. They have all helped but not cured me. There is no naturapath in my city (Australia) that knows about this that I’ve found yet.

    Apart from diet, what else can I try??

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND April 27, 2018 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Sarah, if topical treatments have not been sufficient, you definitely need to work on things internally as well. As you are not my patient, I cannot advise you on what specific approaches would be best for you. If you are in Australia, hopefully you can find a naturopathic practitioner close to you or someone who can work with you remotely here:

      • Sarah April 30, 2018 at 11:38 am #

        This is so hard 🙁

  31. Caitlin May 8, 2018 at 7:31 pm #


    A few months ago, I made a gynecologist appt because I was experiencing pain in my pelvis, unpleasant smell (esp during sex), burning after sex, burning during urination, a lot of thick, white discharge, and occasional sharp itching/burning.

    My gyno said that she thought it was BV judging from the look of my vaginal secretions and prescribed me a week of antibiotics. (She took a swab and ruled out an STI). The antibiotics definitely helped but even after I finished taking them I never felt 100%.

    Now several days ago, I started experiencing thinner, still kind of creamy discharge as well as dryness, a slight smell, intense itching in and around my vaginal opening as well as around my clitoral hood, and pain and burning during and after intercourse. I called my gyno (because I’m a student and live three hours away from the office) and the nurse told me it sounds like I have a yeast infection and to take monistat.

    I don’t know if it’s excess candida, BV or CV (it honestly kind of feels like all of the above) but I have no desire to slap more pharmaceuticals on the problem without addressing the root cause. My gut is telling me that something else besides a yeast infection is going on with me. My vagina hasn’t felt right for a while and I’m increasingly frustrated at the lack of concrete knowledge and options available to women experiencing these common problems.

    Do you think that my symptoms sound more compatible with BV or CV? Thank you for your help!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND June 1, 2018 at 7:48 pm #

      Hello Caitlin, I recommend you return to your doctor for a vaginal swab to rule in/out yeast, bacterial vaginosis, and Trichomonas. Symptoms alone are not enough to diagnose. If one of these is positive, then speak to your doctor about appropriate treatment.

      If you prefer not to repeat antiobiotics or antifungal medications, I also recommend you treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your individual concerns with a personalized treatment plan.

      Good luck!

  32. Liz July 13, 2018 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Dr. Kate,

    About 7 months ago I have been experiencing lots of white and sometimes green discharge along with pelvic sharp pain and decreased burning urine pain. I have never had these issues before. I’ve already been referred to a gynecologist and issues have not been resolved. I recently got a urinalyses test showing leukocytes 3+ WBC 10-20 Hyaline cast 0-5 with notes of 50-100 cfu of lactobacillus species colonized. I am no longer sexually active after 16 years. Some other test have also showed gardnella overgrowth antibiotics have also been prescribed for both wbc and gardnella. What are some options to help relive these symptoms? Will this ever go away? I am pretty good with my diet. My most concern is the decreased burning urine pelvic pain, and the wbc that always show on my urinalysis test.

    Thank you,

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND July 16, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

      Hi Liz, if your symptoms are persisting after treatment, I recommend you return to your doctor to repeat urinalysis, urine culture (to identify if there is bacteria present), urine testing for sexually transmitted infections (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas), and a vaginal swab to check for yeast or bacterial vaginosis.

      Depending on the results of these tests, you can speak to your doctor about appropriate treatment and I also recommend you seek treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your individual concerns with a personalized treatment plan.

      Good luck!

  33. Danielle July 17, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

    Hi dr. Kate,

    I believe i am suffering from CV for the past few months. I drink home made water kefir regularly and my naturopath prescribed me a probiotic with l. Rhamnosus and l. Reuteri. Does continuing probiotic (including lactobacillus species) contribute to cv? Is this something that needs to be stopped to resolve the overgrowth?

    I am unable to find a local practioner who does biotherapeutic drainage. My naturopath does use alot of the seroyal products but not the UNDA numbered compounds.
    Is it possible to do a phone consultation for biotherapeutic drainage with you? I live in alberta and travelling to ontario is not possible.

    I believe this might be a piece i am missing in my recovery.

    Thank you,

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND July 20, 2018 at 10:50 am #

      Hi Danielle, to answer your questions:
      1. I don’t find that oral probiotics contribute to cytolytic vaginosis, usually it is use of vaginal probiotics that can aggravate.
      2. Unfortunately because I am not a registered ND in Alberta, I cannot treat you. I suggest looking for a practitioner perhaps outside your local area that is experienced with homeopathy and/or drainage that can consult with you for these specific treatments in addition to what you are working on with your current ND. One example is Dr. Paul Theriault, ND in Calgary:
      Good luck!

  34. Sahar September 21, 2018 at 5:51 pm #

    For the past 3 months I have had the following symptoms:
    -crawling sensation around vagina and perineal raphe
    -burning and prickling sensation
    -irritating/raw feeling
    -sore to touch especially around clitoris and Labium mimus
    – looks red inside vagina and white around the vulva
    -if I workout and sweat it gets very uncomfortable or even walking long periods of time
    -uncomfortable wearing pants/underwear for long periods of time
    -symptoms feel 80% less on my period, but are the worst prior to my period.

    I went to see my endometriosis specialist got tested for yeast, trichomoniasis, std’s all clear. He thought I was contact dermatitis and prescribed hydrocortisone ointment then betaderm with zinc and it didn’t help at all. I went back to see him and he suggested 10 days of boric acid suppositories , which I have been using for 9 days but feel like it’s irritated the inside of my vagina so I stopped.

    I’m not sure what is causing this! the only thing I can think of is that mid july I took 1 round of Macrobid and then 1 dose of Monurol for a UTI infection then a couple weeks later took 2 doses of fluconazole. Could it be my ph is off due to the antibotics/ yeast medication?

    These symptoms are driving me insane! I’m so uncomfortable and not sure what can be causing me all these symptoms for over 2 months! I only wear cotton underwear, wash my laundry in Dr.Bronner Organic Mild castile unscented soap, starting using 100% cotton pads, and using unbleached toilet paper or using cotton towels.

    Do you think it is CV? How do I get diagnosed for it? I stopped taking probiotics as I think they are making it worse.
    Sorry for the long message but your reply is greatly appreciated!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND September 25, 2018 at 8:28 am #

      Hello Sahar, if you have ruled out vaginal infections then it could be CV and I recommend you seek treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your concerns with a personalized treatment plan.

      Good luck!

  35. Joy December 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm #

    Hi, Dr.

    I have an extremely odd case and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. About 10wks ago, after being intimate with my husband a few consecutive days, I developed what I assumed was a UTI. It felt exactly like it, so I used D-mannose and it didn’t change. That took care of it in 2 days last time I had one. So, after 3wks of trying all natural treatment for UTI, I go to the dr. I got an rx for Bactrim. Awful side effects after 2 days, so I had to stop. They ran another culture an no UTI. After Macrobid, Flagyl (more neuro effects galore) and more Macrobid, I was diagnosed with BV from having Gardnerella in my urine, but it was not a clean catch, and my previous swab showed disturbance in flora. My gynecologist prescribed me Metrogel, but I didn’t want to use it because of the awful effects I had on Flagyl, and… I should have felt better on the Flagyl, but I didn’t. So, I treated with vaginal probiotics and coconut/tea tree oil, sea salt baths, and ACV douche. I know BV causes you to be alkaline, but I’m actually acidic. My symptoms have not really changed; still swollen inguinal nodes, buring after urination and standing, pressure, and discharge that is anywhere from white to light green. I was tested for all STDs and negative, including Trichomoniasis. I’m wondering if I could have given myself CV while trying to treat for BV. I guess the only way to know for sure is to be tested again, but is it a possibility? I have switched sea salt baths to baking soda baths and want to see if there is a change.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND January 2, 2019 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Joy, if you have ruled out vaginal infections then it could be CV and I recommend you retest for BV via your MD as well as seek treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area who can address your concerns with a personalized treatment plan.

      Good luck!

  36. Avril February 10, 2019 at 9:22 am #

    Hello. I was initially tested for BV and treated that before these new symptoms started happening. I now have symptoms of burning, itching, painful urination, painful sex(I gave up on sex but is it a bad thing to have sex with CV?) little discharge at all I usually have a lot which is normal for about a month. They tested again and The BV is gone . They also tested for yeast, Trich, and other STDs. They told me a have an allergy to a soap. I haven’t used any new soap. I showed my doctor articles about too much lacti and she said it doesn’t exist. I am waiting for the gyno to contact me (could take months). In the meantime I have tried baking soda baths for the last 2 days and it is the only
    Thing that has helped. If the gyno cannot help me I was thinking of seeing a natural doctor. There is some in my area. If I do see one what diet do I ask them for ? Also is it possible to be officially diagnosed with CV?

    Thanks for this forum. This problem is really annoying and I am sick of worrying about it.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND February 12, 2019 at 11:28 am #

      Hi Avril, if you have ruled out vaginal infections then it could be CV. There is no test to confirm this diagnosis, it is arrived at after ruling out other possible infections as well as based on the patient’s symptoms. I do recommend you seek treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area and explain this history as well as share the paper Cytolytic vaginosis: a review. Good luck!

  37. Avril February 14, 2019 at 10:07 am #

    Hi this is Avril again thanks so much for your response.
    I was wondering – I am going to Mexico very soon and is it okay to use a hot tub or pool with this condition?
    Is it okay to have sex with this condition?
    I am crossing my fingers when I get back the gyno believes in this condition, do you know why so many doctors don’t believe in it?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND February 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm #

      Hi Avril, because you are not my patient and I do not know your medical history, I cannot advise you, so I suggest you check with your doctor regarding these questions. CV is not an infection, it is an imbalance of the normal vaginal flora that can cause symptoms in some women. Because of this, there is no test to confirm it (at least that I’ve seen in Ontario) and no drug treatment for it so most MDs will not be familiar with it. However, there are many gynecologists that are aware of CV, so it depends on your doctor.

  38. Lauren Schelley June 17, 2019 at 1:24 pm #

    Hi Kate!

    I have CV and it’s been killing me for over a year. What is the best treatment you’ve seen? Could the D mannose be contributing to this? I’m at my end’s witt. Baking soda is the only thing that seems to help but it always comes back. Preseed is ok….

    Thanks so much,

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND June 18, 2019 at 4:37 pm #

      Hi Lauren, I’m sorry to hear you are struggling with CV! Because you are not my patient, I cannot advise you, so I recommend you seek treatment with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area. Good luck!

  39. Tre May 8, 2020 at 11:02 pm #

    Hi Dr.Whimster! I have done a swap and my test came back positive for an overgrowth of lactobacillosis, however I was not diagnosed with CV. Instead I was diagnosed with Vaginal Lactobacillosis. I’ve done much reading and there doesn’t seem to be a difference between the signs of CV and VL but the treatments are different. My doctor has told me to disregard CV but i’m curious about the difference between the two considering that i’m getting more info about CV compared to VL. Can you shed some light on my diagnosis of VL please

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND May 12, 2020 at 6:20 pm #

      Hi Tre, the two are very similar in symptoms and likely overlap to some extent. CV is also called Lactobacillus overgrowth syndrome, for example. However, the differences may be in details – cytolytic vaginosis is associated with production of hydrogen peroxide (only by some species of Lactobacillus) and Lactobacillosis is associated with LONGER lactobacilli. Here is an article to help differentiate: Differentiation Of The Vaginoses-Bacterial Vaginosis, Lactobacillosis, And Cytolytic Vaginosis. Naturopathically, I rarely treat only via increasing vaginal pH but usually also address the gut (and thus vaginal) microbiome for long-term resolution which would be similar to the conventional medical approach of using antibiotics to eradicate lactobacilli overgrowth vaginally.

    • Marina March 3, 2022 at 6:50 pm #

      How did you get that diagnose ? Every doctor I have asked have no idea of whay is it.

      • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 4, 2022 at 12:20 pm #

        Hi Marina, thanks for your question! Cytolytic vaginosis is also known as Lactobacillus overgrowth syndrome or Doderlein’s cytolysis. This diagnosis is usually made when other infections (yeast, bacterial vaginosis) are ruled out but symptoms persist. This issue is gaining awareness among gynecologists but it really depends on the doctor and/or their experience. If you suspect you have cytolytic vaginosis but your medical doctor is unaware of this condition, this is a helpful article to share:

  40. Anonymous December 13, 2020 at 7:24 pm #

    Hello Doctor,

    Is it possible to have this condition and transmit to a male partner ?

    I have been diagnosed multiple times with yeast infections (Candida ). My partner never had any symptoms. After a very frustrating summer dealing with this condition I decided to buy a femme flora probiotics suppository since it seemed to help so many people. Then my symptoms fleared ! Burning, my skin cracked, bleeding … well I thought I had the worst yeast infection of my life. Then I read some post from people who had used the product and had similar symptoms to me and they described having CV. After this very bad rash, my partner also had symptoms. Is it possible

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND December 15, 2020 at 8:46 am #

      I am not aware that cytolytic vaginosis is a condition experienced by men but because it is associated with a change in vaginal pH it may be possible that that change in pH causes some temporary irritation of male genitalia too. I recommend you see your doctor for a vaginal swab to rule in or out various infections, some of which can affect your partner.

  41. Molly January 28, 2021 at 7:45 pm #

    Such an interesting case study! I am so glad your patient found relief, this is such a great article for women to read who have unresolved issues. I have a quick question regarding the symptoms.

    The frequent urination and pelvic discomfort your patient experienced was a result of the Cytolytic Vaginosis? Does this mean the overgrowth of the lactobacillus spread into the bladder and started causing issues there almost like a UTI?

    Thank for all the work you do 🙂

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND February 1, 2021 at 10:00 am #

      Hi Molly, great question! I’ve observed that patients sometimes have urinary symptoms or more generalized pelvic discomfort with vaginal dysbiosis even if no other urinary/pelvic issues are present. Everything is connected!

  42. Sophie February 23, 2021 at 7:31 pm #

    Hello, for the past month I have been experiencing a very sour tasting discharge, which was discovered by my partner with absolutely no other irritation or symptoms. I’ve tried boric acid, coconut oil, probiotics, garlic supplements, and baking soda suppositories, none of which have worked. Could it be that I need a larger amount of baking soda to get results? Does this sound like it could be CV? The very acidic taste makes me think so, as I know that CV causes higher levels of acidity in the vagina. Thank you!

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 7, 2021 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Sophie, if you have ruled out any infection via a vaginal swab and you have no other symptoms besides the sour taste, I’m not sure that what you are experiencing is abnormal. However, cecause you are not my patient, I cannot advise you further, so I recommend you seek more personalized advice from a Naturopathic Doctor in your area. Good luck!

  43. Krys March 5, 2021 at 1:02 pm #

    Hi Dr. Whimster. I am so happy I found this page.I wish I found this years ago. God bless you for what you are doing to help women. I had to tell my gyno about CV and she replied with “wow I’ve never heard of it, do you know how to treat it?”

    I wanted to ask, does the ND have to specialize in gynecology? Or can they be a ND with no specific specialization?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Krys, Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario (where I am located) cannot claim to practice a specialty area of medicine in the same way that medical doctors (MDs) can if they have completed additional academic training and experience. Most Naturopathic Doctors do have patient populations and/or conditions that they have more interest/experience in treating.

  44. Krys March 7, 2021 at 3:16 pm #

    Okay, thank you so much for your reply!

  45. Krys March 16, 2021 at 9:37 pm #

    Hi again Dr. Whimster.

    I know you cannot tell me what plan of action and the supplements you use on your patients because you are not my doctor, but can you tell me what antibiotics you have seen that may be able to stand up to this lactic acid bacteria? I have done an extensive amount of research and I have yet to find a research paper that mentions this. They all say baking soda. And I have read your answers over and over and I see you say baking soda and diet may not always be enough.

    Again, I know you are not my doctor so you can not give me a plan of action, I’m just looking for more insight so I can be comfortable discussing my needs with an ND here in my area. Many of their websites ask you to choose the issue you are coming to see about and I am unsure what I should select.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND March 18, 2021 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi Krys, as an ND in Ontario I cannot prescribe antibiotics and so do not use them in my practice. Regarding CV, because it is an overgrowth or imbalance in the normal vaginal flora, antibiotics would not necessarily be effective. However, there may be medical doctors that use antibiotics in this situation and if you looking for antibiotic treatment you would need to see a medical doctor.

      Naturopathic treatment for any condition is personalized depending on what underlying contributing factors or causes are relevant for each patient. So there is not one plan or specific supplements I would use but instead I would consider whether digestive function, hormonal balance, immune function, and/or other issues are preventing the body from restoring the normal balance of vaginal flora and treat accordingly. I recommend you seek out an ND in your area comfortable treating vaginal concerns and discuss your specific case with him/her and allow him/her to guide you in the right treatment. Best of luck!

  46. Hailey Walker June 22, 2021 at 5:53 pm #

    So I have been having the same issues for 8 months now, but only for itching and white odorless discharge and have been to two gyno’s who have treated me for yeast with even prolonged therapy and let me tell you it doesn’t work! I’ve been tested for stds, bv, yeast and have had a lacto-profiling which shows I have “elevated lactobacillus iners” but negative for everything else. All my other lactobacillus levels were normal. Could this mean cytolytic vaginosis? I have been so frustrated and upset I’m only 23 and feel like I shouldn’t have all these issues for this long. I did use a lot of probiotics last year so I’m wondering if that is contributing but neither of my doctors have brought up CV to me they just put me on yeast medication anyways and it doesn’t help one bit…. It did at first for a few days but it no longer does anything.

    I do notice the itching is the WORST a week before my period and when I menstruate it feels so much better.

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND June 28, 2021 at 9:25 am #

      Hi Hailey, I’m so sorry to hear you have been struggling for so long! Based on what you have written, it sounds like you could have cytolytic vaginosis which is also known as lactobacillus overgrowth syndrome. I recommend you seek personalized treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor in your area. Good luck!

  47. Tiffany August 12, 2021 at 11:30 pm #

    Hi Dr Whimster ,

    If I have CV but , recently had a hysterectomy and my symptoms are hormonal does this mean I will be in constant pain since I no longer have blood flow but, I still have one ovary so I have period symptoms? I have used Clindamycin to treat but it always seems to come back after treatment? I am sure that different antibiotic and antifungal use play a role but I also wonder if my hormones do as well?

    • Dr. Kate Whimster, ND August 17, 2021 at 8:56 am #

      Hi Tiffany, yes, hormonal fluctuations can affect vaginal pH which is altered with CV. I recommend you seek treatment from a naturopathic doctor in your area who can help you address the relevant root causes for you. Good luck!

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