BV is a very common problem, but it is not very well understood. As a result, many ladies have encountered doctors who dismiss the problem as not a big deal, or even fail to diagnose/treat it. More and more research is showing that untreated BV contributes to permanent damage of your upper genital tract. So be proactive about your health, and don't let your doctor shrug you off. Switch doctors if necessary.
I had my share of bad doctor experiences. I suffered from BV for about 7 years. And during the first 3 years, I went to the gynecologist many times complaining about my symptoms. I think I had more than 15 trips to 3 different gynecologists, and all of them failed to diagnose my problem. (After a while, whenever I saw the doctor slip on the latex gloves, I just felt like screaming.) They kept sending me home with pain medication, telling me that I may have ovarian cysts, or just pre-menstral cramps. It was very frustrating.
I assumed that since all these doctors are telling me nothing is wrong, I should trust them, right? But I'd always come home and think ... 'Nope, something is still wrong.'
When I was finally diagnosed with BV, I was so relieved that I just started crying. I knew something was wrong for years, and somebody finally figured it out!
Other Bust Lounge posters have shared many stories like that, too. Not only do some doctors fail to diagnose and treat the problem, they disrespect you. I understand this frustration as much as anyone. I've had doctors call me "over-sensitive," "paranoid," and "hypochondriac." It's frustrating and upsetting, and some ladies are permanently discouraged from going back to the doctor.
But never give up! As I said in my previous message, medical care is necessary at some point. So it's important to find a doctor who will treat you properly. If they brush you off, don't just take their word for it. If your doctor treats you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, find another doctor. Make your health a priority.
Recently I read the story of Ayala Miron, a woman who suffered from ovarian cancer for years but her doctor failed to diagnose her despite examining her many times. It certainly put things in perspective for me. (BV is awful, but nothing compared to cancer!) And it is also a good lesson for us all. To quote Ms. Miron herself:
"Women need to trust their own bodies. If you're feeling that something is wrong, don't assume anything. Be persistent. And don't wait."