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Removed birth control ring due to hormonal side effect. Getting bad odor in vagina and frequent urination. Infection?

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Dr. Aarti Abraham

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Practicing since :1998

Answered : 6004 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 12 Feb 2013 in Birth Control
Question: Hi Dr. Christensen, I recently had my second cycle with the birthcontrol ring. I removed it after aprox a week in the second month because I felt I was having some negative hormonal side effects. Very emotional and hungry. Now I am experiencing a brownish bloody discharge during and after sex and the smell is outragious. This is not a usual female odour that I would experience at different times, ie. menstral cycle, vagina, it seems to be only something going on inside. I don't notice it unless I have intercourse or insert my fingers to check how the odour is progressing. I have no other negative symptoms ie. pain, irritation, frequent urination, burning, etc. I've tried douching with vinegar and water and used RePhresh, a product intended to balance ph levels in the vagina. Nothing is working. Please help.

Thank you, XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 2 hours later
Hello XXXXXXX .
Thanks for trusting us with your health query.

After removing the hormonal ring, you do experience a hormone withdrawal phase, which might be causing the abnormal blood you have seen.
However, spotting or blood after intercourse, always has to be thoroughly investigated, because the causes require special attention.

One leading cause is cervical polyps, these are almost always benign growths on the cervix which cause bleeding upon intercourse.
Premalignant and malignant lesions of the cervix also bleed upon contact during intercourse.
Polyps or growths from within the endometrial cavity of the uterus, which protrude through the endocervical canal, also might cause post coital bleeding.
A cervical erosion ( change in the lining of the cervix ) is very common, specially while using hormonal contraception, and it could cause such bleeding also.
Endometritis ( inflammation of the lining of the uterus ) , or uterine fibroids, which are known hormone dependent conditions - also might present in this way.

Inflammation of the vagina and cervix due to gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, yeast or other infections also could cause bloody discharge during and after sex.

The putrid odour definitely requires a visit to your gynecologist, and a thorough examination, swab/culture if required etc.
The leading cause is obviously an infection due to bacteria/yeast/viruses, but cervical growths and polyps are also notorious for such putrid smell, and these would explain the bleeding too.

A forgotten foreign body or tampon is a rare cause for such a smell.

Please do not use any other products, as they might intentionally aggravate whatever lesion is there, and proceed ahead with treatment only after you have been properly checked up.

Take care, and feel free to ask for further clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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