My heart goes out to you - I had the same issue a while back. I did a lot of searching on the internet and really freaked myself out when I found that there seems to be a substantial number of women who just live with permanent BV. Can you imagine??
I feel like I have always been susceptible to getting vaginal infections and have had my fair share of BV, UTIs, and yeast infections. But about a year and a half ago, I got BV, went to the doc, treated it with topical antibiotics (which had always worked in the past) and then promptly got a yeast infection. So I treated that with Diflucan and the BV promptly returned. This back-and-forth continued several times. I felt like I was trapped in this awful cycle!
A while ago my GI told me that they had found that people with UC generally have LESS bacteria in their intestines, overall - less good stuff and less bad stuff. It makes sense to me that our vaginas would be the same. It also makes sense to me that, if this is the case, we might be more susceptible to having the bad bacteria take over, which is what occurs with vaginal infections. We need to keep a positive bacterial balance in our intestines and vaginas. That's why probiotics are so important. I've been taking femdophilus for the past few weeks but had been taking primadophilus reuteri before that and I really think it has helped me keep a good balance - no infections since (touch wood). I only changed because they didn't have anymore primadophilus reuteri the last time I went. I saw that femdophilus contains this strain too so I gave it a shot.
HOWEVER I don't think probiotics are enough to fix things once the bad guys have taken over - just like they can't fix a UC flare. I see probiotics as more of a maintenance thing. And if my GI's statement about us having less bacteria generally is true, it makes even more sense that people with UC should make a real effort to have a steady intake of yogurt and probiotics as a way to ensure that the bad guys are kept at bay.
SO, my gyno was at a loss as to how to get me back to a normal balance. I took matters into my own hands (as I had to do with my UC) and found that boric acid can be helpful in these situations. I found a web site called Rockwell Nutrition who sells a whole BV protocol that is non-pharmaceutical. I didn't buy the whole thing as it was expensive but I did do the boric acid suppositories and also bought the "alli-cinn" capsules. IT WORKED! You may have to try a few times to finally get a healthy balance back but I can't tell you how good it felt to finally get things back to normal. That smell is just terrible.
Now that I have a healthy balance back, I keep up the yogurt and probiotics to keep things in check. This has been similar to my approach to maintaining my UC remission.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is a bacterial component to our issues.
I hope very much that this helps.
Diagnosed Proctosigmoiditis August 2004, Pancolitis June 2005, Proctitis January 2007
Pentasa 2000mgs, Sulfasalazine 2000mgs, Rowasa nightly, Canasa as needed, Omega 3, Folate, SCDophilus, Calcium, SCD since 3/6/06