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  #1  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:27 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Gynecologists' Smell Test

When my ex was pregnant 8+ years ago, she mentioned something to me that we thought was odd. The Ob/Gyn that she used would insert her finger into the obvious orifice, wearing a glove. She would then quickly sniff it. My ex noticed this at least twice, but never asked why. The Ob/Gyn was this older (60+) Filipina who I believe was taught outside the US. The doc was recommended by a friend of ours at the time, and seemed to quite popular considering the number of patients in the waiting room. She was also highly rated, so we never suspected anything fishy. (npi )

Anyway, has anyone heard of such a 'smell' test? What could she detect based on smell? Everything was normal with my ex's pregnancies, in case that's relevant.
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:29 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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WAG: Infection. Yeast, vaginitis, etc.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:37 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Link, so as to avoid the uncited WAG in GQ.
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:49 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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I did a lot of Gyn (and some OB) back in the days of my private practice career, and the only indication for using the nose back then was in the "whiff test", where one would apply a swab of fluids from the vaginal vault to a microscope slide, then smell("whiff") the slide immediately after applying KOH, to detect the fishy (amine) odor of bacterial vaginosis.

Otherwise, odors are not particular diagnostic despite the claims of some clinicians that they could differentiate between yeast, trichomonas, chlamydia, gonorrhea, BV, or other based on smell alone. That's what microscope slides, cultures, and immunoassays are for.

Though the smell of a retained tampon is pretty definitive...
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2012, 12:54 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
I did a lot of Gyn (and some OB) back in the days of my private practice career, and the only indication for using the nose back then was in the "whiff test", where one would apply a swab of fluids from the vaginal vault to a microscope slide, then smell("whiff") the slide immediately after applying KOH, to detect the fishy (amine) odor of bacterial vaginosis.

Otherwise, odors are not particular diagnostic despite the claims of some clinicians that they could differentiate between yeast, trichomonas, chlamydia, gonorrhea, BV, or other based on smell alone. That's what microscope slides, cultures, and immunoassays are for.

Though the smell of a retained tampon is pretty definitive...
....H*u*r*k.....
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2012, 04:02 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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I've never had the "dipstick" test during a Pap smear. I'd probably ask outright, "Uh, WHY are you doing THAT?"

I do know that some odors are characteristics of certain diseases, but these smells are usually obvious as soon as you are in the room with a person.

For instance, a "dead mouse" smell is often indicative of some cancers.


~VOW
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2012, 04:19 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
I do know that some odors are characteristics of certain diseases, but these smells are usually obvious as soon as you are in the room with a person.

For instance, a "dead mouse" smell is often indicative of some cancers.
Or the 'fruity' acetone smell of a ketotic diabetic. And many inborn errors of metabolism can be detected by smell, such as maple syrup urine disease.

But the human nose is too puny and variable to be used reliably to diagnose very many diseases with the necessary degree of certainty.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2012, 04:43 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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I am not surprised to hear that the nose is not a reliable diagnostic tool to differentiate among diseases, but shouldn't it be up to the task of telling that something's amiss that deserves further investigation?
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2012, 06:32 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
I am not surprised to hear that the nose is not a reliable diagnostic tool to differentiate among diseases, but shouldn't it be up to the task of telling that something's amiss that deserves further investigation?
No, not as a rule.

A bad smell is very commonly present in the absence of disease.

And one generally doesn't need a nose to diagnose gangrene. In fact, a nose is a liability there.

QtM, who's seen waaaay too many healthy, smelly bodies.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2012, 07:05 PM
John DiFool John DiFool is online now
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Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
....H*u*r*k.....
Best post/user name combo of the week.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:01 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
In fact, a nose is a liability there.
Sorry to hijack, but how come a nose might be a liability with gangrene?
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:04 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
I did a lot of Gyn (and some OB) back in the days of my private practice career, and the only indication for using the nose back then was in the "whiff test", where one would apply a swab of fluids from the vaginal vault to a microscope slide, then smell("whiff") the slide immediately after applying KOH, to detect the fishy (amine) odor of bacterial vaginosis.

Otherwise, odors are not particular diagnostic despite the claims of some clinicians that they could differentiate between yeast, trichomonas, chlamydia, gonorrhea, BV, or other based on smell alone. That's what microscope slides, cultures, and immunoassays are for.

Though the smell of a retained tampon is pretty definitive...
Jesus you've done a bit of everything, haven't you?

(This is why I NEVER worry anymore or feel self conscious when I go to the gyn. She's seen it and done it all, I'm sure. A retained tampon? You mean...they couldn't get it out, and waited too long?)

Last edited by Anaamika; 07-10-2012 at 03:04 PM..
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:08 PM
Sinisterniik Sinisterniik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
I am not surprised to hear that the nose is not a reliable diagnostic tool to differentiate among diseases, but shouldn't it be up to the task of telling that something's amiss that deserves further investigation?
Here's something you might remember concerning the sensitivity of human noses. It doesn't relate directly to the OP, but shows that we can train our sense of smell.
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:10 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Sorry to hijack, but how come a nose might be a liability with gangrene?
The odor is truly incapacitating.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:16 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
Jesus you've done a bit of everything, haven't you?
In medicine I've seen and done a lot, yes.

Quote:
A retained tampon? You mean...they couldn't get it out, and waited too long?)
Forgot it was there, stopped trying to get it out, didn't remember putting it in, blamed someone else for putting it in while they weren't looking, blamed the examiner for putting it in during the exam to find out why they smelled so bad, the excuses run the gamut.

Hell, one woman denied that the baby she delivered on a gurney in the hallway was here, blaming my fellow resident who ran to catch it for 'putting it there like that'.
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:22 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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I probably change tampons too often if anything; I'm so horrified by the idea of TSS (Which I know is pretty rare) or worse, somehow forgetting it in there. I've actually had literal nightmares of forgetting one, so I know I'm a little high-strung (haha, joke) about it. How does one forget?

I have heard about the odor of gangrene. It knocks you flat, they say. Ugh.

Last edited by Anaamika; 07-10-2012 at 03:22 PM..
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:25 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
....so I know I'm a little high-strung (haha, joke) about it.


And just because it bears repeating:

....H*u*r*k.....
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  #18  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:37 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post


And just because it bears repeating:

....H*u*r*k.....
It doesn't bear repeating. We heard you the first time.
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  #19  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:38 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
How does one forget?
Drugs and/or alcohol frequently play significant roles in this particular phenomenon.

Other forms of Microdeckia are responsible for many cases too.
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  #20  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:39 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Drugs and/or alcohol frequently play significant roles in this particular phenomenon.

Other forms of Microdeckia are responsible for many cases too.
Of course, that makes sense. In many ways I've lived a sheltered life, especially when it comes to drugs and alcohol, so I usually don't leap to those conclusions.
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  #21  
Old 07-10-2012, 04:44 PM
Loach Loach is online now
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Next question, the taste test.....
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  #22  
Old 07-10-2012, 04:45 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaamika View Post
It doesn't bear repeating. We heard you the first time.
Oh, I beg to differ:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Next question, the taste test.....
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  #23  
Old 07-10-2012, 04:52 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Other forms of Microdeckia are responsible for many cases too.
Ha, I'd forgotten about that. "Microdeckia." Good stuff.
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  #24  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:25 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Otherwise, odors are not particular diagnostic despite the claims of some clinicians that they could differentiate between yeast, trichomonas, chlamydia, gonorrhea, BV, or other based on smell alone...
Not to mention terroir, varietal and even vintage.
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  #25  
Old 07-10-2012, 06:34 PM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
... maple syrup urine disease.
I sometimes can't tell the difference between factual information in medical threads and Bob Ducca ailments.
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  #26  
Old 07-10-2012, 08:25 PM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
The odor is truly incapacitating.
I've gagged from the smell of it that lingered on a coworker's scrubs.

I've never smelled anything worse. I've heard stories about some kind of perianal cyst, but I never, never want to confirm them.
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  #27  
Old 07-10-2012, 08:30 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rysdad View Post
I've gagged from the smell of it that lingered on a coworker's scrubs.

I've never smelled anything worse. I've heard stories about some kind of perianal cyst, but I never, never want to confirm them.
Pilonidal and other rectal cyst/abscesses got nuthin on gas gangrene, man. Been there with all of 'em. Gangrene's the worst.
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  #28  
Old 07-10-2012, 11:30 PM
Old Seabee Old Seabee is offline
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Held a little girl 4year old ) at the Hoa Kahne clinic for about 3 hours, She had been burned by a flare on her chest and by the time she was brought to the clinic she had gangrene and it was to late to save her. She died a couple days later . As bad as the smell was my nose got used to it in a while. It was the only time during the Vietnam war that I cried !
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  #29  
Old 07-10-2012, 11:47 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Why am I thinking of my ex-wife here? She called it a peach, I said rotten apple, and here we are.
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  #30  
Old 07-11-2012, 12:04 AM
Mangosteen Mangosteen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Pilonidal and other rectal cyst/abscesses got nuthin on gas gangrene, man. Been there with all of 'em. Gangrene's the worst.
I wonder if you could make synthetic gangrene and use it in as a kind of non lethal germ warfare spray.

Probably even the threat of using it would have the enemy surrendering.
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  #31  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:23 AM
aux203 aux203 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Pilonidal and other rectal cyst/abscesses got nuthin on gas gangrene, man. Been there with all of 'em. Gangrene's the worst.
Really? Gangrene is bad but I always found perirectal abscesses much worse. I recall a horseshoe abscess that sprayed a friend of mine straight in the chest (splashed under his mask a bit too) that still ranks as the all time number 1 worst smell I've encountered. It pretty much cleared the room and my buddy nearly hit the floor.

Dead gut diarrhea also deserves an honorable mention.

Heh, any other nominations?
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  #32  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:35 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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"So he hurriedly finished his time machine to stop himself from clicking on the OB/GYN 'smell test' thread, only to be thwarted by time-travel sickness compounded by the infinite nausea his stomach had been tossed into."
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  #33  
Old 07-11-2012, 12:08 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
And many inborn errors of metabolism can be detected by smell, such as maple syrup urine disease.
Interesting! What's that one smell like?
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  #34  
Old 07-11-2012, 12:24 PM
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Y'all are all wrong- She is subtly paying homage to one of the great rock albums of our time.
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  #35  
Old 07-11-2012, 12:26 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aux203 View Post
Dead gut diarrhea also deserves an honorable mention.

Heh, any other nominations?
Had a loop of gangrenous bowel explode in my face during surgical resection, as a resident. Now that was combining the worst of most possible worlds.
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  #36  
Old 07-11-2012, 02:03 PM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Had a loop of gangrenous bowel explode in my face during surgical resection, as a resident. Now that was combining the worst of most possible worlds.
Jesus Christ!

Tell us more. I'm eating chili.
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  #37  
Old 07-26-2012, 02:39 PM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
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I sometimes can't tell the difference between factual information in medical threads and Bob Ducca ailments.
I just try to take things one day at a time.
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  #38  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:33 AM
wedgehed wedgehed is offline
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Next question, the taste test.....
Reminds me of an old joke...


Gynecologist: "Don't be nervous. I'll numb your vagina before I begin the examination."

Woman: "Thank you Doctor!"

Gynecologist: num, num, num, num, num, num.......
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  #39  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:43 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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I recently detected lung cancer in my girlfriend because of a change of the smell in her breath. Dr said we caught it at the earliest possible stages and after surgery no further treatment was needed besides scheduled follow ups.
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