Jul 15 2006, 05:40 PM
Oh, no actually I hadn't mentioned that info. I've had them chronically-maybe 2 or 3 weeks out of every month, for the past year or so. Mild to severe, mostly mild. It only gets severe maybe once a month or less, and lasts a day or two. I think from about December to February this year, I was taking a few acidophilus pills everyday, and the infections vanished during that time. So stupidly I stopped taking them because I figured I had it beat-and within a month the infections came back, and now it seems that nothing is getting rid of them. I still take the pills everyday, and I think it keeps them from getting really bad, but not gone entirely.
I saw my doctor last week, who said nothing looked unusual. The day I saw her, I just *happened* to not be itching at all-so nothing came back in the lab results-but of course within a few days after the app't, it came back. She prescribed me Diflucan, which I'm hesitant take, based on mixed reviews from here and other people.
I'm not sure what might be causing the infections-I don't *think* I eat more yeast or sugar than anyone else, but I guess I couldn't know how much is a lot or how much other people eat. I do love vinegar, and I'd say I usually have a drink (or 2) on the weekends. I'm guessing I'm just very sensitive to yeast-I have no idea how it works. I wear clean, cotton underwear, often I don't wear any-only with looser, breathable pants though. I shower almost everyday and make sure to clean myself well with water only, and I blowdry thoroughly afterwards. Doing that generally helps-at least for most of the day, but generally by the end of the day I'm itching again.
That's about all the relevant information I can think of. Thanks gals for your help and concern!
Jul 16 2006, 04:35 AM
If you're noticing that the yeast infections seem to get more severe during the month at some point, then they could be a result of, or reactive to, some kind of hormonal imbalance that is beginning to show itself in your cycle.
A lot of women notice that they have an increase in yeasty discharge and itchiness/sensitivity just before their periods begin, or just after ovulation...(it varies as every woman is different even if they have the hormonal imbalance in common). Many women develop chronic yeast infections after going on the birth control pill.
If that seems to be the case for you, then you have to consider all the things which could alter hormonal balance (with or without the use of hormone induction treatments--like taking the pill, for example). Hormone balance is not just dependent on ovaries and pituitary glands--it can also be related to thyroid function, which could be affected by adrenal function, which could force a change in the way your body produces and uses hormones like insulin, which also forces a change elsewhere...etc. etc. etc. All of it could change the way your body handles constant stress--and that, too, has a direct effect on a variety of different hormones which could be produced by the body in response. Things can get "out of whack" very easily in that balance, anywhere in the body. More often than not the "cause" has been many months or years in the making, and it involves stress of every kind--physical, emotional, spiritual. It is also never just one thing that creates chronic yeast.
In light of that, what you eat has little relevance unless it somehow plays into the "coping" pattern that is already in place (as in, for example, craving and eating foods as a result of insulin resistance or thyroid dysfunction, both of which would make you want/need to eat sugary foods).
It helps if you take a multi-pronged approach. Treating your discomfort topically, as you've done with the mixture you made up and used, can allow you to function well and ease a great deal of pain and stress just by itself. But it isn't a "cure" to the problem, not on its own. Using essential oils (as you did with the tea tree, garlic, and lavender) or acidophilus or boric acid to ease the immediate stress is far less suppressive than using something like Diflucan. You want to avoid being suppressive in your treatment choices in any way possible, as that will only make things far worse. At best, your "relief" will only be temporary--and then you'll have all the same symptoms as you did before the suppressive treatment as well as brand new symptoms brought on by the prescription drug itself.
Once the topical discomfort is looked after, however, you've still got a lot of work to do! A lot can be done with some naturopathic solutions--such as supporting the body by taking acidophilus/bifidus capsules or powders on an ongoing, daily basis (you can get very "high dose" formulations of these supplements, and microflora capsules that include fructooligosaccharides as well as the live cultures, which make them far more potent and therefore more effective at restoring the microflora balance in the gut--if you want some suggestions regarding which brands or formulations are available where you are, just ask). If it is true you're suffering from overworked adrenals, then you'll need to find a formulation to help you get their function back on track (these can be anything from taking adrenal gland extracts to using herbal/nutrient support formulations which can achieve something similar). You'll also need to figure out why they've been overburdened to the point of dysfunction. Consider, for example, that these are the glands that act in the "fight or flight" reaction: you might want to ask yourself when it is you "act" as though you're in fight/flight mode, on an ongoing basis (it might be a stressful relationship with someone who constantly puts you on edge, or feeling forced to react to someone else's "hysterical" or overreactive habits, or simply being forced to work to exceedingly tight and unrealistic expectations--your own or someone else's). If you're dealing with a dysfunctional thyroid gland (you can have blood tests to figure this out, but make sure you work with a very competent endocrinologist if you suspect this is the deal), then you can also find supplements/herbs to help restore balance and function to this gland as well. Either, both, and/or other glands might also be involved in what's going on with you--and if you choose to go the naturopathic route of treatment then you and your naturopath can tailor your treatment options to whatever you need so that real balance can be restored. This can often include some temporary dietary changes.
Seeing a good homeopath is a great option, too--you may well be able to forego all of the supplement and herb taking all together if you choose this route, and just take the remedy prescribed to you to correct whatever is going wrong on all the levels noted above. But even that is a "process" kind of treatment--even if you get results overnight, changes do have to made in your life to ensure that recurrences can be avoided. The dietary issues are resolved with the homeopathic remedy (so there's no real need to change that at all) and you'll be in a better place, mentally, to figure out alternatives to the living situation you're in so you can avoid becoming susceptible to illness again.
Both ways are good options, far less frustrating that just taking some prescription med that, at best, works temporarily.
Jul 17 2006, 12:08 PM
Wow, thank you so much chacaheels for taking the time and concern. I really appreciate it.
I actually am on birth control, but I'm on Ortho Lo-I can't imagine what being on the pill with a regular dose of hormones is like! And I was bleeding this past week, so I was off of them, and I've decided to stop taking them for this month and see what happens. I'm realizing that they could also have something to do with my spordadic depression as well-especially because that's gotten better suddenly this past week.
And stress, of course is a major contributor. But it seems like trying to control stress these days is like trying to control world peace-there may be tiny ways to influence it, but the problem just isn't going away.
"In light of that, what you eat has little relevance unless it somehow plays into the "coping" pattern that is already in place (as in, for example, craving and eating foods as a result of insulin resistance or thyroid dysfunction, both of which would make you want/need to eat sugary foods).".......I have to admit that I probably have been eating too much sugar lately, but as a result of stress-it's my comfort-especially chocolate and ice cream. I don't eat an unbelievable amount, but maybe a coule pieces of dark chocolate a day, and a few spoonfuls of ice cream maybe every other day. I'm starting to worry about diabetes too, because my grandmother has it (adult onset). And I just read in an article that thyroid dysfunction could also cause many symptoms of depression. There are a lot of possibilities.
I'd like to see a naturopath or homeopath, though I don't think I can afford it right now..So for the time being I'm just going to watch what I'm eating and see if going off the pill helps. And try to help the stress levels any way I can. Thanks again for your help!
Jul 17 2006, 07:35 PM
I'm happy you found it helpful, humanist77! If you don't mind, I have a few suggestions you might also find helpful in re-balancing things and in supporting your body back to a healthier state.
The cravings you're describing sound like they are pointing up a mineral deficiency--you might want to try supplementing your diet with magnesium, and to a certain extent, iron. Whenever someone tells me they are craving dark chocolate I interpret this more as a craving for chocolate itself (which is a drug, actually); I think they crave sugar when the "chocolate" they eat is a milk chocolate candy bar, or just milky chocolate.
You, my dear, are craving chocolate as a drug. That indicates a need for trace minerals, magnesium, and (my favourite) a chemically altered state of being. Chocolate as a drug does create a sense of euphoria and comfort.
Stress is never going to go away--that will never change (until we die, actually, as everything we do in life is a response to stress--even things as seemingly effortless as breathing). The only thing we can do about particularly destructive stressors is change our means of responding to them.
B12 and folic acid go a long way to helping you react to stress more effectively; herbs like rhodiola and relora, or Holy Basil extract as well, can make a huge difference to someone who is so overstressed that things like blood sugar levels and insulin receptivity are affected. You might want to consider adding one of these herbs (Holy Basil is actually very potent and quite effective) as a supplement to your diet for a month or so to see if you feel any helpful changes.
I always think the birth control pill exerts a massive influence on hormone balance, so I'm glad you're able to see a significant difference simply by coming off the pill for a short time. To be honest, I am very suspicious about the birth control pill and I do believe it ultimately deprives us of our sex drives and predisposes us to serious diseases (cancers among them) even though plenty of the studies used to sell the drug don't tell us this (though a variety of medical researchers, many of them female oddly enough, seem to find these results in their studies all the time...hmmm). I also realise, however, that many women so desperately want to control their own fertility and determine their own sexual activity level, and for many the pill is accessible and convenient, so it's a fact of life I'm always working around whenever I deal with patients.
Anyway, I think I'm being a bit overwhelming right now--but these are just a couple of nutritional options to try out while you're taking your pill break. If you want to know which forms of minerals or vitamins you'd do best on, just let me know. Hope you find your yeast symptoms abate significantly just for coming off the pill.
Jul 27 2006, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the input, blanchedeveraux! I hope that at least your infection clears up. That's so odd that you haven't had one in years, and suddenly you get one. Can you think of a possible cause?
And thanks again, chachaheels-it's very helpful to be aware of these things. But I have to say, that I've been off the pill for 2 1/2 weeks now and the infection seems to have vanished completely (knock on wood). I've felt so much better mentally and emotionally as well. Not to mention the return of my nearly forgotten libido. But I'm now stuck with finding a new contraception that won't give me bad side effects and doesn't reduce physical sensitivity. My bf has pledged to take the elusive male pill the second it is available in the U.S. I'm sure there are some evil conservative social politics holding it back..
Jul 27 2006, 11:11 PM
Funny thing about that ever elusive male pill...when I was about 10 years old, I read a little article in the newspaper declaring that scientists were working on the pill with great concentration...and that it would be available for men to use in about 10 years. The pill was a big thing when I was that age--a family close to ours had just lost a daughter as a result of her use of the pill; so it was always being talked about around our house, and the pill was so "new" that it was always being written about or talked about somewhere--same with the "men's pill".
Well, when I was in my 20's, I recall reading another, similar article...
and, yet, no pill. None of the men I knew had heard anything about it...(none of them expressed any desire for it, either).
Then, in my 30's, the "news" about the male contraceptive pill was that it was still "10 years off..."
And now I'm in my 40's and that pill is still elusive.
NFP is as effective as the pill, and if you use one of those fertility computers you can be even more accurate about the times when you can and can't conceive. If you actually chart the patterns of your cycle you'll know ahead of time when you can be spontaneous (or, if you may be fertile, you'll know when you need to be prepared in order to be spontaneous). There's a thread devoted to this which lists a number of sources you might want to check out so that you and your man can think about using it instead of the pill. After all, you're doing so much better without it, your drive's returned...how can anyone ask you to go back on, given the benefits you're experiencing?
Jul 28 2006, 09:20 AM
Hey everyone, I've got a question I'd appreciate some guidance on: I've got some mad itching on my external girly bits, and also some itching/burning during sex. It feels similar, but perhaps not exactly like, the one yeast infection I've had. I'm reluctant to treat it as yeast because my (now ex-) boyfriend had some sort of mild jock itch (or something) for several weeks when we were sexually active, so I'm wondering if I've got some sort of fungal thing going on instead. I'm out of town and can't get to my doctor, so I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or advice on this. How do I know just what I've got and what to do about it? Cheers.
Sorry about the double post. I just want to add one more important detail: no chance of this being an STI.
Jul 28 2006, 02:03 PM
Yeast infection is just another name for fungal infection. It sounds like whatever your now-ex boy had is what you've got--it's easy to infect and re-infect one another with yeast/fungus. It doesn't matter
"who started it" so much cause it's almost impossible to tell...if you have a yeast infection you may pass it on to your partner, where it will show up as a fungal infection (like jock itch). You can be asymptomatic and still pass it on--yeast overgrowth can happen internally as well as on the skin surface, particularly where the skin is usually damp, covered, and warm. There are an abundance of sweat glands around the genitalia, and we all have to wear clothes...so it's an ideal place for fungus and yeast to proliferate. If we could all walk around in the sun with our fun parts exposed, we'd probably never have to deal with yeast infections again...but I digress.
All of the suggestions here--acidophilus/bifidus pills with a high number of live organisms (10 billion organisms is a good number, I think) to take orally, or acidophilus/bifidus capsules to insert vaginally; garlic (again, eaten and used internally); boric acid suppositories; tea tree oil applied with a tampon; are viable. People have found relief with all of these methods. Salt water baths (or, if you can do it, swimming in the ocean) are also very soothing and healing...if you look in the archives here there are a lot of different options you can select to use or use in combination.
Jul 30 2006, 11:38 AM
I used to get a chronic, low grade yeast infection whenever I'd been on b/c pills for two years. I'd stop the pills and it would go away. I went back on them after they helped treat some painful residuals of PID for a while, but there was definitely a correlation as it happened more than once.
I haven't been on them for years b/c I was trying to get pregnant. Interestingly, but not surprisingly (as the pill mimics the hormonal state of pregnancy) I developed a chronic yeast problem at about 16 weeks. I've tried everything, and the only thing that's helped me was live yogurt directly applied to the area every night (not very much required). I was amazed as it was so persistant against EVERYTHING else I tried (and stuff that usually worked, like eliminating sugar, eating live yogurt, taking diflucan--I was desperate--and so on.)
Jul 31 2006, 07:45 AM
I know a lot of women get yeast infections during their pregnancies...and for a long time, I've seen that correlation between the use of the pill and chronic yeast. I don't know the exact mechanism at work, so I don't want to guess. The only thing I do know about these parallel situations is that there is an hormonal "shift" which causes a susceptibility to becoming ill with yeast. Whether that shift is a result of the pill, or of pregnancy, or of adrenal insufficiency, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, whatever...the "shift" creates a less than ideal situation for overall health in the body...and one becomes susceptible to the disease of yeast.
It's quite possible for every woman with this aetiology (never been well since pregnancy, never been well since the birth control pill) to succumb to the disease for any number of personal reasons, and the hormones are just coincidentally involved--it's always more than just physical changes that make someone susceptible to any kind of disease. To get to the real "nitty gritty", you'd have to think about other things going on around you which contributed to the events leading up to the yeast infection. Also: consider that the female body goes through several hormonal shifts all the time--yet it seems to be the one associated with pregnancy (whether it's created through the pill or naturally) that brings about the yeast problem, in your case, anoush. Maybe this issue is associated with all kinds of personal challenges for you that you've been dealing with for a long, long time--I'm not trying to judge here, just point out that the emotional aspect of this reality plays a huge role in the illness too; it would really help you to think about those challenges in this context in order to resolve them. That goes a long, long way towards becoming healthy again and staying healthy, simply because you become less susceptible this way.
If the topically applied yogurt works for you, anoush, then that's great! Hopefully the yeast will stop once the baby is born and things have returned to their "normal" state.
Jul 31 2006, 04:09 PM
(Sorry for going OT)..The whole male pill issue gets me so depressed. The last article that I read about it says that it's taking so long b/c of lack of demand for the male pill. What, are they only polling Mormons or something? This reinforces the idea that because only women can get pregnant, it's their responsibility to prevent it, regardless of male involvement. I had no idea that they've been talking about the MP for so long, Chachaheels. What a downer. There has to be politics involved, for the same sort of reasons that they won't approve the vaccine for HPV. What can we do to help?
Fertility Awareness sounds like a wonderful thing to me if done correctly. But I've never gotten such a negative reaction from my bf when I mentioned the idea to him. He says there is just no way to accurately detect ovulation without a large margin of error. He won't even read any information about it. He believes there is no difference between FAM and the rhythm method, and of course he can't seperate it from NFP, which is based in Catholicism. He absolutely refuses to go anywhere near it. He is otherwise very supportive of any other contraceptive that works for me.
Jul 31 2006, 07:32 PM
"He believes there is no difference between FAM and the rhythm method'
He's just wrong. That's actually a pretty reactionary viewpoint, implying that women's bodies are so mysterious and somehow dark that you couldn't possibly learn about yourself in any meaningful way.
FAM is fantastic, whether you want to avoid pregnancy, get pregnant, or just learn more about how your body works.
As for the male pill, I've always heard that it's much harder to supress millions of sperm than one egg per month, which makes sense to me.
Also, I meant to say I havn't been on b/c pill for years, not that I have. I've edited it now to fix that, but originally I'd typed it wrong.
Jul 31 2006, 10:17 PM
(Sorry again for the derailment) I know it's wrong. I tried explaining it to him, based on the little research I've done, and he just said it seems very risky. He says that it could possibly work if the woman is 100% accurate in checking everything, but that no one is really that careful.
His parents are both doctors, and when it comes to health issues, he always thinks he has the upper hand because he grew up in that environment and knows more than other people who aren't actually doctors. His first reaction to the topic was that it's based in Catholicism and therefore it is wrong-I tried to explain the difference between FAM and NFP, and he wouldn't have any of it. It was a VERY frustrating and unproductive conversation. I'm too scared to bring it up again with him. I want to find some reliable information about it-that might get him to consider it, or at least look into more info, but the only stuff I can find is on the internet, and he doesn't believe much of anything on the internet unless it is from an actual trusted medical community. I feel so stuck because I want to try it out, but he said he refuses to have unprotected sex with me if this is the only thing I am going on.
As I said though, otherwise he is completely supportive of anything else I want to try, as long as it is endorsed by the medical community. He just thinks this is too risky. I respect his opinion, I just wish he would talk about it with me without FREAKING out like he did the first time.
I should be talking about this in the FAM thread, so if it continues I will take it in there. Thanks ladies for being patient
Aug 1 2006, 05:45 AM
The idea that natural forms of contraception are faulty is a bias created and upheld by the medical "community". Or at least the medical community that gets a hell of a lot of pricey, status-rich perks from the pharmaceutical industry marketing birth control pills.
It's just not true. But if your boyfriend will not work with you, it's not a good choice. It should really only be used by couples where the male is also supportive because he has to be aware of your fertility and respect the need to use barrier methods when timing demands it. It works really well with a whole heartedly supportive and compliant partner.
But, that being said: it should lead a woman to question why there is resistance to even the small amount of support needed in the arrangement from her partner. It could be that he continuously believes that the full responsibility for fertility and contraception resides with the woman. Lots of men don't realise they hold these biases until they're challenged, and the FAM conversation sometimes constitutes that challenge.
It might be helpful to point out to your beau that the "medical community" is not monolithic in scope of practice or philosophy; what he believes to be the truth about the "medical community" may just be, again, a bias he wishes to uphold. There are many, many women who are doctors who will promote and teach women methods of natural birth control because the demand is there, and many of these doctors are full-fledged "medical community" members.
Besides, the pill's "success" rate isn't as hot as its reputed to be. Plenty of mothers will attest to that.
Aug 2 2006, 06:16 PM
I agree, chacha~it makes sense why the FAM is being resisted by the medical community. Which of course makes me want to try it even more because I'm just a little rebel like that..
But it's not that he thinks contraception lies in the woman's hands-he's offered to do whatever it takes (besides this) to help me. He just doesn't believe that any person can so perfectly keep track of all the signs. And he thinks that there is a large margin of error because of other things which effect temperature and cervical fluid, besides ovulation. And I'm not promising that I would absolutely flawlessly keep track, but I'd at least like to try. I told him that it is recommended to take a class on it, or at least get a book about it, and he just said that whoever teaches these classes and writes these books are only trying to make money. He just got very upset about the whole issue and argued any point I tried to make. Honestly I'd have to say I was shocked at his whole response, which is why I hesitate to bring it up again.
Sorry again for the derailment! Don't be afraid to tell us to take it outside!
Aug 2 2006, 07:36 PM
It's not really OT.
It's funny that the reticence about taking those classes has to do with people "out to make money". A lot of these classes are offered free, as a public health service to women where I live, so I know that there are some communities elsewhere who must believe that investing in public health in this way pays off big--in the sense that many women and couples become self-sufficient, healthier, and better able to determine whether or not they will bring wanted children into the community, as well as when. The cost of the matter shouldn't really be the issue here--not matter what you do, money will have to change hands, whether it's to buy contraceptive birth control pills or do anything else. The money is not the issue, and it's not the reason why your boy is having such a hard time with this method.
Your boyfriend has had an extreme "gut" reaction to this issue becuase it seems to set off a number of "red flags" for him, that's evident. Whether those red flags have anything to do with your sexual relationship or birth control methods is highly debatable--but there is something about this "method" that really makes him uncomfortable, which is strange considering all he'd be required to do is help you keep track of what's going on with you, physically (and then altering his behaviour and approach appropriately, nothing more). Maybe the topic brings up all kinds of threatening issues for him--having to do with committment, or the outcome of being faced with an accidental pregnancy in this relationship. Many men fear this because they've experienced (either by observation or outright, in previous relationships) the problem--and dealing with the prospect of an unwanted child is really difficult for any couple in any relationship. So many couples don't survive that challenge; perhaps he's afraid this whole situation will bring up an opportunity for him to lose you, and that's something he doesn't want to happen. Or there could be any number of unaddressed and powerful fears underneath his reaction.
Who knows? All I know is that's a tremendously energetic reaction to a simple request...which always makes me think there's something deeper and unspoken (or unexplored) under all that vocalized, denunciative energy. All you can do is encourage more discussion about this, hopefully in a way that makes it more comfortable for him to open up the discussion. Trust me: this isn't about what's "scientific or medically sound", because FAM is quite sound scientifically and medically--there's nothing deductive about it, really, you're either in a fertile state or not, and those are the facts in the matter. He's really afraid of something else and he's covering it with this reaction. Remember that this isn't deliberate on his part (he's probably just as shocked at his vociferousness as you are).
If you can get the discussion going, or even just let him know you're open to hearing more about what's bothering him about the whole topic, then you're bound to find a solution that really works for both of you--your health is protected, you both feel free to be involved sexually, and your relationship grows because of the hurdle this issue represents. I really hope this turns out to be the case, and things work out to make you both stronger together.
Aug 2 2006, 07:53 PM
Not to mention that I learned FAM from a library book that cost me nothing.
Considering that contraception does have a large impact, potentially, on yeast problems I don't think it's OT either.
I still would be bothered about what I perceive as the implication that women and their bodies can't be trusted. Which isn't true, and I don't think he means it consciously (if he does at all--it's the the feeling I get.) That's just me, and obviously I"m just going on what you are saying here, but this attitude would be big problem in my relationship, especially the inability to even talk about it sensibly.
Aug 3 2006, 04:05 AM
And that's exactly what I meant to say only Anoushh said it so much better than I did, and in far fewer words.
My previous post = blathering
Anoushh's post = succinct
Point's the same though!
Aug 14 2006, 06:37 PM
Well sorry to disgust anyone with this post but here goes...
Was on a major round of antibiotics for a strep infection a few weeks ago. As usual I ended up with a pretty nasty yeast infection after I finished taking them (my vag and antibiotics never did get along =P )
At any rate, I used my usual remedy..the three day stuff from the store. Then a few days later started feeling itchy down there again. Didn't experience any other typical yeast infection symptoms, just felt itchy still. Then I started noticing thicker discharge and figured the three day stuff day stuff didn't knock it (I've had that happen once before) Went and bought the 7 day stuff and started using it like I did that time the three day stuff didn't work..figured all would be well.
Ermm well I think I was wrong. I don't think it is yeast but I don't know. The 7 day stuff has been making me burn like hell. I've been using it 3 days now and no relief. Discharge isn't yeast infection like at all but there is a lot of it. I still itch on the outside on the outside...it comes and goes. Saturday night I noticed a bit of blood...thought my period was coming but then it went away...no idea where the blood came from. Discharge doesn't smell or otherwise look funky that I can tell.
Been with the same person for 5 years now...no STD worries or anything (well unless he was cheating I suppose but I don't suspect that and if he was he'd be dead *smiles innocently*)
Yeast infection....irritation from hell...something else? I think I'm giving up on the rest of the 7 day stuff. I'm 99% sure this is not a yeast infection. And if it is a yeast infection I'll no doubt be once again certain I guess shortly. And if it's not...uggh guess a fun doc visit eh...
Aug 14 2006, 10:28 PM
Ok after reading all of you girls' posts about yeast infections, I'm getting worried. I'm 22 and I've never had a yeast infection in my life, even though I drink like a sailor(actually, I used to, when I was in college, not that much anymore...), I eat aaany kind of food, lots of sugars, etc, etc. Are some people more prone to get yeast infections than others? I know when you get sick of something , that is good because your body is reacting against it and telling you what's wrong...so my point here is, should I be worrying about never having a yeast infection? Should my body be telling me something that haven't told me yet?
Aug 15 2006, 07:11 AM
Yeast infections are just like other ailments--some people are more susceptible to them than others.
There are some people who go on the pill, eat all kinds of the "wrong" foods (in reality, there aren't any "wrong" foods, but some will encourage yeast infections if you're really sensitive to those foods, and if you've got one), and take anti-biotics all the time...and never get a yeast infection. They come into contact sexually with others who have fungal or yeast infections, yet still remain symptom free. These people simply aren't susceptible to the ailment.
For others, all they have to have is 1 course of anti-biotics and that's all it takes to bring an infection on. These people are the kind who are very susceptible.
If you don't have one, and you want to stay away from getting one, remember that yeast infections seem to follow the use of the birth control pill, and anti-biotics (so stay away from these). They can also be passed from one sexual partner to another; so if your partner has a yeast or fungal infection, and you're not careful to protect yourself from it, you can develop one from sexual contact. Other things, like some spermicides which tend to annihilate necessary and healthy microorganisms in the vagina, can also make you more susceptible to yeast. Other things can make you susceptible along with the ones on this list--the stress of being overworked or completed depleted, energy wise (for whatever reason); something out-of-whack with the sexual relationship you're in (you may not feel like the relationship is what you want, for whatever reason, and it's somehow draining or bothering you mentally and emotionally); too many emotional stresses for you to deal with (overwhelming things, like deaths in the family followed by any number of other distressing events that you have to contend with). Just for example.
If you haven't got one, be happy! They're very unpleasant and very often painful too.
Aliboo, sorry to hear things are now worse...it's a good idea to stop using the "7 day" treatment (it's probably nystatin, which is just another anti-biotic and the reason why these treatments don't work).
It sounds like the latest treatment has something in it which is irritating your already highly sensitive, thin skin and making life really uncomfortable for you. Yeast infections don't always have a discharge that looks like the "typical" one...sometimes there is bleeding from the interior lining of the vagina or from the labia; sometimes people experience what looks and feels like little cuts in the skin folds from the irritation of the fungus and from the treatments.
If you have doubts about what this is, taking an exam and some tests at your doc's will rule out anything other than yeast that's far more frightening. If it does turn out to be yeast, you can choose some supportive measures (nutritional options...I actually just learned of a number of foods that really beat yeast infections that should be added to the diet when problems arise...treating with botanicals or minerals, etc. etc.).
Aug 15 2006, 09:34 AM
Aliboo, one thing to add onto ChaCha's comprehensive reply is that if antibiotics give you yeast infections, then any time you get a prescription for antibiotics, you should tell your doctor you also want a prescription for cream and for Diflucan. That way you can try to prevent them before they get painful and out of control.
I have taken so much Diflucan in my life and used creams so many times. I haven't had problems in years though (in my case, it was almost entirely The Pill's fault).
Aug 15 2006, 10:12 AM
That's an option; get a RX for Diflucan...
A lot of doctors are now aware of what happens with full-spectrum anti-biotics (and even anti-biotics that are supposedly more specific in their action) so they encourage their patients to buy acidophilus and bifidus pills to take before, during, and after the course of the anti-biotic treatment. It may be a more affordable option for you. If you want to go that route now, I'd recommend a really high active cell count acidophilus pill--something with at least 12 billion live organisms to take several times a day until the yeast lessens.
Some people say they've had success with Diflucan. It's a popularly prescribed anti-fungal which might help.
Aug 15 2006, 11:39 AM
Since it's really not possible to avoid taking antibiotics overall, the most you can do is to take probiotics when you have to take them, and just do you best not to catch anything that would require you to take them! In other words, if possible, don't make out with someone with strep throat, avoid sharing drinks, etc.
As far as the creams go, funny things can happen once you've used them a few times. They can either become ineffective, or you can become sensitive to them, hence the irritation. I wouldn't be surprised if the irritation from that was what caused the bit of bleeding, but again, if you are concerned, or if it continues, definately head to the doc!
Diflucan, on the other hand, can be really effective short term, and wipe the infection out, but I found that it always came back. And, also, Diflucan is a really strong antifungal, and is rought on some of your internal organs when taken frequently. After a pharmacist pulled me aside and hinted at me that it was really unnecessary to take Diflucan, and after this wicked allergist I started seeing about five years ago got through with me, I really don't get the yeasties anymore.
I do follow a yeast-free diet, which is a bit of a sacrifice, but it has been so wonderfully effective, and way better than any creams or Diflucan ever were, so I am happy to stay on it indefinately. And although some people suggest not eating sugar, that is just because yeast feeds on sugar.
Instead, I avoid introducing yeast into my body, and can still eat sugar just fine. The foods I stay away from are anything containing yeast, vinegar, and alcohol (as well as a few other fermented foods). It's really not that bad, just sourdough bread instead of yeast bread, lemon juice instead of vinegar... alcohol, well, that's just out.
And I do cheat and have some ketchup now and then, but as long as I don't eat too much, it's fine, and I can feel it when I have eaten too much.
Anyway, whatever way you decide to tackle this, good luck! Yeast sucks!
Aug 15 2006, 01:22 PM
Will definitely keep that in mind next time I use antibiotics...these days if I get on antibiotics I am guaranteed to get a yeast infection afterwards.
I have been suspected of having endometriosis...and it has been documented that endo and yeast infections seem to go hand in hand for a lot of people.
I'm still confused to what is going on. I've been having bad allergies lately and trying to pinpoint what it is I am suddenly allergic too..thinking that might have something to do with it all. I did start using a new body wash a few days ago and wondering if that might not have something to do with it. At any rate I've quit using it and going to see how that goes.
In case it was an allergic irriation I did a baking soda soak I read about last night (5 tbsp baking soda to bath water) and it made me feel less itchy so maybe it is irriation. Going to give it a couple more days to see if it improves any...if not off to the doctor I go =(
Aug 30 2006, 02:26 PM
i used to post often in this thread, but the dingo ate my log-in/password. don't fret, i'm back.
my yeasties stopped for a year & a half and i'm not quite sure what tactics i used worked like a charm. i stopped using the diva cup for one, took a break from a pretty open sexual lifestyle (with my husband, thank you), have continued to watch my diet and eliminated sugar in my diet (was strict in the beginning, now i know when to pick my battles).
then blamo! i got my first yeastie in quite some time recently. i got it right before my period started, which is usually the time when i tend to get them (before or after my period really). it just so happens to be soon after we played w/ a new couple, which we hadn't done in quite some time since we decided to take a break. it also happened to be the HOTTEST part of August we have had in quite some time in NYC, although i had been taking precautions such as wearing skirts, cotton undies and changing of undies more frequently than normal.
so i'm left wondering what caused it to happen again after all this time of being yeastie-free....could it have been this new couple? the severe humid weather that was happening around that time (early august) in NYC? did i drink too much beer or eat too much sugar?
has anyone else had a good amount of time of being yeastie-free and then had a relapse? i don't expect any of you to give me an exact answer, i'm more so venting and seeking stories from other busties who have also had the same/or close to it happen.
PS: my home remedy of treating yeasties has always been the boric acid capsules, i've made myself (filled empty pill capsules & filled them w/ boric acid I'd get from behind the pharmacist counter) and a douce of tea tree oil, however, i read that douching is bad overall due to eliminating the good bacteria in your body, so I DO NOT recommend doing the later. unfortunately this last time, i took diflucan, which i realize is hard on your liver, although i do not experience any other side effects *knock on wood* and it works good & fast for me. i did start the boric acid capsules, but i didn't want it to get out of control and opted for diflucan.
Aug 31 2006, 05:29 AM
Any number of things could have made you susceptible to it again. I don't think it really has anything to do with drinking beer, eating sugar, or humidity as I'm sure you've done this during your yeast free year and never came down with yeast. So it is something else.
It's curious you mention that you took a break from a few things--using the diva cup, for example.
Some women just do not do well if they stop their menstrual flow, even momentarily, with a thing like a tampon or sponge or one of these receptacles...it is absolutely necessary for the flow to leave the body in order for them to feel well--so if you've started using this again, that may be one thing.
What form of birth control are you using? The pill does have an effect and is often related to yeast infections for many women...and you do say your yeast infections arise the week before your period, which does indicate some kind of hormonal influence. Are you using a barrier method of some sort? With a spermicide which may have created sensitivity? Could you have chosen not to use a barrier, and contacted it from a partner? Any one of these possibilities might apply.
To me, though, it's significant that there was a break in an "open sexual relationship" for a while (during which you had no yeast) and a yeast infection immediately after being with a new couple. Maybe there is some unexamined issue there--is the open sexual relationship something you really wanted, something you really thrive on, or something you do with your husband because he wants to do things this way more than you do (but you go along)? Or, could it be that something in this particular arrangement has allowed some issues to arise again--situations you're not 100% happy about, like all the emotional stuff that comes up unexpectedly in these arrangements? Why did you both take a break? Why did you decide to end the break? How do you feel about those decisions? These aren't anything more than just suggestions for examination, as
I say...something that might have a huge role in really opening you up to becoming ill. Something to think about...nothing more...but necessary.
If Diflucan compromises or overloads liver function, it's advisable for you to lay off the stuff particularly if there is a hormonal component to the yeast (if our livers are overloaded or unable to perform detoxification then they can't effectively handle the stress of doing this with hormones involved as well...) The boric acid's worked in the past...that's what I would use as a treatment now.
Sep 4 2006, 09:35 AM
thank you for your response. i appreciate your time. i will definitely look into all the suggestions you brought up for examination. they all make a lot of sense and something i've definitely already thought about or looked into.
i hope your having a great long weekend!
Sep 7 2006, 09:31 AM
Not sure if this is the right place to ask this but I'll give it a try.
I got a UTI and the doc game me cephalexin, along with an Rx for Diflucan because I knew it would give me a yeast infection. I've been taking the antibiotic for 2 days and I'm already getting yeasty. I'm not sure if it's smart to take the Diflucan now since this is a 10-day antibiotic... Isn't it likely that I'll get another yeastie in that time? And if I take the Diflucan now it won't be in my system for that long...
Sep 7 2006, 11:04 AM
You might want to avoid using the Diflucan by supporting the body so that it can cure the yeast itself. Using Acidophilus and Bifidus probiotics is a good start--find a product that has a very high microorganism count and use it as directed...look for 12 billion live organisms per capsule if you can.
This is something many doctors now suggest to their patients anytime they write out a scrip for an anti-biotic.
Sep 7 2006, 12:00 PM
Thanks, Chachaheels, that's probably good advice. The acidophilus I have says it contains over 100 million active organisms... I'll look for something higher but until I get something else, how much of this and how often do you think I should take it? I usually take one every morning and sometimes more if I feel like I have a yeastie coming on... In this case, should I take a lot lot more? Also I wonder if the antibiotic will be killing off all the acidophilus bacteria...
Sep 7 2006, 12:27 PM
The anti-biotic is killing off the microflora in your system right now, as we speak. That's why it's a good idea to supplement and replace it. Yeast is opportunistic and if its growth isn't kept in check with your own microflora, yeast will just overgrow and cause the problems you're experiencing.
Even the higher organism count formulations advise you to take them with each meal on a daily basis, I believe, so follow the directions on those if you can find them--but for now you may want to increase your dosage of the formulation you have on hand. You might also try using a cranberry extract or just drinking diluted unsweetened cranberry juice to acidify the tissue around the bladder. It'll help you get over the bladder and yeast infection much more quickly, and keep the yeast from re-infecting the bladder as well.
Sep 7 2006, 12:43 PM
Thanks Chacha! I have a bottle of cranberry supplements so I will start taking that as well.
Sep 8 2006, 06:47 PM
Hey everybody I was wondering if someone in this thread could help me out...
After my boyfriend and I had sex yesterday my vaginal canal has been burning. I thought it was just from the friciton but it's been two days. We didn't use lube and it was hurting a little when we were having sex. We also used some different condoms than our usual thin, lubed Lifestyle brand, they were the Trojan Lubricated. They are really kinda of think and dry....my boyfriend said he could see why it would be irritating since we he went to remove the condom it was kinda dry. We always use condoms and we both have no STD's or anything for sure.
At first I thought I had a UTI, but it's been since Wednesday and it hasn't gotten worse. I figured I'd be in major pain by now if that were teh case. Besides, my pee is clear, I drink a ton of water and there is no blood in my urine. No lower back pain or anything either. I am having to go frequently but I usually do anyways. Actaully I thought it was gone this morning but here I am with a burning vagina again. It's just some burning, no really itching and not much of a discharge either.
I'm pretty sure I've had this before and went to the doc and was diagnosed with a yeast infection...this was about 3 years ago though. Now I don't have any insurance and I'm not sure our general doc will see me without any. I just bought some Monistat 7 day cream stuff but might wait until tommorow to see it clears up. I've been drinking cranberry juice too and am considering buying some acidopilus pills again.
Sep 8 2006, 10:33 PM
Sounds like a yeast infection to me. The really painful kind, sorry to hear. When this one produces a discharge it's a sign of things actually improving.
I wouldn't take the monistat, but I would take some acidophilus and bifidus capsules with some very high microorganism counts, at least with each meal for a while. Boric acid suppositories would help, too, as they'd be able to deal with the irritation right at the source. I know they don't sound like it, but I think you would find them to be very soothing.
I do hope it clears up soon as it sounds very uncomfortable.
Sep 11 2006, 10:10 AM
Thanks for the response, chachaheels
Yep, I definitely have a yeast infection. I'm having a little itching now and am still burning...gah. I regret letting it go over the weekend but I wasn't sure what to do. I wanted to see if it was a little irritation that might pass...but no. The itching didn't start until yesterday. I'm gonna start the Monistat tonight. I know you don't reccomend it but it's gotten rid of it before and I really, really want relief for sure. I read the 7 day creams are better if you are gonna go the cream route because it treats it longer. I am off to get some acidophilus pills as we speak too because I don't want to get one again and it might help the stomach problems that seemed to have cropped again after I stopped taking it. I don't remember why I stopped taking acidophilus but apparently it was a bad idea.
Sep 15 2006, 06:02 PM
I know you told me not too but I started using the Monistat Monday night. It burned like hell the first night I used but I did start to feel some relief Wednesday and felt almost completely better yesterday but today it's burning just a little.In the canal a little and on the upper part....I guess my labia. It's been itching a little too but still no discharge. It's not as bad as it was before but isn't the Monistat supposed to have made it completely better by now? I did have to use the bathroom a lot last night so maybe wiping a lot irritated it? A little of the cream also came out last night after I used the bathroom...not a lot but some...will this keep it from getting treated all the way? Gah...I'm frustrated....I really hope this stuff helps. It's helped before but that was about 3 years ago and I'm not sure what brand I used.
Sep 15 2006, 09:06 PM
Artstar I suspect that you've got a UTI as well, and most often the monistat doesn't work very effectively (the yeast always comes back). However, sometimes you do have to just wait and watch to see what happens, as you may be clear of symptoms in a few hours or so.
If you're still getting symptoms, and you do have UTI, then I'd choose boric acid suppositories instead of the monistat--they're more apt to work. You can take a cranberry extract for the UTI, or drink unsweetened, diluted cranberry juice to acidify the tissues so they don't stay infected. And, oh yes, don't forget the high microorganism count probiotics (acidophilus and bifidus) pills.
Sorry to hear things aren't better yet, but hang in there.
Sep 16 2006, 11:06 AM
Thanks for your reponse again
Well I don't have any pain when I pee, a lot comes out and there is no blood. It's clear as day too but I drink tons of water. No back pain or stomach pain either. If I have a UTI it's a very very slight one. I used the monistat last night again and it burned like hell the first couple hours after it was in. I have a feeling that's not a good thing.....alhthoughI'm not burning now I'm scared to use it again...gah. Could it be the Monistat is irritating my bladder?
Sep 16 2006, 11:16 AM
But I'm thinking that right now the yeast infection is so pronounced it's created extremely sensitive tissue anyway. Still Monistat is just not a good solution; at best, it tries to suppress the infection's discharges only; all that does is drive the infection into deeper tissue. Who needs that? And, it's an antibiotic, too--so it also just negatively effects the microflora as well.
Any chance the lubricated condoms you and your boyfriend used contained either nonoxynol 9 or a glycerin lube? That might go a long way to explaining what might be causing the irritation.
Sep 16 2006, 11:30 AM
I know it doesn't have nonoxynol 9 but not sure about glycerin. It was the Trojan lubricated brand this time and we don't usually ue those. In fact I threw them out they were so crappy plus we haven't had sex since I've been irritated either, so it's only making me hate this more....grrr. I know the lube we usually use with a condom is glycerin free but we didn't use it last time.
Sep 19 2006, 12:38 PM
So Sunday night was awful. I was up all night peeing and couldn't sleep. Yesterday night I started to see blood on the toliet paper and really thought I had a UTI. I was burning real bad. Well....it was my period. It's here in full force today. The burning is almost gone though and my bladder was a little better last night. I didn't have to go half as much as I did the night before. I made an appointment yesterday morning with a doc that's tommorow afternoon. I guess I'll still go because I'll just keep speculating and I just know the itching and burning will return. I would say it was my menses but I was having burning and itching over a week ago.
I'm blaming the Monistat for irritaing me so much up there that when my period was starting it was burning.....I will never use that stuff again.
Sep 20 2006, 03:29 AM
That's awful, I'm sorry to hear things got so bad and so uncomfortable.
I still think it could very well be the UTI but it's about time to go and get things checked out. If you can, you really should test for STDs and take a Pap smear as well to rule out other possibilities which are more insidious and dangerous than yeast.
And if it is yeast, I still recommend the boric acid suppositories, cranberry extract tablets or diluted juice, and high microorganism count acidophilus/bifidus capsules to get you out of this mess. Seriously consider avoiding all anti-biotics in the future.
Sep 21 2006, 11:40 AM
So I had my doc's appt. yesterday. She couldn't give me a pap because I'm on my period. She wanted to check and see if anything was inflamed or not but she couldn't since everything would probably look red now because of my period and it would be hard to see if there was any discharge.
I did get a urinalysis and both indicators that would show I had a UTI were negative. I know for sure I do not have and STD. I am sleeping with the only guy I have ever had sex with in my life and he was a virgin too when we got together 4 years ago. She did notice a lot of ketones in my urine which she said indicates a little dehydration but other than that nothing. So she basically had to diagnose me just on symptoms which were burning in the canal and sometimes on the outside with the occasional itching with no discharge. She either thinks it could be bacterial vaginosis or urethritis from the sex. She gave me a topical antibiotic (Metrogel) just in case it comes back. She said to try that because it couldn't hurt and might help. As for the urethritis she says there is nothing she could do anyways. It would go away on its own but it might take a couple of weeks. She also thinks my period could help flush some stuff out but if it comes back to try the Mertrogel.
I always feel worse coming out of the doc, though. I really wish she could have done a pap or checked me down there. I might go back if my period ends and I'm still dealing with this.
Sep 22 2006, 11:15 AM
Ok so I think the burning is coming back. My period I think is already over with. I am scared to use the Metrogel because I read it can cause yeast infections and I do not believe I have bacterial vaginosis. I'm thinking about making another appointment so I can get a pap smear and she can check me down there. Gah....I am so sick of dealing with this.
Sep 22 2006, 06:25 PM
Artstar, I had a similar problem arise all of the sudden about two years ago. Every time I went to my doctor, he told me I had a yeast infection. Two years of every month or so taking a lot of Diflucan, and using monistat. The burning became progressively worse, and over the course of a year, sex with my extremely patient boyfriend became nearly unbearable. I switch doctors, and after she checked me for UTI's, lubrication problems, STD's, and a whole lot of other stuff, it turned out that I have Vulvodynia. A lot of doctors either don't know what that is, or they think it's a myth. I got lucky to have a doc who went to a symposium about it a few years back, and after a few more visits we found a treatment that worked. No more pain, no itching, no burning, nothing. Sex is finally how I remembered that it is supposed to be.
My suggestion is to stop the monistat ASAP, b/c if it's not for sure a YI, all you're doing is creating resistant strains of yeast, and then you'll get hit with a real one. (It happened to me, and that was a "nice" reality check. A little bit of itching and no discharge doesn't sound like a yeast infection to me. Once I finally got a real one...well, let's just say I was furious with my first doctor.)
Also make sure that your doctor is actually taking cultures. You can not be sure that it's a YI by just popping down there and taking a looksee. I learned this the hard way.
In the meantime, try to find a copy of the V Book at your local library or bookstore. Even if what you have turns out to be a YI, or a lubrication problem, or whatever, I found it to be highly enlightening, and just a great book for anyone with a vagina.
My heart goes out to you, and I hope you get a quick resolution! Not knowing what's going on down there is beyond frustrating...I speak from experience.
Sep 22 2006, 07:07 PM
Thanks for your response and all the info kissmypineapple. I just did a search on Vulvodynia and after reading some of the symptoms I really think that it's a possibility that this could be what I'm dealing with. I'll be sure to bring this up if I have to go back to the doc. And no more more Monistat for me ever again. God, that was like having fire in there. That's why I'm scared to use the Metrogel... I am terrifed to put another cream or anything up there again particularly if I'm not sure it will even work.
My period stopping earlier was a false alarm. I started bleeding again shortly after posting and the burning has subsided....for now. I am relieved, though, because an unusually short menstrual cycle would have added to my worries. I am concerned that once I stopped bleeding, the burning came back, then once the blood started flowing the burning subsided. Well, if I'm still burning once my period ends I guess it's another trip to the doc for me *sigh*
Sep 29 2006, 05:20 PM
[font=Comic Sans Ms][color=#660000]I was just wondering if anyone knows where to get boric acid suppositories. My husband and I have been trying for another baby and ever since, he started leaving his deposits
, it seems that my vagina has not been happy. I have had first symptoms of tingling down there, and most recently common yeast infection symptoms, so currently I am using Monistat. I do have acidophilus and have been taking those as well, but if this Monistat does not work I would love to try the boric acid. I have been to 3 doctors and at this point I would trust a psychic with my medical health more than any of them. I have been on MetroGel 3 times, Avelox, clindamycin. Although, the funny thing is all of my cultures, STD test, etc. have came back negative so they are too confused!! So currently I just have the mystery vagina and am losing my mind! So again, I would love some info on boric acid, where to get it, side effects, etc. and if the Monistat does not work I am going to give this a try. Thanks so much!
Oct 16 2006, 09:59 AM
God, I wish I noticed this thread weeks ago.
Just a general question, is there any hard in taking acidophilus daily even if you do not have any active illness?
D double U
Oct 16 2006, 10:17 AM
I ordered my Boric acid in powder form online. Some people were lucky enough to find it in CVS or Walgreens. I also bought dome empty capsules size OO, U can get them online or at a health food store. Fill the capsules up and insert into the vagina before bed twice a week. You will ger discharge the next day but that's the reside from the Boric cid. I don't know about yeast infections but provides relief for Bacterial Vaginosis