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Yeastie Beastie 101

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

May 24, 2010 | 8:05 am

Cottage cheese-like discharge is one symptom of a yeast infection.

Dear Yenta,

I’ve got a yeast infection and it will not go away. I’ve tried pills. I’ve tried witchhazel wipes. I’ve tried cranberry juice. I’ve eaten yogurt. And I’m afraid it’s spreading to the nether regions in the back. What do I do? Help me Yenta!!!

-Itchy

Dear Itchy,

First and foremost a reminder/disclaimer: I am not a doctor. A am a Jewish woman in New Mexico with a penchant for people’s problems. That being said: take the following words, as always, with a fat grain of sea salt and consult your doctor before putting anything new inside your vagina. Your infection can be a sign of pregnancy, allergies, or HIV. A prolonged yeast infection might be a warning sign of diabetes or a thyroid problem. Consult a doctor if these are concerns of yours, or, see the list below of other causes.

What is a yeast infection? An excess of the yeast Candida swimming and swarming in your body causing any number of symptoms including itching, soreness, cottage cheese-like discharge, and possible painful urination.

Why do YOU have one? Only you can answer that. Things that might provoke a yeastie-beastie and ways to prevent one in the future:

-Excessive moisture, ie, don’t wear a wet bathing suit after the pool closes. Do what you can to keep that region dry, despite the oxymoron. Yeast lives and breathes off of dark moist locations making the vag and the mouth, stellar spots for an infection.
-Tight non-cotton undies that retain moisture. Wear cotton if possible, at least until the symptoms heal. Cotton lets your parts breathe.
-Tight pants causing more heat in your crotch than normal. Wear lose pants this week, we are looking for air down there.
-Antibiotics, birth control pills, or bad meds. These things can change the balance of your stomach. Best to keep a lot of probiotics in your body to create the right yeasts. Consult your medication prescriber.
-One source claims to beware of excessive semen. Have you been cultivating this substance? Be careful, it can be too acidic for your bod and might be what brought on the itch.
-Are you wiping from front to back or back to front? Fecal bacteria can cause a yeast infection. Always wipe from front to back to avoid mixing milk and meat.
-Are you stressed? Stress can cause issues in the stomach whioch, again, can create imbalance and throw you into a cottage cheese producing fit.
-Douching is the devil. Who wants a vagina that smells like flowers, not vagina? Fine. Some people like that stuff, but I am warning you it is terrible for the body. Terrible. And causes infections and might be a sign of misogyny. Same goes for feminine deodorants, these cause yeast infections. Ironic, indeed.

What can you do now? You were on the right track with the juice, the wipes, the yogurt, etc. But here is a list of other steps you can take. If all natural remedies fail and the itching is torture, then go for Monastat at CVS. Remember, though, that chemical medications mess with your system and skip the step where your body learns to heal itself, a huge bonus for preventing future infections.

1 ) Put the yogurt in your vagina. Sounds gross, but it is soothing and gentle and immediately effective. Buy plain yogurt with no additives, especially not sugar, and ACTIVE CULTURES. You can either dip a tampon in the yogurt and insert, or use a plastic bag, cut a litttle hole in the corner, and squirt the cultures inside your body. Just be sure not to leave it in too long. Best to wait until the itching subsides and then wipe all the yogurt off. Moisture, again, is to be avoided. Stay dry, pumpkin pie.

2 ) Check your diet. Curb your sugar intake to zero if possible, and lay off caffeine, yeast-products and alcohol until your infection has diminished. Sugar is yeast’s best friend. Have you ever made bread? Add the sugar to the yeast and it bubbles and expands. You DON’T want that happening in your pants.

3 ) Shaklee Garlic Tabs. Put one in your hole. Done. It should take care of business. Maybe, though, choose garlic or yogurt, I don’t think you want to mix these bad boys. Also, a spoonful of pressed garlic downed with some water should help from the inside out. Just beware: you will reek, but you won’t itch. Pick your poison.

4 ) One dude said, “Take a bath in vinegar.” I think he was kidding, but he was right. Pour a cup of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in a warm bath to soothe your body. Also, a spoonful in the morning a half hour before breakfast is good for your belly. Belly connects to bowels connect to vagina. Often yeast infections start in the rear and work their way forward.

5 ) Probiotics. Get yourself some Acidophilus. The chewable strawberry ones from Whole Foods are a personal favorito. These make it so you are making healthy cultures in your tum.

6 ) Drink two glasses of buttermilk a day. Not sure I stand by this one, for the sake of your arteries, but I want you to have as many options as possible.

7 ) PeaceHealth.org says to insert Boric Acid tablets into the vagina. Again, never done this. Proceed at own risk.

8 ) Take oil extracts of cinnamon and oregano.

9 ) An acupuncturist told me a yeast infection somehow connects to a need for love. I don’t totally buy it, but why not? Pretty much everyone needs more love, so to cure your yeast infection seek a hug.

10 ) And the best thing you can do for yourself? Drink water, and more water, and more after that. Don’t drown yourself, but do try to flush your body clean of toxins like sugar and alcohol that may be feeding the yeast. Also, the more you replenish your body with H2O the more new fresh happy fluids arrive to wash the yeast away.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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