3:24 pm - 11/08/2011

Yeast Infection that won't go away

I've had a yeast infection since DECEMBER of last year. I have seen my gyno, several GPs, and various other people. I have been tested and retested, and it's definitely yeast every time. I have been given what feels like a hundred Diflucan pills (more like between 15 and 20), a daily dose of Nistatin, creams, antibiotics (for BV) and probably other things I am forgetting.

The Diflucan kills it for about a week, and then I start itching again.

My doctor now recommended probiotics, but it weirds me out that supplements are completely unregulated in the US, meaning I have no way to safely know what I'm actually buying.

I checked Vulvapedia, but it appears to be down...?

Please recommend home remedies that worked for you, safe probiotics, and things I can do to prevent recurrence of yeast.

ETA: I've been tested for diabetes, etc., and my blood sugar is normal; I've also used vinegar vaginally and stopped using vaginal products with glycerin.

ALSO: Is there a good way to make sure yeast is eradicated from clothing and toys? Googling has just confused me further. :/
asatra5 9th-Nov-2011 12:05 am (UTC)
This is the link that saved my vagina, good luck http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/18727299.html#cutid1
standonthat 9th-Nov-2011 12:24 am (UTC)
Thanks, will try this.
fallconsmate 9th-Nov-2011 12:07 am (UTC)
one of the things that just about STOPPED me from having YI's is stopping sugary stuff all the time. when i really cut down on processed foods and try to eat low sugar, i just dont get them.
standonthat 9th-Nov-2011 12:25 am (UTC)
This is really interesting, because I'd always heard that eating sugar = YI's was a myth. Cutting down on sugar is certainly not a bad idea, general healthwise anyway, so I will do this, too.
watchmeunravel 9th-Nov-2011 01:02 am (UTC)
I'm going to agree on this one. I have pretty normal blood sugar, but when I'm eating a very carby and/or sugary diet (so around finals in school and holidays) I'm SUPER prone to YI's. When I eat less of those they pretty much go away often without significant treatment.

Also breathable clothes help. Cotton (not thong) undies usually treat me better than stuff that has a lot of synthetic fibers. Also if I'm working out wicking fabric that keeps the sweat to a minimum are a must (I've gotten some of the worst YI's even after a long day doing physical activity and sweating a lot)
archangelbeth 9th-Nov-2011 12:09 am (UTC)
Probiotics are helpful bacteria that normally live in the gut and vagina. L. Acidophilus (also known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus or just Acidophilus) is a jack-of-all-trades good-bacteria that helps both digestion and vaginal ecology. In the US, far as I know, there's no real issue with people getting harmful stuff in their probiotics; you can probably find ones that are produced in the US, for instance, where false advertising can smack 'em down.

What you want is a non-dusty bottle that has acidophilus in it (and it may have other good bacteria as well), in as large a number of units as you can find. (The units tend to be cfo or cfu -- Colony Forming Organisms/Units, and should have lots and lots of zeros involved, or things like 10 to the 3rd or more.) When you get it home, refrigerate it -- this puts the good bacteria into a hibernation state so they don't grow old and die off.

You can get probiotics at your local supermarket, pharmacy-store (Walgreens, etc.), or at fancy health-food places which may (or may not) be better-informed about their stock than the other places. If you can find probiotics in a refrigerated section, they are probably going to be higher-quality than the ones that have been on the shelf for some time.

From memory, you want to be taking something like at least 2-3 pills a day, orally. You can also insert a pill or two a day, vaginally.

If you get plain (not vanilla!), unsweetened yogurt with "live, active cultures," those cultures usually contain acidophilus as well -- so you can eat lots of yogurt, and you can even use it vaginally (which many people find soothing).

Another thing you can do -- backed up by http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10805365 -- is use vinegar as a gentle douching solution. Most douching is bad, but as the study says, "Three vinegar-containing douche products selectively inhibited vaginal pathogens associated with bacterial vaginosis, group B streptococcal vaginitis, and candidiasis [yeast], but not lactobacilli." (Lactobacilli are the class of good bacteria that you want to be in the vagina.) I wouldn't use it immediately after insertion of probiotics, but if you can get vinegar more easily or cheaply, you may want to give that a try as well. (Though you should probably still be taking probiotics orally; the vinegar can't replace those beneficial bacteria.)

I hope that's useful data for you! Poke me if I have been unclear anywhere.
archangelbeth 9th-Nov-2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Oh! And what I just now remembered -- constant yeast infections can be a symptom of diabetes. I trust your doctors have checked your blood sugar stuff?
standonthat 9th-Nov-2011 12:14 am (UTC)
I knew I was forgetting something in my post! Will edit.

My doctor checked my blood sugar and it was completely normal.
standonthat 9th-Nov-2011 12:24 am (UTC)
This helps a lot, thanks. I'll have to check around for yogurt, I think I can get both the pills and yogurt at Fred Meyer (Kroger), IIRC.

As I mentioned in the edit, I have used vinegar in the past, but it didn't seem to do anything so I stopped.
archangelbeth 9th-Nov-2011 01:49 am (UTC)
I've had some modest success with vinegar and an extremely mild, extremely long-running probable external yeastie. (I've never been quite sure enough that's what it is to bring out the big guns, so I've been using vinegar wipes. When I don't re-infect somehow (I am beginning to identify a couple of trigger-toys, so washing them in vinegar is the next step), this seems to help pretty well. Large doses of probiotics, ditto.)

I had a syringe around that I was going to use for some internal stuff, but I can't find it, and never remember to look for one at the store now. *facepalm*
nightmer 9th-Nov-2011 12:53 am (UTC)
Jarrow's a very reputable company so I feel pretty confident taking the Fem Dophilus probiotics, even though they're far from a cure-all for me. Agreeing that adding a lot of minimally sweetened yogurt to your diet will have the same effect, and same with using unsweetened vaginally.

Probably the best bet for washing yeast off clothes is hot water with a long soak in vinegar. Yeast is pretty hardy stuff and can survive a lot (like boiling), unfortunately. Still, I wouldn't use any toys that can't be boiled or otherwise sanitized, so silicone, glass, etc are your best choices.

Other choices you might want to consider are garlic, gentian violet, boric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and tea tree oil. Most of these tend to work best as a preventative or use in the very early stages of a YI. Some people seem to have good luck with a yeast- and sugar-free diet, too (I assume that eating lots of simple sugars will have the same effect on blood sugar as being diabetic, even for a non-diabetic person).
morwensdoor 9th-Nov-2011 08:43 am (UTC)
I second the Jarrow recommendation. I've used the Fem Dophilus stuff and am now taking their shelf-stable (no refrigeration required!) probiotic.
gatehorse 9th-Nov-2011 03:19 am (UTC)
How long to you take the Diflucan for? Is it just one pill, or two pills 4 days apart? One of my doctor's strategies for tough yeast infections is diflucan for a longer period of time (months) instead of just doing one or two the way you'd normally take it. He gave me that option, as well as the one I chose, a prescription vaginal cream which I used for 14 days instead of 7-that seems to have killed it.
standonthat 9th-Nov-2011 03:40 am (UTC)
I did both.

Sometimes I was instructed to take one pill, sometimes one pill once every three days for two weeks, sometimes one pill per day for three days.
fallconsmate 9th-Nov-2011 03:24 am (UTC)
you can boil your undies to get rid of yeast, it kills the beasties. same thing with toys, boil them if safe, and i think a mild bleach solution can kill the beasts too.
shell88015 10th-Nov-2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
I use bleach in the washer to kill yeast on my clothes.

I started a candida cleanse called "candida freedom," and that seems to have helped me a ton (I'm nervous to say it's gone, because it's only been a week of being symptom free). I sleep with no underwear, and blow dry myself after showering. That has helped the outside itchiness a ton!

munkygirl13 ugh!!4th-Oct-2012 01:16 am (UTC)
I deal with the same exact issues you are having. I don't even take a regular shower (in standing position) anymore. I wash my body with non-glycerin soap and my hag with tea tree oil soap. Then I get on my hands and knees to shampoo and condition my hair. Worst thing is, is that I always get a YI after sex. So this is getting really expensive. I'm ready to douche with acid for Christ sake!!!

BTW, does anyone else get small cuts down there too when you have a YI?

Edited at 2012-10-04 01:20 am (UTC)
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