My burning concern

Have any of you experienced the horror of recurrent yeast infections? Yeast infections with no apparent cause? And then every dyke and her ex-girlfriend wants to help by enumerating why it’s probably your fault?

“It’s probably a wheat sensitivity.”

“You still eat DAIRY? Ooh.”

“Yeast feeds on sugar.”

“My homeopath says you must have unresolved stress. Or diabetes.”

I’ve eaten wheat all my life and I put cream in my coffee and I never met a cookie I didn’t like and OF COURSE I have unresolved stress: I’m alive. That doesn’t mean I ought to be able to bake a nice hot loaf of bread in my vagina.

My vagina was FINE when I ate more wheat/dairy/sugar than I do now; and FINE when I was emotionally tortured daily by my still-kind-of-a-man ex-partner. So I don’t UNDERSTAND.

These yeast infections don’t care what I eat or don’t eat; where I am in my cycle; whether I’m anxious or comatose. I went to the doctor and all I got was a $200 invoice (my insurance didn’t cover it, but bet you any money they’d pay up for Viagra). I’ve tried every drugstore remedy there is; every incarnation of Diflucan, but the little bastard keeps returning. And then the dykes and their ex-girlfriends want to help with homeopathic, Wiccan, magickal cures. I have tried:

  • A clove of garlic wrapped in cheesecloth and nestled, you know, in my portal of life
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Probiotics by mouth
  • Yogurt by vagina (wouldn’t that be a good brand name for an all-women’s yogurt company in, say, Oregon? Yogurt By Vagina.
  • Tea tree oil (full-strength; that was one hell of an afternoon).

One time, I got so desperate that I drew a hot bath and tried them all at once. I floated there in the Pussy Soup for awhile, feeling ridiculous. And still itchy.

I want to make a salient feminist point here! Of some kind! But I think maybe what I’m after is sympathy (Hallmark doesn’t make a card for this) and perhaps ideas for a few treatments I haven’t yet tried. Has anyone ever used boric acid? I’m scared to try it, because its name includes the word “acid.”

17 thoughts on “My burning concern

  1. it could be bacterial vaginosis and not yeast. symptoms are similar, treatment is the opposite. and meds for yeast cause it. FYI.

  2. FCM is probably correct! I, too, used to suffer the agony of recurrent Coochie Crud, and for NO apparent reason. Your P-soup metaphor brought back memories of sitting in a cold bath with homemade raita up in Ye Olde [i]Portal of life[/i] (BTW, you slay me). The boric acid idea is scary. It may be a great remedy? But alls I know is that I use that stuff to soften the water for my laundry. It also kills ants.

  3. yeah before i tried any kind of ACID i would def consider bacteria. that means you need antibiotics, and you may or may not wind up w another yeast infection from the antibiotics BUT as long as you are treating for yeast and you dont have yeast currently, obvs its not gonna work.

    antibiotics cause yeast infections and diflucan causes BV so it is indeed a vicious cycle. i did that dance for an entire year once. it was miserable X 1000. if you still want to try home remedies, try ones that have antibiotic properties and not antifungal ones. although by this point noone would probably blame you if you just wanted a good old prescription antibiotic, perhaps with a diflucan chaser. yannow what i mean?

  4. yes, boric acid is the only thing that has worked for me, and it’s super cheap. I got this remedy from a dyke doctor in Eugene, OR, a long time ago when I had the same problem. just get a bottle of boric acid at any old pharmacy plus some empty gel caps (at your local hippie mart?) and fill the capsules yourself at home. Put one capsule up inside your veejay like a tampon, preferably at night, because when the capsule dissolves (about an hour?), there will be a soft explosion that makes it feel like you wet your pants. but it absolutely clears it up in one day, no sh*t.

    p.s. longtime lurker, love your writing. 🙂

  5. Thanks, Spinsterella! (and I like the idea of a “soft explosion”). I’ll talk to the compounding pharmacy people; the ones who refill my cat’s insulin. They know everything about me now.

  6. yeah, the soft explosion is especially satisfying because it feels like the stuff is really working. the boric acid is supposed to reset the pH in the environment, making it less friendly for yeast to grow. oh, and I drink sugary beers and love my dairy too. A Spinsterella needs to keep some of her simple pleasures in this hostile world.

  7. Got a jar of boric acid. Plunked it down on the pharmacy counter and said to the pharmacist, “I’M GOING TO PUT THIS IN MY VAGINA. IS IT SAFE?”

    I always wanted to start a conversation that way.

    But now I might be chickening out. I don’t know. Like you said, it kills ants. I better troll the Internet some more about this whole thing, and call a doctor I know. She’s 23 and her name is Brittany, but she’s a real doctor. The mind reels.

  8. aw Phona, don’t be scared, you’ll be just fine. After all, this is a time-honored Spinster-Hag-Witch’s brew that has survived the male medical machine’s evil plot to replace it with expensive and weak creams for women that don’t do sh*t and keep us coming back for more!

    I just dump a little bit of the boric acid into a pile on a sheet of paper, open up the gel cap (measured mine & they were 1/4″ x 3/4″ btw) and, using the longer part of the gel cap, scoop up the boric acid until that side is full. Then just pop the cap on. I like to make a few at a time and then save them in a ziploc in my medicine cabinet. Make sure you keep your kittehs, noses, and any eye balls away from the powder and no harm will come to you. I hope it works for you! Good luck!

  9. If she is licensed to practice medicine at that age, she’s probably got a 200 IQ and doesn’t need sleep like us mere mortals. With those credentials, she could be named Plucky the Duck and no one would care!

  10. Spinsterella, this is amazing. I had no idea boric acid worked like that! I’m so intrigued now. Just use the plain old powder? No need to dilute? Astounding. Thank you.

  11. yep, just the plain ole powder, no need to dilute. the vagina is normally an acidic environment, so changes in the pH to a more alkaline environment can make it more favorable for yeast to grow exponentially (like hi-sugar diets). we know that yeast love 1)warm, 2)moist, 3)alkaline environments but since we can’t really do much about 1 & 2 (put an ice pack & a personal fan in our underwear- wha?), changing the pH is the easiest, quickest solution. yeast cannot grow (well) in low pH (acidic) environments. it’s totally safe, but make sure you don’t have any cuts or tears in your vagina.

    like I said, I got the remedy from my doc when I told her I couldn’t afford the $50 for the anti-fungal creams (no health care)… she was really cool & just said kinda on the DL, “look, here’s another thing you can do…”. I’m convinced the medical community doesn’t just pass around this info freely to women who have recurring yeast infections because they wouldn’t make any money off of it. Yeast infections are BIG BIZNESS for them.

  12. I had to like this post because it just made me laugh!

    Sooo… how did the acid up your vagina thing go?

    And can you still bake bread (seems a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater)?

  13. Make sure you aren’t using any anti-acne face/body wash in the shower. That turned out the be the source of my only yeast infection in the last decade and a half! Nice product – made zero difference as far as clearing up my skin, but the runoff apparently killed off every last bacteria in my vagina.

  14. WOW! I would never have thought of that, thinking! Thank you! I’ll let my friend know – poor thing is also constantly plagued and i KNOW she uses that stuff – I’ve *been* in her shower (grinning). 🙂

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