Aunt Vadge: discharge, smell, burning… what is it?

Dear Aunt Vadge,

I had sex with a male friend. We have messed around before years ago. I thought I had a yeast infection because I was having the yogurt-looking white stuff along with an odor, so I started taking probiotic pills as well as eating yogurt, taking a daily vitamin and using yeast infection cream.

Well, the itching stopped but I noticed the burning when I pee didn’t. When I took a mirror to check I have two very small cuts on the inside of my lips. Any way to speed up the healing? I already know its not an STD. 

Yours,
All Cut Up

______

Hi All Cut Up,

Your vagina doesn’t sound too happy.

A couple of things straight away:

1. Yeast infections don’t smell bad. If your vagina smells bad, it is something else that needs to be checked out by a doctor so you can get tested for other infections. (Bacterial vaginosis for example.)

2. Yeast infections start in the gut, so eating yoghurt and taking probiotics is an excellent idea, combined with the yeast infection cream – that was a good response to the problem, though even just the probiotics and yoghurt is often enough if you catch it early enough.

3. The cuts and burning when you urinate are common with yeast infections, as the yeast can make the whole area quite raw and sensitive, but if you have successfully treated the infection, these should heal up quickly, within days. If this isn’t healing, then perhaps the infection is not being treated as successfully as it should be.

4. Burning when you urinate is linked heavily with a urinary tract infection. Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria, and see our page on UTIs to see if you can help this any. You may need to see a doctor to get treated more comprehensively.

To add to the healing, avoid eating carbs – so cut out bread, potatoes, white rice, pasta, etc. and just stick to lean protein and vegetables for a few days. You should notice the difference within a day, since carbs feed the yeasts, and when their food supply is cut off, their population quickly decreases.

Remember that a yeast infection is usually coming from the gut, and manifesting in the vagina, and getting a yeast infection after sex means you are already susceptible for another reason. Semen (assuming you got it inside of you) shouldn’t cause a yeast infection in a healthy woman.

Check your diet, and make sure it isn’t favouring pathogenic microorganisms (which means it has to actively support good bacteria and that means get rid of the junk). Try to eat a lot of fermented foods to help repopulate the gut and vagina with good bacteria, and if your symptoms persist, you should see a practitioner, since your vagina is not responding to the normal treatment methods.

It doesn’t sound serious, but it does need attention.

If you need anything else, please write to us – we’d love to hear from you!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.