Aunt Vadge: I’m cycling between yeast and BV, now I have HPV

BV, yeast and HPV are all dancing around a campfire together in the forest.

Dear Aunt Vadge,

I have cycled between yeast and BV, and sometimes have both for over a year.

I have tried a candida 3-month supplements, tea tree oil, all the doctor’s scripts, boric acid, and probiotics specifically to help.

I have come back with a positive on my Pap smear. I want to cry. I do not know what to do.

Age 21, Oregon USA


Hi there Miserable,

It sounds like you’ve been on quite the challenging journey with persistent yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV), and now a positive pap smear. It’s perfectly understandable that you’d feel overwhelmed and upset, but please know that you’re not alone, and there are pathways you can take to work towards better vaginal health.

Cycling between yeast and BV can indicate that there’s an imbalance in your vaginal microbiome that has not yet been appropriately addressed.

The alternating infections suggest that when one condition is treated, it may create an environment favouring the other. The treatments you’ve tried have their place, but they may not be addressing the root cause of the imbalance.

First, I recommend you access the Killing BV treatment guide, and learn more about your vaginal microbiome, so you can start to understand your vagina a little better. Cycling between yeast and BV isn’t uncommon if you’re being treated with antibiotics; it’s known as a post-antibiotic yeast infection

These yeast infections can get out of control and become cyclic, which is very irritating on multiple levels. Luckily, we know this pattern and can help you navigate your way out of it. My Vagina has loads of information and treatments to help.

And don’t worry about the positive on your pap smear. I was 21 when I got my first positive pap as well, and we have great modern healthcare for anyone with a positive pap test. You’ll be ok. Follow the advice of your doctor.

Just about everyone has HPV, the very human (papilloma) virus that causes abnormal cervical smear pap tests, so you’re not alone there! It’s very easy to spread between people, even without sexual contact or penetration. That’s why everyone has it, and we have pap smears in the first place. 

Not everyone gets a positive pap test, but LOTS of people do. If you ask women in their 40s, they have been getting pap smears for years and you’ll not have to ask too many women to find others who have also had a positive result at some stage or another. Welcome to the club!

The fact that your abnormal result was detected so young is a testament to the strategies put in place by our medical system to help prevent cervical cancer in young women. It doesn’t mean you will get cancer, but it means the risk factor has been caught very early, and now you can take steps to improve your vaginal microbiome and keep the HPV virus from causing more problems.

This is great! Don’t be sad! (I know that’s easier said than done, but I mean this. It’s an amazing preventative medicine step.)

Fill your boots with the great information and videos in Killing BV. When you’re ready, get started on a treatment that will help build up your healthy flora and knock out the yeast, and help protect your cervix from the impacts of HPV.

Learn more on our yeast infections page, including treatments to try at home and important notes on dietary influences on yeast.

For a vaginal treatment, I recommend the lactulose and probiotic if you get stuck on which one to choose. If you’re struggling with yeast, try the Kolorex Vaginal Supplement (oral doses) and Aunt Vadge’s Yeast/Thrush Herbal Blend vaginally. They’re a great pair. 

You’ll be ok! Promise.

Lots of love,
Aunt Vadge

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