Aunt Vadge: itchy, sore, tears, cracks… yeast treatment sort of worked. What next?

Hi Aunt Vadge,

I have been experiencing itchiness, soreness, slight blood spotting. I have also recently noticed slight tears/cracks on my labia. I have taken the canesten duo treatment which has seemed to help some of the symptoms, however it is still sore and irritable. Could you offer any advice?

Kind Regards
Sore
Country/Area: england

Hi there Sore,

It sounds like you could have a yeast infection, so working on that assumption, I would do the following:

  • Cut out all carbs for three days. This can be hard, but yeast loves carbs, and as soon as you cut off the food supply to the yeast, the bloom fades very quickly, and you can feel this within a day. The main offenders are bread, pasta, wheat products and potato, but skip anything sugary too (drinks, cakes, chocolate, etc.).
  • Get a high-quality refrigerated probiotic designed specifically for women with Candida (vaginal thrush/yeast infection). You may need to hunt around, but look for a brand that has the probiotic strain Saccharomyces boulardii. This probiotic is a known yeast killer. Ask the pharmacist or health food store for help choosing a good brand. That probiotic strain is not necessarily the only useful one, but if you can find it, buy it. Take four capsules a day, and insert one into your vagina for good measure.
  • Understand that if this is indeed a yeast infection, it has originated in your intestines, where you will find an overgrowth (bloom) of yeasts, that makes its way to your vagina. They are not as separate as you might think. That’s why taking probiotics can quickly help, by killing off the yeasts. If you combine a lack of carbs plus probiotics, you will quickly – often within the same day or next – be symptom-free, or at least be well on your way to recovery.

If following these recommendations doesn’t solve your problem, you may have another issue that needs addressing. For example, you may have not a yeast infection, but lactobacillus overgrowth syndrome, which is an overgrowth of the bacteria we call the friendly bacteria, because the normal checks and balances have not been put into place in our vagina for some reason. This is called cytolytic vaginosis, and looks very much like a yeast infection, but the condition won’t respond to antifungal Candida treatments (because that is not the problem).

If you continue to have vaginal irritation despite all of these measures, write back and we’ll delve a little deeper and may recommend that you go and have your vagina swabbed to see what’s happening. Ongoing irritation has a cause that needs to be found and addressed sooner rather than later.

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.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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