Aunt Vadge: Ongoing yeast problems, chlamydia, rashes

Hello Aunt Vadge, 

I feel like a lot has been going on with me and I’m not sure if I’m just paranoid or what.

I had an abortion in December and ended up getting a yeast infection (itchy, sore, burning, irritated) with small tears near my perineum. They gave me the pill to treat it, and after a week or so, the symptoms went away. In January I had a little irritation, but not bad. Now we are in February, and my symptoms started again. I have been irritated, sore, burning, a little itchy. I also noticed a watery, cloudy, milky discharge when I peed, and I had a little bit of a fishy odor.

Sex has never hurt, I sometimes bleed just after, but nothing major. I went to get checked just because it would make me feel better. She said everything looked good, but I had some yeast, so she gave me the pill for a yeast infection again. Two days later, I got the call that my chlamydia test came back positive. I have been with the same man for almost three years, and neither of us have been tested since before we started sleeping together unprotected. So we both took our prescription. 

I called back today because my groin has been kind of itchy and I started to get a little red non-raised kinda rash, not on my vagina, but in the crease on my groin. Kinda gross, but I do sweat and stuff from working out, and my skin there is already sensitive with shaving and all that.

I called the doctor to tell her, and she sent me in another yeast infection pill and told me to just watch it, and if it didn’t go away, to make another appointment. I think I’m just very nervous and since being told I had chlamydia, everything is starting to catch my eye. I have been told by three different doctors that herpes isn’t a concern. I would just like to know what this itchy feeling is around my groin and what to do about these little cuts I have gotten near my perineum. Also with having a yeast infection and testing positive for chlamydia, is this all normal? I’m so overwhelmed – I have never had this many issues down there ever. Please help! 

Sincerely,
Overwhelmed
USA Age 26

Dear Overwhelmed,

You do sound like your vagina has gotten out of whack. It seems a lot like you have been taking a lot of antibiotics and antifungals, but probably not re-populating your system with good bacteria to keep the rest in check. Taking so many anti-bug medications can really put your system out of whack, so your new prescription is thus:

  1. Lots of alive, fermented foods, at least three decent servings per day – milk kefir, water kefir, yoghurt, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut. Do not buy these from the supermarket unless they specifically state they are alive and not pasteurised (heated to high temperature to kill the germs – not what we want). You can make all of these at home very cheaply. Look online for instructions or find a healthfood store, or someone selling them in your local markets. People love this stuff. Ask around.
  2. Take a high-quality, refrigerated probiotic designed for the female vaginal tract (like Ther-biotic), that also includes (or separately) Saccharomyces boulardii, a known yeast killing probiotic. Take up to four per day, separately. You want them to proliferate throughout your system.
  3. Drink lots of water, eat loads of vegetables (to provide the fibre base that your bacteria need to thrive) and legumes if you tolerate them, and stay far away from germ-murderers: alcohol, deep fried foods, sugar, fatty foods, fizzy drink… You know the drill. Those. They kill your good microbes and allow the bad ones to thrive.

Beware that you may experience some gas from the influx of good bacteria, but only for a couple of days until your gut resets. Why repopulate the gut? It has a direct impact on your whole body, since it is the colony of your good bacteria and sets the tone for your whole body. Plus, germs can and do move around, so once your gut is thriving, you’ll quickly find your vagina follows suit.

That’s it!

If you symptoms continue after two weeks of that, then you need to look at what else is going on on top of that, but it seems like you have a groin fungal infection, a tendency towards yeast (which comes from the gut – read more about ongoing yeast infections here) and a bacterial imbalance.

The fishy smell would indicate you are going into BV territory, but before we delve into that (that problem is much harder to solve), try the fermented foods and probiotics. You can also try some of these solutions for non-infected smelly vaginas.

Write back anytime if you have questions.

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.