Struggling With Yeast Infections Since 5 Years Old. What Can I Do?

>> Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Dear KnowYourV,
I am a 31yr old woman; and since I was about 5yrs old I have been struggling with yeast infections (strawberry shortcake bubble bath caused it to start). They progressively have gotten worse with age.

They also have caused me to have medication prescribed (generic Diflucan) and a topical cream (Nystatin) over the last two years. But I can't seem to shake this infection or whatever it is.

I have been diagnosed with "trick" and given antibiotics and I haven't even had sex prior to this diagnosis. My "V" is discolored and wrinkly around the opening only on one side of my lip as if I have warts or something (which all my tests came back negative). When I use the Nystatin, it relieves the itching, swelling and discomfort (which helps) but nothing will heal the bubbly raw "scar" that keeps getting irritated - for whatever reason I'm not sure. It swells and itches and it's like the worst thing I have ever experienced.

Sex is out of the question because of it being raw and it's very unsightly. I have purchased WaterWorks and it really does help me get thru the day mainly because it's like an overproduction of yeast that greets me every morning or evening. Prior to WaterWorks, I had to swab out my "V" multiple times a day. I don't have medical insurance, so this is a financial pickle for me to keep going to the doctor with no resolution.

All of that being said, could my diet be preventing me from healing? Or could my bout of an eating disorder/depression (going days w/o eating, but drinking heavily, be the culprit? I'm at a loss here. I just don't know what else to do. Do you have any suggestions?

Over It

Dear Over It,

I'm sorry to hear that you have been struggling so long. Bubble bath and soap can cause problems mainly because soap is alkaline, and the vagina stays healthy by remaining more acidic. So what we see with too much soap and bubble bath is rashes and allergies on the labia.

The Diflucan and Nystatin can help with both internal and external yeast infections, but only for a short time. Yeast and bacterial infections can always come back over and over. The medication is a treatment not a cure.

Trichamonas is passed sexually and can colonize or sit in the vagina for months if untreated. So there may be no way of knowing exactly when you got it.

Yeast infections can get better - as you have experienced - and you may feel OK for a few days, but then it can come right back. Why? Because anything that changes the pH of the vagina like sex, period blood, soap, hormone changes or feminine perfume sprays can bring them right back. That's why WaterWorks really helps, as it can be used to rinse out semen after sex, blood after a period and excess discharge. The plain water and medical grade stainless steel nozzle are very effective at healing the vagina and preventing reoccurrence.

I'm sorry I'm not there to look at the area on the one side of your vaginal opening-lip area to know what it is and biopsy it, but you need to see your gynecologist and have this done. Your doctor will want to determine what it is (including ruling out cancer or lichen sclerosis - as many lesions can cause ongoing, reoccurring, itching and swelling). Even reoccurring yeast infections can cause lesions like this that are raised, swollen and bumpy. They can make the normal vaginal tissue feel bumpy and look worse than normal. It is good sign that misstating helps, and it is possible that you just need to use it much longer or try a prescription antifungal/cortisone cream combination.

The opening of the vagina and the vaginal walls are "bumpy" naturally. This is called rugations and often women worry that they are warts. The rugations are a sign that a women's hormones are still working and that the vagina still has it's stretchability. As women age and go through menopause they stop producing hormones, and if they are not on hormone replacement, the vaginal walls will thin and shrink and lose their ability to stretch so vaginal sex can become very painful, or even impossible.

I hope this helps you to understand your body better and prompts you to see your gynecologist about the one side that is not healing. Hopefully (s)he can give you refills, so you can fill your meds and treat the infection as soon as you feel it coming back. Continue your daily use of WaterWorks as well.

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