2017 was a rough year for me because I was having reoccurring yeast infections that drove me nuts. I am someone who is up to date with GYN appointments so when I started getting yeast infections it was a bit scary and confusing. This started around March 2017 and I could not figure out why.
I have accurate timing of occurrence because I use a period app and utilize the notes pretty heavily and still do because a girl needs to document what is happening to her body on the daily or weekly.
I also noticed that I would get these yeast infections every month a week or a few days before my period came and it would last well after my period cycle was completed. The first 3 or 4-months after the yeast infections started happening I would go to my GYN (she was seeing me every month — it was that serious) and speak with her and she would prescribe me antibiotics pills or a cream with the applicators that must be inserted at night.
SIDENOTE: this cream is the absolute worse. It was to be administered 3-nights in a row. The prescription comes with 3 applicators and one tube of the ointment. It must be applied right before you go to bed because of the consistency it would start oozing out of the vagina. We are all grown here - vagina should not scare you away.
I had all forms of antibiotics, which would help for the time and the next month when my period was a week or a few days away I would feel that all too familiar labia minor discomfort or I would notice the discharge and know exactly what was happening. This was the most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with in my life and on top of that I started breaking out really really bad to the point where I went to the dermatologist — I was stressed out.
Summer is winding down and Fall is approaching and I was working hard to get ahead of these yeast infections. I stopped going to the GYN because I was over taking antibiotics that cleared all the bacteria. At this point, I started having Apple Cider Vinegar rinses in the morning and evening to help relieve the discomfort and I applied a little hydrocortisone cream to ease the itchiness I had and it also helped with the redness and swelling of my labia majora (PLEASE DO NOT insert hydrocortisone cream in the vagina). Wearing underwear before and after my period was a big no during that time because that would just irritate me even more. The ACV helped a lot and would decrease the amount of days that the yeast infection lasted, but I needed them to stay away completely.
I started researching more natural cures and tried a few. I AM NOT A DOCTOR, SO PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANYTHING GOOGLE SUGGEST. It was also at this point that I started to take Olive Oil vitamins, papaya vitamins to help with digestion, and a low dose of probiotics because I was thinking my food was not digesting properly. Yes!!! I was going crazy. Why does my vagina hate me and I have been so good to her. I make sure to have annual check ups and very thorough showers, I drank my water, and I was minding my business.
While I was having yeast infections, I had conversations with my boyfriend and he was very understanding and was helpful in finding ways to help me cope. Thank heavens for boyfriend’s understanding because I could not even think about being intimate when I was not feeling my best.
After dealing with this for the rest of 2017, into 2018, I started paying closer attention to what I ate. I am not a horrible eater but I needed to make sure my balancing was even more streamlined. I still continued to do research on how to rid myself of these yeast infections the natural way and I decided that for an entire month I would not eat dairy — no cheese, butter, little to no eggs (just to be sure), cream cheese, etc. I slowly started cutting out things to see if what I was eating was causing my destruction. It got so bad that I had blogs with helpful information on how to heal yeast infections pinned on the favorites list on my computer. I continued with the restricted diet for that month and noticed that I didn’t get a yeast infection, so I knew dairy had something to do with it and stayed away from dairy for a while. The next month, I had a mild yeast infection compared to the other months.
One day, I was researching and came across Thrive Market and as I was looking through the probiotics section, I was reading reviews on a probiotic that was helping other women with the same issue I was currently dealing with. One woman even mentioned that her having yeast infections were causing a problem in her relationship and although I wasn’t having this problem in my relationship, I was not waiting for that to be the case. So, I did more research on this product and all the reviews were positive (this is early 2018, so around February). I was so desperate I ordered the probiotics and ordered the one for men and after I placed the order I realized that I ordered the wrong thing and had to contact customer service. In the end, I received the correct probiotics and wasted no time taking it. I started taking 3 capsules a day, one in the morning, evening and one at night.
At this time, it was a waiting game. I took the pills all month and waited until my period was a week or a few days away to know if it was working and to my surprise the Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Women worked. I was so happy, my vagina was back to normal and for the next few months I continued taking my probiotics until I went on vacation and forgot to pack them and came back from vacation with a mild yeast infection — nothing as major as before and as soon as I started taking my probiotics I started feeling better. We are in 2019, and I continue to take these probiotics but have decreased my dosage to one capsule a day and I am in love. They are pricy, but I don’t mind paying for it because it has helped me so much. I have decreased my intake of dairy tremendously and have not had a yeast infection since.
I was gifted the Vaginal Care Probiotics from Garden of Life and it has continued doing an amazing job that the Raw Probiotics for Women does (these are two different products). What’s even more amazing about the Vaginal Care Probiotic is that it is shelf stable and don’t require refrigeration after opening so it makes traveling easy because you can pop it in your bag and go. This probiotics is great and I am so happy I was able to find out that Garden of Life was and is literally my saving grace.
I shared my story to help another woman who might be going through the same thing I went through — try taking probiotics and paying closer attention to what you eat and see if that helps. For me, it was so simple that I overlooked it so many times and it could be the same for another woman. Keep the vagina, happy and healthy.
THANK YOU NOTE: Thank you to Garden of Life for gifting me the Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care. I really appreciate it.