Disclaimer: This is definitely not anything remotely resembling actual medical advice. None of us are doctors or other medical professionals, we’re just people with vaginas who want to talk to each other about our health, our bodies, and ourselves.
Living your normal life while battling a raging yeast infection is the actual worst. For starters, you can’t tell anybody what ails you and therefore must pretend like everything is fine even though absolutely nothing is fine. It’s also tough to figure out if the Monistat or Vagisil is making it itch more or itch less, and pondering this can easily consume all of your waking hours. Furthermore, everybody you do tell about your problem keeps telling you to eat yogurt and wear cotton underpants, AS IF YOU WEREN’T ALREADY.
This is one of those women’s health issues that seems like it would’ve been figured out by now if it was a men’s health issue. Talk to enough women and it sounds like nobody’s getting the same treatment or having the same experience, and all of our doctors just continue recommending more yogurt.
Plus, if you live in the U.S. and are on a low-income health plan, you’ll likely have to truck on over to the Planned Parenthood and wait for hours to get evaluated and receive your Diflucan every single time you get a yeast infection. For some reason, doctors who aren’t “your doctor” are hesitant to prescribe multiple doses or do any of it over the phone.
Here are some of the things that worked for us when we struggled with chronic recurring yeast infections. Monistat-3, unfortunately, is not among them.
1. Going off the birth control pill
None of us went off the pill to cure chronic yeast infections, but rather found that going off the pill for other reasons had the pleasant result of squashing the chronic yeast infections.
2. Garlic Cloves
“I cut a couple of slits in it and just shove it up there.”
“My friend made me put a garlic clove up my vag and gave me cranberry pills. I woke up smelling like breadsticks but ultimately felt better re: my yeast levels.”
To try it, find yourself a fresh clove of garlic and carefully peel all the papery skin off it. Next, make a little tampony thing by wrapping it in gauze or cheesecloth, tying the ends with unwaxed dental floss, and leaving a bit of string dangling so you’ll be able to pull it out afterward. Now, believe it or not, insert it into your vagina. Don’t worry about losing it up there, because of course it can’t get through your cervix. Leave it in for several hours at a time, like overnight, and be sure to remove it in the morning.
3. Boric Acid
“I had chronic yeast infections for years, I tried everything that’s ever been suggested in the history of the universe except this one thing that sounded super weird — boric acid. It was my very last resort and the only thing that worked. It’s a powder generally used to kill roaches, you get it at a drugstore, put it in some empty “0” vegetable capsules, and stick two up there every night until it’s gone. And it’s cheap! No clue why this works when nothing else does, but bless it.”
4. A Lot Of Diflucan
“Fluconazole (diflucan) is the only thing that worked for me to clear my recurring issues – I had to take several doses in a row.”
“I always take Diflucan on top of whatever DIY methods I use. It gets worse for a day and then gets better, but it always eventually works, which is more than I can say for the other methods. But I think I did build tolerance to it over time.”
5. Acidophilus Paste
“When I had a chronic yeast infection it was tea tree oil for external itch and acidophilus paste directly crammed up there that fixed it finally. I dipped tampons in my acidophilus paste or diluted tee tree oil and that seemed to help.”
6. Two Diflucan + Seven Days of Terazol
“Doing seven days of a prescription yeast-killing vaginal cream was a living hell, of course, but doing that in conjunction with a diflucan on the first day and another three days later did clear things up for a significant stretch of time.”
7. Taking Preventative Measures
“Boric acid can be used preventatively without any negative side effects, in my experience. If I think I feel one coming on, I just put in a capsule overnight.”
“If I’m being put on antibiotics for any reason I also ask for two Diflucan to be prescribed to me in tandem because I will get a yeast infection.”
“I only use non-scented soaps to wash down there, like Cetaphil.”
“I always get my diflucan written as one pill today, one pill in three days and one pill a week for six weeks which usually gets me like six months to a year yeast free. Which is a fucking blessing.”
“I convince my doctor here to give me larger scripts of stuff and she does but I have to tell her to. I just use the excuse that it costs me the same to fill one pill or 20, so can she give me 20? That seems to work more than the Hey I actually am not an idiot and probably can figure out how to take this medicine on my own route.”
8. Tea Tree Oil (for the itching)
“I know tea tree oil is supposedly too astringent for your sensitive bits but I totally still use it if I feel a little itchy and it fucking works every time.”
9. Probably Not The Candida Diet, But Giving Up Sugar Could Help
“I tried the candida diet! I mostly ignored everything it (just the Internet) said and just ate/drank no sugar for a few months and at first it got worse and then it got better.”
“I tried the candida diet for about a month. It was fucking awful.”
“I went basically raw vegan and it was the most miserable like… five days? And did nothing. Then I was just hungry and angry on top of having a yeast infection.”
Okay y’all, it’s your turn: what worked (or didn’t) for you?