The Wonders of Womanhood

I mentioned a while ago that boric acid cured my ongoing-chronic-hell-ridden-make-my-life-depressing yeast infection. Well, it has returned! Of course. Would I really expect otherwise? What was I thinking to get my hopes up *bangs head against wall*

I feel like a hot mess. I am so fed up with this yeast infection that has been haunting me for months on end. I have reduced myself to hideous home remedies like a mad scientist, and spending hours on end researching chronic yeast infections-my OCD does not help with this situation, and stumbling upon other women’s struggle and horror stories also has been a mixed bad of hope and hopelessness. I am now one of those women who has joined the ban wagon of chronic yeast infections! Hollar!

So, instead of crying in a dark corner I have decided maybe I will go over some of the BS I have tried, what has sort of worked, what has really not worked… because I know there are plenty of women out there who are sitting on their computers madly searching for tips, tricks, and stories to prove that they are not alone in this hell. As I sit here sipping cold coffee, slamming down an Azo Yeast Guard pill, I will take you on my magical little journey! Expect TMI. That’s the way I roll.

I’ve always been prone to several yeast infections a year, but it was nothing that over the counter stuff couldn’t cure. About 6 months ago I got a yeast infection, no biggie, ran to Target and picked up some trusty Monistat. Yay, my vagina was happy. Four days later my YI was back. Ran back to the store… and repeat, repeat, repeat that scenario again and again. Weird thing was I could keep the YI at bay for about a week or so If I continued to use the external cream, it was like the YI would start externally- irritation, that swollen misery feeling, and a case of mild mingled with mild itchiness… and this was weird considering the fact that my previous YI I had never really dealt with external irritation. I figured maybe it was my laundry detergent or soap causing the issues… swapped that stuff out for more sensitive skin friendly products, but that didn’t help. Tried diluting tea tree oil and dabbing it around my lady bits, as well as coconut oil as an external cream, and all the other home remedies with not much relief to show for. Found the external cream that comes with YI kits to work best…. but I had to use it EVERY night, even after my internal YI symptoms were gone/cured. I generally masturbate before bed, not sulk over the fact my new bedtime ritual has been reduced to slathering YI cream every night. It got annoying really fast. I felt/feel un-sexy, how am I suppose to feel confident and sexy with a case of chronic vagina issues?

Finally I realized there was obviously more going on, so off to the doctor I went (which was a big step because I avoid doctors like the plague, I really hate being touched and probed by strangers). I was prescribed Diflucan. Took it and what do you know… I was cured!…. for… 3 days, then the external irritation started right back up, and two days later I had internal YI symptoms (no discharge or odor though, I never have gotten discharge or odor with ANY of my YI, and I have to count my blessings on that one). I went back to the doc’s a week later, they tested me for STD, BV, and all that fun stuff. No STD’s, no BV, but yes yeast was present (duh). I got upgraded to three days of Diflucan, and my doctor told me if that didn’t work to try Boric Acid for 14 days. Well the Diflucan was a godsend for a week or so, but of course my YI returned, and next thing you know I hit a compound pharmacy to get a hold of boric acid “We can fill the capsules for you, but to be honest it’s a waste of you money, just buy the boric acid and fill your own is what I recommend, it’s cheaper and the same” So I did just that. Maybe the pharmacist was just lazy though?

My experience with Boric Acid was great (minus the watery discharge that kept making me think I had peed my pants, seriously, I had a little freak out at my ex’s house about how I was convinced I was peeing my pants without knowing it, haha. Boric acid discharge is watery, and when I was told to expect discharge I was expecting thick discharge or something… not water-ish discharge, so be warned! Panty liners are a must). Anyways, once my 14 days of boric acid ended I was convinced I was cured (again). For 14 days I felt like a new woman! Then, I had sex, and suddenly my YI was back (this was the sex where my Lavilin Deodorant was put to the test, hah). Not sure if this was a coincidence (I had sex probably two days after my boric acid round had ended), and I know some condoms can irritate me, so I am not sure if it was the sex/condom that brought back the YI again, or once I stopped using boric acid my vagina just got angry?

Bottom line is boric acid is an excellent option if you talk to your doctor about it first, it is supposed to cure more obscure strands of yeast that over the counter crap can’t. However, this is potent stuff, and not to be used without some guidance from a doctor of pharmacist.

Currently I am getting ready to buckle down and make another appointment, because while I am using boric acid things are great, but I can’t continue to use boric acid the rest of my life.

In the meantime I read up on Garlic, and I just don’t envision myself ramming a clove of garlic up my who-ha, I decided to take a less drastic approach and start on garlic pills (I can kill two birds with one stone because my blood pressure tends to run a little high, what gives? I am only 27!). So I have been taking 4 garlic pills a day. Call me mistrusting but I don’t think 4 garlic pills are going to cut it, so I also found some information about Grapefruit Seed Extract helping yeast infections. I ran to the store and picked some up, the liquid form- I don’t have much faith in the hard tablets. I’ve been mixing 10-12 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract into some water and slugging it down twice a day. Be forwarded that it doesn’t taste as pleasant as one might think. I love grapefruit, I was thinking it would have a citrus taste (wishful thinking), but… ugh, there isn’t really a ‘taste’ too it, just a weird medicine-y-no-taste-after-taste if that makes any sense? 

Here comes the lesson for the day: I am famous for getting wild ideas, and implementing  strategic plans… usually these ideas and plans blow up in my face. You’d think I’d learn. Anyways on the Grapefruit Seed Extract bottle there were directions on some uses for GSE, one use was to dilute the GSE and use it as a douche (for any of the uses of GSE you HAVE to dilute it!). Well I know Douching is a big no-no, so I got a what I thought to be genius idea to dilute the GSE with some diluted Tea Tree Oil and dab it on the external areas that have been giving me so much trouble. I did it one night, and wow, it seemed to help. I did it another night, and wow, yes it was helping. Then I got ballsy and decided to use coconut oil, Tea Tree Oil, and the GSE mixture on a tampon and insert it overnight…. ALONG with using this mixture on the outside of my vag. Well, I assume I didn’t dilute the GSE enough for my external mixture… because it started to burn, not in a ‘my crotch is on fire’ burn, but more of a ‘I just had sex with a really big dick’ SORE slow burn. I ignored it for a while, I told myself “The burn means it’s working, killing off yeast! Hah! Take that!”…. finally I couldn’t take it anymore and rubbed some coconut oil down there, and this helped take the edge off.

When I woke up the next morning my vag was still cursed with a weird slow sore burning. Crazy sore. Like I couldn’t even put my underwear on sore. Of course sheer panic ripped through me, while my vagina has been pissing me off lately, I still love it and don’t want to burn it off or something drastic. After all it’s useful when it is working properly. On my bed, legs up (well leg and stump up), with a hand mirror I was trying to see the damage I caused. I do not claim to be flexible or have stellar eyesight… so trying to get a good view of what I had done to my womanhood didn’t work well. In a panic I texted my ex telling him “I put grapefruit Seed Extract on my vagina trying to cure a yeast infection, I think I had a mishap, it hurts soooooooooo bad! If it still hurts tomorrow you have to look at my vagina and tell me if it looks like I burned it to shreds! This is an emergency!!!!!!!!”… I got a classy response of “WTF, why did you put grape jelly on your vagina?!” Ugh. No help. I looked at my bottle of GSE and it stated “If full strength GSE comes n contact with skin flush the area with water for 10 minutes, and irritation may last for 48 hours” ….That made me feel better, my irritation lasted for 24 hours, and today it feels almost back to normal.

So, the moral of the story about GSE is that you’ll probably be better off drinking it, rather then making some crazy concoction to dab on. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way, it was not pleasant.

While I think garlic pills, and the GSE twice a day is actually helping (I am a little surprised myself)… I am thinking of purchasing the FemDophilus. It has decent reviews, and while I have tried acidophilus before I haven’t gotten a hardcore one, I just get the cheap crap and hope for the best. Hey, I am on a budget. I feel it is time to ante up, fork over the 25 bucks (I found it cheaper online, but it’s also at Wholefoods… and of course they want to rip you off price wise, but at this point I don’t care). I am going to give it a go. It is time to kick this problem in the butt. I am determined to rid myself of this annoyance, and figure out what is going on. I am going to take back my womanhood! I am going to take back my vaginal health! No mercy. Balls to the wall. And hopefully other women out there who suffer from this don’t give up either.

June 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 19 comments.

The battle of Antiperspirant VS. Lavilin Underarm Deodorant- Defeat The B.O.!

Ask anyone who knows me well and they will confirm that I am in fact a huge antiperspirant /deodorant whore. I am not going to lie, I pit out! Yeah, dainty ladies aren’t supposed to pit out, blah, blah, blah…. Well this here dainty lady does. I can manage the odor (most of the time) with layering on about 6 different antiperspirant in the morning- clinical strength, gel, dove (to keep the pits moisturized!), another clinical strength, then I just start applying the really yummy smelling ones. You’d think my little OCD routine would get me through the day, but of course not. Within a few hours I have to start re-applying in feeble attempts to stay somewhat fresh, and sometimes if an odor crises arises I have to break out the alcohol wipes. To sum up this story- staying smelling good is a full time job for me, and risky for my health. As you can imagine for years my mother has been on me “You’re going to get breast cancer! You can’t put on all those antiperspirant! Aluminum!!!!!”

About a year ago I did some research on natural deodorants to try and put to rest my moms panicked voice gnawing at my eardrums, plus my boobs are my favorite thing on my body and the idea of potentially risking my breast health does not settle well with me. In my search ‘Lavilin Underarm Deodorant’ came up a plethora of times, and had seemingly too good to be true results. A natural deodorant that lasted up to 7 days? Please! A clinical strength antiperspirant can’t even tackle my underarms for 2 hours! With the price tag of $15.99 I just wasn’t ready to bite the bullet only to be let down once again by hype, and no action. But with my antiperspirant pile reaching it’s maximum, and realizing I owned every single deodorant that graced the store shelf’s I recently decided that $15.99 was a small price to pay (I came up with a “Oh this made my armpits burn like crazy” return story just in case it didn’t work).

Once the little white box was bought and in my clutches I ripped it open in my best friends car, and read him the directions (as if he really cared), and stopped cold in my tracks: ‘Refrain from using any other deodorant for 48 hours to refresh skin and enable Lavilin to provide maximum protection’. Holy crap, can you say panic attack?!? 48 hours without the use of any sort of guard against B.O.? Really? I pictured myself barricaded in my house, too ashamed to step foot out in public because I’d smell of a man who just got back from a sweat drenched workout if I went 48 hours without deodorant of some kind! It got worse: ‘Do not use together with other deodorants’…. No layering?! I felt a stroke coming on! It’s safe to say I had a mini flip out in his car “Are they kidding!? I can’t do this?! Screw this natural shit!!!” … at that moment my moms rounded face floated round and round in my thoughts, her lips speaking the words: “….You have to stop wearing all that antiperspirant!’. Argh. To everyone’s shock, including my own, I didn’t wear antiperspirant for 24 hours. No, I didn’t make it to 48 hours as the directions called for, but at least I made the half way mark. That counts for something, right?

Day one: I washed my underarms with Dial anti-bacterial soap (I like this soap, it’s boring because I like girly crap that promises to leave me with silky soft and touchable skin. But dial gets the job done. I feel and smell clean after the use of this orange colored gem. I just discovered they make a ‘Tropical’ scent in the antibacterial series of Dial soaps… and we all know what ‘tropical’ means in girl language- sunny, bright, and airy! Yes please, I want to smell sunny, bright and airy!!). Once my underarms were thoroughly dried I applied the thick-ish cream deodorant. First thing I noticed… this stuff didn’t spread well. It looked like I spackled white Geisha girl face make-up on my whole armpit. Sure, I was a little over zealous with my application, but hey… I was nervous. I woke up the next morning and first thing I did was a sniff test. I smelled fresh. I smelled again. Yes, fresh! By mid day I had a bit of funk, nothing horrible, and barely noticeable… by that evening things took a turn for the worse and lets just say I was not smelling like a flower anymore.

Day 2: I decided to go rogue and apply it in the morning after my shower instead of at night. It says to re-apply when odor returns, so I did just that since within 24 hours odor returned. Surprisingly I didn’t feel defeated by this since I had armed myself with many knowledgeable reviews that said not to expect the claim of ‘7 days of being odor free’. Seemed most reviewers got 3 days of being odor free. But hell, 24 hours of being pretty much fresh-ish without having re-applying/layer made my heart sing! 

Day 3: Again I applied it in the morning after my shower, because Lavilin tends to give out by the end of the day for me. On day three I discovered that if I started smelling a little funky it was far less than with any other antiperspirant I had EVER used, and I could freshen up with a bit of mint spritzing hand sanitizer I bought at Whole Foods. I started to develop a crush on Lavilin deodorant at this point.

When week 1 was up, I was still applying it everyday- and it was lasting throughout most of the day, but not past 24 hours. No biggie. Within week 1 I noticed my underarms became a little sore, probably due to the fact I was applying it everyday and I was applying it after the shower, which met after I shaved which the directions said not to do. Ooops. I told you, I am a rogue! The soreness subsided after I made it into week 2, I guess my pits just had to toughen up!

One con with Lavilin that I already mentioned is the white residue it leaves on your skin. Again, if I applied it at night I think by morning the white would be gone or at least lessened, and if I didn’t have to apply it everyday… so I am not blaming Lavilin for my rebel application techniques causing my pits to be white. I don’t wear too many sleeveless tops so this isn’t a HUGE draw back for me. Another con being I am now on my second box of this stuff, since I am forced to go the everyday application route it is sort of like a spendy little crack habit- but worth it. I have figured out the right amount I need, and I am past my experimental and wasteful test runs of applying too much too often, you know the whole trial and error phase where you get crazy wasteful with a new product?… Anyways, getting the hang of applying the right amount that works for me should help the deodorant last longer, hopefully. The last con is that I have noticed my first box of Lavilin was much more ‘hard’ and ‘sticky’ in texture. The second box is way more ‘creamy’ and ‘spreadable’, and I have to say it seemed like my first box had better performance? My body chemistry does like to play tricks on me, something will work amazing on me for a few weeks and then just give out without warning. I am hoping that this is not the case, but I am also hoping that Lavilin is not inconsistent with their product? Hmmm.

The bottom line of this 200 page review is that I would recommend this to ANYONE who has some funk. Seriously, I am a highly skeptical person, and while this isn’t some miracle that keeps me odor free for 7, or even 3 days… I will take what I can get, and 1 day is just fine by me! I highly recommend trying this if you are frustrated with trying to fend off embarrassing odor and running out of options. I never thought a ‘natural’ deodorant could perform so well.

P.S. The best, and most awe-inspiring news is that this deodorant didn’t give out on me during sex! Correct, this passed the sex test. I was nervous as hell especially since the sex test was with a guy whom I had never had sex with before, that would have been a really bad first impression if Lavilin had failed me in the midst of an epic sexual journey with someone new. As we all know when any product passes the sex test, you know it is a worthwhile product!

P.P.S. While I don’t have HUGE issues with wetness, keep in mind this is more for odor than wetness, as is the case with any deodorant. The transition from antiperspirant to a natural deodorant always is an adjustment, you have to go through that period of getting accustom to being a little more ‘damp’ than you may be used too.  

P.P.S. I have also been taking Chlorophyll, which is a ‘internal deodorizer’, and that may contribute to some of my success with Lavilin. 

P.P.P.S. If you read all of this you deserve an award!

June 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.