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20 September 2007 @ 07:03 am
thanks so much for the quick responses!!!!

my original post is below and a lot of you thought it might be a latex allergy, but here is my question though - i don't think i've ever had a problem with laxtex condoms... (reg. condoms are laxtex right?) or blowing up balloons, etc.  i tried the test of rubbing my keeper on the inside of my wrist and it didn't really turn pink or red.  is it possible the keeper could just be causing me yeast infections?  and only recently, but not before?

i generally just use sensitive skin unscented soap to wash it during my cycle and then recently the vinegar solution.

I have been using a keeper for about 5 cycles now, and i finally have insertion-removal down, but lately it seems like every period causes me irritation and itching.  i had increasingly been noticing that i was getting itchy during my period and irritated like my vagina was swollen.  this last period, the itching was very intense (no discharge or abnormal smells) but i did a OTC yeast infection insertion and it cleared up.  (i did the yeast infection med like the last day of my period)  (also i have never had a yeast infection before so i started thinking the keeper caused it...before i was just washing it with soap, but now inbetween periods, i do a vinegar solution and during the period, i use soap)

i am on my period again now and after one day of using the keeper, i am feeling irritated and itching again.  i had mentioned this to my gynecologist and she had said for general irritation to try olive oil and try to stay away from dri-weave pads (which i use as back-up to the keeper)  i think maybe initial irritation is possibly from the last bit of stem on my keeper which i am going to trim again, and the itching could maybe be from the pads, but it seems like more than that. 

now, i am just wondering if i have developed an allergy to the keeper? if it is giving me yeast infections?  it;s not going to save me money if it gives me yeast infections every month and more importantly it is very uncomfortable!  i don't want to have to switch to something else or stop using it or more importantly jump to conclusions.  so, i was wondering if someone else has any thoughts?

thanks in advance for making my period better...
Tweekietweekie on September 20th, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC)
Oddly, some allergies only show up in more...er..."sensitive" areas.

I know this because I am allergic to glycerin, but I only get reactions from lubes with glycerin in them and glycerin-lubed condoms.

I don't get a reaction anywhere else...I can use soaps, lotions, etc. with glycerin in them and I'm just fine. But when I hit my vulva or internal parts with it, forget it. OW.
(Deleted comment)
unnarrator on September 21st, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
I agree....garlic clove suppository (tmi) and essential oils like: cinnamon, oregano, tea tree (just don't insert these straight/uncut, obviously, cos you could go from bad to Worse).
recuntulousrecuntulous on September 24th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
I use garlic too! It works really well and is cheap and your vag smells and tastes like garlic too for a little bit...
Jennnakedfaery on September 20th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)

I have a latex allergy and this definitely sounds similar to the symptoms that I get if I get any kind of latex near my vagina.
Vanessaoboegoddess on September 20th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
I had similar problems when I used a keeper which cleared up when I got a divacup, so i suspected a latex allergy. Maybe you have a mild allergy that only occurs with prolonged exposure in sensitive areas? I know that I can blow up baloons fine and wear latex swim caps fine, but the keeper definitely was not fine.
abracadabra46 on September 20th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
i think i am going to try cleaning my keeper with hydrogen peroxide/water solution first and see if soap was the problem.

and also maybe invest in cloth pads to see if disposable pads were the irritant, but if my next cycle is the same then i will go diva cup like you. it just seems a hassle and also i am scared it took me so long to get used to the keeper, that i will have to do the same with the diva cup (i.e. people say it is hard to get it to open).

i was also curious that you say the keeper gave you a latex allergy/you have one now, do you have a problem with latex condoms if you use them? (if not, do you or anyone else have a guess or thoughts on the subject) sorry to ask such a personal question, i am just getting very paranoid that maybe that is irritating me too without me really realizing it and i should switch to latex-free condoms, but that is really expensive!
abracadabra46 on September 20th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
okay i have done WAY more reading about YI and irritation and home remedies and diva cups and mooncup UK. i have come to the conclusion that i should prob buy a mooncup uk even though that is like $38 yikes! it just seems like switching to silcone will solve my irritation problems and prevent me becoming allergic to latex more or permanently. mooncup uk seems better than diva b/c it is easier to get to pop open, is the same size as keeper so is what i am used to, and their website said this:

"It will not cause irritation and is suitable for women with sensitive skin, thrush, eczema or allergy."

well i have all that, but thrush and who knows, maybe i have that too.

i hope this helps other people with similar problems - or people looking to see whether to buy a keeper or not. i guess i would say no ( i had a hard time getting used to the keeper anyway) i just wish anyone knew of a cheaper way to buy a mooncup uk
padientepadiente on September 20th, 2007 09:52 pm (UTC)
Thrush is a yeast infection, that is just another name for it. As for switching to latex free condoms, you might try the female condom. I just googled some prices and they look to be getting about even priced with the latex, actually, on second look, the latex free were cheaper. Besides, you can't really put a price on desease prevention.
Autumn Sylverautumn_sylver on September 20th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: OK
There are also latex free condoms made by Durex called Avanti. The last time I bought some, they were about $15 for 5. I think they're only about $12 for 5 at wal-mart, though. (I bought them at Shoppers Drug Mart). If you have no issues with buying at wal-mart.
(Deleted comment)
Autumn Sylverautumn_sylver on September 21st, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
Re: OK
In general condoms aren't that expensive, but non latex condoms are relatively new, so they're still a little more expensive. But the price is coming down. When they first came out, I think they were $15 for 3.
Autumn Sylverautumn_sylver on September 20th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
The Keeper sells a Mooncup that's pretty much exactly the same as the Keeper, but made of silicone. (It's called "The Keeper Mooncup" as opposed to the "Mooncup UK"). If you're already used to the keeper and it works for you, that might be your best bet.
Vanessaoboegoddess on September 21st, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
Yeah I did find that latex condoms irritated me, so I switched those too. I'm not sure why you wouldn't, but maybe you don't notice any problem because you generally have a condom in you for a shorter time than the keeper? Just a guess.
elenita83 on September 20th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
Better safe than sorry
As someone who's lived with a latex allergy for ten years, it sounds to me that you've got a latex sensitivity that hasn't developed into a full-brown allergy yet. That would explain why it's irritating your vagina (which is obviously sensitive) and not your wrist (which is less so).

I'd still recommend you get a different cup, and avoid using latex when it's not necessary. Latex allergies suck. If you can avoid it, you don't want to do that to yourself. Especially since many fruits share a similar protein with certain fruits, and you also increase your risk of developing certain food allergies.

Trust me--it's not worth it.
abracadabra46 on September 20th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Better safe than sorry
thanks so much for the input. i'm just trying to figure out why it would make sense that i seem to be fine with latex condoms.

an allergist could test me for a latex allergy?

just curious are you allergic to more mainstream things like dustmites, cats, grass, mold, (hayfever things) because i am and in general have sensitive skin. any correlation? i have no food allergies.
elenita83 on September 20th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Better safe than sorry
I don't know if there's a correlation, honestly. In my case, I had some health issues as a kid and spent a lot of time in hospitals. Besides medical workers, people in similar situations have the highest incidence of latex allergies. I do have sensitive skin, though.

I was never actually tested by an allergist for latex--I went to the dentist one day, sat in the chair while he did his thing, wondered, "why the hell am I so itchy all of a sudden?" and then realized what was happening--but I see no reason why you couldn't . But it's possible that a sensitivity wouldn't show as a positive, only a full-blown allergy.

And while I'll leave the details to someone who actually has qualifications to back up what they're saying, but it's possible that the Keeper is made of a different "grade" or "type." It also might have to do with the fact that the Keeper is in your vagina for much longer than you would a condom (or so I'd presume), giving time for an irritation to develop. But again, I'm not an expert.
jameelahjameelah on September 20th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you are having problems. It really makes me glad I didn't choose the keeper when I bought my cup though. The only thing that stopped me was the chance of being or becoming allergic to the latex.

On a different note... When I was reading up on this site back when I first got my cup, I think I remember a thread about cups possibly carrying yeast infections (if you wore your cup while you had one). They suggested leaving the cup in a sugar solution for a while (I think a few days) and then I think they put it straight into vinegar for a soak, and then boiling it. Obviously the boiling bit will be out for you. Sorry I couldn't be more specific, it what a while ago, and I couldn't see it in the memories.

Although I have not experienced a latex allergy, your problem sounds more like that than a YI to me, but I could be wrong.

Hope you get to the bottom of it and that your periods become more comfortable for you again.
jameelahjameelah on September 21st, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC)
*WAS a while ago*
abracadabra46 on September 22nd, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
i just really want to thank everyone for all their responses and support. i called my gyno today for her opinion and she wasn't there and i talked to a nurse who had never heard of menstrual cups and kept referring to them as "them" and didn't understand it was just one reusable product! and i mentioned to my roommates that i was going to try yogurt in case it is a YI and they were like OMG that is disgusting and dangerous.

it is so amazing to know that other people have the same issues as me and that i am not alone AND to receive amazing advice.

next month, i'll go sans keeper and hopefully that will let me know if my keeper was the culprit.

fyi for all of you who have been commenting about condom prices. i just graduated and if you are in college or near a college - purchase your condoms at a univ. at my school (and i can pretty much guarantee at the school near you) condoms are much cheaper, if not free, than at CVS, etc. INCLUDING latex free ones. (reg condoms were 2/25 cents and latex free were 25 cents each) i stocked up right before graduation and if it turns out i have a latex allergy, plan to have a friend at school send me a bunch of durex avanti - as s&h will be much cheaper than buying in the store.
Someonececiliamarie23 on September 23rd, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
I find reaching up inside of myself for the damn thing to be quite arduous. I have taken to using special soap to wash my hands before I do it because regular soap, no matter how well I rinse my hands, seem to leave me burning. This makes sense cause you aren't really supposed to use regular soap on your vagina anyway because it messes up the ph and leaves you vulnerable to infection. I use "Very Private" which you can find on places like drugstore.com.

Another thing is that yeast infections express themselves in the vagina because it's a exposed mucous membrane, but they can be effecting you throughout your entire body. For example, if you ever have a white coating on your tounge (some call it thrush) that is a sign of yeast overgrowth in the body as well. For this, I take enteric coated acidolphus. Here is what I use:
It's a little expensive, but it really pays for itself. I used to have to buy monistat every two to three months and since I started taking these, I never need to. It's called "friendly bacteria" because without its presence in your intestine, yeast proliferates and you get infections, often times over and over again!
Anyway, those two products have been life savers for me. Before that, I dealt with chronic infections.
Hope this helps.