28 April 2009 @ 05:33 pm
So I have been itchy for a few days, but thought it was probably just my Lichen Simplex Chronicus (that annoying little bugger), since my discharge didn't really look or smell different, and so went ahead and put my cup in today in anticipation of my period (yay for the pill making me predictable). However, when I took it out for the first time today...along with the blood, there was yuckiness...white, clumpyish, more than normal...yeah, i'm pretty sure i have a yeasty beasty. went out and got some pads and OTC YI stuff at the pharmacy which i'll use after my period, put on a pad and scrubbed the cup with a toothbrush and soap...already i'm uncomfortable in this pad. it's GROSS. how did i do this for almost 10 years? Jeesh.

I'm sick of re-infecting and worrying about my cup, though. I clean it as best I can, make sure to rinse well after soap or HO2 (although when I get back to a country where i have lots of stuff available i'll switch from HO2 to rubbing alcohol as has been suggested here), make sure my hands are clean...*sigh*. I'm thinking about buying a new cup when I get back to the states, probably another Diva since it's been working well for me (i'm one of the lucky ones who found the right cup with no research), but does anyone have any sure-fire yeast-killers that i can use on this cup as my last resort? Or, anything that will help prevent recurrent yeast infections, other than keeping clean and dry? I probably can't do anything while i'm here in Israel, as it's hard to find natural food stores and specific items (like those acidophilus caplets i've seen mentioned somewhere, or tea tree oil) when you don't speak the language, whereas in the US there's an awesome natural gourmet store near where I live--the one where I got my Diva, as a matter of fact.

I frikkin' hate this. I've been plauged with YIs every few months for the past few years, and I hate that they're getting in the way of me using my amazing cup that makes my life so much easier. Please help!
Meganarwen_17 on April 28th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
i'm pretty sure you could boil it for the suggested 5 minutes and get rid of any yeasties that might be left behind. :)
shainamaydelshainamaydel on April 28th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
i've done that before...i thought someone here said boiling sometimes leaves yeasties unharmed. :-/ thanks for the suggestion though, i'll def boil it before next time as well as whatever other ppl suggest.
hiriel1804 on April 29th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
I've read that while boiling will kill the yeast, some of the spores might survive, and cause more havoc. But my guess is that boiling is one of the best ways to sanitise a cup.
zandperl: Daisyzandperl on April 28th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Don't forget to boil your cup for 5 minutes, that'll kill the yeasts. And you can probably find yogurt where you are, which contains acidophilus.

For future help with preventing YIs, make sure that you're using unscented soap (like Dove or Ivory). Make absolutely sure not to use antibacterial soap - the bacteria in your vagina keep the yeast in check, so if you kill the bacteria the yeast can overgrow and cause a YI. If that doesn't work you can try organic olive oil based soap, or you can try no soap at all and use only hot water.

Lastly, it might be worth checking with your general practitioner or gynecologist about the recurrent YIs, especially if you find you have them when NOT on the cup. It is possible to get systemic YIs (that is, a whole body cold that's caused by yeast rather than a bacteria or virus), and these should be treated with oral antifungal medication, or there might be some other reason you get recurring YIs other than the cup. You may want to try going a few cycles without the cup to determine if it really is the cup use that's causing the YIs, and if it's not the cup then definitely see a doctor.
(Deleted comment)
shainamaydelshainamaydel on April 28th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
lactose intolerance makes this option less viable though...although I have used yogurt externally, and it does help for the itching, and i've heard people use it effectively internally (vaginally) to cure the yeast infection.

but again, i'm in a country where I don't speak the language fluently and the only yogurt that has labels in english is Dannon--aka bad. i'll have to get a fluent friend to help me find non-sugary stuff.
Chaosxchaosbutterfly on April 28th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Yogurt has no lactose in it.
sugar magnolialauranonymous on April 29th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Yogurt is made when lactose ferments into lactic acid...it's actually rather high in lactose.
sugar magnolialauranonymous on April 29th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
Now that I think about it, I guess that comment was dumb. If it's already converted to lactic acid I suppose it isn't lactose anymore? I didn't realize lactose intolerant people could eat yogurt but I suppose it makes sense since the lactose is already broken down before it enters the body.
Dina Clare: dreamlintilla on April 29th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
I've got lactose problems. If I eat cereal with milk in the morning, I feel like crap all day. If I eat muesli and yogurt, no problem.
shainamaydelshainamaydel on April 29th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
you're lucky. I can't have yogurt before my pills, and certain kinds bother me even WITH the pills. i guess i am just super-sensitive to any lactose at ALL...i can't eat parmesan cheese either, even with pills.
Dina Clare: dreamlintilla on April 29th, 2009 09:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, some of the lactose remains. I'm not as intolerant as some (I can handle cheese and even the occasional hot chocolate after noon), so yeah.
Chaosxchaosbutterfly on April 29th, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Actually, lactic acid is helpful in digesting lactose. It is often prescribed to people with lactose intolerance.

Take it from a someone who is severely lactose intolerant and comes from a long line of lactose intolerant people. We don't have enough lactic acid to help us digest lactose.
Chaosxchaosbutterfly on April 29th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Lactic acid bacteria, that is.
strizzie on April 29th, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
Sorry to contradict you, but milk, yogurt, cheese and all other products made from animal milk always contain a tiny rest of lactose even when declared as "lactose free".

It is possible to also have a(n immense) reaction to that tiny bit of lactose.

The only entirely lactose free "milk" you can get is "milk" that isn't from animals, e.g. soy milk and such.
shainamaydelshainamaydel on April 29th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
This. any tiny bit of lactose makes my body go boooooooo. :-)
Chaosxchaosbutterfly on April 29th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC)
Actually, in a (good) active yogurt, the lactose will be already digested by the bacteria, which means people with an intolerance will have no problems digesting the yogurt.
rainbowkiwirainbowkiwi on April 28th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't use soap on the cup, as that could throw off your pH if any got left behind. Just rinse with water and boil.

Try plain yogurt on the vagina (plain is key, because you don't want sugar up there to feed the yeast.) I hear it's soothing too.

Essential oils are used for a number of things so I'm sure somewhere would have them... it's worth asking at the grocery store.
RelentlessPursuerpursuer on April 28th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
You could also try garlic.
I've minced up a clove of garlic before, put it in two small squares of cheesecloth, tied it up and inserted into my vagina.
I went to sleep with it like that, did it for two nights. It went away for two months (I have hypothyroidism, which can cause recurring infections), which was the longest I'd had it go away for until I started using tea tree oil.
I would assume you can find garlic in Israel.I could be wrong, since I've never been there.
I do have a friend that lives there and she is able to get essential oils. I will have to ask her how/where.
ariel_la on April 28th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
Might be a good idea to see a physician re: the recurring yeast infections to see if there is any cause and possible treatment. It could be as simple as needing to consider changing your pill or it could be something else. I had what I'd call chronic yeast 'infections' (no itchiness but lots of clumpy discharge often malodorous sometimes worse than others). I felt like my doctor didn't take my concerns seriously so she didn't end up being any help in solving my isssues. I did observe though, when taking the pill, that a change in prescription helped reduce the frequency of YI. I also observed a change which I suspect is just relating to aging and changes in my body. Also, in my case, I find that the discharge is not as bad if I stay away from commercial disposable pads/liners....might want to consider cloth pads/liners.
I strongly suggest you see your physician and if they don't seem to be able to do much, go see someone else. It could be that youare just prone to frequent infections but you want to make sure there is nothing else at the root of that.

As for your cup I'd think if you wash it with soap and rinse well and boil it it should be ok.

Question about tea tree oil a previous poster referred to...how is it used to treat YI or is it used to clean/disinfect the menstrual cup?
suzannesaphone on April 29th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
no words of wisdom...I just wanted to sympathize over being in a different country and not being able to find what you want because you don't speak the language. It sucks.
smplyscandaloussmplyscandalous on April 29th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
have you tried soaking your cup in non sweetened yogurt after boiling it?
beccak2020 on March 1st, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
I've recently been suffering from reoccurring YI for the past four months :(. I went in to see my Dr. about it, and asked him about using my cup during a YI (mine always flare up the last couple of day of my period, which apparently is quite common with the hormonal disruption to PH levels). He said that there is no reason why the cup would re-infect me. He said that yeast needs a warm environment (like the vagina) to survive along with sustenance for food (neither of which exists on your cup). Therefore, the yeast should be unable to survive on the cup at all, being that it is freezing and starving in between cycles. I've taken to just cleaning is with hot water on a daily basis during my period and boiling in between cycles. I hope this helps.