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Madeline May
22 September 2013 @ 11:39 am
Alright, I have a slightly uncomfortable question to ask.

I've been using my Diva cup for a few years now. I've never had any problems with it whatsoever. This cycle, however, near the end, I began to itch quite a bit, both inside my vaginal cavity and eventually on my outer labia. I ended up removing my cup and just free bleeding a bit, but the itching hasn't stopped. There's also a smell that I can't exactly describe, but it's strong and not entirely pleasant. It reminds me of the smell that happens when I accidentally leave my cup in for too long and there's old blood in it.

I've gone rooting around up there myself and most curiously enough, there seem to be brown and white flakey bits inside of me. It genuinely reminds me of the way toilet paper flakes apart when wet, and it even has that texture. Now, once during this cycle I was in a public washroom and had to clean my cup with toilet paper. I'm beginning to wonder whether I was careless and didn't realize that there was toilet paper stuck to the inside of the cup. Earlier in my cycle I was also forced to use a tampon for the first time in years.

Is that what could be causing this? Do I need to be concerned? And does anyone have any tips - especially for the itching and smell? I'd like to put off the doctor's as long as I am able.
 
flightopheonix on September 22nd, 2013 03:44 pm (UTC)
It sounds like yeast is a definite possibility. Have you ever had a yeast infection before? The itching is awful! If that is what is going on, there are a couple natural approaches you can try, but once it is as involved as that, I generally move on to diflucan.
madeline_may on September 22nd, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC)
I had a minor yeast infection once, but it was very minor. Would a yeast infection not have more discharge? I have some, but it's not the colour or consistency I'd have expected for it to be a yeast infection.
madeline_may on September 22nd, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
And in all honesty, the smell isn't particularly yeasty.
elle2013elle2013 on September 22nd, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
I had the toilet paper-looking discharge a few months ago, but with no smell. I should state that I am NOT a medical professional of any kind, and I'm merely sharing my experience, not giving advice.

Right before my period I got two new cups and did a "dry run" with each to try them out. I noticed a huge increase in discharge shortly thereafter - no smell, not much itch, not cottage cheesy, but very much like bits of toilet paper or possibly ricotta cheese. More graphically, when I inserted a finger, the walls of my vagina felt very different than usual - almost grainy or slightly gritty. I started my period, and the toilet paper/ricotta discharge turned red/brown/etc, but didn't change.

I hate doctors, and I figured a yeast infection kit would be a good first (relatively cheap) step toward fixing the problem. I got Monostat 3-Day, and after a week my symptoms were all gone and everything was back to normal. My theory is that maybe I was in the early stages of a yeast infection, but I stopped it quickly.

My best guess is that I didn't adequately rinse the antibacterial soap off my new cups after I washed them, and that disrupted the vaginal ecosystem a bit. I've had no problems since then; I wash with soap only at the end of my cycle, and I use coconut oil (which has natural anti-yeast properties) for cup insertion.

Good luck - I hope your situation resolves quickly!
Ashatenlegspider on September 22nd, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
Mine doesn't smell yeasty when I get it, and I only ever have mild infections which aren't enough to leave anything on my underwear although they can be annoying. Yours might be mild again but you're more sensitive than last time because you're on your period.

If getting checked out is an option do it, or you may try to treat the wrong thing and unbalance things more. Whatever you do I'd suggest not using your cup for the rest of this cycle so you don't reinfect yourself.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on September 22nd, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
General consensus is that douching often does more harm than good but perhaps something like a pre-packaged vinegar or medicated douche would be warranted in this case?
Katrinakatrina_splat on September 23rd, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC)
Conventional douches that are just to 'clean' or add scent to an otherwise healthy vaginal environment are unnecessary. DOuching just means putting liquid in your vagina to rinse it out -- it's not bad in and of itself.

OP - do your research if you choose to douche, or use an external cream. Get a professional recommendation if you can.
juliiie87juliiie87 on September 22nd, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
Sounds like this is would be your "version" of yeasty discharge...
Check out here for naturopatic remedies : http://wiki.vaginapagina.com/index.php?title=Yeast_Infection

A mild solution of apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide is what I see recommended most often to even things out when a mild infection starts creeping up. It could also be bacterial vaginosis if there is a foul smell and funky colored discharge, but itchiness points towards yeast more.
Katrinakatrina_splat on September 23rd, 2013 01:08 pm (UTC)
Can I emphasise if you do a ACV or peroxide rinse that you do a lot of research into quantities and err on the side of less than more, it can be dangerous otherwise <3
Katrinakatrina_splat on September 23rd, 2013 01:06 pm (UTC)
Strong smell I would think is bacterial vaginosis as yeast infections tend to be an absence of the usual smell of the vagina. Normally vaginal odour is a bit acidic and sour, if there is no smell with a lot of discharge I'd say yeast or a stronger, more 'foul' smell then I'd say bacterial vaginosis.

The best thing is to go to a doctor asap, so you can confirm whether it's yeast or BV. They get treated in different ways and you don't want to disturb the natural environment of your vagina more by using the wrong treatment. If this ins't an option an over the counter yeast infection cream might be worth trying.

Ask over at vaginapagina community, they're amazing and can probably give you more information.

I'd say the cause is something that disturbed the natural flora of your vagina -- either the cup wasn't clean enough, there was a bit of toilet tissue, or even the tampon earlier on.

I would stop using a cup immediately and use pads/external period protection. You may have to use additional measures to make sure your cup won't cause the issue you've experienced again.

Good luck, I'm sorry it happened. Happens to most of us at some point. Feel better!