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06 December 2015 @ 10:46 am

Hey folks!

I'm posting here because although I've done extensive Googling, checked manufacturers' websites, and so on, I still don't feel that I have an adequate answer of whether it's safe to use my cup again after using it while having a yeast infection. Does silicone harbor yeast? Do I need to wash my cup a certain way? Is there no hope, should I just throw it away and get a new one?

Some background under the cut...

I had an untreated yeast infection for ~11 months (yikes, I know, but it kept coming and going, and was pretty mild, so I didn't really know what it was; thought I was having an allergic reaction or something). Was using my Lunette cup every period during this time. Finally went to the doc, swab test was positive for a YI, took Diflucan and was wonderfully relieved. Had some vulvar irritation right after my next period (during which I used my cup without issue) that cleared up on its own. Fast fwd to this period - I start getting itchy again right before it's due to start, but assume it's nothing (I'm pretty bad about that apprently). Couple days later I'm sure it's another infection, so now I'm using OTC treatment as the doctor recommended if it came back. But I'm concerned about using my cup next time - since I used it between taking the Diflucan and getting another YI, did I reinfect myself? I usually just very thoroughly rinse my cup with cold water when I empty it, and "sun" it to eliminate any odor. I'm struggling with what else, if anything, I should do to clean it without compromising the silicone or introducing an irritant to my vagina if I use my cup again after cleaning it.

Thanks in advance!

 
..::bella vita::..por_que_no on December 6th, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
Hydrogen peroxide might work--that's a DIY treatment I've used for yeasties myself. As a bonus, it will bleach off any unsightly blood stains. Just pour the H202 in a mug high enough to submerge the cup in, put the cup in, cover the top with something opaque (light will degrade the H202) and let it sit for several hours. You could also boil but really, the risk of damaging the cup in the hot pot is probably greater than any additional sterilization benefit you're going to get.
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jourdanicus on December 6th, 2015 07:46 pm (UTC)

Would boiling truly kill off yeast? I've been afraid to boil mine because I had a Diva Cup for a while and it started leaking consistently after the one time that I boiled it. I also have roommates and wouldn't want to gross them out using a pan for that...

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..::bella vita::..por_que_no on December 7th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)
The lactobacillus bacteria naturally in your vag produce H202 anyway to disinfect/prevent other nasties from taking hold. That's why, sometimes, you smell a bit sweet down there. So your body shouldn't react in an odd way to it.

I think I may have just had my first experience with BV (thanks, baby wash that threw off my pH...) so I soaked a tampon in H202 to get everything set right again. While soaking the tampon I recognized that sweet smell.
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..::bella vita::..por_que_no on December 7th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
I know right! 2 1/2 years after really starting with cups and I finally figure this out lol. This was also the first time in that amount of time that I've worn a tampon...I could totally feel it in a way I don't remember feeling them when I wore them regularly. That did the trick though. No funky smells (then again I have such a nasty head cold that I'm not sure I couuld smell anything at all right now...)
jourdanicus on December 6th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)

Peroxide won't degrade the silicone? I was thinking of giving my cup anl diluted apple cider vinegar bath as that's what I used to wash my cloth pads and as a sitz bath, but I was afraid that the acidity would harm it. I'm not sure boiling would work... I have heard it's very hard to kill off yeast. But if silicone is not an environment conducive to yeast growth, then I guess I don't have to worry about it as much?

Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on December 6th, 2015 08:41 pm (UTC)
Cups are non-absorbent so just get it off the surface. Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are the two main home remedies and neither will hurt the silicone. You don't need to eradicate yeast. A little is OK. But an overabundance is not.

Vaginal yeast infections are usually "external" symptoms of a digestive imbalance. Google anti-candida diet for foods to avoid. Natural probiotics such as unpasteurized cheeses and active culture yogurts are often recommended. And/Or probiotic supplements such as acidophilus. Also be aware of soap on your hands, on your cup and on your vulva. There are ingredients in some soaps that can make yeast bloom so be sure to wash soap residue away so it doesn't get into your vagina.
jourdanicus on December 13th, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
Thanks for the tip!

Yeah, I've been Googling this stuff all up and down lately. I've totally cut out white sugar from my diet for the past week+, as well as refined white flour. Also been taking a probiotic, cranberry supplement, 2 tsp of ACV/day, and drinking kefir smoothies. I don't know if it's bad enough for me to have to do the whole week-long "candida cleanse," basically eating only steamed veggies, but if I get another yeast infection next month then I will just have to see. I'm going to talk to my doctor first if it comes back again though.
Yawnksavannahjan on December 6th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
Also, random fact, garlic is a natural remedy for yeast infections. I never medicate when I get them. I insert a clovers garlic overnight. At most, I do that twice and the infection is gone. Garlic is a natural enemy to yeast.
jourdanicus on December 13th, 2015 04:50 am (UTC)
I've heard. Weirdly I'm just kind of squicked out about inserting a garlic clove. I tried to leave a probiotic capsule up there overnight and half of the capsule part didn't dissolve all the way so I had to fish it out the next morning, so I'm a bit scarred from that. But if it comes back next month, I am going to be much more willing to try natural remedies instead of using gross, goopy, irritating OTC creams for 3+ nights again...
Yawnk: Mesavannahjan on December 13th, 2015 04:58 am (UTC)
I seldom ever have to fish for the garlic it typically comes out when I go to the bathroom in the morning.

The weirdness is? Due to the science of mucus membranes, you can have garlic breath by inserting garlic into your vagina. *laugh*

But, seriously, I will never go back to medicine. Garlic is my savior when it comes to yeast infections.
jourdanicus on December 13th, 2015 05:23 am (UTC)
Well, that's a relief. I guess a garlic clove is quite a bit bigger than a pill capsule.

I've heard that too! Haha. I would rather have garlic breath for 2 days than a yeast infection though. :) You have encouraged me to try garlic next time! (Though I really, really, really hope there is NOT a next time.)
djehutys_wisdom on December 8th, 2015 01:21 pm (UTC)
Yeasties
I inquired with Lunette years ago about this when I used to get yeast and BV quite frequently. They told me to boil the cup for 20 min. Hint: Put in inside an all-metal whisk to keep it from touching the bottom of the pot!

Also keep in mind the bags you store your cup in, could harbor yeast spores. If they are 100% cotton, you can boil them also. If they are made of something else, you may be out of luck. I used to soak my satin lunette bags in apple cider vinegar and then wash them thoroughly with Lunette cup wash, but it took forever to get the vinegar smell out.
jourdanicus on December 13th, 2015 04:43 am (UTC)
Re: Yeasties
Thanks!! Based on the responses here, I think I'm going to go with boiling it and giving it an ACV bath, not sure in which order yet though.

I did wonder about the bag. It's a satin one... I'm not sure what to do with it. I wonder if I can just buy a new one from the manufacturer?