Fighting Yeast Infections (& Other Interesting Conversations with your 3 year old)

Louisa Leontiades Complicated Roots, Feminist Mamma, Parenting-General

There are some conversations I didn’t expect to be having with my daughter. Not now (when she’s three). And actually not ever (before I became a mother and a feminist).

‘What’s that a picture of Mummy?’ My daughter said looking at my Google image search results.

‘Well darling that’s a picture inside a very poorly vagina. It’s a grown up vagina like Mummy’s but these ones need medicine because they’re sick.’

‘I don’t have a vagina’. She replied. ‘I have a willy like Daddy and my brother’.

As I looked down I saw a green Duplo Lego flower nestled between my daughter’s labia. I said

‘It looks more like a plastic flower darling’.

‘Nope,’ she said proudly. ‘It’s a willy’.

It’s a conversation that’s surprising (for me) on two levels.

  1. That a year ago I didn’t expect to be able to say the word vagina comfortably or even speak so openly about poorly yeast infected ones to my daughter at any age (let alone three).
  2. That neither did I expect (with all society’s gender conditioning) to be so cool with my daughter pretending she had a willy – especially one which I had seen lying on the [not 100% pristine] bathroom floor half an hour earlier. Thankfully, I’ve come to realise the fluidity and beauty of gender. I’ll love my daughter whatever she has or chooses to have, between her legs. And if it turns out to be vibrating Duplo, well I’ll teach her to wash it first and herself afterwards.

Onwards. So why the poorly vaginas? Well, since I have the honour of being a sex-postive blogger I also get a lot of vagina-related freebies to test out and review (yeah it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it). They sent me a book, called “Fighting Yeast Infections – The Natural Way 2.0.”

Like most women who have a vagina, I’m no stranger to yeast infections, but they all had pretty much one name.

Thrush.

Chaffing condoms with chemical lubricants, two day knickers, tight jeans, high sugar diet, antibiotics and of course the usual reason – no identifiable reason whatsoever. I’ve gone round smelling like ripe sour milk from smearing probiotic yoghurt on my undercarriage and having done so, when it comes to thrush, I’m not a fan of ‘natural.’ I’m a fan of pessaries.

Nevertheless in this book, there were still more things I don’t understand about my body even though I’m 37. I find that scandalous. So I’ll pass them onto my children; yes my son’s going to get the lecture too.

There are three broad broad categories of vaginal infection (so the book says) -Yeast infections, Bacterial vaginosis, and Trichomoniasis. But the difficulty is how to tell them apart. For example,

Bacterial vaginosis feels a lot like yeast infection. This is because it sometimes can make the vulva area itchy, burning and painful. But unlike yeast infection the discharge can be yellow, grey and greenish and may smell like fish or rotten food.

As opposed to yeast based vaginitis, which can sometimes can make the vulva area itchy, burning and painful. Sometimes this discharge might have an odor similar to that of the yeast that is used for baking bread, whilst at other times, it will be completely odorless. Not particularly helpful.

Let’s have a look at this discharge then.

yeast

Thrush (yeast) Infection

Bacterial Vaginosis Discharge

Bacterial Vaginosis Discharge

Um. Not really different.

Luckily there are concrete ways to test what type of infection you have and that’s by using PH sticks (handily available from Amazon by mail order EcoCare Comfort Vaginal Vaginosis pH Test Sticks). There are also some other gems in this book, including some surprising and sensible prevention measures. Drinking slightly saline water and taking probiotics for example. And then there are the ‘privileged’ clangers –

So just to be on the safe side, every time you have washed your underwear, boil it for five or ten minutes immediately afterwards in order to purge the residue of detergent and/or chemicals.

Seriously, undies on the cooker? EVERY time you wash them?

But wait a sec… we all know there are times when we must take antibiotics to combat other health complications. This includes those times you have pneumonia and your doctor prescribes weeks of antibiotics. In this case, you really have no choice.

Good advice. Take antibiotics when you have pneumonia (duh).

The book cost $27.00. I don’t recommend it and luckily I didn’t pay for it. Even though it did give me a good opener to talk to my children about poorly vaginas.