Candida, what the fuck is that? For those of you who don’t know, or are lucky enough to have never encountered the dreaded candida overgrowth, basically I am talking about yeast infections. Gross right? Why would I want to make a blog post about that? Basically, I have been suffering from recurrant yeast infections for about a year and a half now, and at 19 years of age (these started when I was still 17) I realise that many of my peers have yet to encounter the beast that is yeast. I’m also in a relatively unusual position in that my condition is recurring, most women are able to clear it with a single treatment.
Back in June 2014 when my infection first began I didn’t know what it was or what it could be. To be frank, I didn’t want to know. I just ignored it until it came back the following month and I decided it was time to do some research online. I made a lucky guess and diagnosed myself as having thrush . From there I dragged my ass out to shop and bought some Vagasil praying that no one would see me and avoiding all and any cashiers. This worked to an extent but didn’t clear up my symptoms, eventually my mum found out and convinced me to go to the doctors.
My initial appointment at the doctors was brief. She believed I had Trichomoniasis that is an STD which changes the colour of your discharge and causes swelling around the vagina. But to confirm that I had to wait a few days to get a swab test taken by the nurse. When the results came back it confirmed that it was thrush and I got the usual pills to take. If I remember correctly I was initially given the oral tablet and the cream, and every month since then my dosage had been upped and I began using vaginal pessaries instead. I was getting no where and it felt like my symptoms were getting worse. There were times were my vulva would swell immensely and turn purple in colour. It was all pretty gross.
By the time October came, I’m pretty sure the doctors had got sick of seeing me. The doctor suggested that I try not treating it to see if it will go away naturally. With skepticism I agreed. In the long run, I was right, my thrush didn’t go away. For a brief period of time it felt like my symptoms were clearing up, but I noticed it became increasingly difficult to have sex. This was obviously upsetting and led to another string of appointments in the new year. Nothing much was different, I still received the same pills and the doctors wouldn’t listen to any of the recommendations by the fantastic nurse that I had been seeing since the turn of the year. The nurse was able to prescribe me with Balance Activ which is a PH balancer which is used to treat bacterial vaginosis, this helped my discharge, but by no means got rid of my infection.
That Summer I was eventually referred to a gynecologist “AT LAST!” I thought “This is it! This will cure my illness!” Well, I was wrong and once again I was told there was effectively nothing that they could do for me despite all the possible treatments I had read about online. Don’t get me wrong, there weren’t many options, but I know there are a few things that I have yet to try. Over this period I was advised to stop taking the contraceptive pill I was on in case that was triggering my symptoms, once again no luck.
Which brings me up until today. It has been around 6 months since i’ve visited the gynecologist and I still don’t feel like I am getting anywhere with my yeast infections. However, I visited the doctor this morning and I am FINALLY starting the course of treatment that the nurse had recommended to me all those months ago! It is a 6 month course of flucozonal where I take one pill every week, except from on the very first week of treatment where I have 3 doses to take every 72 hours!
The purpose of me starting this little series is primarily as a way of venting my frustration, but I hope that these blog posts can bring at least some degree of comfort to other women with similar issues who happen to stumble across my blog because the first thing I noticed when I began searching for information about recurring yeast infections is that few people actually seem to talk about them! For me, it has been a source of shame and embarrassment for well over a year now and I am hoping that these blog posts will encourage me to gain some of my confidence back. But ultimately I simply want to divulge some of the knowledge that I have accumulated regarding yeast infections. I don’t intend for these posts to be regular, simply as and when I feel like I have something important to post.