We’ve all been there, haven’t we ladies? Itchy, discharge-y….that’s right, the yeast infection. As most of you know, I recently had my wisdom teeth removed, and one of the zillions of prescriptions they put me on was antibiotics. Now, I don’t like antibiotics for several reasons:
- They make me feel like crap (hello, it’s ultimately all about me),
- They don’t kill a lot of things and create SuperBugs,
- They tend to give me yeast infections (didn’t I just say it’s all about me?).
As I also mentioned in my wisdom teeth post, the fact that the BF and I weren’t supposed to be having sex of course meant that we were complete maniacs and did it like twice a day the whole time I was on antibiotics. I was having minor yeast infection symptoms (soreness, dryness, some discharge) but just took a shower before we had sex, used Wet lubricant, and didn’t think too much of it.
The last time we had sex was a Monday night, and the BF mentioned to me that the week off that we had to take while I had my period was probably a good thing, because there was a red and tender spot on his penis. Chalking it up to all the sex we’d been having, we moved on.
When I was back in commission, so to speak, we of course humped like little horny bunnies all weekend. On Monday he mentioned that the red and tender spots on his penis were back, only slightly worse. He showed me and suggested that it was an STD that one or the other of us had been carrying since we met (he tends a little toward paranoia and STDs are one of his big fears). Pointing out that we had both been tested 3 months after becoming monogamous and the fact that I’ve had 2 additional complete workups in the 2.5 years since then, this was pretty unlikely. Then, the way he described how it felt, BAM! It hit me: yeast infection.
The total bummer of it all was that all the sex we had when I was back in commission also had me on the brink of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Egad, the trouble…but here are some tips and tricks for you readers out there, in case one or the other of these things have happened to you:
Treatment of a Yeast Infection (Man or Woman)
There are loads of ways to treat/prevent a yeast infection, and most of them don’t even involve going to the doctor. If you’ve never had a yeast infection before, it is recommended that you go to the doctor for a diagnosis – that way if it is something more serious you’re not futzing around with apple cider vinegar and yogurt.
- Diflucan (fluconazole): pill, prescribed by a doctor (fast, easy, not messy, but requires actually finding time in your schedule and the doctor’s, which can be challenging). This is wonderful; if you go to the doctor for your first one you can sometimes ask for a refillable prescription so you don’t have to keep going back once you know what to look for.
- Direct application of Monistat or other yeast infection cream. In the case of men, you would apply directly to the penis, perhaps adding a little apple cider vinegar (do not apply vinegar undiluted, as this will burn). This option is messy. For women they now have vaginal suppositories that are less messy, but no dice for the fellas.
- Direct application of PLAIN yogurt (no added flavor or sugar). I have used this numerous times myself and it is effective and much cheaper than Monistat, although also messy.
- Adding 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to a hot bath. I have not done this and think it would be kinda stinky, but not messy. Important: regular vinegar will make a yeast infection worse. Use apple cider vinegar.
- Eating loads of garlic (bonus: no one will have sex with you until your breath stops stinking do you don’t have to worry about any awkward explanations). You can also take garlic tablets orally. I did read on a few sites that women can insert peeled cloves into their vaginas. Yikes! I have not tried this.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (duh, breaking news…).
- Buy probiotic supplements (acidophilus lactobacillus) since it is the dying off of good bacteria that make yeast start multiplying in the first place. I have had these before and they taste really good, IMO. I buy the liquid form rather than the pills, which don’t have as great of a concentration of live bacteria per dose.
If one or the other of you have a yeast infection, you should probably both do some kind of treatment and not have sex until you both feel you’re cured, otherwise you can keep passing it back and forth.
At-Home Treatment of a UTI
The first thing to note is that while UTIs are rarer in men, they are much more severe because the urethra is so much longer. If you don’t catch a UTI in its early stages, you will almost always have to go to the doctor and get antibiotics. If you do have to go the doctor route, then you should ask for diflucan at the same time and/or implement some of the at-home yeast infection remedies above because antibiotics cause yeast infections.
- Drink cranberry juice. Everyone knows this one, but the thing to realize is that you can’t buy that cranberry juice cocktail crap with added sugar that they sell at the regular grocery store. Go to Trader Joe’s and buy Just Cranberry (or any health food store for 100% cranberry juice with NOTHING ELSE ADDED). Beware that plain cranberry juice is bitter and you will probably have to dilute it. This is fine, but you don’t want to add sugar (or vodka, however tempted you are…). You can also buy cranberry tablets that provide the potency of the plain juice with no taste.
- Dilute 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz. of water and drink this. Apparently it makes your bladder a sad place for bacteria, which is happy news for you! I recommend cold water since baking soda dilutes easily and hot water can bring out the salty taste. This recipe is not recommended if you have high blood pressure because of the salt content.
- Drink as much water as possible (no soda, milk, alcohol, etc.). When I first started having sex I had like 6 bladder infections in a year, and I remember learning that about half the bacteria get flushed out each time you pee, but the bacteria double every 20 minutes. I have NO IDEA if this is true or not, and the cranberry juice and baking soda can stop that rapid rate of growth, but your goal really should be to pee every 15 minutes or so and have it be a somewhat substantial flow.
I seem to have kicked my potential UTI in its tracks after one evening of the above, though you have to be diligent and also begin this regimen at the first sign of discomfort.
If you’re ever in doubt, see a doctor. Don’t pass things back and forth. And note to self: pick up Monistat on the way home from work…