Ok if you haven’t ever had it I salute you, and also how?! Because 3 out 4 of us get it!
I used to get it all the time when I was younger, I had such a bad infection at one point I thought I had an incurable STD (sexually transmitted disease) my GP missed it, the nurse missed it, I didn’t know what it was and eventually I went to the GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic walking like John bloody Wyane because I had a vulva that looked like a gibbons arse.
I Saw someone I used to go to school with in the waiting room, it was just me and him, we had an awkward conversation about life. Eventually, after ALL the tests I breathed a gigantic sigh of relief that I wasn’t going to die and that candida was just having a rave up in my nethers. I was given all the things to get rid of it and eventually stopped needing to sit on frozen tea towels.
I don’t ever remember being told about thrush, I’m of a generation that if you asked your Mum she generally looked horrified you had said vagina out loud. I didn’t have a sister and my friends were as clueless as I was.
So I’m here writing this in the hope that is sparks a lightbulb for you about your own health and thrush adventures – which sounds far more exciting than it actually is! Because it isn’t just thrush, it’s your body communicating to you.
Your wonderful body is always telling you stuff and it is my job to help you to understand that as much as possible so you have the autonomy and knowledge to help yourself and ask better questions of your health provider.
Thrush is the layman’s term for Candida which is a fungus that lives in/on our bodies quite happily and then gets the hump and goes feral. You most probably know thrush as affecting your nethers but it can be present in your mouth, digestive tract and skin. Anywhere that’s a bit dark and moist (sorry for the moist word haters and I’ve said it again – moist, there have another for a hat trick!)
- Itching of the vulva and/or vagina
- Redness and swelling to the vulva
- Soreness to the vulva could be painful to wee and have sex
- White/cream cottage cheese discharge situation which doesn’t usually smell
- Significant swelling and redness to the vulva, labia and vagina
- Scratch marks to the vulva
- Other skin rashes around the vulva/perinium
The last three points are for more serious infections so don’t leave it for long before you treat it.
WHAT CAUSES TRUSH?
- Hormonal Contraception
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Compromised Immune System
Like I say the odd infection could be down to gorging yourself on pastries, bread and cheese for a week on holiday in France – what a souvenir!
Without doubt you gut health plays a vital role in regards to thrush and if you are getting recurrent infections it needs looking at. You can read more about that here.
If you have been on antibiotics then you need to get your gut health back up to speed, eating unpasteurised fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha are excellent ways to help.
Taking a months dose of my potion Aunty Virus will also help boost your immune system, Echinacea is a badass herb for helping boost your immune system and has amazing antiviral properties.
Hopefully if you have a bout of thrush that’s all it is and it doesn’t darken your door again. Sometimes it can clear up on it’s own, your period can actually help, thrush is very acidic and blood is very alkaline your period can help a mild infection clear off – that is a small win for getting your period I think!
I’m sure you have all tried over the counter medications that are rubbed on, shoved up your foof, or chucked down your cake hole. Again, probably did the trick for the first few times but if you are someone who has the misfortune of getting these infections regularly, you have probably found that they don’t really work anymore, or certainly aren’t as potent. Why? Well because your body is smart and it gets used to them, a bit like with antibiotics. If you keep using them repeatedly your body will build up a resistance to it and the efficiency of them dwindles.
It is also your body communicating something, it isn’t normal for you to be having regular thrush infections so this needs to be investigated, something in your body is out of balance.
The odd thrush infection is just one of the joys of life, but recurrent infections are no pleasure at all. let’s look at this in a more detail here.
If you would like to try a more natural approach to treating your thrush symptoms, you can check out my wonderful products my clicking on their names.
Soothing balm to slather on your vulva – Itch is a Bitch Balm
A liquid tincture to help treat on the inside – No Thrush in this Bush Potion
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP
STOP USING COMMERCIAL PERIOD PRODUCTS please please please for the love of your lips get yourself some reusables pads, pants or cups or organic cotton disposables. You can find the ones I love here
Wear cotton undies to help your vuvla breathe and where poss whip your knickers off at every opportunity – defo at night.
Ease off on the tights – honestly this is the only time I think crotchless tights would be useful!
Stop with the soap, bath bombs which I call thrush bombs, perfumes, wipes, sprays, bubble bath, lubes – especially the ones that are flavoured bleugh – hello sugars into my dark corners no thank you! I highly recommend my lube Love your Labia Lip Balm . Douching is also not advised because again you are washing away the good bacteria we need. Your vagina cleans itself, we don’t need to get involved – all those products down the feminine aisle uphold the patriarchy and the story that our vaginas are dirty and smell. If you want some balance on that take a walk down the masculine aisle (let me know if you find that) and see if there is penis perfume and scrotum scrub…
Sex – this isn’t an STD, although you can pass it to your partner if direct contact is made with the infected body part. So remember that mouths as well as genitals. However if you are not so well lubricated your very delicate skin around your vilva and vagina can tear very slightly and this could be enough for an infection to start. So lube up (see above point for a natural alternative) and make sure you clean up properly afterwards and go to the loo asap because we don’t need wee infections in the mix either!
If you have an infection lay off gorging on sugars, alcohol and yeasts in your diet – whilst you have a yeast infection you don’t want to feed yourself like a barrel of beer with more yeast enhancing foods.
Boost your immune system with a good quality Vitamin C, Aunty Virus, and whole foods.
I hope you have found this to be helpful please leave a comment below or if you have any queries about your own health and would like to get in touch then drop me an email email@example.com or you can book a free discovery call here or a consultation with me here
Gemma is a Women’s Health Herbalist and an Ex nurse with over 15 years experience of working in the NHS. She has worked with many women over the years to help them find a different way to helping their health. You can find out more at The Well Woman Project and follow her on Instagram and Facebook. She also has a podcast Lost in Menstruation