This post comes to you after a decade of struggling with an STI, Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), and Yeast infections.
This is honestly such pertinent information for everyone to know!! Male and female.
This morning I shared part of my journey with vaginal issues (see the Instagram post here). It's been a long time coming that I wanted to write more.
Rewind several years and I discovered how much havoc tampons were causing me. See my switch to Period Panties and a natural flow here. I speak a little to my efforts of getting off of hormonal control as well and mastering my diet! There is so much in the environment that can affect us wittingly or not, and I am a very physically and energetically sensitive person, so it's always been a mission of mine to find health and wellness. Balance basically.
I think the first time I realized I had a Bacterial Infection was after my first Burning Man. I came back and had a routine exam at the STI clinic and she found that my PH was off. I guess I smelled a little stronger than usual... so she prescribed me some meds and off I went. She did explain that a sweaty/hot environment and tight clothes could create this imbalance - no wonder! I just got back from the desert!
I was okay for a few years but I did notice my smell get quite strong a lot. I would feel really self-conscious and unconformable up close with people. I also hated for anyone to go down on me (oral sex) because of my "smell" and self-consciousness. Also, I taught dance and circus for a living so I was always sweaty and always wearing SYNTHETIC tight leggings. Not a good combination...
I lived with this discomfort for a good 5 or 6 years. Then... I got tested again, routine test, and lo and behold... BV once again. I was given antibiotics again EVEN THOUGH I asked the nurse for other factors of how I could prevent this, such as diet, and not much help was provided. That year I think I had three rounds of antibiotics and NO relief of symptoms. It was really quite upsetting. All of my clothes now smelled like Vagina too... it was embarrassing. And no one talked about it...
I found myself in Guatemala in 2018 at a yoga retreat and being taught by an Ayurvedic Doctor. I knew I had to see him. He shed so much light on how my diet was impacting my vaginal health and how I could immediately change certain things to find some improvement! He formulated a whole plan for me and honestly I spent the nest 6 months to a year rehabbing my digestive system and yoni health. It was life-changing!! (Side Note: I have an introduction to Ayurveda Document I can share with anyone interested in that)
Later that year however, I was seeing this man, who I was so excited about, but EVERY TIME I slept with him, I got BV. I spoke about this openly on Facebook really just asking for help. This was affecting my life, my self-esteem, everything!! I mean not only do I have a lifelong STI to live with (that's a post in the waiting along with my Sex Magick course), but I had constant smelly Vag! Ugh!! I was so embarrassed. So I asked out for help and one of my friends said that HE had been unintentionally passing BV to all of his partner's because the PH of his semen was out of balance. He had to take probiotics and change his diet to help with this. He also suggested prebiotic suppositories for the Vagina. I would try anything (gosh have I tried everything.... tampons soaked in yogurt, apple cider vinegar washes, you name it...). Anyway, that man and I never formed a lasting relationship so I didn't ever tell him about the issue (I really think I should though anyway to help all future females he sleeps with!)
Finally, a year later, I was living in Victoria and had to go to a new clinic. This time it was specifically a woman's clinic! I thought I would be in luck and find freedom! She tested me and found little infection but suggested I try Boric Acid suppositories if I was still uncomfortable. I tried it and it was immediately helpful! Not a lasting solution however and I still taught full time wearing sweaty/tight clothing. I just showered and bathed a lot and kept to a clean diet.
Fast forward another year and I was happily in a relationship with a man who noticed some irritation on his Penis. We decided to go to a clinic together and both get checked. So not only did I have BV, I had a yeast infection too! Great... There are no real ways to tell if a man has either so he came out "healthy". That being said, women do pass BV and Yeast Infections to their partners and then they pass it back and the cycle continues. Gosh... I was feeling so frustrated and shameful that I couldn't get my Yoni Heath under control. Even after changing certain habits (aka Period products) and diet! I was prescribed more pills...
HOWEVER, the pharmacist who gave me the pills changed my life!! She told me:
It's really so simple... but we are not really set up to do these things. It is phenomenally hard to find all cotton underwear. It's even harder to find cotton clothing (for a performer and dance teacher even harder, and expensive for an artist's budget). But what's more important?!
*I feel like it should go without saying for women.... if you use toilet paper to wipe ALWAYS wipe front to back. NEVER wipe back to front as bringing any feces particles towards the vuvla WILL cause infection.* I suggest beyond that actually not to use toilet paper at all. Wash with water, use a fanny cloth, or air dry!!
Here is a PDF I made to help remember MY key findings and see more details about some of the points. I emphasize here how important it is to rebalance the intestinal floral with a gentle cleanse AND probiotics as this greatly impacts the Vaginal flora. One thing I don't mention in my PDF is about recurring Yeast Infections, you can try consuming D-manose regularly, and for recurrent UTI's take cranberry pills. I didn't even touch on UTI's in this post but what I learnt from my Ayurvedic doctor is twofold: 1) you need to eliminate the bowels completely, 2) it's an over-imbalance of Pitta, the fiery energy in your diet/life. Also the Anal/Vaginal note stands for this issue!
Keep in mind I am not a medical doctor or registered health therapist... although I am a woman with a Yoni. And I am a Tantric Teacher.
Feel free to message me if you have any questions or want to talk more about sexuality, shame, liberation and more!!
Sending you so much love and healing.