Knowing your vaginal yeast infection is really gone
1. Feeling cured is a good sign that your vaginal infection was gone, but a test of cure can prove the organisms are normalized.
2. There are sources of repeat infection that are not in the vagina. Yeast infections are typically of the vaginal tissues or the vulvar tissues. They may infect the lower rectum, but they do not affect the uterus or the cervix. The cause is an overgrowth of the fungal organism candida, and the 'cure' from a patient perspective and a gyno perspective are different. From a patient perspective the itching, order, and discharge resolution is their goal. From a gyno perspective the goal is to restore vaginal health. The tissues must be healed, the pH must be normal, the healthy bacteria that produce lactic acid and keep that pH normal, must be growing in normal numbers.
3. You may think that you are cleared, especially of a yeast infection, when in fact you are not. Vaginal yeast infections are typically mild, in that their symptoms are tolerated, so the patient may think she is cured when her symptoms quickly respond to over the counter medications, and often will resolve to a tolerable level without treatment at all. However, when the symptoms are persistent, complicated by other vaginal conditions, or at times of travel or date night, a yeast infection is not tolerated well by very many women, and she may be thinking she is ready for a cure!
4. Some women will never clear their yeast infections if they have hormone issues. That is where testing, restoring vaginal health, restoring one's hormone balance, and improving nutrition can actually all help in the actual cure of a yeast infection. In women the changes in estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, progesterone, and the other hormones of the menstrual cycle, can result in fluctuations in the vaginal health as well. For those in menopause with extremely low levels of these hormones they can suffer from
5. Vaginal dryness has to be treated for the vaginal yeast to clear up. The genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), including the chronic condition of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA). The atrophy rises the vaginal pH and the cells of the lining of the uterus lose the ability to produce the glycogen food supply for the healthy vaginal bacteria. Thus yeast infections are more likely to occur, and the infections are less likely to be self cured as the vaginal environment looses it's ability to fight infections. With the vaginal changes of the GSM and VVA, the symptoms begin to increase including vaginal dryness, irritation, itching, infection, painful sex, lack of arousal, lack of being able to maintain arousal, as well the propensity to have chronic and low grade yeast infections. It's important that if you have menopausal changes, don't assume that self treatment has produced a cure, you need to be evaluated by a gyno.
6. If sex isn't right, you probably are not cured. Because the sexual consequences of an uncured or chronic form of yeast infections are so important, the sexual side effects can include diminished physical and emotional sexual satisfaction, and relationship issues. Thus yeast infections in menopause can progress from an annoyance to a significant medical issue. Just treating the fungal infection itself will not always resolve the issue. Restoring vaginal health with better nutrition, appropriate restoration of your gut microbiome, your immune system, the healthy use of pH balanced lubricants, and treatments of the menopausal state such as with Osphena, estrogen, PRP, or MonaLisa Touch Therapy.
Come in to gab with your gyno to see if you are doing all you can to prevent yeast infections in the future. Call