Chronic Yeast Infections


I am 48 years old and I think perimenopausal. I have irregular periods, not a heavy flow, like I used to have, but a lot of spotting before and after, making the "period" last for 10-12 days. For the past few years, I have been getting a yeast infection, at least once a month, sometimes 2 or more which makes a continous infection lasting the whole month, right into the next "period", which the infection seems to follow the end of the "period". I am not taking any HRT at this point, but I do have a saliva test later this month to find out what the hormone levels are. A few weeks ago, I had my annual pap test done and at that appt. my dr. said "she didn't see anything". No yeast, no good bacteria, no bad bacteria. Not the "normal" flora that it should have. This is not the first time. I do take probiotics, but I don't understand why my body does not "make" the good bacteria that it should. The way I understand it, there should be good bacteria and yeast, in the vagina, to be in balance. I can use the over the counter medicines to get rid of the yeast, but without the good bacteria present, the yeast will have nothing to stop it from growing again. I was wondering if I went on HRT, (which, I think I am low in those hormones) will that correct the problem? Will the proper amount of estrogen allow the good bacteria to return? I have also used the "live culture" yogurt, vaginally, at the same time as the monistat, which seems to work for a short time, but then I am back in the same cycle, of not producing the good bacteria on my own. I have chronic sinus/allergy problems and have been on sudafed for at least 5 years. If I don't take a 12 hour pill every morning and every evening, I will be bedridden, and will not be able to function on a daily basis. (Can you tell I have tried to get off the stuff?) LOL.
I take St. John's Wort, and a multi vitamin every day. I have tried the AZO pills too, but I didn't notice any difference. About 6 months ago, I got a red/itchy rash inside my upper thighs, vaginal area, on the outside. I went to my dr., saw the NP and she said it was yeast. (I thought it was too, but the monistat wasn't working) I had this for 2 weeks, before I got rid of it, very painful, and then I got it internally. That was the worst I have ever experienced and I hope to never ever experience that again. I don't know of anybody that is going through menopause and experiencing the vaginal problems that I have. Is this normal?? I was having some hot flashes about a year ago, and was taking Black Cohosh for it, but I haven't had any for quite some time now, and have stopped taking the Black Cohosh. I really don't have any other symptoms of perimenopause, which is good in a way. LOL. But, I am uncertain as to my overall health with the vaginal problems I am experiencing. Sex has always been good in the past, but now I tear easily, and I know when it's "not right", and my husband complains that it's "always broke". LOL. He's very good about it, but I miss the "let's have sex anytime we want to". LOL.

Thanks for letting me vent, and any information you can provide is very much appreciated.


Hi Cindy

Pick me! Pick me! I am in exactly the same situation as you right now. I just had the big blood test thing for hormones, cholestserol etc. I too went to the Dr for vaginal irritation (1 day before my period started as it turned out), as I was sure I had thrush. I had treated it with Caneston 1 the previous week but I think I infected DH and he gave it back to me (hmm, another lesson learnt). The Dr took a look and said no thrush, but I insisted on a swab. Sure enough, I saw her again yesterday and I was right.

I too follow your instincts about all the flora and didn't get the Diflucam prescription filled, as I don't see the point in knocking off the thrush if the normal bacteria are having a hard time thriving. I have tried yoghurt, and don't think it will knock thrush on the head, maybe reduce the symptoms for a while. I too am taking an oral probiotic, which is why I think the thrush had settled down a bit when I went to the Dr. Oral probiotics have worked for me in the past, particularly for fingernail fungus and diahorrea, so I am hoping it will work again. I'll just keep going for the full month of probiotics.

I have also just discovered a product called Ecovag which is a vaginal probiotic capsule which contains bacteria isolated from healthy women in Norway, and as I have these genes, I am going to give it a try. pharmacist should have it in stock in a couple of days, so I'll post with the results. You might like to investigate it too. I have found some articles about vaginal microflora and they are specific for certain racial groups, but quite variable. So it may nor may not work depending on your genes. I am happy to try this product only because my pharmacist is happy to sell it to me. I am still slightly paranoid about shared bacteria.

There is also a menopause thread that I started a couple of weeks ago. You can find it with the search box.

I think the things that make us more vulnerable to thrush at perimenopause is the dryness and vulnerability of the vaginal tissues, and also for some reason (lowered estrogen?) the acidity of the vagina changes to be more friendly to candida. I guess as time goes on the good bacteria adjust themselves to cope with that and the miocroflora balance is found again. Hope so anyway, as sex is an important part of our married life and I don't want to be a sexual invalid for the rest of my life!

However, I have found Wholewoman balms very useful. The vulva balm has made my vulva so much less chafed since I have been using it. Prolapses undoubtedly increase the rubbing and potential for broken surface cells in this area. I use it before bedtime and sometimes during the day as well. I think this latest period was a very 'wet' one and went for a week, so I was a bit soggy down there.

The Bliss Balm is a great lubricant, softening to liquid at vulva temperature. It is very smooth to use. You can use Bliss Balm for sex while you use Vulva Balm during the day. Just remember, *plenty* of foreplay and plenty of lube makes for good menopausal sex. I am sure you will be able to make it work pleasurably. I think keeping the inflammation/damage from developing is vital. Once inflammation sets in it is much more difficult to knock on the head. Vaginal celibacy helps you to heal but who wants that on a long term basis?

Replens vaginal moisturiser is another one to try. Use three times a week. One pretty good looking study said it is as effective as Estrogen cream without the hormonal side effects. I haven't tried that one either, and probably won't as the Wholewoman balms are working quite well.