“Except for maybe once or twice after a course of antibiotics, I haven’t had a yeast infection since I was in my twenties and now I’ve had 2 in 6 months!” “Lately I’ve had some vaginal irritation, redness, itching, and even an odor that is more noticeable after love making. I’m at a loss as to the cause.”
With the winding down of our monthly menstruations, you’d think we’d be exempt from these aggravations. Instead, having done nothing out of “our” ordinary, vaginal issues seem to pop up out of nowhere. Declining estrogen levels can cause vaginal tissue to thin and pH to shift leading to inflammation. This change in the vaginal environment is more hospitable to certain yeast and bacteria, increasing our risk for infection.
When the cause is related to menopausal hormone loss, many GYNs prescribe localized estrogen, in the form of vaginal creams and suppositories, along with any necessary anti-infective. Broader reaching hormone replacement therapy (oral, transdermal) is another effective option. By causing a shift in vaginal pH, specific strains of probiotics can also be used to keep the bad bugs at bay. Jarrow Formulas Fem-Dophilus and RepHresh Pro-B contain the strains that have proven to be effective and they are usually well tolerated by women, like myself, with histamine intolerance issues.
Although designed to be taken orally, vaginal administration of these probiotics is also beneficial. I think alternating the route is best and one maintenance dose of each per week may be all it takes to keep things in check for an otherwise healthy woman. Spending more time than usual making love or hanging out in a wet bathing suit- think second honeymoon-, may necessitate an increase in usage. Coconut oil can also be utilized to our vagina’s advantage as its natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, along with its moisturizing effects, make it an ideal lubricant.