Dear Mistress Maeve,
I have the most annoying problem. If I have "too much" sex, I get a whopping yeast infection. Last weekend, my boyfriend and I had sex on Friday and again on Saturday, and I ended up with a yeast infection. Now I have to go through a week's worth of inserting cream-based medication into my itchy and uncomfortable vagina. It's a bummer for my boyfriend and me; it pretty much kills our sex life. How do I prevent this from happening? Is there anything I can do to speed up the recovery process? I've heard women say that a clove of garlic in the vagina clears up the infection. Does that really work?
Too Much of a Good Thing
Yeast infections occur when the good bacteria in your vagina are knocked out of balance for any number of reasons, which could include taking bacteria-killing antibiotics and wearing tight spandex pants. Unfortunately, having "too much" sex can also upset your vagina's delicate balance.
Talk to your physician about your persistent issues to be sure you're really dealing with yeast and not another form of infection. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a one-dose medication in pill form to get you away from those messy creams. Also, he or she may suggest some helpful tips for keeping yeast at bay - such as taking an acidophilus supplement, wearing cotton panties or eating yogurt. As for the garlic, it's an old wives' tale that some women swear by for clearing up yeast. However, we're trying to make a healthy vagina here, not a lasagna, so talk to your doctor.
And remember, it is possible for you and your partner to pass yeast back and forth, so lay off the sex until you've completed treatment. Or, if you just can't keep your hands off each other, at least use condoms and dental dams.
Yours in yeast,