Many women these days struggle with a very uncomfortable vaginal condition called a yeast infection. It is caused by yeast called Candida. It’s a normal inhabitant of the vagina in most women but normally it is kept in check by the invisible good bacterial flora such as lactobacilli. When this healthy flora is hindered the Candida has “room” to multiply and flourish. Such disturbances to the normal bacterial flora can be caused by frequent lavages with a detergent, the use of antibiotics or a weakened immune system such as occurs in diabetes or HIV.
It not only produces an unpleasant odour but it also looks unappealing. Furthermore it cases irritation to the vaginal walls as well as the cervix making both more susceptible to infections. Such infections may even be in the form of papilloma virus which makes the cervix more susceptible to cancer formation. Finally Candida also makes an unfriendly environment for sperm, making this infection a significant hindrance to insemination and the initiation of pregnancy.
There are many effective anti-fungal medications for Candidiasis. The oral ones are not very healthy as they have a negative impact on the liver. The local suppository ones are very effective and are minimally absorbed into the blood thus being much less toxic to internal organs. However the anti-fungals also kill the good bacteria such as lactobacilli. This may be problematic as the good bacteria keep the pH of the vagina at a healthy level. Killing off the good bacteria also leaves room for Candida to return once the treatment is completed.
There is a very simple remedy that solves this dilemma. Simply soaking a tampon in kefir or sour milk will provide a healthy dose of good bacteria making less room for Candida to thrive. It may not be as effective as anti-fungals for a full blown infection, but applying this therapy prophylactically will substantially decrease the chances of getting the infection in the first place. It is also great right after anti-fungal treatment for the replenishment of the healthy vaginal flora.