Monthly Archives: June 2014

At yeast you’re trying

I’m not sure whether the discussion started with how important the  Boy Scout mantra of “always be prepared” was, or whether we were already talking about alternative/naturopathic medicine, but I was reminded the other day of one of the funniest stories of home-remedy use ever and it seemed worth sharing.

For those of us with lady-bits, it’s a constant struggle to keep them from having those not-so-fresh feelings, as memorialized by countless women in commercials strolling down beaches with their mums having awkward conversations about olfactory offensiveness. In real life, electric ladyland is a moist, seething hotbed of potential overgrowth of one friendly fungus or another, particularly if the parts are experiencing a diversity of talent in the high season. Every woman dreads the moment someone’s head pops up from lunch at the Y and notes that the bagelmaker has set up shop.

(Well, not every woman —  a male-to-female transgendered friend of mine had completed all of her surgeries and was the proud owner of a shiny, perfect new vagina. It still had that new car smell! But after a few months, despite diligent care and maintenance, her partner observed delicately that something wasn’t quite kosher down in the bakery. Visits to the surgeon and assurances that the healing process was progressing perfectly notwithstanding, my friend finally was brusquely advised by the free clinic to smear some of that cream on it… she had her first real, garden-variety yeast infection! WELCOME TO BEING A GIRL, YA LUCKY LADY!!)

Anywhoooooo, once you figure out that the horrible stench you thought was someone’s rotting lunch in the break room is actually coming from YOU, you’ve got essentially two western-medication-based options: swallow one (prescription) pill which you won’t notice the effects of for days (after paying your copay and whatever snatch-tax they’ve thought up this week), or stuff one to six magic bullets of foul-smelling goop up your hoo-hah daily and figure out what sort of plastic pants you’re going to wear to contain that mess while it spends the next week obeying gravity and leaking medicinally down your thighs.

I’m somewhat jealous and in awe of the friend who visited her medical professional for treatment and was topically swabbed with Gentian Violet, an antiseptic dye used to treat fungal skin infections (particularly thrush in babies). (The jealousy and awe stem from the obvious “side effect” of smearing your ladybits in Violet dye…yep. Just think on that. Think Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka. Think Tinky Winky. And think how absolutely ridiculously awesome that pornhub clip would have been had she had the foresight to think of the erotic welfare of the rest of us! Because SCIENCE!)

But the non-violet resistance options aren’t particularly appealing, particularly if you’ve gone to great lengths to dispose of your (allegedly monogamous) boyfriend for the weekend (by sending him at great expense to your best male friend’s Vegas bachelor party with the hope that he will not get sent home early by the police and that you will not owe too large a debt to friend for putting up with his horrifying behavior for the weekend) because your nymphomaniac friend and her man-of-the-moment are coming down for the weekend feeling like they’ve already consumed a fifth of mezcal and desperate for some out-of-their-body experiences.

A journey to the interwebs for emergency medical guidance on quick, effective alternative treatment reveals some extremely disturbing porn (you knew it would be there, but just…sigh) and a handful of completely ridiculous home remedies. Girlfriends have tried the turkey-baster-full-of-plain-yogurt remedy: not particularly effective, completely revolting, and best done at night when vertical positioning is no longer necessary for polite company. This would preclude working for the next three days, which might seem suspicious.

The choice is obvious: garlic. Per the hippy-website instructions, peel a large clove of garlic. Score the outside (so it’s sort of seep-y). Stuff it up the muff! (In hindsight, and/or after reading the comments, one realizes that one should have threaded dental floss or sturdy string through the garlic, to facilitate future retrieval. Too late.)

Oh, it burns. It burns like angry leprechauns are smoldering turf fires in your sodding nethers. And peculiarly, your mouth tastes like you’ve just eaten rancid aioli (with dragon breath, I’m sure, to match). But three days later, the bakery’s been deserted: the Italians and their garlic sweats have successfully conquered and driven off the yeasty little Frenchie boys.

And here’s where the prior planning comes in, since it seems you have traded smelling like a locker room floor for smelling like a Buffy the Vampire Slayer groupie: a dinner of extra garlic pizza upon arrival of the hungry guests. Two slices later, as everyone embarrassingly hunts for breath mints and mutually apologizes for their garlic breath, you can be gracious and dismissive of such pettiness and attend to the business at hand.

THAT is what we call being prepared. Happy scouting!