By Roselyn Dube

It started off as a minor itchiness in my v-jay, with a burning sensation during sexual intercourse with my partner, and even when l was urinating. Firstly l tried to ignore it with hope that the pain would eventually fade away. I started showing disinterest in sex, to the extent that my fiancé suspected that l was cheating on him and giving the “cookie” to someone else. During that time, I did not have the courage to face him and tell him about my challenge. Any normal woman would also feel the same way, all in fear of being judged for being reckless and failing to take care of your vagina, yet you say you are mature and ready for marriage. Again, no man in his right senses would vouch for an unclean “cookie” every night, let alone in his honeymoon. Instead of worrying much on wedding preparations, l started worrying about this itchiness and soreness that l was experiencing.

My fiancé started picking unnecessary arguments, because by then l had said we should just abstain from sex till our wedding day, which was two months away. Deep down l knew l was being unreasonable as we had already started indulging, and l understood that he had every reason to be mad at me. I felt ashamed to consult my family members and my close friends on my problem, as l felt that they would judge me and say it was because l was having lots of sex. Since we were a young couple about to enjoy the benefits of marriage, l couldn’t deny that we kinda had lots of it but l doubt that was the reason why l felt that uneasiness.

I started secreting an odorless, thick and clumpy white discharge which was similar to cottage cheese. Also, the vulva of my “cookie” started swelling a lot and l had to take days off from work after asking my doctor to forge a letter for me giving him an excuse that l wanted to go and buy stuff for the wedding. The discharge did not any signs of stopping, and that is when l knew l had to take a step. I made an appointment with my doctor, and after several check-ups l was told that l had vaginal yeast infection which was caused by a fungus called Candida, that normally lives in a woman’s gastrointestinal tract and vagina.

My doctor explained to me that the infection is caused by too many yeast which grows in the vagina when it becomes less acidic. The acidic balance of the vagina is changed by your menstrual period, pregnancy, diabetes, some antibiotics, birth control pills and steroids. The symptoms that l had are the same symptoms that a woman with vaginal yeast infection develops, including pain during sexual intercourse and redness around the vagina. Vaginal yeast infection is not a virus which one should be ashamed to talk about as someone who is hygienically clean can also have it. It is a natural infection with natural causes like menstrual periods.

After my doctor had explained all the effects on the infection, he proceeded with the treatment. On the first day he applied on me medicine which was in a cream form on my vulva so as to help stop the itching. He then prescribed antifungal medication to be taken orally which l was to buy over the counter, and l was to take it regularly for a few months to prevent more yeast infections. He then made the following recommendations for me so as to avoid having another vaginal yeast infection: to wear cotton underwear and avoid thongs, wipe from front to back after using the toilet, not to use feminine hygiene sprays, to avoid deodorized tampons/pads and bubble baths, and to avoid using colored or perfumed toilet tissue.

When l got home, l now had the confidence to explain to my fiancé what had been happening and why l had been avoiding sexual intercourse. He understood than l had anticipated, but he blamed me for not seeking help or telling him earlier as l had put my health in risk of the infection. The treatment worked wonders for me, and after about 6weeks the infection had gone. I even went to my doctor to get his confirmation, and indeed l was now okay. The following weeks to my wedding were not as stressful as before because l knew that my body was now perfectly fine. The honeymoon confirmed everything for me as l was now celebrating my good health and my new marriage.

To all women, never be ashamed to consult a health expert whenever you feel you there is a change in your body you are failing to understand. It is very important to make sure that you really have a yeast infection before you start taking medicine for it, and partner treatment is not recommended by experts. It is also important to see your doctor when you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant and you have symptoms of a yeast infection.



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