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Tags: women's health, yeast infections, Monistat 1 side effects, natural health

I recently had an opportunity to discuss a very personal and embarassing issue for cosmopolitan magazine.  I was given the option of keeping my identity completely hidden, but instead I decided to out myself as a way of informing women of an enemy in our vaginas' midst: Monistat 1.

As an acupuncturist and herbalist, I generally turn to natural alternatives for most of my health concerns.  But occasionally I will get "lazy" and turn to conventional medicines in hopes for a quicker fix.  Last spring was one such occasion when I began to feel the beginnings of a yeast infection the day before I was off for a beach vacation with my boyfriend.  Although usually I would resort to increased probiotics, dietary changes, and an herbal douche called Yin Care, this time I turned to CVS and bought a Monistat 1 ovule.  I insterted the ovule before bed, and hoped that the infection would be mostly resolved by the morning.  Boy was I wrong...

At 5 am I woke with excruciating vaginal pain and burning.  I got up to go to the bathroom and found that the pain made it difficult to walk.  The sensation was unlike anything I had experienced before, so I used a mirror to examine my nether regions.  The tissue in and around the vagina was extremely swollen... in cosmopolitan's words, like "someone had taken a blow torch to my vagina".  Not exactly my words, but exactly how it felt!

So, here I am discussing my personal experience in a public way to inform women to stay away from monistat products, especially the Monistat 1 ovule.  Instead, here are my recommendation for combatting yeast infections naturally:

     1) Probiotics.  I like to take a probiotic daily to maintain adequate amounts of healthy bacteria.  For those who are very susceptible to yeast infections I recommend Jarrow's Fem-dofilus.

     2) Herbal medicines for candida.  I recommend Can)dex by Panaxea, which is available only through a qualified health care professional.  Supplements like grapeseed extract are excellent at killing off candida.

     3) Yin Care.  Yin Care is an herbal douche that is helpful not only for yeast infections, but also for other vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis.  The herbal solution is diluted with water (generally I recommend 20% strength) and used twice daily for 5 days.  The yin care not only help to kill off yeast, but also feels cooling and soothing to the inflamed vaginal mucosa.

     4) Sugar free diet!  Yeast loves sugar.  And I'm not just talking about the white powdery stuff, I'm talking about the sugars from processed grains like bread and pasta, even sugars from fruit.  Alcohol is one of the biggest offenders.  A few days off the sugar will starve the yeast of it's greatest energy source, allowing the probiotics and herbal medicines to work their magic.

Yeast infections are a common affliction for a lot of women.  Having your insides seared by the supposed "cures" shouldn't be.  Never again will I be seduced into using the "quick fix".

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  • "I have been getting acupuncture for many years now and have found that it is very much an art form. Megan beautifully combines very powerful, effective treatments with a warm and caring approach that is such a rare combination in health care. She has significantly helped me with my digestive disorder and various aches and illnesses, allowing me to lead a much fuller and more active life. She has the gift of a true healer, paying attention to what each individual patient needs and having the knowledge and skill to provide it."- Daniel B.
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  • "Megan is simply the best and you should go out of your way to see her. She digs very deep into what your issues are before treating you because she genuinely cares about what you are trying to accomplish with your sessions. I have never felt rushed in any of our sessions because she always takes her time in explaining what she's doing.She is extremely professional and makes sure you are comfortable before whipping out the needles and getting the poke party started. I always look forward to my next visit!"- Henry P.
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  • "Christine is kind, patient, professional, knowledgeable and incredibly gifted. Although I went in to receive acupuncture, I got so much more than that. She took the time to teach me additional tools and techniques that I can use in my day to day life, she helped me tremendously and brought me back to feeling normal again, mentally, physically and emotionally. I can honestly say that it was the best thing that I could have ever done for myself and my recovery, and I don’t know what I would have done without her! I have and will continue to recommend her." - Sarah O.
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