Most women will suffer with thrush (yeast infection) and/or a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives. It can be a one-time thing that goes by itself, or it can be a recurring problem that doesn’t seem to get sorted no matter how much your restrict your diet. This can be a problem when you are trying to conceive because thrush often underlies repeat urinary tract infections and can make it very difficult to fall pregnant. There is good news though! Where antibiotics & anti-fungals bring temporary relief only for the symptoms to come back with a vengeance, homeopathic remedies can break the chain permanently.
In this blog post:
- How thrush underlies UTI’s
- How thrush affects your fertility
- Why antifungals & antibiotics don’t help in the long run
- How thrush & UTI’s are connected to your emotional well-being
- How to sort thrush & recurring UTI’s for good
Thrush (or yeast-infection) is often called a fungal infection but that makes it sound way worse than it is! Indeed is a fungus involved and it is called Candida. But the truth is that everybody has this fungus in their bodies! When you have thrush though, this fungus has overgrown and is taking over the crime scene.
When you know this, you can put 1 and 1 together: Treating thrush is not about killing all the Candida, but it is about restoring balance.
Do I have thrush, BV or a UTI?
Just like everyone has fungus in their bodies, everyone has bacteria too; good and bad. These bad bacteria are not a problem as long as there are enough good bacteria too and the Candida is tamed. If Candida does get the chance to overgrow, you will end up with thrush symptoms.
A yeast infection left untreated can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria leading to Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). If those bad bacteria travel up, they can cause urinary tract infections, cystitis, and at it’s worst kidney infections.
It is not always easy to know what is causing the burning or itching, so here let’s have a chat about the stuff “down-there”!
Thrush or yeast infections have a set of very specific symptoms. You can have one of them or all:
- Cracked skin & bleeding
- Cloudy discharge that smells like yeast
With Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) you can have all or none of the symptoms of thrush, but the key difference is that there will be a “fishy smell” down there.
If you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you can tell by usually a burning pain in the urethra (the bit you feel when you pass urine). It can be an ongoing pain, or it can be specific during or after peeing. Another symptom is that you may have a frequent urge to pee.
With cystitis (bladder infection) you can have all the UTI symptoms, but will also have abdominal and/or lower back pain and usually your urine will be off. It may look cloudy, or smell very strong, or you may see red sand in it. It is not uncommon to feel flu-like with it, including chills and fever.
If you have a kidney infection, it can sometimes be painless with an urge to constantly pee. More likely, however, you will have back pain (mid-back) and it can be one sided. Again you may feel flu-like and have a fever. The difference with flu that has back pain, is that with a kidney infection you will have all the UTI/cystitis symptoms as well, and the pain in your back can be worse during peeing.
To make it a little easier, here is an overview:
How thrush affects your fertility
In order to fall pregnant, the cervical mucus you produce around ovulation time needs to be favorable to sperm. It needs to be thin enough for the sperm to get through. It also needs to contain the right nutrients to nourish it for the long way to the egg. If however, you suffer with an overgrowth of Candida, it makes the cervical mucus tacky and hard to get through and even kills the sperm!
Candida in the vagina doesn’t just ruin the cervical mucus, it also travels up and can cause thick mucus in the fallopian tubes making it difficult for the egg to travel down and get fertilized.
Even if you don’t have thrush symptoms but you have recurring urinary infections, then you likely still have and underlying overgrowth of Candida!
On top of that, having inflammation in your body also dramatically reduces your chance of falling pregnant because inflammation is stress, and stress on the body makes your adrenals produce stress hormones rather than sex hormones.
In other words, sorting thrush or urinary issues is absolutely essential when trying to conceive.
Why anti-fungals & antibiotics don’t help in the long run
If you have any of the urinary infections or BV, it makes sense to use antibiotics right? Well.. the thing is, antibiotics do not just kill the bad bacteria, they kill all the bacteria.
That may mean, yes, that initially you are relieved of your symptoms. However, clearing the ground means there is room for new bacteria to grow and if the environment is not favorable for good bacteria, that means the baddies will come back with their friends and you’re worse off than before. Not to mention, if the underlying problem is the Candida overgrowth that is not addressed, you will soon have a bad bacteria overgrowth again as well.
Antifungals for thrush may initially also solve your symptoms. However, again if the environment is too favorable for Candida, it will just come back. Not only that, the Candida is also capable of becoming resistant to the antifungals meaning every time you use them, it will be harder to get rid off the overgrowth.
The emotional root of thrush & urinary troubles
Before we get into how to get rid of these overgrowths, let me share something you may not have been aware of: the emotional connection!
Your physical symptoms and emotional well-being are connected, after all you are one person; mind, body soul. Your body as such is not just a machine unconnected to your mind & emotions. Have you ever heard of stress headaches? Right! What about people that get heart disease after grief? Exactly! Or what about people getting the flu right after getting bad news or students suffering from diarrhea before their exams?
The question with thrush is, what emotional state could possibly underlie it?
Seeing that thrush is in fact an overgrowth of Candida, we need to look at issues with boundaries.
What is going on in your body that it allows the Candida to overgrow? Do you allow people, events or demands to “overgrow” in your life? Do you say “yes” all the time or do you not share your emotions? Chances are you recognize yourself in this as it has been a pattern I’ve recognized with my patients too.
If your thrush has developed into a urinary infection, you may have been slacking on your boundaries for a while.
Everyone needs boundaries and if you don’t have them, you will likely feel used and feel angry about. Anger is a good thing, it tells you something is wrong and needs to be fixed! The thing is, if you do not fix it and shove anger back down, your body will react for you! Usually suppressed anger surfaces in the form of liver symptoms, gallbladder issue or in urinary problems. Or have you never heard of the expression “being pissed”?
You may say; “well I get thrush/urinary issues after sex, that has nothing to do with emotions or boundaries”. My reply would be: “a man entering your body has nothing to do with boundaries?”. If your symptoms get worse after sex, examine your relationship and see if anything needs fixing.
Or look back on the past, could you body be remembering something you don’t want to?
Sorting out thrush & UTI’s for good
Apart from the psychological homework in examining how your boundaries are, there are a few practical things you can do to make your body more favorable to good bacteria and less to bad bacteria & Candida:
- Repopulate the gut with good bacteria by taking probiotics, or specific probiotics for the vagina that containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 (eg Optibac’s For Women)
- Eat products with lactic acid (eg Molkosan by Vogel). Lactic acid is used by good bacteria to reproduce and it kills bad bacteria
- Take products with Saccharomyces Boullardii, a friendly yeast that crowds out Candida and bad bacteria
- Reduce sugar intake (including carbs & alcohol) which Candida loves to feed on
- Avoid soaps in the intimate areas as this changes its pH and disturbs the microflora balance
- Wear cotton underwear
- Pee before and after sex & wash yourself with water especially when using products like Preseed because such lubricants as well as sperm make the vagina more alkaline than it should be
- Increase water intake
- And of course: consider how you deal with boundaries in your life and if there is any “overgrowth” of commitments & relationships that you need to weed out
If these suggestions do not sort out your symptoms within a short time frame, or
If you have a history of thrush and/or urinary problems, or
If you have these symptoms while trying to conceive…
…book an appointment with me so that we sort out the cause of your recurring issues and kick them to the curb!
*I am not affiliated with the companies of the mentioned products, I just like them because either patients or myself have good experiences with them. You can get all products mentioned from these companies on line, the Natural Dispensary or Helios Pharmacy, or from Amazon. *