Yeast infections are a total pain in the… vagina.
Between the itching, burning and discharge, it’s not something you want crashing your European adventure. Yet escaping Australian winter for the steamy, Spanish boysss ... er we mean, beaches… could mean you’re more susceptible to an unexpected travel partner.
New climates - especially hot and humid ones - and sudden lifestyle changes can throw off the PH balance of your lady bits and cause a pesky proliferation of the candida fungus, which leads to thrush.
So what do you do when you’re in the middle of a foreign country, can’t find a pharmacy and there’s no cranberry juice in stock at the local grocery store?
Vee’s got your lady bits covered with our overseas vagina survival guide.
What to know before you go
First things first. Ladies, make an appointment with your GP while still on Australian soil. You can make sure everything is A-OK from the get-go and ask your doctor to recommend a good probiotic or thrush medicine to take with you.
While you can find almost every medication you’d need in Europe, they might not have the brands you’re familiar with. We’re sure Canesten is universal, but why not pack your thrush medicine of choice just in case? You know it works for your body, so make it a non-negotiable in your toiletry bag.
Although if you’re really saving space and need to decide between that or that fifth bikini that you know you’ll never wear, at the very least write down your medicine’s key ingredients so you can show a pharmacist if need be.
Vee tip: Write down thrush in a note on your phone in all the languages of the countries you’re going to. That way, you can discreetly flash it to the pharmacist in times of trouble and don’t have to rely on McDonald’s wifi for the translation.
Other packing vitals include a non-scented femme wash. You want to preserve your PH levels and keep them happily balanced. By using the body wash someone left in the shower, you might smell fruity, but your hoo-ha is feeling anything but peachy. Perfumes and chemicals can strip your downstairs department, causing irritation and increase the chances of developing thrush.
Finally, make sure you’ve got some bamboo undies rolled up in your bag. This will ensure good ventilation for your vagina during those hot European days and take you through to some spicy European nights. Because bamboo fabric is breathable, moisture-wicking and antibacterial, it’ll help keep your downstairs, cool, clean and comfortable.
Prevention on the road
Stay cool and look cool in light, loose clothing
The only thing that should be getting hot and steamy is the chemistry between you and your Latin lover later tonight.
Wear loose-fitting clothing to keep yourself dry and cool during the day as bacteria that causes thrush love warm, moist environments. And while sweating may be unavoidable during sightseeing missions around Amsterdam, keeping moisture at bay by avoiding tights, spandex and synthetic materials means your bits get to breathe and you get to look like a bohemian travel goddess in your Instagram shots. Win-win!
Keep calm and towel off after swimming
If you’re planning to swim your way through summer, just make sure you’re not constantly lounging around in wet bathing suits. The moisture and friction from the fabric in your bathers, as well as any chlorine from pools, can irritate your bits and increase your chances of a yeast infection.
Vee tip: Looking for some sexy time in the sand? We say go for it, but just remember that sand trapped in your vajayjay can irritate your bits and in some cases, cause a UTI or yeast infection. A little TLC afterwards goes a long way.
What to do when sh!t goes wrong
Sometimes thrush is an unavoidable part of being a woman and, while it can be uncomfortable while you’re on the road, it is an easy fix. But if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere without a pharmacy in sight, you can always fall back on nature’s tried and true remedies.
Greek Yogurt – good for your guts and your bits
While you might not be near a pharmacy, chances are there’s a grocery store nearby. Pick up some plain greek yogurt and cover a tampon in it or apply yourself to the affected areas – both inside and out. The cultures in the yogurt do wonders in restoring PH levels and calming irritation. In yogurt we trust!
Apple Cider Vinegar – not just for your hair, it’s also good for downstairs care
Another natural remedy at your disposal is nature’s multi-purpose cleaner, apple cider vinegar. Besides making your hair feel thick and lustrous, ACV’s high acidity can kick nasty bacteria and fungi in its tracks, acting as a bodyguard for good bacteria to thrive.
Simply soak a tampon in a diluted mixture (3:1 water to ACV) and insert overnight.
Good resources for not-so-good situations
If your yeast infection is persistent or keeps coming back after OTC medication, it might be time to call in the big guns. Your travel insurance company should be able to provide a list of partnered medical centres in most countries, however if you’re in a pinch, here's a good reference for finding English speaking doctors around the world. https://www.expatica.com/.../how-to-find-a-doctor-abroad.../
Vee Tip: Remember! The best thrush prevention starts with good lifestyle habits.
Look, we’re not going to tell you to go to bed early and not get a second serving of that pasta primavera when in Italy. But just keep in mind that there is a strong link between good hoo-ha health and a diet low in carbs and sugar. Just like your vagina, at Vee we’re all about balance. So as long as you’re happy, we’re happy. Which is why we’ve armed you with these other tips and tricks to keep that bacteria balanced.
Now where are those breadsticks!