gynecological exam Damn, what can i say about the medical establishment? They suck, they treat us like we're not even human, and they treat wimmin even worse. On the other hand, they've saved my life and that of several friends, and I know absolutely awesome people who happen to be practicing MDs. I could go off about how capitalism has corrupted and undermined the humanitarian mission of medicine, but you know that already, so I'll just get to the point.

If you go to your doctor to get a prescription, any responsible doctor will first check to see if your problem is really yeast. This will unfortunately involve those horrible stirrups and nasty, probing swabs, digging for a sample. It's enough to make you decide the yeast really isn't so unbearable after all. But really, GO. If your doctor decides the problem is yeast, you're likely to be sent home with a prescription for one of four things, two of which are pills and two of which are creams:

  • Diflucan (fluconazole):

    + Broad spectrum: will kill other types of Candida and some other fungi.

    + In theory, only 1 pill needed to do the job.

    - It's really expensive for only 1 damn pill. One woman who wrote said she'd paid $17 for it.

    - Is a systemic treatment, so can cause side effects.

    - Allergies to it are not uncommon.

    - The 1 pill doesn't always work. I used it once and had the yeast rebound about 5 days later, and i know a couple of other people who've had the same problem. Many doctors now prescribe several days' worth.
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole):

    + Really broad spectrum, powerfully evil stuff: kills everything.

    + You can take it with antibiotics as a prophylactic against those antibiotic-induced yeast infections.

    - Trashes your liver, and reduces the adrenals' ability to make steroids. Not to be taken lightly.
  • There's a 1-dose, creamy treatment sold in the US as Gynazole and in Canada as Femstat-1, which contains a strong dose of butoconazole (stronger than the old 3-day version, sold as Mycelex). The Big Deal here is that the manufacturer has imbued it with a patented "bioadhesive" so that the junk will supposedly stick to your vaginal walls rather than running down your legs. They call this bioadhesive Vagi-Site(TM)! Hilarious. Anyway, I haven't tried it yet, so I can't speak from personal experience, but here's the dope:

    + Only 1 day of any possibility of oozing gross, white, greasy stuff.

    + Topical treatment, so no systemic effects and few, if any, side effects.

    + Comes with 1 prefilled, disposable applicator (although as always it's plastic).

    - Expensive at $15 - 20.

    - Breaks down latex.

  • Terazol (terconazole):

    + broader spectrum than over-the counter ones.

    + only 3 days of oozing gross, white, greasy stuff.

    - contains oils that break down latex.

    - causes headaches, fever, and flu-like symptoms in a small but significant proportion of wimmin who use it.