HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
Yeast Infection after Hysterectomy
From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List
SHARING IS CARING
I have an icky vaginal discharge three weeks post-op from my hysterectomy. Do I have a yeast infection?
A white, cottage-cheese-like discharge, often accompanied by vaginal itching and inflammation, generally indicates a yeast infection. In recent years, the availability of over-the-counter medications for yeast infections has misled many women to believe that they can diagnose themselves with having a vaginal yeast infection and proceed to effectively treat it. Most of these self-diagnosed yeast infections, however, are wrong.
Particularly when you're early post-op, you don't want to treat yourself for something and think you're getting better, only to find out later that you were treating the wrong problem. In many cases, you could end up with something even worse. Please check with your doctor if you notice any unusual vaginal discharge or “unfamiliar happenings” in the vaginal area.
Using oral antibiotics is one of the biggest causes of yeast infections after a hysterectomy. Antibiotics administered to you in connection with the surgery do a great job killing off the "bad" bacteria that may cause other infections, but the antibiotics are indiscriminate in their action; that is, they also kill the "good" or "helpful" bacteria that exist in the vagina. When those good bacteria are eliminated, a yeast infection may occur.
Yeast infections are treated with anti-fungal agents. Often, women who are diagnosed with a yeast infection early in post-op are prescribed oral medication (e.g. Diflucan) as opposed to vaginally inserts of any kind. There also are creams like Monistat. These are not all alike; if you look at the label you will note that the active ingredients vary. When repeated yeast infections are a problem, it's important to vary which active ingredient you use to treat it, otherwise you may end up with a raging infection from now-resistant yeasts.
After the infection has been treated, there are things you can do to reduce the chance of getting another one. One is to limit your intake of sugar, which is one of the yeasts' favorite sources of food. Another thing you can do is to replace the "good" bacteria in the vagina and intestinal tract. The easiest way to do this is to take some type of probiotic, such as Probiotica or AZO Yeast (available at regular drug stores) or acidophilus capsules (at health food and drug stores). Eating plenty of yogurt (the kind that says "with live active cultures" on the label) can also work.
If your physician recommends it, it is also possible to put plain (unflavored, unsweetened) yogurt in the vagina directly. And some doctors will suggest douching with vinegar and water to restore the proper pH to the vagina, but please don't do this without your doctor’s approval.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
04-12-2003 - 10:33 AM
SHARING IS CARING
Do you have a question?
If you have a medical support question related to this article, come JOIN US in our HysterSisters Community Forums. You will receive helpful replies to your questions from our members. See you there!
HysterSisters Free Hysterectomy Booklet
What 350,000 Women Know About Hysterectomy with 50 pages of information, helpful tips and hints as you prepare and recover from hysterectomy through an organized timeline.
Recommended for Hysterectomy Recovery
Mesh panties are stretchy and light - perfect for holding peri pads securely during hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Post-operative compression panty with medical grade silicone to speed hysterectomy recovery + reduce scarring. [...More]
Softest Bra Ever
When you want to wear something, but feel nothing. Two in a value pack for your hysterectomy recovery. [...More]
Options to Hysterectomy
Hormone and Menopause
Intimacy after Hysterectomy
Fitness after Hysterectomy
Grief and Loss
Ask A Doctor
Find a Surgeon
|Jonathan Y Song, M.D.
2455 Dean St.
St. Charles IL 60175
|John Miklos, M.D.
3400 Old Milton Parkway
Bldg. C, Suite 330
Alpharetta GA 30005
|Alan Greenberg, M.D.
Centennial Medical Center Pavilion 1
4401 Coit Road, Suite 205
Frisco TX 75035
|Aileen Caceres, M.D.
Center for Specialized Gynecology/Florida Hospital
410 Celebration Place, Suite 302
Celebration FL 34747
|Jillian Hallstrom, M.D.
9825 Hospital Drive
Maple Grove MN 55369
|Tiffany Jackson, M.D.
601 Clara Barton, Suite 160
Garland TX 75042
|James Kondrup, M.D.
161 Riverside Drive
Binghamton NY 13905
|Hughan Frederick, M.D.
1015 Mansell Road
Roswell GA 30076
|Lori Warren, M.D.
3900 Kresge Way
Louisville KY 40207