My fear.

Now, I do not have sex anymore.

“I thought I had an allergy to sex. I was wrong.” Back in 2011, Amy Crawford was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. After a slow decline in health, she was forced to shut a successful recruitment business after an 18-year corporate career and move to Tasmania to live with her parents. Her focus was to detox her life from every angle. Fully recovered, Amy returned to Melbourne and is now the founder of the popular online wellness hub, The Holistic Ingredient. Here she confronts her nightmarish 1.5-year journey with vaginal thrush and the ureaplasma test.

One and a half years ago, I decided that I was effectively developing an allergy to sex due to Ureaplasma Testing all the time. Let’s all pause there for a moment. Could those of you who participate in this activity please take a moment to consider that thought? Yep, I know. Dreadful stuff. sTD’s STI tests are vital.

As the months went by, on a more and more frequent basis, sex was closely followed by vaginal thrush and, to create even more discomfort in my nether regions, one of the most painful of infections, the Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

For those of you who’ve not experienced a UTI, in one word, it’s hell.

It had me up on the couch in the middle of the night in an embryonic position, cradling my abdomen with a hot water bottle, drinking gallons of water, all but crying when I peed, becoming best friends with the Ethical Nutrients’ Urinary Tract Support’ pill bottle. Oh, thank God for that product. On it all went until finally, it became impossible to have sex without thrush, full stop. Again, dreadful stuff. I was fortunate to have an understanding boyfriend. The point here is that I didn’t appear to pick up either ureaplasma-tested infection unless I had sex, so you can’t blame me for jumping to such dramatic ‘allergy to sex’ conclusions.

And no, the simple answer here is NOT to give up sex.

Home remedies. Being the holistic health practitioner that I am, I am always determined to discover natural means to heal my STD Tested body, first and foremost. So, let me take you on a private journey through each home remedy I’ve tried. Perhaps it’s time to make a cuppa. Ureaplasma Home test is one of nature’s strongest antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals. You can read much more about its benefits here. Bad STD Bacteria found are here to stay. Not only does it help kill yeast fungus, but it also helps restore pH levels within the body (and essentially, the vagina) whilst recolonising the intestines and vagina with good bacteria.

The staff deserve a gold star.

So here’s how I’ve used it to assist with those above ‘nether region’ issues: Drink it. Every morning, infection or not, I drink a large glass of warm water with a drizzle of warm ACV and the juice of ½-1 lemon. Bathe in it. Pour a full cup of ACV into a very shallow, warm bath. Sit in said shallow bath for at least 20 minutes and ponder your pH. 2. Garlic Suppository: Yep, I said garlic suppository. Stop grinning. Garlic is one of nature’s veritable powerhouses. It kills yeast and bacteria, boosts the immune system, and is a powerful antioxidant. Of course, it deserves a place in the fight against thrush. Do a little research, and you’ll get conflicting reports on its effectiveness – but it was a desperate time for me. An article on Midwifery Today explains how it can be used in detail, but I’ll summarise my process.

LIFESTYLE

The Rise of the Gummy Mummies.

I believe the trick here is to catch the STI infection early. You know when the subtle itch starts and typically before the cottage cheese discharge rears its ugly head (did I say that out loud?!). If you’ve got the Ureaplasma infection early, peel a clove of garlic, and an evening, just before bed, insert it into your vagina. If you feel nervous about losing it or having difficulty retrieving it, grab a pin and thread a piece of cotton through it first. Leave it there overnight. In the morning, remove and discard it (I’m resisting the urge for culinary humour now). 3. Garlic and turmeric ‘pills’. Every morning and night, I’d chop up a half garlic clove and a small slice of turmeric into the size of pills and drink them with water (no chewing required).

Medicine, just as nature intended it.

The Ureaplasma Home test is more about the incredible powers of turmeric here. 4. Avoid soap! Oh, the things I’ve read about women’s need to scrub their nether regions clean! Ladies, please leave them alone! Vaginas are self-cleaning wonders; they shouldn’t require soaps, douches and sprays to make you feel clean and smell pretty. We don’t make friends with soap. Jacinda Ardern was planning her wedding while a group plotted to gate crash. To be healthy, your vagina needs to sit at a pH of 3.8 to 4.5 – soaps can wreak havoc with your pH. Acidic vaginas leave you more prone to infections like thrush. Please know this: if you are healthy ‘down there’, you shouldn’t ever smell ‘bad’; you should smell like a woman. Embrace it. 5. Essential oils.

This section could become a post, so I went nuts.

I bought veggie caps and made oily capsules, taking them twice daily. Oregano, lemon, tea tree, frankincense, cinnamon.. you name it, they went down (my mouth). It’s fiddling, but it was worth it because there is much research about the merits of pure essential oils. But more on that another day. 6. Coconut oil and tea tree tampon suppository. A coconut oil lover I am, and combined with tea tree oil, it becomes quite the potent Ureaplasma Home test fighter! Drop 3 drops into melted coconut oil and let a tampon soak the goodness. Insert (by now, I shouldn’t need to tell you where). 13 women try the $35 serum meant to hit refresh on your skin barrier. Beware: don’t ever consider tea tree oil alone in this region! Yet another use for coconut oil.

Yoghurt suppository.

You’ve, of course, already heard about this one, I’m sure. You’re looking for the active good bacteria in yoghurt, lactobacillus. So whether you’re devouring it by the spoonful or dipping a tampon, maybe it’s worth a whirl? Some now say it’s a medical myth. Ureaplasma Tests proved it helped. Seven women who hated their wedding day, including Jennifer Lawrence.

The not-so-home remedy remedies

These included a powerful daily probiotic (which I still take) and, yes, an over-the-counter thrush treatment cream when times were particularly tough (or, say, desperate). The Candida diagnosis. So the journey continued week after week, month after month. Other symptoms started to appear – brain fog, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, skin issues, bloating, cravings and a weird sense of anxiety that was new to me. Combined with the symptoms of thrush and UTIs, it was decided (in consultation with my nutritionist and tests) that I was indeed presenting as having a Candida overgrowth (a fungal overgrowth, common symptoms of which are thrush and UTIs) and other STIs.

Surely, Shirley, if we could get that under control?

And then we would finally get my thrush and UTIs under control. Ureaplasma tests showed I was clear. Well, you’d certainly bloody hope so, wouldn’t you? Here’s a quick and easy overview of Candida for those unaware. Clean undies always help, too. So what happened next? I was put on a very strict diet to halt the yeast overgrowth, build the friendly Ureaplasma Home test for bacteria and heal my gut.

This involved moving to a very low carbohydrate diet, removing sweeteners of ANY kind, giving up alcohol, eliminating all fermented foods (bad bacteria feed on these foods too), inhaling a bundle of supplements including Caprylic acid (which receives a lot of air time around yeasty matters) and then? Patience and the crossing of fingers and toes for 3-6 months. The upshot? I started feeling better. My fog lifted, and my clarity returned; the bloating subsided, my skin started improving, and I lost weight. We were onto something. YET. I was STILL getting thrush.