***WARNING - This post is all about vaginas and stuff, so if you're offended or disgusted by that, carry on and I'll see you next week!***
One of the reasons why I started this blog was to help other future expats. The major reason was to document our life here for my kids to reflect on one day. But I gained so much information from other expat blogs before I moved here, that I feel like I have a kind of duty to expand on that information for others. So, once in a while, I'm going to talk about the gross stuff that no one wants to talk about, but everyone wants to know about. Kids, if you read this post one day, sorry, but mommy is a woman and women issues are nothing to be embarassed about. That being said, let's dive in!
Like most women, I've had a few yeast infections in my lifetime, but I think this past year and a half I've had as many as I've had every other year combined. And I have a few theories about why that is. One) It's hot here. It's really hot. All the time. It's a tropical climate after all. And if you're a fragile white woman like myself, that means you're going to be sweating a lot. I've acclimated somewhat to the temperature, sure, but I'm a sweaty person by nature. I'm French Canadian, so my genetics have really designed my body for the freezing cold. My husband and son, on the other hand, barely sweat. When we first moved here I was taking three cold showers a day just to wash off all the sweat and lower my body temperature. I'm lucky enough to have air conditioning in my house, but that's a rarity here. And it's not like I can lug it around while walking my kids to school or walking to the store or walking around the lake. (We're big walkers). In summary, it's hard to stay fresh. One thing I used to utilize when I was in the military and we were in sweaty field conditions is, cue a chorus of angels, pads! They're fairly cheap and you can easily swap them out for freshness. Woohoo! Theory Two) I've been sick a lot, re: previous post. A lowered immune system and antibiotics are often factors in a yeast infection. Sweaty environment, lowered immune system, antibiotics; it's a recipe for vaginal health issues.
If you find yourself in this situation, you have two easy options. First, you can go to your neighborhood clinic and get free medicine from the pharmacy there after seeing the doctor. Of course, you'll have the two hour wait before you see the doctor. Personally, that's not something I want to do. The second option is to go to the commercial pharmacy and buy medicine. The medicine I've purchased is less than R$20, so it's not very expensive. It's worth skipping the wait at the clinic. Having a yeast infection in a foreign country is a major inconvenience, but if you're in Brazil, it's not the end of the world.
Side note: My husband picked up this medicine for me once and the pharmacist asked, "Do you have this too?" When my husband said no, he said, "No it's okay! You can tell me! Are you itchy? Is it uncomfortable down there? We have medicine for men too!" My husband insisted he didn't have it. So the pharmacist said, "Well just make sure you don't have sex with her or she could pass it to you!" I don't know if he was really enthusiastic about selling medicine or if he thought my husband was too embarassed to admit he had a yeast infection (which he didn't).