I was talking about this with someone else in another forum. This is what I emailed to her (since this is an embarrassing subject), but I think you all need to know. My doc and I found a solution and I’m no longer plagued by frequent infections!
I actually had infections more frequently when my control started to get BETTER with my diabetes, and that’s what prompted my looking into it further. I asked my gyno and he said he blames it on diabetes being an autoimmune disease. He said that he had had a patient who was worse off than me in the same situation with better control (and I was getting an infection once every 3-4 weeks!). He prescribed me the same treatment he’d given her and I have to say it’s been really successful! He diagnosed me with “chronic yeast infections” and put me on Diflucan (same ordinary Diflucan pill that gets prescribed for other women’s yeast infections) but had me take it weekly for about 6 months, then weaned me to once every 2 weeks, and now I take it once a month or so. (You have to order it mail-order in 3-month supply for your insurance to cover it because it’s a large dosage.) I have had only ONE infection since we began this treatment regimen (last August), as opposed to 1-2 every month!
The logic behind this strategy (and yes, Lee Ann is right that you must be careful about building immunity to anti-fungals) was that the infections were so frequent that my body was not able to build up any NATURAL immunity to the yeast before another infection came along. Diabetics already produce more yeast than non-diabetic women, so it’s yet another complication they tell us we just have to deal with. But I am living proof that you can learn to live in harmony with your yeast (like other women do!). The Diflucan was a gentle enough approach that allowed my body time to heal itself and helped me get through my wedding and honeymoon yeast-infection-free. It was a one-time semi-long-term approach. When I do get an infection, he gives me a prescription one-dose treatment (Gynazole) and a Diflucan every 3 days until the infection is gone. He says that Monostat and other OTC treatments are not effective with a persistent condition like mine. I wanted to approach it with a pre-emptive strike, rather than just treatments upon occurrence, so I was willing to risk other side effects. And the Diflucan worked for me, as well as several of his other diabetic patients he’d seen over the years. And just like he promised, I need it only sparingly now. So I’m not worried about the effects of my usage.
I experienced no side effects from taking it regularly. I know a woman I work with who takes it daily, so I can’t imagine there’s much harm in it. But it has done WONDERS. My sugar control is better when not having to deal with the highs that accompany infections, too!
Best of luck, girls!