Cross-posting from my post on Earth Clinic because I'm finally experiencing relief...
29 y/o female - I've been having a CONSTANT itch down there for at least 3 months brought on by a mega-dose of chocolate and sweets during hurricane Sandy hibernation. Within six hours of eating FAR too much sugar, I was itching.
I have a history of long term Antibiotics for UTIs and Throat Infections, and have a history of Yeast Infections, and about 50/50 success rate with OTC or prescription YI treatment. No STDs or HIV.
Went to the doctor, came back negative culture for yeast or bacteria though both were seen on the slide. Dr. put me on boric acid saying it would work on both Yeast and Bacteria. It helped initially and then stopped. Also went on a 10-day round of Diflucan which also didn't work, the itch was still there.
Finally got very fed up and tried a Kefir soaked tampon (I'd tried yogurt with no luck). Itch was gone almost immediately. I'm now drinking Kefir and using it as a douche, and following that up with a tampon to keep it in. I've been itch free for three days now, and plan on continuing the Kefir douche and tampon for at least two or three weeks. I'm desperate to get rid of this, it's driving me insane.
Also have been on a low/no sugar, no wheat diet for Candida. I can't say for sure that's what this round is, even though it was brought on by sugar.
All I can say is that I'm clearly deficient in the healthy bacteria that colonizes the vagina. I've read that it takes 21 days for probiotics to colonize (no source, sorry - could be totally false info), so I'm going to drink the Kefir and do this for that long to give the colonization process a chance.
On a phone consult w/ Dr. Crandall for intracellular vaginal yeast, I was told not to use yogurt. I've read that neither yogurt nor kefir are helpful when used this way, and I've also read that they are. According to a source I can't remember, (sorry!) yogurt and kefir DO NOT help re-colonize the vagina, as they need to go through the intestines to pick up the DNA in order to be able to attach to the vaginal cell walls. So my suspicion is that while the probiotics in Kefir cannot colonize on their own in the vagina, they still work to crowd out the harmful pathogens, be it yeast or bacteria, and in this way work to relieve symptoms UNTIL the vagina is able to re-colonize on its own.
Here's to hoping. I'll repost in a month after I've been off the Kefir douches/tampons for a few days. Then I plan on doing once a week maintenance. Fingers crossed.