After years of suffering from vaginal dryness, yeast infections, and B.V. infections, I finally solved the mystery. I often have a pH imblance that is easily fixed by an over-the-counter product called, RepHresh. I've been using it for a couple of months now and want to share my experience in case it helps others to avoid the suffering that I went through. I have done hundreds of reviews on my site, but this is the longest-term and most personal review that I have ever done. While posting about vaginal dryness is a bit embarrassing, I felt that it was important to share because my story may help others.
I have experienced vaginal infections and dryness for the past few years. I have suffered from itching, burning, and raw vaginal skin. I have run up bills for doctors and lab work and often felt helpless. I have been tested for STDs, diabetes, and anything that my doctors could imagine. Everything has always been negative. I've had many doctor visits where I had a yeast infection or bacterial vaginitis (B.V.). I've had even more visits where the irritation and dryness is "unexplained". It's frustrating to be in pain without an explanation and to pay a fortune in bills without a solution. After many years of suffering, I've finally found the problem - I often have a pH imbalance! It's such a simple thing to test for and it is treatable with over-the-counter products. I wish that I would have known this sooner! I no longer suffer from chronic vaginal infections because I've learned that I need to fix my pH so that it prevents an environment in which yeast or bacteria thrive.
My pH imbalance comes in a cycle. I've noticed that my symptoms typically arise during the one to two weeks before my period. Some months are better or worse than others, but the time frame is consistent. I began by using repHresh two weeks before my period to see if it provides relief. It absolutely worked for me the first time that I tried it! I will keep logging my experience, but here are notes that I kept on my first two months using it.
11:00am - I inserted RepHresh. It is a gel that comes in a vaginal applicator. It was easy to insert. A little was left in the tube, but the directions say that this is fine. It stays in for 3 days so you don't have to apply this frequently. I didn't feel instant relief, but it also didn't burn or cause any problems
5:00pm - By the time dinner was here, I felt much better. I wasn't completely back to normal, but I would say close. The rawness and redness of my skin went down considerably. I did not have any itching, but I still felt slight burning. The difference was striking and put me in a great mood!
6:30am - I woke up feeling normal! Seriously! Normal! No pain, no itching, no burning.
Days 3 - 14
I continued to use repHresh once every 4th day for a total of 5 applications and 14 days. I felt normal! There was no itching, burning, or irritation of any sort. I felt like a normal person again that could sleep through the night without itching waking me up. I could wipe after urinating without my skin hurting.
My period arrived. In the past, I've always felt fine during my period and I was similarly fine during my period here.
RepHresh got me through those two weeks that I typically have considerable itching, burning, and general rawness of my skin. I did not need a yeast or B.V. prescription. I simply needed something to balance my pH.
Another issue that I have is that I always feel vaginal dryness. My doctor said that it would go away once I finished breastfeeding my baby, but it has been a year and a half later and I still feel dryness. Vaginal dryness is more common for menopausal or post-menopausal women, but for whatever reason, I unfortunately suffer even though I am still of child-bearing age.
Outside of my cycle when my pH seems normal, I still feel dryness. It is a dryness and not itching or burning like when I get a pH imbalance that sometimes leads to yeast or B.V. infections. In order to see if I could relieve the dryness and to be more comfortable, I decided to try Replens Moisturizer. Replens Moisturizer lasts for 3 days as the active ingredient is Polycarbophil and adheres to the vaginal cells to provide continuous moisture. The box that I have includes 8 vaginal inserts that are filled with the Replens Moisturizer. It is easy to insert and it lasts for 3 days.
8am: I inserted the Replens Moisturizer and felt instant relief. It wasn't cooling or anything like that, but it was comfortable. I suppose that the real question is to see if the relief lasts.
8pm: It is still working!
Day 20 - 29
The relief from the Replens Moisturizer lasted!I applied it on the first day and then waited 3 days to apply it again. It worked well and I am so grateful to feel so good. (Happy Dance!)
Another thing that I did is to use a new lubrication when we had intercourse . I used pre-seed. It comes with applicators to insert and I found it easy to use. I thought that it would be messy, but it was fine. I really like that it is clear about how much to use and that the disposable applicator is labeled with units so that you can have clear measurements and figure out what works best for you. This product is much better than anything else that I've used. It was easy to apply and felt like a natural wetness, unlike KY or similar products that felt sticky and thick. It did not cause any irritation. If you are trying to get pregnant, this is a fertility-friendly product, but it can be used by anyone that wants the extra lubrication even if they are not trying to get pregnant. Personally, this is the only lubricant that I want to use now. It feels more natural than anything else that we've ever used.
I felt like I knew the drill this month, so I used the repHresh as soon as I felt my cyclical discomfort. It worked perfectly! I am in heaven that this works for me. I didn't have to schedule and pay for doctor's appointment this month or buy another prescription at the pharmacy. (Seriously, I was getting tired of being the woman that frequents the pharmacy for vaginal meds!) Similar to the previous month, balancing my pH did the trick!
Finally, I have been eating non-fat greek yogurt every day for years. I eat so much of it that I buy it in bulk at Costco. I love greek yogurt, but I am tired of eating it in mass quantities in hope of preventing yeast infections. I stopped eating yogurt every day and instead am using the RepHresh Pro-B probiotic. It's just a little pill that I take once a day and it helps to maintain vaginal flora in the normal range. It is really convenient and I'm happy that I no longer have to force myself to each so much yogurt.
In my research of RepHresh Pro-B, I learned that it is the only "once-daily capsule" that contains the first strains of probiotic lactobacilli (L. rhamnosus GR-1™ and L. reuteri RC-14™) that specifically promote vaginal health and are clinically shown to balance yeast and bacteria daily. Sometimes people think that lactobacillus supplements (i.e. acidophilus) or yogurt help with feminine issues when they are really meant for digestion and immunity. Only RepHresh Pro-B is clinically tested and designed to maintain feminine health. I didn't realize that there were different strains of lactobacillus for different purposes, so I'm glad that I finally figured this out.
Month8 to now
I still take the Pro-B daily, but I stopped using the RepHresh and the Replens moisturizer last month. I feel great. I think that my body was going through a phase where my pH balance was off, but now I am where I need to be. If I have problems in the future, I'll definitely resume using RepHresh or Replens because they were helpful for my body. After my long suffering, I still avoid things like baths and too much sugar. I only wear cotton panties. Finally, when we have intercourse, we always use pree-seed because it works well and doesn't cause irritation like other brands that I have tried.
The period in my life when I suffered from many yeast infections and B.V. infections was awful, but I am in a happy and healthy place now. At the time, I didn't understand the root cause of my problems. The upside of my negative experience is that I understand my body better and the importance of having a good pH balance. If I have similar problems in the future, I'll know how to find relief quickly.
Please check back in future months because I want to share my longer term experience with all of you.
Please share your advice because it means a lot to me that we help others that are suffering!
Do you suffer from vaginal dryness or infections? Do you have a tip to share?
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Disclosure: All opinions are honest and my own. I wanted to share my experience because it took me so much time and suffering before I found products that worked for me. However, I am not a medical professional and you should talk to your doctor about whether you have the same symptoms and problems and whether these products might work for you.