Thrush & Sex
Now this is an important post so get your X-ray specs on cos in it I’m really starting to reveal all that underpins my work. For you see, for me, and for Into the Wylde, its not enough to conquer thrush but its all about over-coming thrush (geddit) and reconnect in with your sexual energy and feeling like a connected woman again.
There is so much in our culture at the moment that is highlighting the insecurities and disconnection we feel as women from our sexual agency - you may have heard of the reports in the media this month about girls as young as nine wanting to have labioplasty, or the passion dust ‘glitter bombs’ that are now being sold for women to insert before having intercourse, to “liven things up”!?! Both trends are worrying and frankly unhealthy symptoms of the dominant culture we find ourselves in. It may feel like signs of a freer, more enlightened society, where nothing is off the table, but when our bodies and mental wellbeing are on the slab, its important to keep reframing where the power should lie.
In more empowering news, it’s National Orgasm day on 31st July - and what better way to get into your body, feel into yourself as a sensual being than through orgasm.
For many of the women that I speak to, when they have a flare up, being sexual, sensual or sexy is often the last thing they feel they can be. Perhaps they or their partner want to, but they either feel a bit icky down below, feel turned off or feel that their body will be a turn off to their partner, or it cam simply be too painful to have any kind of intercourse.
If you have recurrent thrush, which is classed as having thrush four or more times a year, it can leave you feeling as though you want to disconnect from that part of yourself, as though you want to ignore the part that is causing you so much irritation and pain, for it to just go away. Over time, apart from the physical symptoms, it can be damaging to your self esteem, body image, and sensual feeling of yourself.
And it can be a vicious circle. Thrush can not only cause you to feel disconnected but can in some cases appear as a symptom of sexual- or self-repression or anger, which again feeds the cycle.
Part of dealing with clearing thrush is dealing with these feelings or numbness and there are several ways to do this.
Firstly soothing and cooling the area - using a recipe similar to my Immediate Relief Recipe would be really suitable. Then of course comes getting to the root of the thrush and clearing it up. This can be much easier said than done esp if you have recurrent thrush. If you have tried the tips in my Thrush 101 free download and you are still struggling it might be worth booking in to see a qualified practitioner.
Then it can be about reframing sex. Consensual sex or sexual energy is not dirty or shameful. Its about pleasure and connection, rather than performance. There can be a lot of shame around having thrush - mainly because it can be seen as being dirty or as an STD - but it actually isn’t. And sex isn't dirty or shameful - its a natural human energy, is our birth right and the reason we are here. Part of reconnecting in can be about being gentle with oneself - meaning not to make expectations of yourself - and self appreciation and self care can be useful ways to do this.
Try the meditation for embodiment, from my April post, which helps to connect you to your sexual energy in your whole pelvis region (as opposed to just the genital area).
There are also a range of ways that herbs can be used to bring you back to your sexual and sensual self. These are often called aphrodisiacs.
When you think of the word aphrodisiac what springs to mind? A love spell or potion, something to encourage amorous behaviour maybe? In fact, the word Aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the greek goddess of love, and most herbs that are considered aphrodisiacs act on our most powerful sexual organ, the brain, effect the nervous system, to help get you in touch wth your sensual and sexual energy.
Here are three to try at home:
Damiana - Tunera diffusa - is a nervine tonic originating from Central America and is a classic aphrodisiac herb. The leaves and stems are dried and it can be taken as a very pleasant tea (about a teaspoon per cup - it can mix well with dried Rose as per below - an allow to steep for 5 mins before straining). As a nervine tonic it is also used in anxiety and depression and has a relaxing effect. It has been reported that when tasting the tea the effects can be soon felt in the pelvic region in both men and women - while this does not necessarily imply these effects are directly sexual, activity in this area can concentrate the mind into this part of the body and increase sexual energy. Avoid taking in pregnancy or if you suffer with hypoglycaemia.
Rose - Rosa spp - ah Rose - you may have noticed I have spoken about rose before - such a great herb for women’s sensual and emotional energy. Widely associated as a symbol of love, strongly fragrant deep red species as considered the best aphrodisiacs. There are lots of ways to take and use Rose, but some simple and great ways would be as a tea with Damiana mentioned above or as an essential oil mixed with a fixed carrier oil to use for massage (no more than 20 drops of this precious essential oil in 100mls of carrier oil). Its also a great one to mixed with Jasmine essential oil, below.
Jasmine - Jasminum officinale - is known as an aphrodisiac because of its sensual heady fragrance, and can be added to Rose or used alone in a massage oil (same strength as above). The fragrance is also considered a thymoleptic which means it can improve your mood. It has been much written about in folklore because of its associations with love and the senses and combines both yin and yang, masculine and feminine qualities and has been associated with the moon and the planet Jupiter.
As with all new health regimes, always consult with a qualified practitioner before starting taking something new, and always source your herbs from a good quality supplier or from a medical herbalist. If trying something new on the skin for the first time always do a patch test.
I’d love to hear your experiences.