Between Friends

Diabetes can start many female troubles but good glucose control can stop it


Cynthia calls her best friend, Tanya, to have a little chat:

Cynthia: Hey Tanya. Can you help me with a problem? I'm going to lose my mind. I've had a yeast infection off and on for so long that I'm going crazy. As far as romance, I told Doug that everything has to be on hold again until I get rid of it. Believe me, he wasn't thrilled.

Tanya: Cynthia, that sounds pretty awful. What treatments have you tried so far?

Cynthia: I've been using one of those over-the-counter creams. It goes away, but comes back again within a few weeks.

Tanya: Could your diabetes have something to do with it?

Cynthia: I don't know. They say that diabetes affects lots of areas of the body, but I never thought it had anything to do with this. I have a book that discusses topics like this. Hold on a second and I'll turn to that section.

Tanya: So, what does it say?

Cynthia: "Yeast and urinary tract infections are very common in women with diabetes."

Tanya: I knew it.

Cynthia: It says that to avoid getting these kinds of infections I should keep my blood sugar level as close to my target range as possible.

Tanya: What level should your blood sugar be at?

Cynthia: My educator told me to keep it between 90-130 mg/dl (5.00 - 7.22 mmol/l) before meals and less than 180 mg/dl (10.00 mmol/l) 1-2 hours after the start of my meal.*

Tanya: Do you?

Cynthia: Can't you ask an easier question? You know I never check my blood.

Tanya: It sounds like it's time to start. You've got to get this thing under better control. Does the book make any other suggestions?

Cynthia: It says that I should avoid wearing tight underwear, pantyhose, pants or shorts that restrict the flow of air. I should wear all-cotton underwear and eat a daily serving of low-fat yogurt that contains active cultures, which may help prevent future vaginal infections.

Tanya: I heard that cranberry juice helps. Does it mention that?

Cynthia: It says to drink artificially sweetened cranberry juice to help treat and prevent urinary tract infections. It suggests something else too.

Tanya: What?

Cynthia: You're going to laugh, but it makes sense. You should "wipe from the front to the back after using the toilet to avoid contaminating the vaginal area with any bacteria from the rectal region."

Tanya: I can't argue with that, kiddo. What else?

Cynthia: Bathe regularly to keep the vaginal area clean, empty your bladder every two hours while awake, and make sure that your partner showers before you engage in intercourse.

Tanya: No more loving gifts of bacteria? Too bad! Poor Doug will have to start bringing you flowers.

Cynthia: Too funny. I do think it's a good idea. Maybe I'll buy him some scented soap on a rope. It's much better than saying, "Don't touch me…you bacteria-infested animal!"

Tanya: Now, who's the funny one?

Cynthia: Bye!

*Each person's blood glucose goals may vary.

Janis Roszler, RD, CDE, LD/N


NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


Last Modified Date: February 24, 2014

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.
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