Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keeping the balance

Aside from the risk of STDs - that are greatly reduced though obsessive use of condoms and lube - a working girl needs to watch out for other health risks. I've now had my Hep B immunity checked, they never got back to me, so I assume in the NZ health care system that no news is good news and I don't need a booster. I have also had a flu shot for this year, if you are suspicious of vaccinations watch this TED talk, vaccinations are brilliant, they save lives... and in this case prevent the inconvenience of being sick for a couple of weeks.

As far as I know there are 3 main, minor, health issues that regularly effect prostitutes and here is how I'm going to work on preventing them:

It's a common and annoying fungal infection that results in a very and uncomfortable vagina, and discharge that is not unlike cottage cheese. I don't know exactly why it effects prostitutes, maybe it is the amount of lubricant that we use that upsets the balance in the vagina and turns a nice healthy balance of natural yeast into a horrid angry world of angst, discomfort, pain and stress. I think the trick with thrush is not to over treat it. I felt an itch a couple of weeks ago, and thought it could be thrush and decided not do a panic buy of the strongest medication. I cut out sugar (and didn't enjoy my morning tea nearly as much) and started to eat at least one natural yogurt each day, and the itch went away. I now take a capsule of "good bacteria" (acidophilus which is in natural yogurt) each morning to help stay in balance. This has had a fantastic side effect of helping my bowels that have been dodgy since a stint in Africa a couple of years ago.

Urinary tract infections, again very common for working girls, a bacterial infection that effects the urinary tract. I'm no doctor, but I did read a reason why this is a problem for working girls: when females are turned on the clitoris swells which pushes closed the urinary tract preventing any bacteria from getting in. Prostitutes are more likely to have sex when they are not turned on. A couple of the symptoms are always needing to pee, and a feeling you need to pee. So my prevention plan for this one is to pee. Yep, I maintain a high intake of liquids during my shift and keep the liquids moving through me to flush out my system. If I think I might be getting a UTI, I hit the cranberry juice hard and that seems to clear it up. There are concentrated cranberry tablets available, but cranberry juice is delicious.

This one is new to me, but when Dorian described it to me I'm sure I have had it before but just didn't know what it was... the worst sounding name ever: bacterial vaginosis. Eugh. Like thrush it is an imbalance of natural bacteria, different bacteria I guess. The symptoms of BV are very smelly vaginal discharge that is (unlike thrush) watery, and itchyness. Sounds horrible. But apparently it has an easy fix with a cream or tablet from the chemist and I've read that eating garlic helps. I have heard (but could be wrong) that it can be brought on by frequent use of lubricant which can upset the ph balance. I'm going to deal with this one just by being aware of it, and hopefully catching it early if I do get it.

So that is my routine for a happy vagina, bacteria tablets, drinking loads of fluids, cotton underwear when not on shift. I also rinse my mouth with anti-bacterial listerine after every client, take cold sore prevention tablets, and I'm going to start cleaning the showers with anti-bacterial disinfectant at the beginning of every shift to prevent athlete's foot.

I feel like it is a weird game of killing bacteria (the bad bacteria) and growing bacteria (the good bacteria) to maintain that perfect bacterial balance.


  1. I would love to hear more from you. Hope you update blog soon

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I have been letting it slide quite badly lately haven't I. I guess i just got out of the habit of writing. You have inspired me, thank you.


  3. :) no problem love, I just love your blog! I too get like that with mine...happy to help :)