Quin's Progress


Pubic Service Announcement For The Ladies

pineappleFellas, this post is not for you.  I’m going to talk about the lady business.  So, why don’t you go talk amongst yourselves for a moment.  I’ll give you a topic:  Athlete doping: the new standard, or the end of nobility in sports?  Discuss.

Guys, really, if you’re still reading by the end of this sentence, you hereby consent to receipt of the following material, and assume all risks appurtenant thereto.

Are they gone?

Okay, so…now that it’s just us girls, I can speak freely.

As some of you may know from my last post, as soon as I got to Seoul, I developed a wicked yeast infection.  Awesome timing, I know.  Before I left the USA, my doc back home provided me with a truly spectacular supply of pharmaceuticals to keep me alive through onslaughts by all the various sorts of exotic, foreign bugs that I might encounter in my travels.  Except this.  I have pills and creams for everything else you could imagine in my traveling medicine chest, but nothing for a yeast infection.  Unless it occurs in my armpits, then I’m set, I have something for that.  But, the doctor specifically told me, “don’t put this in your vagina; you need something else for that.”  Which, of course, he didn’t give me, because I truthfully said “no” in response to his question about whether I’m prone to such problems.  I realize, I pretty much doomed myself to this situation by telling him that.  I know that now.  Never tempt the Jinx.  Especially when it comes to your pineapple.

Here in Korea, most medicines are kept behind the pharmacist’s counter, even those for which you don’t need a prescription.  It’s not like CVS or Walgreens back in the States, where you can meander the women’s health aisle and study the options at your leisure.  You have to ask the pharmacist for pretty much everything except Vitamin C fizzies and gum.  So, to possibly save any other female travelers or expats in Asia the indignity of having to do the most mortifying mime routine ever for a non-English speaking, probably male pharmacist, I feel an obligation as a woman to put this information out there on the internet for others to find.  God knows, I wish someone had done that for me.

If you’re sure what you have is a yeast infection, what you need to ask for is “Canesten.”  It’s basically Monistat or Lotrimin, or, to use the actual drug name, Clotrimazole.  Canesten is the brand name that Bayer markets the medication under in Asia.  Not just in Korea, too, so if you find yourself itchin’ away in Hong Kong or Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia, chances are good that Canesten is the brand name there, too, and the packaging will look similar.  It comes in a cream, or in a one-shot suppository tablet, and frequently, in a combo-pack that includes both.  Here…just show the pharmacist this photo and point to the one you want:

Canesten, aka Clotrimazole

Canesten, aka Clotrimazole.
I took the cream tube out of the box, so you could see what both look like; there aren’t three products pictured here.

Trust me, get both.

You’re welcome.

PS:  If you’re not sure that what you have is a yeast infection, don’t make it mad by treating it with the wrong medication.  Just bite the bullet and go to the doctor.  Lady bits are lady bits the world over, so don’t worry, the doctor wherever you are has seen it before.  If you’re in a big city, check online for a local expats’ website with listings for any English-speaking doctors.  If you’re in Seoul, go to Medi-Flower OB/GYN Clinic in Seocho-gu, next to the Seoul National University of Education Metro stop.  The female Korean doctor speaks English pretty well, and the receptionist is an American woman.  It’s very nice, and located right next to the subway, too.  See:  http://www.mediflower.co.kr/eng/sub_010101.html