Health

MG Asks: Why Aren’t UTI or Yeast Infection Meds Over the Counter?

You know it when you feel it. The discomfort of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or a yeast infection is a common occurrence for many women.

UTIs often rear their head when there is a little too much amore (I know there can’t be too much, but maybe too much in too little time) and new bacteria is introduced into your delicate lady garden (there are other causes as well, that one is just my favorite). Yeast infections pop up for a host of reasons from too many anti-biotics to oral contraceptive taking to pregnancy. Both result in a very unhappy hoo-hah. And if the lady downstairs ain’t happy; Mama ain’t happy.

While men can get both, women are the major sufferers of these two unfortunate infections. In fact, UTIs are responsible for more than 8 million doctor’s visits each year. UTIs are painful and even after receiving medication, you often don’t feel better until the second or third day. Yeast infections (only the invasive kind) account for another 46,000 cases per year and take a few days for the feel goods to kick in. Sometimes you also must do a second round of anti-biotics to clear up the infection fully. With so many instances it begs the question:

Why do women have to go to the doctor, pay a co-pay, and then head to the pharmacy to pick up a script for a common infection?

Here’s the thing, after you have your first UTI or yeast infection, you know the symptoms. You know them like you know your name and your birthday; they are forever seared into your memory. You also know that any extra time spent waiting for a doctor’s appointment makes everything in life worse as the symptoms make it very difficult to move along in your day as a productive (or even pleasant) person. What happens when you get an infection and it’s a Friday night, so Monday morning is the first opportunity to get seen (most insurance won’t accept a UTI as Emergency Room Appropriate despite the very real and unhappy Fourth of July currently going on in my knickers)? You suffer and wait, that’s what.

There must be an easier way…

Sure, you can get Monistat over-the-counter (OTC), but it rarely works all the way (and you end up prolonging the experience until you get to the doc). Did you know they even have kits you can buy to test for the infections and drugs that numb the area for UTIs, but nothing for the UTI itself? But seriously, why are you holding up the anti-biotics Mr. Pharmacist? I know, I know. Everyone is concerned that we will become resistant to antibiotics if we take them too often. Does that argument make sense? Who wants to take anti-biotics like candy? Can’t the pharmaceutical community and those that legislate it create a system like that of cold medicine (show an ID and limit quantities)?

It seems like a similar cycle of denying even simple medical care to women.

Instead, we must jump through hoops and pay out the nose just to stop the maddening symptoms of an infection that should be easier to treat. I am not asking for a controlled substance like codeine, or something that could be adapted and sold as a street drug like cold medicine. I am talking about an unsexy round of anti-biotics with no additional side effect except killing the naughty bacteria skating around the walls of my uterus.

It’s time for easier access to UTI and yeast infection meds. Let’s make it happen. #NoLadyGardenLeftBehind

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