We try it!

We Try It!: AZO Yeast

There’s no bright side to having a yeast infection. 

Since my hysterectomy in 2008, I have fought off more yeast infections than all the previous thirty-six years of my life combined. No literature I can find confirms a link between a lack of a uterus and an increase in yeast, but my anecdata indicates otherwise.

It is not fun, not even a little bit.

I’ve tried Diflucan, which makes me puke. I’ve tried creams, ovules, prayer, garlic, eating my weight in expensive yogurts, and begging my doctor for relief. Until now, nothing made much of a difference, at least in the long term. Recently, I discovered something new, however, and I’m prepared to become an evangelist for the product.

AZO is well-known among my circles for their amazing UTI prevention products, so I was excited when I saw they had created a product to help treat the symptoms of an active yeast infection as well as prevent future infections. Praise CJ, friends, this product is the shit. While the box claims the product won’t cure an active infection, I felt better after taking only one dose. After three doses, I was a new f’ing woman.

The directions instruct users to take three pills per day while in the midst of a horrible, terrible, no-good yeast infection, and one pill per day to prevent new infections. AZO Yeast contains mistletoe leaf (which I previously thought was poisonous, turns out it’s only the berries that can kill you) and something called boneset, in a probiotic base. I Googled everything, since I have a natural suspicion of homeopathic products. (Seriously, they could be selling you ground up nothing and there’s no accountability.) Everything seemed on the up-and-up, and my many friends who suffer from recurring UTIs swear by AZO’s other products, so I was willing to give it a shot.

I’m so glad I did, readers. My ladybits are so happy, I’m pretty sure I could shoot actual rainbows from my vagina.

I found my AZO at my local, non-fancy grocery store, and I’ve also seen it at Walgreen’s and CVS. It was $8 for a pack of 60 tabs, and it may be among the best money I’ve ever spent.

For more on yeastie beasties, read this great article by Coco, who is also an AZO convert. Persephone Magazine: We care about keeping your vadge happy.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

20 replies on “We Try It!: AZO Yeast”

I think I should be harvesting boneset. You can, it does grow wild some places in the US. I guess I ought to ask my mom for some in the meantime.

BTW herbalism isn’t the same as homeopathy. Herbalism uses herb lore- a large chunk of which has been tested out, and the substances that are effective in them are used or synthesized in a lot of medications. Homeopathy is the belief that what can harm the healthy in large doses can cure the sick in small, basically, and is largely disproved by peer-reviewed studies. I think this is a common mistake, associating homeopathy and the quackery behind it with alternative and complementary medicine techniques.

Edit: I scrolled down and see it’s listed as homeopathic on the packaging. This is a marketing technique, and leads to some interesting reinterpretations of what it means by the public. For some reason, some people are more likely to buy something that sounds complicated than something that works because it has the chemical composition that is effective.

The product page says “homeopathic ingredients in a probiotic base” which may or may not mean there’s anything actually in it.

The ingredients page lists “homeopathic ingredients” at 6x, which is “one part of the original mother tincture to one million parts of the diluting material.  So, only one part of the original mother tincture is in every million parts of the diluting material.” i.e.: it’s vanishingly unlikely there’s any active ingredient left at all.

It also lists cellulose, lactose and maltodextrin, which is probably the physical pill. I don’t see any ‘probiotics’.


AZO has other products, though, from what I can tell (it’s not available here): e.g.: AZO Urinary Pain Relief’s active ingredient is phenazopyridine hydrochloride; AZO Cranberry has cranberry concentrate. My concern here is that it’s marketed as a ‘homepathic’ product.

The phrase “all in my head” is pretty dismissive, and I didn’t use it. I 100% believe you when you say you took it and your symptoms are better.

But homeopathy, as a concept, is just not valid. It’s scientifically nonsensical. If there are active ingredients having an effect in the product, then I don’t understand why the manufacturers don’t just say what they are instead of adding homeopathy to the mix.

It’s part of the base and doesn’t have a dilution listed. I don’t think it’s even possible to dilute bacteria; that’s something that’s either there or isn’t. Sure, they’re using a massively outdated scientific name that sounds like a different probiotic, but it’s still recognized as helpful in restoring vaginal flora. The other ingredients are woo, but this one seems to work. I’m as skeptical as you about homeopathy, but sometimes the bastards throw in real ingredients so they can pretend the woo works.

It’s horrendously cynical, really. I can’t believe a company marketing OTC health products isn’t aware that homeopathy is nonsense, but they’re still using it to market a product with an ingredient that seems like it would work on its own. Why not market their (presumably effective, if Selena’s experience is representative) product without the nonsense?

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