Oh Joy Sex Toy is a weekly comics series that graphically explores sex and sexuality. In this week’s comic, Erika explores the icky world of yeast infections.
Want more from Erika Moen? Oh Joy, Sex Toy: Volume One is 268 pages of sex tips, interviews, sex toy reviews, and more! Get your autographed copy at BitchMart.
Here is a text transcription of the comic to make it more accessible for people using screen readers. Transcription by Morgan Kelly.
This comic begins with a person approaching Erika saying excitedly, “Ok, Erika! I’ve brought my favorite baking ingredients and my apron’s on! Let’s get today’s comic on Feast Confections and Candies started!” Erika starts, “Ooooooooh dear, I think you mis-heard me.” Erika throws her hands in the air, “We’re actually talking about the much less yummy Yeast Infections and Candidiasis.” The person scowls, “Shoot. I was ready to bake. Okay, so what IS Candidiasis?” Erika responds, “It is a super common and unpleasant fungal infection that can strike a variety of body parts, from mouths to toenails to genitals.”
Erika explains, “This comic is specifically about the vaginal kind, which is called a Yeast Infection. The vagina is naturally full of benign micro-organisms that live harmoniously inside that warm little ecosystem.” The accompanying illustration depicts a group of microorganisms happily singing, “We are family! Yay! I luv u guys.” Erika continues, “But when your vaginal acidity becomes unbalanced, the ever-present fungus Candida Albicans can grow out of control, resulting in a yeast infection.”
“This fancy fungus is the Mogwai of the vagina.” Erika holds a small cute Mogwai from the film Gremlins. “It’s harmless like the rest of the bacteria and microbes living in there – until something triggers it into becoming a horrible gremlin, wrecking havoc in your hoohah!” The cute Mogwai suddenly becomes a monstrous gremlin. The Person shields themself, “Agh! Cootch Gremlins!”
As the person smacks the Gremlin, they ask, “What are the symptoms???” Erika replies, “The biggest telltale sign is abnormal vaginal discharge that is unusually thick, white, and chunky. But there are other clues to watch out for too, like:
• Swelling and redness of labia or vagina.
• Sore and itchy labia or vagina.
• Pain or burning while peeing.
• Pain with penetration.
“Yeast Infections don’t mess around, if you’ve got one brewing you’ll KNOW something is up.” The person says, “Good lord! What on earth could cause such a gremlin attach on my genitals?” Erika replies, “There are SO MANY potential causes! An unbalanced diet, a pre-exiting STI, antibiotics, hormonal birth control, pregnancy, a weak or compromised immune system, wiping back to front after dropping a deuce, douching, tight un-breathing undergarments…”
“Personally, I have these rad-as-fuck gold leggings that I just can’t wear any more because the suffocating synthetic material would guarantee a yeast infection every single time I wore them.” Erika is seen wearing her gold leggings, prancing in a cloud of glitter, “I’m so shiny!” However, Erika’s crotch frowns in discomfort, “I can’t BREATHE!” Erika then scowls, “Oh rad gold leggings. I wear you in my dreams.
The person gasps, “Ahhh, terrifying!! So what do I do if I think I’ve got one?” Erika says, “Well, if it’s your first time experiencing those symptoms, go to your doctor first. If you use over-the-counter treatments and it turns out you don’t actually have a yeast infection, you might reduce the effectiveness of the medication when you for realsies DO have one. OR you could even introduce ANOTHER infection into your hoohah by messing with that finely turned ecosystem even further.”
Erika continues, “Doctors know best. You’ll either be prescribed an oral medication, like Diflucan or recommended an over-the-counter treatment like Monistat or Gyne-Lotrimin which is a cream or ovule your insert straight up into your vagina with a thin tube.”
The person then asks, “What if you’ve done the yeast infection tango before?”
Erika replies, “If you know you’ve got it without a doubt, just go straight to picking up the over-the-counter stuff at your local pharmacy.”
Erika continues, “To help speed recover along, you can also help reset your vagina’s bacterial ecosystem by consuming un-sweetened cranberry juice with water, cranberry tablets (like Cran-Actin), natural yogurt with live cultures, or refrigerator-stored acidophilus tablets (room-temperature ones are less effective).” Erika includes a note here, “tl;dr CRANBERRIES.”
“A bad infection can hurt A LOT.” An upset vulva runs past Erika, waving its arms, “Haroooooo.” The person asks, “Is there anything you can do about the pain?” Erika says, “First off, take a painkiller. The over-the-counter treatments include a tube of soothing cream to use externally on your vulva and labia to relieve the discomfort.
Erika and the person then rub cream on the upset vulva as it sighs happily, “ahhh.” Erika continues, “I’ve also heard that you can apply organic or plain yogurt to your bits to provide creamy relief, though I haven’t tried it personally. If you don’t have any cream, put a cold washcloth between your labia. An ice pack against your cootch to bring down swelling can also help.”
The person asks, “When is it ok to get frisky with your partner again?” Erika responds, “While your vulva and vagina are recovering stay well-away from it! Penetration can prolong the swelling and irritation, and the vaginal medication can damage barriers like condoms. Wait seven days after your symptoms are gone.”
The person exclaims, “Bluh! This is all so gross.” Erika says, “Aw buck up, a yeast infection sucks super hard, but it’s not the end of the world. They are super common, curable, and just part of owning your otherwise fantastic genitals.”
Erika then notices a gremlin chasing after a vulva as the person helps Erika load a medication applicator. Erika says, “I know you’ll be ITCHING to be over it right away but with proper treatment, your body will RISE to the occasion and kick that infection to the curb in about a week.” Erika launches the medication at the gremlin and hits it with a “THOOMP.” Erika concludes, “Just stay strong and patient – it’s the YEAST you can do!”