Dear Slay Queen, Is It Really Toilet Infection?

By Ikenga Chronicles March 12, 2018

Dear Slay Queen, Is It Really Toilet Infection?

– Uche Anyanwagu

“Doc., abeg, I get another toilet infection.” said a pretty lady as I offered the seat opposite me and requested to know why she came for consultation. I had seen her earlier when I was recently posted to that hospital and treated her for what she called then “toilet infection”

It is not unusual to receive slay queens in one’s clinic once in a while. In a chapter titled “Hard nuts” in my debut novel which was self-published after my national youth service, I described one of their hardest demands.

Here, sat me down, long after my slay Queen had gone, reflecting on what constituted the bulk of our consultation that day.

I went out and told Mary (the medical records officer) to transfer the remaining few folders to other doctors. I felt the urge to write and penned down, to her, thus:

“Dear Slay Queen,

Is it really toilet infection? Could you have gotten that disease you told me of today just by merely going to the toilet? Albeit, the public toilet in your friend’s office, which is your prime suspect?

I recall letting you know during your last visit to the hospital that there is nothing like toilet infection. Though this is a popular lay term, it seems to dismiss the real cause of this, while apportioning the blame to another. It diverts our attention from what we can do to prevent this.

Does it mean that ladies should no longer go to toilet? I believe you can now see your reason for coming back again.

My dear Queen, can we call toilet infection “Vaginal infections” or “Vaginitis”?

By so doing, I think we can have a broader focus on what we can do to make sure that neither you nor your sister/friends return here again. Don’t you think that calling it so will also make virgins know that they are not immune to it? As you are already aware, calling it a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) seems to take it to another gear.

Do you know that there are many conditions that can infect or inflame the vagina, leading to vaginal discharge (of various types), itching, foul odour and irritation?

I will try to remind you again that we have bacterial vaginosis (lets nick-name it BV), vaginal candidiasis (VC), trichomoniasis (T), gonorrhoea (G), chlamydia (C), just to name but five. Google the rest, inu!

Do you also know that some of these diseases have many causes, and that you can have more than one at the same time? Do I still need to remind you that some of their symptoms overlap and it may be hard to even say the exact one you have?

My pretty slay Queen, as you keep queening, let me replay the symptoms of vaginal infections which I told you earlier today in clinic.

1. You can have vaginal discharge. This may be absolutely normal in every lady (nature’s way of cleaning the vagina) or during sexual arousal or even in emotional stress. Do you remember when I told you that you can use the colour, odour, texture, frequency and quantity of the discharge to know when a red line had been crossed? If it is thin white or grey and smells like fish, it may be BV. This may be accompanied by itching of your vulva and burning sensation when you urinate.

If it is thick and whitish grey (just picture the last egusi soup you made, before adding palm oil), then it must be VC. This is usually accompanied by intense itching (oko ogbe ndida, apologies to Carburettor Cleanser Salesman).

Nne, if it is foul-smelling and frothy with a yellow-green or grey colour, then it must be T. Please, always remember that this T is usually associated with itching of the vulva and irritation of your vagina; burning sensation when you urinate; and will make you experience pain during intercourse. This is also an STI.

2. You may have pain in your lower tommy

3. You may also have pain when urinating or having sex and many others I have explained earlier to you.

Let me explain this further, Your Majesty. The vaginal discharge you told me of wasn’t because of that splash of water which you mistakenly alleged, touched your vulva whilst flushing the water closet. It could be caused by bacteria.

The good thing is that the vagina is a haven in which exist both good and bad bacteria in a lovely relationship since the creation (or evolution, if you believe that) of man. Not only bacteria, there are fungi and other microbes too. The good bacteria help to control and keep in check the bad ones.

Dearest Slay Queen, it is sad you have thought all these years that your vagina is dirty. This has made you to use all manner of strong soaps and iron sponge to scrub it “clean”. Did you realise you were plotting the downfall of your own local government by so doing? Who douching help sef?

You altered the natural environment of your vagina and created an imbalance that made the bad bacteria to flourish, and the fungus (candida) to grow without control. Nakwa echecki! You are to blame, not that toilet even though it is poorly maintained.

Dear Slay Queen, I am not unaware that pregnancy, use of intrauterine devices, abuse of antibiotics, some medial conditions as diabetes, can cause or worsen some vaginal infections.

Please keep in mind that vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) can also be caused by those vaginal sprays and pant liners you use. Same as spermicides and the use of non-properly rinsed and dried undies.

My dear Slay Queen, I am glad you came to me, your doctor, again today, unlike your peers who will self-prescribe for themselves patronise laboratories where all sorts of microorganisms are named to scare and extort them.

I did not give you any medication today. I saw the shock on your face that I failed you. The knowledge in this letter is all you need now for your cure. This is why I closed down my clinic to write you.

Truly, I must confess that it is not fun going to work and sweat where others go to play and have pleasure. I say this so that you can understand all we need to do rightly and according to our conscience and ethics, to get you back.

We are no less humans.

Till we see during your medical check next month, ponder if this is really a toilet infection Please be in good health.

Your doctor,

Uche

I quickly folded this letter and reached out for a brown envelope which I used my saliva to activate the glue in its flap. I requested for her address from her medical notes through Mary, and posted her mail on my way home.

Don’t ask me if I saw her again.

I am Uche Anyanwagu. I have to be my own Slay King too.

  • This is the 14th in a series of short stories on “Medical Myths – Tales by Doctors”
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