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Yeast Infection Treatment And Home Remedies

Yeast Infection Treatment And Home Remedies

A woman may experience vaginal yeast infection several times in her life. And while it brings discomfort, such as vaginal burning, redness, and itching, most cases can easily be remedied with medications and simple practices. Here’s what you need to know about yeast infection treatment and home remedies.

How to Tell if You Have Yeast Infection

Yeast infection treatment

Vaginal infection means there’s an imbalance in the amount of organism in the vagina.

You see, our body, including the genital area, naturally has organisms such as bacteria and fungi. In vaginal yeast infection, there’s an overgrowth of the fungi (yeast) called Candida. This overgrowth causes symptoms such as vaginal burning, redness, and itching.

To restore the balance of the organism in the vagina, women with yeast infections need medication. Drug treatment may be topical, in the form of creams or ointments applied directly on the vagina, or oral in the form of pills.

Treatment for mild symptoms with infrequent episodes

In case you have infrequent episodes of yeast infections with only mild symptoms, the doctor will most likely recommend some home remedies, along with the following treatment:

  • Short-course treatment – the doctor may prescribe you anti-fungal medications you need to take or apply from 3 to 7 days. An example of anti-fungal is miconazole.
  • Single-dose treatment – should the doctor see that a single dose is enough to treat your case of vaginal yeast infection, he or she may give you a single oral dose of fluconazole. If your symptoms are quite severe, the doctor may decide to recommend two single doses with a three-day interval.

Common Myths About Yeast infections

Treatment for severe symptoms or frequent episodes:

Cases of infrequent vaginal yeast infection episodes with mild symptoms are more common, but it’s also possible for women to experience recurrence or severe symptoms. If that’s the case, the doctor may recommend:

  • Long-course treatment – in this strategy, you might need to take oral antifungals daily for up to 2 weeks; after that, you may need follow-up doses taken weekly for up to 6 months.
  • Multidose treatment – another option is to have 2 to 3 doses of oral antifungals to treat your symptoms.

Remember: Don’t self-medicate even if some antifungal pills and creams are sold over the counter. Instead, set an appointment with your doctor as these medications may result in untoward side effects.

This can help ensure that what you really have is a yeast infection and not another form of vaginitis like bacterial vaginosis, which needs another treatment. Furthermore, oral antifungals may not be the treatment of choice if you’re pregnant.

The bottom line is: while you can practice some home remedies for yeast infection, only a doctor can give you the appropriate drug treatment.

yeast infection treatment and home remedies

Home remedies for yeast infection

During your treatment, the following home remedies for yeast infection will also help ease your symptoms and keep the condition under control:

Don’t use tampons while you’re under topical treatment

If you’re applying cream or ointment to treat your yeast infection symptoms, avoid using tampons or menstrual cups.

Tampons, in particular, can absorb the medication and therefore reduce its effect. The same thing is true if you’re using a vaginal suppository. In the meantime, use sanitary pads.

Wear loose, cotton bottoms and undergarments

Loose cotton allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t trap moisture or body heat.

Moreover, be sure to change your clothes and panties after swimming or working out. This is an essential step because yeast thrives in a warm and moist environment.

Don’t douche or put anything other than medications in your vagina

There’s no proven alternative medicine for vaginal yeast infection. For this reason, don’t put anything in your vagina that’s not the prescribed medication.

Do not douche, and especially do not apply vinegar, garlic, or yogurt.

Avoid scratching, even if your feminine area itches

One of the most challenging aspects of yeast infection treatment and home remedies is to avoid scratching. Scratching irritates the vaginal skin further and makes it more vulnerable to infection. When you feel the itching sensation, apply a cold pack, or take a cool bath.

Practice feminine hygiene

And finally, don’t forget to practice good feminine hygiene. It’s important to NOT overdo it. Frequent washing with soap and water in the private area may deplete the good bacteria too. This can cause overgrowth of Candida.

Wash the vagina with warm water and wipe from front to back. Until your symptoms clear up, avoid sexual intercourse.

Learn more about Yeast Infections here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Yeast infection (vaginal)
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/yeast-infection/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20379004
Accessed January 19, 2021

Vaginal Yeast Infection: Care Instructions
https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=uf7069
Accessed January 19, 2021

Do Home Remedies Actually Work for Yeast Infections?
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/do-home-remedies-actually-work-for-yeast-infections/
Accessed January 19, 2021

Vaginal Candidiasis
https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html
Accessed January 19, 2021

Yeast Infections: Management and Treatment
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5019-yeast-infections/management-and-treatment
Accessed January 19, 2021

Picture of the author
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. on Jan 21
Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, M.D., OB-Gyn
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