A yeast infection is a common condition that occurs when there is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida in the body. Though the infection can happen anywhere in the body, it’s most commonly seen in the vaginal area. Yeast infections affect up to 75% of women at least once in their lifetime, and while it can be bothersome, it’s usually not serious.
The purpose of this article is to provide natural, medical, and DIY treatments for yeast infections, as well as lifestyle changes to help prevent them.
Natural Remedies for Yeast Infections: Exploring 5 Effective Treatments
Natural remedies are often considered to be gentler on the body than medical treatments and do not usually have harmful side effects. Here are five natural remedies that are effective for treating yeast infections:
Garlic has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that garlic’s antifungal properties can be effective in treating yeast infections. To use, crush a clove of garlic and mix it with a small amount of coconut oil. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave on for 30 minutes before washing it off. Repeat this process daily until the symptoms disappear.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another natural antifungal agent that can help treat yeast infections. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it to the affected area. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your bath water and soak for 15-20 minutes. Repeat daily until you see improvement.
Yogurt contains live cultures that can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the body. Apply plain, unsweetened yogurt directly to the affected area. Leave on for a few hours or overnight and rinse it off with warm water. Repeat daily until symptoms disappear.
Coconut oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent that can help treat yeast infections. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the affected area 1-2 times a day until symptoms improve.
Boric acid has been shown to be an effective treatment for yeast infections, especially for recurrent infections that do not respond to other treatment. You can purchase boric acid suppositories at most health food stores or make your own by filling small gel capsules with boric acid. Insert one capsule into your vagina at bedtime for 7-14 days.
Say Goodbye to Yeast Infections: Top 5 Medical Treatments
Medical treatments for yeast infections are often more potent and can provide faster relief. Here are five of the most common medical treatments:
Antifungal creams are available over the counter and by prescription. These creams are applied directly to the vulva and help reduce itching and inflammation. Some common antifungal creams include Clotrimazole, Miconazole, and Terconazole.
For more severe or recurrent yeast infections, doctors may prescribe antifungal pills such as Fluconazole. These pills are taken orally and are usually effective in relieving symptoms within a few days.
Fluconazole is a prescription medication that works by killing the yeast cells that are causing the infection. This medication is taken orally and usually provides relief within a few days.
Terconazole is a prescription cream that is inserted into the vagina. It’s usually applied once a day for 7 days and helps eliminate yeast overgrowth and relieve symptoms.
Clotrimazole is an antifungal cream that is available over the counter. It can help to reduce itching and inflammation and kill the yeast cells causing the infection.
Preventing Yeast Infections: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Try
There are several lifestyle changes that can help prevent yeast infections from occurring. Here are five easy changes to implement:
Wear Breathable Clothing
Yeast thrives in warm, moist environments, so wearing tight or non-breathable clothing, especially in the genital area, can increase your risk of infection. Opt for loose-fitting cotton underwear and avoid tight clothing whenever possible.
Douching can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in your vagina and increase your risk of infection. Instead, practice good hygiene by cleaning the genital area with mild soap and water.
Use Fragrance-Free Products
Many scented products, such as soaps, lotions, and laundry detergents, can irritate the sensitive vaginal area and increase your risk of infection. Opt for fragrance-free products whenever possible.
Practice Good Hygiene
Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom can help prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina. It’s also important to change out of wet swimsuits, exercise clothes, or any other damp clothing as soon as possible.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase your risk of yeast infections. Be sure to focus on a diet high in whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein. Consider adding probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir to your diet to help maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your body.
From Probiotics to Apple Cider Vinegar: 5 DIY Remedies for Yeast Infections
DIY remedies are easy to find and usually consist of ingredients that you have in your kitchen or medicine cabinet. Here are five DIY remedies that can help treat yeast infections:
Probiotics can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your body and prevent overgrowth of yeast. Some studies have shown that oral supplements or topical applications of probiotics can be effective in treating yeast infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties that can help fight yeast infections. Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water and drink it twice a day or apply diluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area with a cotton ball.
Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Apply calendula cream or oil to the affected area twice a day.
Oregano oil has been shown to be effective in fighting the growth of yeast. Mix a few drops of oregano oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it to the affected area twice a day.
Hydrogen peroxide can effectively kill the yeast cells causing the infection. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water and apply it to the affected area with a cotton ball.
What You Should Know About Over the Counter Yeast Infection Treatments: Top 5 Options
Over the counter (OTC) treatments can be a convenient option for treating yeast infections. Here are five of the most common OTC treatments:
Monistat is an antifungal cream that is available over the counter. It can help relieve itching and irritation and start to work within a few days.
Femstat is a suppository that contains an antifungal medication. Inserted into the vagina, the suppository can quickly help to alleviate symptoms.
Vagistat is an antifungal cream that provides relief from itching, burning, and other yeast infection symptoms. It’s easy to apply and begins working within a few days.
Mycelex is a prescription medication that comes in the form of small tablets that are inserted into the vagina. It provides relief from symptoms within a few days.
Gyne-Lotrimin is a cream that contains an antifungal medication. It can be applied to the vulva to help relieve itching, burning, and other symptoms associated with yeast infections.
Yeast infections can be uncomfortable, but with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, they can be easily treated and prevented. Natural, medical, and DIY remedies can all be effective, and it’s important to note that what works for one person may not work for another. If your symptoms persist or worsen, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying issues.