At some point or another, most women will experience vaginitis which is the discharge, pain, burning and itching associated with vaginal yeast infections. These can be caused by a range of organisms and many of these are found in healthy vaginas. Perhaps the most common cause behind yeast infection is Candida albicans, a fungus. Some of the annoying symptoms you can get include the labia (and possibly upper thigh) reddening, a discharge that smells like baked bread, itching and pain during sexual intercourse. Read on to learn the best yeast infection treatments which include both natural remedies and OTC products.
Best Yeast Infection Treatment-- Natural Remedies
Warning: Consider Those Things Before Applying Home Remedies
Before considering natural remedies, remember that you shouldn’t self-treat your yeast infection in the following cases:
- You are pregnant (when you are pregnant, your doctor needs to check your symptoms as certain infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and bacterial vaginosis, can lead to an increased risk of pregnancy complications.)
- You aren’t positive you have a vaginal yeast infection (some women will confuse an STI or bacterial vaginosis for a yeast infection)
- You have a recurrent infection
- You were exposed to an STI (in which case you need a medical exam)
The main risk behind self-treating is if your symptoms are caused by a vaginal infection that is not a yeast infection. You should see your doctor if you have fever or pelvic pain.
1. Balanced Diet
Make you sure you follow a balanced diet that includes non-fat dairy, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. This will help your body fight infection. Some people also recommend including yogurt as part of your healthy, balanced diet due to the lactobacillus, as mentioned below. This is optional.
Although it hasn’t been backed up by scientific evidence, many women say having yogurt with lactobacillus has helped. So far, studies have been incredibly limited, but it doesn’t hurt to try. You can either apply yogurt vaginally or take yogurt by mouth.
3. Proper Hygiene
- Wear underwear that is cotton as this will prevent moisture from building up, keeping your genitals dry
- Regularly change your underwear
- Wipe starting in the front and going backwards to prevent spreading bacteria
- Avoid tight-fitting pantyhose or jeans as they can increase moisture and temperature in your genital region
- Opt for pads not tampons with vaginal medications as the tampons may absorb some of the medicine
- Clean your vaginal area with water only and avoid using soap there
4. Warm or Cool Water
In cases where your genital area feels painful or swollen, you can sit in warm (not hot) water. Another option is to apply a damp, cool cloth. Never relieve itching by rubbing.
5. Cranberry Juice
Try drinking 8 ounces of cranberry juice a few times each day if you think you may have a mild yeast infection. Cranberries will decrease your urine’s pH and when the urine passes the infected area, it will lower its overall pH. These conditions make it easier to fight the yeast infection.
You can try inserting a garlic clove or tab into your vagina every several hours for relief. Always make sure the ingredients in garlic tabs are pure and natural.
Notes and Precautions: You should always discuss unproven home remedies with your doctor before trying them as they can lead to other issues like allergic reactions. You should also avoid douching as it can worsen your infection.
The following video shows more effective best yeast infection treatment in a natural way:
Best Yeast Infection Treatment-- Over the Counter Remedies
There are some over the counter yeast infection treatments you can try.
Most of the time a vaginal cream will be placed inside your vagina using an applicator. It can then start to kill the yeast causing the yeast infection. Most vaginal creams (or antifungal creams) will come with an applicator so you can easily measure the correct dosage.
Some common creams include:
- Clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin or Mycelex)
- Butoconazole (Gynezol or Femstat)
- Miconazole nitrate (Monistat)
- Tioconazole (Vagistat-1)
Always carefully read the directions before using a vaginal cream.
Some of the vaginal creams are recommended to be used only at bedtime because they may leak out during the day, causing a mess. Some creams may also include a topical vaginal cream you can apply to the vulva and to be used externally instead of inserted. These topical creams can help reduce itching at the same time the antifungal cream works on the yeast infection.
The Effects on Sex: When using a vaginal cream as treatment for yeast infection, don’t rely on diaphragms or condoms for birth control as the oil-based creams may damage the latex in them. The best choice is to abstain from sex.
Tablets and Suppositories
You will find some medications that are available as vaginal creams as suppositories or tablets as well (including miconazole and clotrimazole). These are inserted into the vagina where they dissolve. They are sometimes called ovules due to their shape and they will frequently be packed along with a plastic device to help you insert the medication.
Tablets and suppositories tend to be less messy compared to vaginal creams and will also reduce the chance of it oozing out. In most cases, they will also come in stronger doses so they don’t need to be used as long and you experience relief sooner.
When to See a Doctor
You should always visit your doctor the very first time that you feel any of the symptoms associated with a yeast infection. This will allow you to rule out other possible conditions. In cases where you have previously had yeast infections and are able to identify it, you should still talk to your doctor in several cases. These include if you get more than three yeast infections each year (recurrent yeast infection) or if you aren’t getting over the yeast infection despite the fact that you’re taking medication for it.
It is also crucial to seek medical attention if you have any other serious medical issues, are experiencing a fever, or your discharge is accompanied by a foul odor.