Vaginal Yeast Infection: Should I Treat It Myself?

Oral antifungal medicines are available with a prescription and are easy to use.

Tea tree oil Tea tree oil is an essential oil that comes from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). After a few weeks of a Candida cleanse (i. )Use mild, unscented soap and water. Symptoms of a vaginal candidiasis range may include: Although they can bother you a lot, they are not usually serious. Vaginal yeast infections are also known as candidiasis or vaginal thrush. They can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) or with a prescription, and take the form of an antifungal cream, ointment, suppository, or medicated tampon.

If you have risk factors for an STI, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before using a nonprescription medicine.

Have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which would require a medical exam. Depending on your symptoms, your doc may prescribe just one pill, or two pills taken 72 hours apart. Factors that may cause a disruption in the balance of bacteria and yeast include: You can prevent some yeast infections by doing these things: When the going gets cottage cheesy, is it OK to just treat a yeast infection at home? Most women experience a yeast infection sometime during their lifetime. The rash can be controlled by frequent changing and, if needed, medicated powders. If you have a vaginal yeast infection, your doctor can prescribe treatment to clear up the symptoms in a couple of days and cure the infection within a week.

  • Prescription yeast infection medications are often taken orally.
  • DON’T rely on vinegar.


When a yeast infection strikes, don't fear and definitely don't feel ashamed. Guys who have diabetes or are on antibiotics for a long time are more prone to this infection. “These cure the infection 90 percent of the time,” says Dardik. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history.

You can get a range of similar yeast infection medications without a prescription, too. The use of douches or perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays may also increase a woman's risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection. Sometimes a menstrual period will relieve the symptoms of a mild yeast infection. Enter the dreaded yeast infection:

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It comes in a variety of formulations, including one-day, three-day and seven-day options. What are the possible side-effects of antifungal medication? Antibiotics do not kill fungi - they kill other types of germs (called bacteria). Mix 3-5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. In addition to speaking with a doctor to determine if antibiotics are necessary, in some cases where taking them consistently leads to recurrent yeast infections, it may be advisable to take medication to treat or prevent yeast infections as well while on antibiotics. What are yeast infection symptoms?

Do not apply this essential oil near your vagina. Although symptom relief may start sooner, it takes any formula at least three days to rid your body of the infection, says Janda. More tips to remember:

Some things that can cause changes in your vagina’s environment are:

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This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. Can a yeast infection be prevented? How they work: This infection is also called candidiasis.

What Is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?

If your symptoms continue, you can use nonprescription medicine. Yeast infections are not a matter of cleanliness, and douching will only irritate the area. Tea tree oil has been shown to have antifungal properties.

Using scented sanitary products and douching can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections more likely. You can buy tea tree oil online and in stores. Vinegar should be diluted in water before touching the skin.

Has some anti-fungal properties; and helps your liver detox. At the visit, your doctor might take a urine sample (to rule out a urinary tract infection) and swab some discharge from your vagina to examine under a microscope. What causes yeast infections? You can get medicated creams or suppositories for yeast infections (like Monistat and other brands) at a drugstore, over-the-counter without a prescription.

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Using corticosteroids, such as prednisone. These products often come packaged with a plastic "inserter" that helps you get the medication to the right place. This is done with either over-the-counter products or alternative therapies. This may point to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). 3 For most infections, the treatment is an antifungal medicine applied inside the vagina or a single dose of fluconazole taken by mouth.

You may need a prescription-strength treatment. Plus, isn’t that the entire point of all those at-home yeast infection treatments at the drugstore? Mood swings, anxiety, depression:

Sugar is food for yeast. Some studies suggest that the use of pads and tampons, or wearing tight synthetic clothing increases the risk for yeast infections, while other studies suggest there is no link between these and yeast infections (2,5). In addition, you can also buy oral fluconazole from your pharmacy, to treat vaginal thrush. Try increasing your intake of vitamin C to boost your body’s ability to beat the yeast infection. Avoid using soap when cleaning the vaginal area—rinse with water only. If you're taking antibiotics, such as for strep throat, the antibiotics can kill the "good" bacteria that normally keep the Candida in check. Do not wear tight clothing.

Oral Tablets

Yeast thrives on sugar, so eating too much of it may increase your chance of developing the obnoxious infection, says Laurie Birkholz, M. To treat a vaginal yeast infection that has not responded to vaginal medicine. If you have pelvic pain or fever, get an evaluation by a doctor. Candida albicans is a common type of fungus. Although vaginal yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted infection, sexual intercourse can trigger or spread them. You must check with a doctor before taking an antifungal pill, if you take other medicines. Women with immune-suppressing diseases such as diabetes and HIV infection also are at increased risk. After having unprotected sex with a partner who has a yeast infection, you may have more than the normal amount of yeast in your vagina.

A yeast infection is a common type of fungal infection. Some products may be specifically suited for cooking, rather than for use on skin, so compare products and brands to choose an appropriate product. It almost makes you automatically clench up your vaginal muscles, as if that could prevent unwanted intruders from disrupting your sexual health, doesn't it? Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean. Wear underwear that helps keep your genital area dry and doesn't hold in warmth and moisture.

Pay special attention to how often to use the product and how much to use. Finally, as for those Internet claims that you can treat a yeast infection by inserting yogurt or garlic into your vagina, Dr. Yeast infections can happen to any girl. Yeast infections in the skin folds can be treated with anti-yeast powders. Common symptoms are a rash, white discharge, or itching. Antibiotics, steroid medications, chronic stress and a diet high in sugar and processed foods can make a woman susceptible to yeast overgrowth, says Carrie Watkins, a naturopathic doctor based in Victoria. Many girls find that yeast infections tend to show up right before they get their periods because of the hormonal changes that come with the menstrual cycle. It's also different from a bacterial infection.

You can use an antifungal cream or a suppository that you put into your vagina.


The length of treatment depends on what type of fungal infection you have, how severe it is and if you have any other health problems - for example, problems with your immune system. Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) has antimicrobial components, so some women add it to their diet to treat Candida overgrowths. Vaginitis section of Pelvic infections and sexually transmitted diseases. Creams, tablets, and suppositories often come with an applicator to help you place the medicine inside your vagina, where it can begin to work. These contain powerful antifungals called azoles. If your vaginal symptoms are not typical of a vaginal yeast infection, your doctor can look for signs of yeast or other organisms using a wet mount test of vaginal discharge. A lot of people use the terms “yeast overgrowth” and “Candida” interchangeably, and there are hundreds of different types of yeast, but the most common form of yeast infection is known as Candida albicans. This fungal overgrowth can happen for many reasons.

Most large drugstores and supermarkets sell them. However, she notes that other strains of yeast can also cause yeast infections, and Candida albicans has developed some resistance to azoles. You should read the information leaflet that comes with your particular brand for a full list of cautions and possible side-effects. There’s no strong research to support the use of hydrogen peroxide to treat vaginal infections. It can be watery to thick, and even chunky. Simple steps to treat a yeast infection naturally, [6] Williams AB, Yu C, Tashima K, Burgess J, Danvers K. This is because higher sugar levels promote yeast growth. Bacterial infections, allergic reactions and some skin conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to have a doctor confirm your diagnosis. There are not significant differences in effectiveness between these medications.

Or your doctor may prescribe a medicine to treat the infection. If symptoms continue after treatment, see your doctor. And it may seem like more of a hassle than taking a pill. Once you've gotten your diagnosis, you have a few options for treating the uncomfortable condition—some are even available to you over the counter. Are there any over-the-counter products that will treat my condition? You are taking antibiotics used to treat another infection. Your doctor can give you the right diagnosis so that you can be treated appropriately. Yeast infections can develop both inside the vagina and on the external tissue called the vulva.

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Sometimes an oral anti-yeast medicine is used. If your symptoms don't go away with medication, or you develop repeat infections, get evaluated by a gynecologist to rule out other possible health issues. Any medication, including the ones used to treat a yeast infection, can also cause an allergic reaction. You may prefer to take pills rather than use medicine that is inserted into the vagina. Most women have a vaginal yeast infection at some time. You may have other tests if you have vaginal yeast infections that are severe or that keep coming back (recur), such as: Otherwise, use a water-soluble lubricating jelly (such as K-Y Jelly) to reduce irritation.

I think of the microbiome (clusters of mainly bacteria, plus other organisms, found in our skin, nose, mouth, gut, urinary tract) as a rainforest:

Medication for Treating Yeast Infections

Yeast infections are caused by the Candida genus of yeasts (a single cell fungus), most often Candida albicans. They can help treat an overgrowth caused by an imbalance. A yeast infection is not spread through sexual contact.

If you think you have an infection, call your doctor for advice.

You may consider eating yogurt regularly if you frequently get yeast infections or are on antibiotics. Pregnancy can increase the risk of vaginal yeast infections. “The biggest issue is that self-diagnosis of yeast infections is not very accurate, especially if you haven’t had one before,” she says. Prime members enjoy FREE Two-Day Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books.

What to expect Most home remedies bring relief within a few days. Are not sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection. Change pads and tampons often during your period. Using only plain yogurt with active cultures, once or twice a day, rub a few tablespoons’ worth around the outside of the vagina to quell irritation, or insert the same amount into the vagina. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Using antibiotics.

Primary Care Physician

Yeast infections usually happen in warm, moist parts of the body, such as the mouth, and moist areas of skin. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are more likely to occur during the week before a menstrual period. Diflucan, or fluconazole, is an affordable prescription medication used in the treatment of vaginal yeast infections. This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack. There are, unfortunately, many supposed remedies patients try, “from things as unique as yogurt in the vagina to peroxide-soaked tampons … (to) tea tree oils,” Parnell says. Alternatively, it can be applied to a tampon before insertion. How is it spread? Myers specializes in women’s health issues, particularly gut health, thyroid dysfunction, and autoimmunity.

Also be sure to wear panty liners during the daytime. If you have lots of irritation, it may sting when you pee. However, a positive fungal culture does not always mean that Candida is causing symptoms because some women can have Candida in the vagina without having any symptoms. These bacteria are essential to creating a healthy environment in your vagina. Monistat is the #1 Doctor and Gynecologist Recommended over-the-counter (OTC) yeast infection brand and starts working right at the site of infection. Oral supplements take about 10 days to reach full effect, so some women use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to see results more quickly. Monistat contains the active ingredient miconazole. Oil of oregano is a natural blood thinner, so don’t use it (diffused or topically) if you take blood thinners for another health condition.

  • You need a prescription from your doctor to get the yeast infection pill.
  • You can also treat yeast infections with a single pill that you swallow (called Diflucan or Fluconazole).
  • Your healthcare provider will consider your age, overall health, how widespread the infection is and other factors to determine your treatment.

Your Condition, Test or Medication

What are the risk factors for yeast infection? Vaginal yeast infections can increase with: Still, they're not for everyone: Avoid tight-fitting pants and spending too much time in wet clothing. Those at higher risk for it include: Boric acid suppositories are available without an Rx, but you do have to ask a pharmacist to make them for you, says Dardik. The use of probiotics in the vagina or by mouth along with using an antifungal medication may slightly increase the chance of curing a yeast infection, compared to using an antifungal medication alone (10). Which explains why Monistat, the makers of a treatment cream for yeast infections, launched their Time for TMI campaign — with it being such a common infection, there's no reason for you to not understand what's happening with your vagina.

It can lead to kidney damage, acute failure of the circulatory system, or death if you absorb enough of it.

Boric acid capsules used vaginally for 2 weeks are about 70% effective at curing a yeast infection, but can cause irritation (6,9). The antifungal pills are stronger than the creams and can interact with any other pills you are taking. Use unscented products Products such as scented tampons or pads, certain soaps, and detergents can irritate your vagina, causing an imbalance in the natural bacteria. Provacare and HMF CandiGen are vaginal ovules that contain lactobacillus bacteria, while Culturelle, New Chapter, Renew Life and RepHresh Pro-B are oral supplements that contain lactobacillus. Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Taking antibiotics sometimes causes this imbalance. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed. Do not rub to try to relieve itching. Although yeast infections may spread from one sexual partner to the other, it's rare. Many women struggle with how to get rid of a yeast infection and easier access to prescription medications like Diflucan and OTC medications has helped improve timely yeast infection treatment. These medications are used vaginally for 1-7 days. The same compound that in other forms is used to kill insects can also wipe out the bugs messing up your vagina.

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Avoid using tampons or douching before your appointment. Here’s how to manage a yeast infection and how to prevent future ones as well. Long-course vaginal therapy. Tampons can absorb the medicine. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. But there’s little evidence that it works, and it can cause burning or irritation. — you might want to think again. 95 percent of serotonin is made in gut.

Candidiasis (vulvovaginal). These items can change the normal balance of organisms in your vagina. After a bowel movement, wipe from front to back: Candida esophagitis is thrush that spreads to your esophagus, the tube that takes food from your mouth to your stomach.

If more than the normal amount of yeast grows in the sample over a short period of time (a few days), then your symptoms are likely caused by a yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections, during labor, the cervix expands to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. The OWH helpline does not provide medical advice. Vaginal candidiasis is usually treated with antifungal medicine.