When it comes to vaginal health, anything that looks different can cause anxiety. If your vagina itches, irritates, hurts, and develops a thick white tail, take a deep breath. Vaginal yeast infections may occur.
You’re not alone. Vaginal yeast infection is a widespread health problem among women. After bacterial infections (also known as bacterial vaginosis), it is the most common type of vaginal infection in the United States. Each year, approximately 1.4 million American women see a doctor for a yeast infection.
In some cases, you may need to see a doctor for help, and if symptoms are mild, a combination of natural and over-the-counter (OTC) remedies and other medications may provide relief. Read on to learn how to safely and quickly treat symptoms to maintain long-term vaginal balance and comfort.
Home remedies for yeast infection
Mild yeast infections often clear up within a few days. Severe or recurring yeast infections can take up to two weeks to fully heal. If symptoms of a yeast infection persist for more than three days, contact your healthcare provider. Also, see your doctor if you are pregnant, have a chronic yeast infection, have STD-related symptoms, or are not sure if you have a yeast infection.
On the other hand, if you have mild symptoms and need some relief, some home remedies can help. Here’s a breakdown of what might help and what doesn’t seem to work.
Coconut oil is known to have antifungal and antimicrobial properties. A cell test has shown that it kills candida albicans when taken orally. More research is needed to confirm this benefit, so talk to your doctor before trying coconut oil.
Boric acid has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties and can be used to make homemade suppositories. It appears to be particularly useful in cases where other conventional treatments have failed. One caveat: pregnant women should avoid boric acid because it is toxic to the fetus.
Researchers do not consider apple cider vinegar to be a reliable treatment for yeast infections. Never wash with any vinegar. This can irritate the skin and worsen symptoms. There is also no evidence that adding a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath will help restore vaginal pH.
Previous research suggests that taking probiotic supplements can introduce beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, back into the body. Some women’s health experts believe that these supplements help to further balance vaginal pH. However, the science is inconclusive, so if you want quick relief, look for a proven remedy instead.
Yoghurt is the source
Eating yogurt containing live cultures supports the health of the immune system. However, it is not clear whether this means that eating yogurt can fight or treat yeast infections. Under no circumstances should yogurt be applied to the vagina. A lot of yogurt contains sugar, which feeds the fungus and can worsen the symptoms of a yeast infection.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil with antibacterial and antifungal properties. People have used it for centuries to treat wounds and other ailments. Some studies have suggested that it can be an effective topical treatment for fungal infections—when combined with traditional over-the-counter medications such as fluconazole. Another essential oil, oil of oregano (original oil), has been shown in cell studies to have antimicrobial properties.
However, more research is needed before researchers can recommend either oil as an effective treatment. Never drink tea tree oil if you try it. It can be toxic when taken orally.
Garlic can be taken orally as a homeopathic treatment for yeast infection. always