Vaginal Yeast Infection: Should I Treat It Myself?

Very effective (internal) anti-fungal. Vaginal yeast infections aren’t considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), commonly known as sexually transmitted disease (STD). There isn't a critical need to rush to your gyno if you think you might have a yeast infection. Infection is more likely to return if some health problems, such as diabetes, are not under control. “The action of douching can push an infection higher into the genital tract and disrupts the important organisms that protect against yeast overgrowth. Many people may self-diagnose a yeast infection when they are experiencing symptoms. “While older studies showed no benefit of lactobacillus species and have led some doctors to be dismissive of the use of probiotics, more recent studies have demonstrated mechanisms by which probiotics do inhibit candida overgrowth,” Brighten says.

If you're using a vaginal treatment and are sexually active, you should not have sex until the infection has been completely treated because these medicines can weaken condoms and diaphragms. Your child’s pediatrician will likely prescribe a topical antifungal cream to treat yeast infections of the skin. They may swab the inside of the vagina and either send it to a lab or look under a microscope to determine if yeast is present (6). Too much sugar can up your risk. Data, though, is actually lacking to determine the true rate of vaginal yeast infections (4).

Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways. It’s also possible that the yeast infection is purely coincidental. Just because you don't have symptoms doesn't mean you don't have an infection. Your healthcare provider will consider your age, overall health, how widespread the infection is and other factors to determine your treatment. Another treatment option is boric acid, which also has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties that can be used to fight vaginal yeast infections. When using one of these products, you may want to talk to your doctor about alternatives to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. This can happen because of hormones, medicines, or changes in the immune system. Supplements aren't regulated by the FDA.

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. Candida is a fungus (which is a form of yeast). Deep candidiasis — This infection usually starts with an intravenous anti-fungal drug, such as voriconazole or fluconazole. This causes intense itching, swelling, and irritation. While the apple cider vinegar won’t likely be a silver-bullet yeast infection treatment, a vinegar bath can be used as a supplementary treatment or preventative measure to help shift the pH of your vagina to inhibit yeast growth, Brighten says.

Yeast infection vs.

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A high level indicates that there is yeast overgrowth in the upper gut/small intestines. Just like any other thing you put in your vagina, the most common side effects are going to be burning and irritation. During this examination, called endoscopy, your doctor will take a sample of tissue (either a biopsy or a "brushing") from your esophagus to be examined in a laboratory. No alternative medicine therapies have been proved to treat vaginal yeast infections. Long-course vaginal therapy.

“Stress, poorly controlled blood sugar—as is the case in diabetes—gut dysbiosis, and medication like antibiotics can leave you susceptible to overgrowth,” Brighten says. Certain medical conditions like diabetes and having a compromised immune system (whether due to medication or conditions like HIV), raise a woman’s risk of developing a yeast infection. Miconazole is an over-the-counter topical cream. It can be watery to thick, and even chunky. Candidal paronychia is candidiasis in the nail folds or cuticles, which causes painful redness and swelling (see Onychomycosis) around the nail.

Omega-3 fatty acids fight fungal infections.


Complete the whole treatment, even if you feel better. If needed, your doctor might order a vaginal fluid test. It affects moist surfaces around the lips, inside the cheeks, and on the tongue and palate. Discontinue use if any discomfort begins.

Last updated on Jun 3, 2020. It's important to see a doctor for your diagnosis because if you actually have another type of infection, it could get worse if not properly treated. Thrush treatments, symptoms, causes & home remedies, genital infections can be reduced by wearing looser fitting clothing (particularly underwear), washing your genitals regularly but avoiding the use of scented soaps and shampoos. Keep blood sugar under control if you have diabetes. What is a yeast infection? So if you have the classic symptoms — fishy odor, abnormal discharge, and/or itching or burning — use the strip test to check your vagina's acidity level.

Once you confirm your privacy choices here, you can make changes at any time by visiting your Privacy Dashboard. Lab work (more below) can distinguish which type of yeast infection you might have. There are many ways you can reduce your risk of a yeast infection (or a recurrence) and speed healing if you have one. A vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD), since Candida may be present in the normal vagina, and the condition does occur in celibate women. Vaginal candidiasis can very rarely cause congenital candidiasis in newborns.

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These fungi are found almost everywhere in the environment. Some women promote placing garlic cloves in the vagina at night — while this treatment is unlikely to cause any major damage (besides, possibly, allergic reactions and chemical burns), there's no scientific evidence to show it works. Scratching the vaginal area can leave open or raw areas.

Which Specialties Of Doctors Treat Yeast Infections?

Brighten advises her patients to avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol to prevent yeast overgrowth and as part of treatment. Yeast infections often cause thick, white, clumpy vaginal discharge that usually doesn’t smell (or only smells slightly different than normal). Can a Yeast Infection Go Away on Its Own? If you feel pain in this area, see a health care professional.

Your Gym Clothes May Be To Blame.

But yeast in the vagina can sometimes "overgrow" and lead to symptoms of a yeast infection. If the symptoms don’t go away after treatment, it may be a different kind of infection and should be checked by a healthcare provider. Vaginal yeast infections — Vaginal yeast infections may cause the following symptoms: Up to 40% of women seek alternatives to treat vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections caused by other types of candida fungus can be more difficult to treat, and generally need more-aggressive therapies. He or she also will ask about your diet and about your recent use of antibiotics or medications that can suppress the immune system. What’s more, since yeast thrive in a warm, moist environment, clinicians also advise taking preventive steps such as wearing cotton underwear, avoiding tight-fitting clothing and not staying in damp clothing, like after a workout or swim, as well as using unscented feminine hygiene products, including pads and tampons. We will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.

With a yeast overgrowth, the yeast effectively forms a layer over the gut and spreads out in sheets, suppressing your body’s ability to make serotonin (and suppressing your immune system). Raw organic coconut oil can be applied internally or externally to ease symptoms. Talk to your doctor about all of your yeast infection treatment options. Some women will have it more than once. Sugar is food for yeast. You can find numerous other natural remedies for yeast infections online, including coconut oil, pomegranate gel, and echinacea purpurea liquid. People generally equate Candida with a systemic overgrowth—i.

Your doctor will ask about your medical history, including diabetes, cancer, HIV, and other chronic illnesses.

How Is A Yeast Infection Treated?

Can boric acid be toxic if used at too high of a dose? People should not leave a medicated tampon in for more than 6 hours. Capsules containing oil of oregano may be inserted into the vagina at night. “Boric acid suppositories are another effective treatment that I use with my patients, especially when treating medication-resistant yeast strains,” Brighten says. Almost 10 percent of the patients we see have tried garlic before they get to us. While it’s possible to have one or the other, or even both infections at the same time, UTIs and yeast infections are two different conditions. Are there any special instructions for taking the medicine? A recent study also found tea tree oil to be effective as an antimicrobial and in helping break down the biofilm.

They're Not Chronic.

They “may try to change the type of birth control to see if that helps,” Dr. ” Here’s the thing: Using scented sanitary products and douching can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections more likely. “The biggest issue is that self-diagnosis of yeast infections is not very accurate, especially if you haven’t had one before,” she says. The rash can be controlled by frequent changing and, if needed, medicated powders. HuffPost is part of Verizon Media. Otherwise, you're likely to see a family medicine doctor or gynecologist.

  • A quick internet search calls up a treasure trove of trendy home remedies for yeast infections, from apple cider vinegar (“ACV” to those in the know) to essential oils.
  • In addition, vaginal intercourse during treatment could displace medication from the vagina, lessening effectiveness, and cause irritation.
  • Treating a yeast infection is simple, but it's important to visit your doctor for the right diagnosis, because other infections can cause similar symptoms but require different treatments.
  • Coconut oil Coconut oil is a fatty oil derived from the flesh of the coconut.
  • Medications can effectively treat vaginal yeast infections.

How Is A Yeast Infection Diagnosed?

And repeat infections can be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue, such as diabetes. People with diabetes should try to keep their blood sugar under tight control. Another oral medication that can be used in these cases is Nizoral (ketoconazole), which is taken for seven to 14 days, either once or twice daily, depending on your physician's recommendations.

Factors that increase your risk of developing a yeast infection include: A yeast infection can happen if your skin gets damaged. Lactobacillus acidophilus, yogurt — It contains Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures, which are powerful and beneficial bacteria. It’s often impossible to pinpoint the reason someone gets a yeast infection. This can make distinguishing between the two infections difficult. CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES: You may see suggestions for using coconut oil; oregano oil, tea tree oil, other essential oils; or garlic supplements for yeast infections. If you have often been diagnosed with yeast infections over the years, talk to your doctor about using a medicine you can buy without a prescription to relieve your symptoms and treat the infection.

Do not apply this essential oil near your vagina. Has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits. But you don't know how much garlic you need or how effective it is. He or she will also give you a physical exam. While the reviewers flagged issues with several of the studies they cited, many people report relief from: In otherwise healthy people who have thrush, cutaneous candidiasis, or vaginal yeast infections, Candida infections usually can be eliminated with a short treatment (sometimes a single dose) of antifungal medication. How effective are home remedies for treating yeast infections?

Fusion Bombs Are Right, for the Arms Race

This can cause irritation and sweating in the vaginal area. Avoid using tampons or douching before your appointment. But before trying any alternative treatments, it's best to check with your doctor. Goebel notes — and there’s a decent chance you’ll cause burning and irritation (not to mention lost bits of garlic). If you do have a yeast infection, your doctor will probably prescribe a pill to swallow or a cream, tablet, or suppository to put in the vagina. There's also some evidence that infections may be linked to mouth to genital contact (oral-genital sex). Vaginal yeast infections can cause: For example, bacterial vaginosis may have similar symptoms, but it's a condition that must be treated with prescription medicine.

Statistics from

Treatment for thrush is considered to have failed if the symptoms do not clear within 7–14 days. Some brands call them "ovules" because they're oval-shaped. Tea tree is an essential oil and, as such, needs to be mixed with a carrier oil. A healthy immune system and some "good" bacteria keep the amount in a person's body under control.

Left untreated, yeast infections will usually go away on their own, but the severe itching can be hard to tolerate for some. For mild cases, a liquid version of nystatin can be swished in the mouth and swallowed, or a clotrimazole lozenge can be dissolved in the mouth. But in a 2020 review, researchers expressed skepticism about the results of earlier clinical trials on probiotic use, arguing that the women studied were often not a relevant sample—for example, they didn't report experiencing recurring vaginal infections, or the studies weren't conducted on at-risk women, such as those taking antibiotics. Yeast infections may also be presented in other folds of the skin, such as under the armpits. Every body is different, but most women will see some improvement after two or three soaks. “Vaginal boric acid capsules have been used for decades in combatting chronic yeast infections,” Dr. Yeast infections in the skin folds can be treated with anti-yeast powders. A sex partner of someone diagnosed with a yeast infection does not need to be treated, unless they are experiencing symptoms of a yeast infection themself (6).

How Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection Diagnosed?

Not only can sex hurt (because vaginal tissue is already sensitive and irritated), a yeast infection can be passed on to your partner, Birkholz says. Make sure to also change your underwear soon after you work out. Can coffee enemas remove candida bacteria?, the books, DVDs, and downloadable videos available for purchase through this website contain extensive information on colon cleansing. If you aren't sure that your symptoms are caused by a yeast infection and yet you treat it anyway, you might be delaying diagnosis and treatment of your true problem, such as a bacterial vaginal infection or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). What are the most common types of alternative therapies that you’ve seen women try? Are there any alternative remedies that appear to actually work? How are vaginal yeast infections diagnosed? While there is no evidence to say this works, it is a low-risk home remedy for yeast infection. Adding it to a bath or diluting in water may help with yeast growing on the genitals.

  • Change pads and tampons often during your period.
  • As such, people should not use garlic if they have sensitive skin.
  • So can frequent douching.

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How is yeast infection diagnosed? The symptoms of a yeast infection are also the symptoms of other infections, such as some sexually transmitted infections (STIs). One issue with essential oils is that some people might be allergic to them. “Some IUDs, diaphragms and spermicides – those can also increase ladies’ risk of yeast infections,” Parnell notes.

The vagina is home to numerous beneficial microbes, which keep pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes, including Candida, in check. The truth is that many people have yeast in their mouth, but it seldom overgrows to such an extent that it becomes visually apparent or produces symptoms. If your doctor suspects that you have an undiagnosed medical illness that increases your risk of candidiasis — such as diabetes, cancer or HIV — blood tests or other procedures may be necessary.

That's because something else may be causing your symptoms. Sometimes the rash may not cause any symptoms, but usually the infection causes a red, raw, itching, burning, or sometimes painful rash on the head of the penis. Can apple cider vinegar treat yeast infections? here's why you need to try it. Keeping the area clean and dry may help prevent an infection, but if symptoms do show up, a doctor can treat the infection. A few have shown potential benefit, but it's not totally clear that the studies didn't have flaws that might make the results questionable. These infections are easily treatable.

For example, if the infection is a different kind, such as bacterial vaginosis (the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge), rather than thrush.

Yeast Infections and Sex: What Men and Women Need to Know

If you are using a vaginal cream or suppository for treatment, refrain from using tampons, as they can block or remove the medication. Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you. The problem was that if you looked at the actual results, it's hard to know which patients really got better. It’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying them to larger areas of the body. Please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency. The affected area must be kept clean and dry and protected from chafing. Though yeast infections can happen to anyone at any time, there are certain things that make getting them more likely. You might think using scented soaps, douching, and washing your laundry — delicates, in particular — is good for your nether regions, but that's not the case, says the Cleveland Clinic.

Share on Pinterest Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that may kill yeasts and fungi. But some of the treatments are probably not the right treatments. According to Women's Health, about 5% of women experience four or more vaginal yeast infections in a single year.

Yeast infection is caused by yeast on the skin or mucous membranes. What are yeast infection symptoms? It’s best to not have sex until a yeast infection is gone because sex can cause more discomfort, and the vaginal creams and suppositories may weaken latex condoms. Some complementary and alternative therapies may provide some relief when combined with your doctor's care. A UTI can also cause frequent urination along with pelvic and abdominal pain.


Creams, tablets, and suppositories often come with an applicator to help you place the medicine inside your vagina, where it can begin to work. Finally, as for those Internet claims that you can treat a yeast infection by inserting yogurt or garlic into your vagina, Dr. The area underneath the denture is a warm, dark, and moist place—a perfect incubator for yeast! Also check for IgG, IgA, and IgM Candida antibodies in your blood—high levels of these antibodies indicate that you have a Candida overgrowth that your immune system is responding to. Talk to your doctor before you try to put anything in your vagina that really shouldn’t be there. Perform a pelvic exam. 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. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.