4 Home Remedies for Yeast Infection Relief
Over-the-counter and prescription antifungal creams are the best treatment for a yeast infection, and they can be combined with several home remedies if you prefer. To treat a persistent yeast infection or to check out the efficacy of any other home remedies, check with your doctor.
There is no definitive clinical evidence to support the claim that eating yogurt with active cultures will quell yeast infections. Some evidence supports the idea that the probiotics in yogurt are effective at repopulating the vagina with healthy bacteria that drive out an overpopulation of yeast. The home remedy that involves placing yogurt with live cultures directly into the vagina is not recommended and can even lead to a yeast infection that resists other forms of treatment. However, studies show that placing a tablet containing the same types of probiotics as yogurt directly into the vagina reduces yeast infections by 87 percent.
Boric acid capsules placed into the vagina have anti-fungal and antiviral properties; they're so effective that they can sometimes treat yeast infections prescription antifungals have failed to cure. They're particularly effective against certain strains of yeast, as well as against the frequent yeast infections that strike diabetic women. Boric acid capsules are available over-the-counter, but they should not be used by pregnant women. Don't apply loose boric acid directly to the vagina, and if you find a boric acid suppository irritating, discontinue its use right away.
Yeast grow in moist, warm environments, and wearing underwear made from nylon or other synthetic, non-breathable materials only exacerbates the natural moistness and warmth of the vagina. Fight yeast infections by wearing cotton underwear that lets air reach the vagina, stay away from pantyhose and change out of wet swimsuits as soon as possible.
Home Remedies to Avoid
Applying tea tree oil directly to the vagina by placing it on a tampon is sometimes effective in treating a yeast infection. However, tea tree oil can also be an irritant, and there's no clinical evidence that this home remedy works. Another popular home remedy involves inserting a garlic clove in the vagina. While garlic has antifungal properties, there's no evidence that this method works. One home remedy that definitely doesn't work is douching, which can actually spread the yeast infection into the uterus itself, and tends to remove the healthy, natural bacteria that belong in the vagina and are needed to fight off excessive yeast.
While yeast is normally a constant but harmless presence in the vagina, an infection can occur when the growth gets out of control. Women who are pregnant or exposed to a sexually transmitted disease shouldn't treat themselves for a yeast infection, but should instead see their doctors. While prescription antifungal treatments are highly effective and are considered the best possible treatment for a yeast infection, you have several home remedies to choose from if you choose to pursue that option. Several popular home remedies, however, may actually do more harm than good.