Yeast infections are unfortunately extremely common with around 75% of women experiencing them in their lifetime. They’re uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and women who get them are desperate to get relief. If you visit a doctor to seek treatment, they will likely give you the following options.
- prescription anti-fungal pills
- anti-fungal creams
- progestin-only birth control
Anti-fungal treatments may become less effective over time as the fungus adapts and becomes resistant. If you’re someone who gets them recurrently and doesn’t want to take the prescription route, there are some ways to treat a yeast infection at home. If you think you might have a yeast infection for the first time, however, make sure you visit a gynecologist to confirm.
Home Remedies To Treat A Yeast Infection
The pH of the vagina is maintained by a delicate balance of different kinds of good bacteria. When there is an overgrowth of a particular kind of bacteria, this causes the system to go haywire and results in infections. The bacteria in probiotic cultures can help reestablish this balance. Some women choose to eat natural yogurt but ingestion does not really show much effect. Studies show that probiotic pills, on the other hand, can be used as suppositories. These reduced the incidence of yeast infections by 87%.1
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is proven to have strong anti-fungal properties and is shown to be effective against the particular strain of bacteria that causes yeast infections.2 If you are treating a vaginal infection with coconut oil, make sure to get it from a good source. It needs to be organic, pure coconut oil with no additives.
3. Ozonated Olive Oil
Ozonated olive oil is cold pressed extra virgin olive oil treated with ozone gas. This turns the oil into a sort of gel or salve that can be massaged into the body for numerous health benefits. Ozonated olive oil can also be an effective remedy for yeast infections. In fact, studies show that it can be as effective as prescribed over the counter medication. 3
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has amazing anti-microbial properties thanks to its acidity. Some recommend directly applying apple cider vinegar but this can kill all bacteria, good and bad which upsets the pH balance and makes you even more vulnerable to more infections. Instead, try a bath. Draw a warm bath and add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to it. Soak for 20 minutes to get rid of harmful micro-organisms.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C or as it’s known otherwise, ascorbic acid, is a known immunity booster. Some women use vitamin C pills as suppositories but these can burn the sensitive skin in your vagina. Instead, try adding more vitamin C to your diet or take supplements to try and beat the infection.
How To Prevent Them
While treating a yeast infection is not difficult, it’s worth taking some steps to prevent them altogether in the first place. These are some simple steps to make sure you’re not creating a breeding ground for bacteria to grow.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear.
- Don’t stay in wet clothes after gym or swimming.
- Reduce the amount of refined and processed sugar in your diet.
- Only take antibiotics when necessary because they can kill off beneficial bacteria in your vagina.
- Don’t use douches unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Stay away from scented vaginal products which can upset the delicate pH balance.
Yeast infections can be incredibly frustrating and painful but these home remedies can help you combat them effectively.
|↑1||Falagas, Matthew E., Gregoria I. Betsi, and Stavros Athanasiou. “Probiotics for prevention of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a review.” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 58, no. 2 (2006): 266-272.|
|↑2||Shino, Beena, Faizal C. Peedikayil, Shyamala R. Jaiprakash, Gufran Ahmed Bijapur, Soni Kottayi, and Deepak Jose. “Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorhexidine, Coconut Oil, Probiotics, and Ketoconazole on Candida albicans Isolated in Children with Early Childhood Caries: An In Vitro Study.” Scientifica 2016 (2016).|
|↑3||Tara, Fatemeh, Ziba Zand-Kargar, and Farideh Akhlaghi. “The Effects of Ozonated Olive Oil and Clotrimazole Cream for Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 22, no. 4 (2016): 44.|