A vaginal yeast infection, which is also known as vaginal candidiasis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, or candidal vaginitis, is caused by a microscopic fungi or yeast called candida albicans.
Candida is normally in the human body in places such as the skin, mouth, gut, throat, and vagina without causing any problem. However, if the environment in the vagina changes to favor this yeast’s overgrowth, it would multiply and cause an infection. Statistically, three out of four women would have a form of vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime.
Symptoms of vaginal yeast infection include; abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal inflammation and soreness, pain during sexual intercourse or when urinating.
Factors that increase the likelihood of getting a vaginal yeast infection include; pregnancy, diabetes, a weakened immune system, taking hormonal contraceptives or antibiotics.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with vaginal yeast infection;
- Wear cotton underwear as they absorb moisture and perspiration better.
- Maintain good personal hygiene. Ensure you wipe from front to back when visiting the bathroom to prevent bacteria from traveling from the anus to the vagina.
- Avoid tight-fitting jeans and trousers.
- Avoid using perfumed sprays around the vagina. Avoid vaginal douching.
- Avoid stress and stressful situations as they weaken your immune system which could spur yeast overgrowth.
- Also, you could practice relaxation techniques such as meditation.
- If you are on antibiotics, they could damage your vaginal flora. As such take natural yogurts with live culture to replenish the flora.
Below are 17 home remedies and natural treatments for vaginal yeast infections;
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that help in fighting fungal, bacterial and viral infection in an effective way. It also hydrates the skin and has a soothing action on an irritated skin. Coconut oil can be applied to the affected area to get rid of vaginal yeast infections in a safe manner. Before applying it, make sure you thoroughly wash the area. Use a cotton ball to apply virgin coconut oil. Do this 2-3 times a day to get rid of the discomfort.
Yogurt is one of the best home remedies for vaginal yeast infection. The beneficial strains of bacteria present in yogurt help in balancing the bacteria present in the vagina and fights the yeast infections. Consume plain unsweetened yogurt with your meals to help reduce the symptoms. For a quick relief from pain, itching, and discomfort, just dip a tampon in yogurt and insert it into your vagina. Let it stay for an hour and remove it. Repeat this method every 2-3 hours.
Garlic is beneficial in eliminating yeast infections. It has powerful antifungal properties that can help you get rid of vaginal yeast infections natural way. Eat a few cloves of raw organic garlic to fight the infection. Alternatively, you may also apply a garlic paste to the affected area to relieve discomfort. Grind a few garlic cloves to make a fine paste. Clean the area and apply the paste. Leave it for 10-12 minutes and rinse with water. It will naturally kill the fungus and soothe the skin.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
The infection-fighting components of apple cider vinegar make it an excellent remedy for yeast infections. Since ACV is readily available, anybody can use it as their first line of action whenever you see a yeast infection. Take a cup of warm water and add 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar. Consume it two times a day. You may also soak your body for an hour in a warm bath mixed with some vinegar. This would reduce the irritation. Apple cider vinegar can also be used for douching to get instant relief from itching and discomfort.
5. Boric Acid
Boric acid is a potent antiseptic and antifungal agent that fights yeast infection in an effective way. Simply take a gelatin capsule and fill it with boric powder. Place it in your vagina at bedtime. Do this repeatedly for 15 days to ward off the infection. You may also mix some boric acid powder with water and apply it to the affected area. Leave it for a few minutes and wash with water. Avoid using boric acid during pregnancy.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil not only helps in keeping your skin free from infections but can also be used for relieving yeast infections. Take some water and add a little tea tree oil to it. Then, add 1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil or olive oil and mix well. Apply the mixture to the entire affected area whenever needed to get relief from the discomfort. Alternatively, put some tea tree oil in a tampon and insert it into your vagina. Leave it for 2-3 hours and repeat it 2 times daily.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera soothes the skin while fighting the infection in an incredible way. Simply cut open a fresh aloe leaf and extract the gel. Apply this gel to your vagina and leave it there. Doing this 2-3 times a day will ease discomfort.
8. Oregano Oil
The phenolic compounds present in oregano oil makes it a great fungicide. When used for yeast infection, it can help provide a long-lasting relief. Take a glass of water and add 3 drops of the oil to the water. Mix well and consume it twice every day for a week to see improvement. You may also apply diluted oregano oil topically on the affected area for a quick relief.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is known to ward off vaginal yeast infection in a great way. Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it is often used in treating urinary tract infections. Make sure you consume the unsweetened type of cranberry juice. If it is not available, you may also take the readily available cranberry tablets 2-3 times daily.
10. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is widely used in treating stomach ailments, but did you know that it can help in getting rid of the vaginal yeast infection? The antifungal properties of the oil are best suited for use in reducing the symptoms, of vaginal yeast infection, in a fast and effective way. Dilute some peppermint oil with water and apply it in the affected area.
This anti-inflammatory herb would prove to be beneficial in reducing irritation due to inflammation associated with yeast infections. It also aids in killing the fungus that is causing the infection. Take 2-3 fresh calendula leaves and crush them. Apply it to the affected area 2-3 times every day to get rid of the infection completely. You can also make calendula tea, by brewing the calendula leaves in boiling water, and drink it. Avoid drinking calendula tea during pregnancy.
12. Green Tea
A weak immune system makes it difficult to fight off any infection including vaginal yeast infections. Since green tea is packed with antioxidants that strengthen the immune system, consuming it can ward off the infection. Put a green tea bag in a cup of hot water and sip it slowly. You may also add a little honey and lemon to enhance its taste. Do not throw away the used tea bags. Just refrigerate them and, later, place them over the inflamed area to relieve the symptoms.
13. Olive Leaf Extract
If you want to quickly restore the beneficial bacteria and flora around your vagina, olive leaf extract is the best remedy to try. Its antimicrobial properties fight the infection while antioxidants, present in it, promotes healing. Therefore, it is one of the best home remedies for vaginal yeast infection. The best part is, you can easily prepare the remedy.
Take some fresh olive leaves and chop them. Put the chopped leaves in a glass jar with a tight lid. Put some vodka over it until all the leaves are submerged in it. Close the jar with the lid and leave it in a dark place for at least four weeks. Strain the liquid and apply this liquid to the affected area 2-3 times daily for effective results.
14. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt can be effective in relieving the symptoms as well as fighting the infection. Taking a warm bath with Epsom salt will instantly reduce irritation, itching, and discomfort associated with vaginal yeast infection. Prepare a bathtub, with warm water, and add 2 cups of Epsom salt in it. Let the salt dissolve completely and soak yourself in the bath for 12-15 minutes. Once done, dry the area. Repeat this remedy at least 3 times weekly until the infection goes off.
15. Avoid Harsh Products
The vagina has a natural balance of flora and pH that prevent infections. Using harsh chemicals in the area may disturb the skin and invite a yeast infection. Feminine douches, perfumed washes, and sprays contain harsh chemicals that may affect the vagina and irritate it. Be cautious when using a soap to wash your vagina as it may contain drying agents such as alcohol that may strip off the natural flora and make it vulnerable to yeast infections. These products also disrupt the normal pH of the vagina and affect its health. If absolutely needed, consider using only organic products, around your vagina, to reduce complications.
Some drugs or medications can disrupt your natural vaginal flora. This disruption can make you susceptible to yeast overgrowth. Thus taking probiotic supplements can help reverse this disruption, improve your vaginal flora and quell the fungal overgrowth.
Stress can weaken your immune system making you susceptible to fungal infection or may even cause yeast overgrowth. Thus, avoid stressful situations as much as possible. You could also try to get more rest and sleep or practice relaxation techniques such meditation.
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