If you’re reading this then you may be familiar with the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections, irritation, inflammation, itching, and painful discharge. These symptoms are triggered by an overgrowth of a fungus that naturally lives in your vagina. This fungus is called ‘Candida Albicans’. Most women experience a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infections are also known as ‘thrush infections’. Although medically, it’s known as vaginal candidiasis.
If this is your first time suffering the symptoms of a yeast infection, you’re always encouraged to visit your gynecologist to confirm you are experiencing yeast infection. But reoccurring yeast infections require a trip to the Doctor to prevent any further occurrences.
There are many home remedies that you can use. Many of these ingredients you may already have at home. The effectiveness varies, although, many women swear by some methods. The Mayo Clinic mentions these methods can be complementary to existing therapies you may already be using. Here are some popular home remedies for yeast infections.
1. Greek yogurt
Probiotics have been shown to be effective against C. albicans. Yogurt contains live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus. This live bacteria isn’t found in all yogurts, so it is important to read the label to ensure you’re buying yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, sometimes labeled as L.Acidophilus. Also ensure that the yogurt doesn’t contain added sugar, which encourages the growth of more fungus. A 2017 study showed that eating yogurt helps increase gut microbiome and can reduce yeast in the body. This bacteria is helpful in treating the fungal overgrowth, these bacteria are essential to creating a healthy environment in your vagina.
Directions: Lay a towel down as this method can get messy. Take plain Greek yogurt and slather a thick layer on your vulva. The cooling sensation also will help with the irritation and inflammation. Another technique is to saturate a tampon with plain yogurt and insert it as you’re laying down on the towel then remove the tampon after an hour or two.
2. Boric acid
Boric acid is an incredibly useful method when treating yeast infections that have become resistant to topical and oral antifungal medications. Although boric acid is only recommended for topical use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Boric acid suppositories are also a great alternative to use as an overnight treatment. Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic that many women claim is very useful even while being completely natural.
It is important to note that boric acid is toxic when used in large amounts. To avoid the dangers linked with boric acid when used in excess, do not use it on open skin wounds and do not take it orally. You also should never use boric acid if you are pregnant. Discontinue use if any discomfort or sensitivity begins.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is composed of 7 fatty acids derived from the flesh of coconuts. The oil is known for its antifungal properties. There have been studies to show that coconut oil is effective against the fungus C. Albicans, the fungus that causes yeast infections. This home remedy has been shown to have the greatest effect as it is the most evidence-based natural ingredient used to treat a vaginal yeast infection. Be sure to only buy pure, organic coconut oil for this method.
Directions: Apply the coconut oil directly to the vulva, be sure not to use the oil internally.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known for its immune system boosting properties. Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) can be used orally and topically. It has been used in skincare for decades as an ingredient known to give plump, glowy, healthy-looking skin. Vitamin C also has antimicrobial properties and, for many women, it is added as a part of their diet to treat the fungal overgrowths. The motive behind increasing vitamin C intakes is to boost the body’s natural ability to fight the yeast infection on its own. It is important to note, never apply vitamin C in any form to the sensitive vaginal tissue.
How to prevent future vaginal yeast infections:
• Limit the levels of sugar in your diets, yeast thrives on sugar. Also, avoid processed foods to maintain a well-rounded diet.
• Try to avoid wearing underwear as much as you can while at home and wear loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Also, consider cotton underwear as this is a breathable material that will help with the airflow.
• Avoid using antibiotics whenever you can.
• Avoid using douches, washes, perfumes, vaginal deodorants, and lotions. The PH balance may be altered. The yeast in your vagina can easily become unbalanced with these practices.
• Avoid taking baths, spending long periods in pools, or wet swimwear. This will encourage the yeast to grow, as yeast thrives in warm, moist environments.