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Home Remedies For Vaginal Yeast Infection By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

By Dr Siddharth Gupta +2 more

Introduction:  

Candida, a specific type of fungus, causes infection of the vagina, called vaginitis. Yeast is always present on our body but creates a disease when it overgrows. Infection of the vagina is very common, of which yeast infections of the vagina are the second most common. Many conditions causing the loss of chemical balance, like pregnancy, antibiotic medications, diabetes, etc., might lead to the occurrence of a vaginal yeast infection. Read to find out more about the causes, symptoms and a few possible home remedies for vaginal yeast infections.1 This condition requires medical intervention, therefore, do not self-diagnose or take medications without proper consultation.

Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infections

What Causes Vaginal Yeast Infection? 

A fungus called Candida causes vaginal yeast infections. These yeasts are common inhabitants of the body in small numbers. They cause no problem when they are in balance in our body’s ecosystem. However, when the balance gets disrupted, they grow rapidly and cause a yeast infection. This condition is also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis or vaginal candidiasis. It is a type of vaginitis (a condition characterised by swelling, pain and discharge from the vagina).1 

 Some of the factors which may lead to the occurrence of vaginal yeast infections are: 

  • Tight-fitting clothing    
  • Use of sanitary pads  
  • Use of intrauterine devices (IUDs)  
  • Spermicidal creams  
  • Certain medicines like high-spectrum antibiotics and systemic corticosteroids  
  • Highdoses of oral contraceptives  
  • Allergies and allergic rhinitis (allergies causing itching, watery eyes, runny nose, etc.)  
  • Spermicidal creams  
  • Receiving oral sex 2    

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For Vaginal Dryness

Although Candidal vaginal infections are very common and should resolve easily on topical treatment, if left unattended, they may get complicated with redness, swelling and cracks in the walls of the vagina, which may be severely painful.

Dr Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection: 

There are a few typical signs of the vagina which you can notice if you have a vaginal yeast infection. They are as follows: 

  • Swelling and redness of the vagina and vulva  
  • While passing urine, you might get a burning sensation  
  • Itchiness of the vagina and vulva  
  • Tiny cracks or cuts in the affected area  
  • A thick vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese.  
  • Pain during sex can also be a sign of vaginal yeast infection.1  

Also Read: Home Remedies For Vaginal Itching

Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection: 

Some home remedies or natural ways might be helpful for vaginal yeast infections.  However, using the following remedies is highly subjective and requires further research.  

1. Care of the vulva  

There are a few tips that your doctor might suggest that you follow to care for your vulva (the outer part of female genitals, which acts as the gate to the uterus and protects it) and vagina. These practices might help against yeast infections. Your doctor might recommend avoiding washing the vulva excessively. It might also be suggested to avoid certain irritants like perfumed soaps, vaginal sprays or powders and bubble baths.2  

2. Diet Modification  

Research has shown that consumption of bread made with yeast might lead to repeated vaginal yeast infections. Another study showed that intake of refined sugars might increase the flaring of symptoms of vaginal yeast infections. A diet low in yeast and refined sugars might help manage vaginal yeast infections. However, more research is required to prove these claims.2 

3. Garlic    

Garlic might have antifungal actions. Studies have shown that garlic might have the potential to help in vaginal yeast infections. The active compound in garlic, Allicin, might reduce fungal growth. However, more research on animals and humans is required to prove its effectiveness. It might also cause chemical burns or allergic reactions. Therefore, please consult a doctor before use.2  

4. Tea tree oil  

Several studies have shown that tea tree oil might have the potential to act as a herbal antifungal and antibacterial agent. Adding tea tree oil to the bath or using tea tree pessaries (a medicinal capsule inserted into the vagina) might be helpful. They may also be available as gels and creams. However, there are chances that it might cause severe irritation in some people. In a study, it was hypothesised the effect of tea tree oil might depend on the acidic environment of the vagina. Therefore, the effects on the vagina might differ from one person to another.2 

5. Probiotics  

Good bacteria (probiotics) might help against vaginal yeast infections. The recolonisation (refilling the lost bacteria) of bacteria, especially lactobacillus, might be helpful. Therefore, your doctor might recommend eating yoghurt, probiotic capsules, etc. Sometimes, your doctor might prescribe you probiotic creams that have to be applied to the vagina or inserted into it.2  

6. Creams and Pessaries  

Creams with boric acid and other antifungal agents may be helpful against repeated vaginal yeast infections. Pessaries are certain medications that need to be inserted into the vagina. The pessaries have an antifungal agent that is enclosed in a gelatine capsule. When the gelatine capsule is placed in the vagina, it dissolves due to the body heat and the medicine is released. As the medicine is directly released into the vagina, it might act directly and help against the vaginal infection. It might be more effective than creams. Therefore, your doctor might suggest that you use them.2 

7. Clothing    

Tight-fitting pants, pantyhose and synthetic underwear might lead to sweating. They are best avoided to prevent any fungal infections. It is better to use cotton clothing and underwear to relieve fungal infections. However, this does not have any scientific backing. One study showed that microwaving freshly washed and dried underwear might help sterilise it and may reduce the chances of vaginal yeast infection.2  

8. Coriander seeds  

The national health portal of India has stated coriander seeds might be helpful against vaginal yeast infections. To use coriander seeds, you have to soak a few coriander seeds in water overnight. Straining the water and drinking it on an empty stomach might prove to be helpful. However, you should consult a doctor before using this remedy.3 

9. Cranberry Juice  

Drinking cranberry juice might also prove to be helpful against vaginal yeast infection. Drinking fresh cranberry juice without added sugars might be even better. However, more research is required to prove the possible effects of cranberry juice against vaginal infection. 3 

10. Other home remedies for vaginal yeast infections  

A few other home remedies for vaginal yeast infections are as follows: 

  • Eating raw or lightly steamed ladyfinger might be helpful. 
  • Consuming ripe bananas might also be beneficial. 
  • Cleaning the vaginal area with freshly squeezed lemon juice and water may help in vaginal yeast infection.3 

However, kindly ensure that you consult a doctor before using any home remedy. 

Also Read: Understanding and Managing Vaginal Boils: An Essential Guide

Vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans. It’s normal for this yeast to live in the mucous membranes lining the genitals. Women should avoid using things that do more harm than good in excess, like vaginal douches or female intimate hygiene products. These products upset the natural balance of germs, increasing the risk of infections.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka – MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Also Read: Does Boric Acid Make You Tighter? Evidence-Based Insights Into Vaginal Health

Though there are studies that show the benefits of the given herb and home remedies in the condition, these are insufficient. There is a need for large-scale human studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these home remedies on human health. Thus, these should only be taken with caution and never as a substitute for medical treatment.    

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies For Breast Pain

When to Seek Medical Help:  

You should seek medical help by visiting a doctor under the following circumstances: 

  • If you notice the symptoms of yeast infection for the first time  
  • If you doubt that you have a vaginal yeast infection 
  • When you develop other unknown or unusual symptoms in your vaginal area 
  • If the symptoms do not go away on treatment by the medications, creams, suppositories, etc., prescribed by your doctor.4 

You must not rely on home remedies alone for the treatment of the condition and should consult a qualified doctor for any advice for condition if the symptoms do not improve with home remedies.   

Conclusion: 

Vaginal yeast infection is caused by a specific fungus or yeast called Candida. This yeast is normally present on our body but causes an infection when the chemical balance in the environment of our body gets distorted. As a result, you might experience redness and itching with white, thick, cottage-cheese consistency discharge from the vagina. You should visit a doctor who might prescribe you medicines and suggest using certain home remedies like diet changes, probiotics, etc. The choice of treatment is at the discretion of your doctor. Hence, it is important to consult with them. Taking care of your vulva and vagina and seeking medical help will help you maintain overall reproductive health.  

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For PCOS

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are some of the home remedies for vaginal yeast infections? 

Some home remedies for vaginal yeast infections are avoiding sugars and yeast-containing bread. Including probiotics, garlic, tea tree oil, cranberry juice, coriander seeds, ladyfinger, lemon juice, etc. However, more research is required to prove these effects on vaginal yeast infections. Kindly consult a doctor before using any of these.2 

Can we use a home remedy for white vaginal discharge? 

You should consult a doctor if you have a white vaginal discharge. It can be due to many reasons. Therefore, you should not rely on home remedies and consult a doctor at the earliest. 

Can we use garlic as one of the home remedies for yeast infections? 

Garlic has a bioactive compound (Allicin), which might have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Therefore, it might help against yeast infections. However, more research is required. It might also cause chemical burns and allergies. So, kindly consult a doctor before using garlic for yeast infections.2 

Can we use tea tree oil for vaginal yeast infections? 

Tea tree oil might have the potential to help with vaginal yeast infections. Your doctor might recommend adding it to baths or as pessaries. However, more research is required to explore its potential side effects in humans.2 

I use apple cider vinegar for yeast infection. Can it be useful for vaginal yeast infection home treatment? 

Apple cider vinegar may or may not be effective against yeast infections. There are more studies required to prove its effect against yeast infections. Therefore, kindly consult a doctor before using it for any yeast infection, including vaginal yeast infection.2 

Can yoghurt be used as one of the good home remedies for yeast infection in women? 

Probiotics may help against vaginal yeast infection. Therefore, yoghurt might be recommended by your doctor as a probiotic that might help vaginal yeast infections. However, more research is required to prove these claims.2 

References: 

1. Yeast Infections [Internet]. Cleaveland Clinic. [cited 2022 Jul 18]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5019-yeast-infections 

2. Watson C, Calabretto H. Comprehensive review of conventional and non-conventional methods of management of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. 2007;(November 2006):262–72. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17627679/ 

3. Sailan-ur- Rahem ( Leucorrhoea ) [Internet]. National Health Portal. [cited 2022 Aug 16]. Available from: https://www.nhp.gov.in/sailan-ur-rahem-leucorrhoea_mtl 

4. Yeast infection ( vaginal ) [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2022 Jul 18]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/yeast-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20378999 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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