Vaginal yeast infection is very common, affecting every 3 out of 4 women. It is not a sexually transmitted disease, but sexual activities can increase the risk of vaginal infection. This infection disturbs the balance of the healthy bacterial and fungal colonies in the vagina, thus disturbing normal vaginal metabolism. If left untreated, vaginal yeast infection can cause severe reproductive complications in females.
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Besides conventional medical treatments, some home remedies can also help treat vaginal yeast infections. These remedies can recover the vaginal microbial culture and boost the removal of infectious fungi. Keep reading to learn about home remedies for yeast infections in the vagina.
What Do You Mean By Yeast Infection In Vagina?
A vaginal infection caused by a fungal or yeast attack, resulting in irritation, abnormal vaginal discharge, soreness, and mild to severe itchiness in the vagina and vulva (vaginal opening), is termed a yeast infection in the vagina. This infection is also known as vaginal candidiasis. It is a very common infection among females and may occur more than once at some stages of their lives.
Yeast infection in the vagina is not a sexually transmitted disease or STD, but some research has shown sexual activities increase the risk of vaginal yeast infection. However, this infection can be treated through medications. Pharmacotherapy for vaginal yeast infection depends on the intensity and frequency of the infection. If females experience 3 to 4 infection attacks in a year, there will be a need for long-term medicinal therapies.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vaginal Yeast Infection?
Females with a yeast infection can experience below symptoms mentioned.
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal irritation
- Genital burning
- Vulvar swelling
- Vulvar redness
- Vaginal pain
- Genital soreness
- Vaginal rash
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
What Are The Causes Of Yeast Infection In Vagina?
The fungus candida albicans is the main cause of yeast infection in the vagina. Candida is naturally present in the vagina; these fungi, along with beneficial bacteria, are responsible for accomplishing vital vaginal functions. Any disturbance between the bacterial and fungal colonies results in an increased risk of yeast infection. For example, lactobacillus is responsible for preventing yeast overgrowth. Any reason causing the decline in lactobacillus will lead to increased yeast growth, thus causing infection. This overgrown yeast can grow in the deeper vaginal tissues causing mild to severe symptoms.
The reasons which can boost the overgrowth of yeast in the vagina include:
- Excessive antibiotic intake
- Chronic diabetes
- Impaired immunity, such as due to HIV
- Hormone therapy
- Oral contraceptives
Home Remedies For Yeast Infections In The Vagina
Some home remedies can help females alleviate yeast infection symptoms in the vagina. Here’re mentioned all of these home remedies in detail.
Yogurt is a natural and rich source of probiotics. Probiotics are living organisms that offer health benefits to human bodies. Yeast infection affecting the vagina disturbs the colonies of microbes or microbiome naturally present in the vagina (responsible for accomplishing some vital functions such as vaginal cleaning). So, these microbial colonies in the vagina need to be maintained to alleviate the infection symptoms and recover normal vaginal functioning.
Yogurt is an effective way of recovering this microbial growth in the vagina. Lactobacillus acidophilus is a live bacteria that is present in rich amounts in yogurt. These bacteria help in recovering the healthy bacterial culture and reducing yeast growth. By alleviating the risk of yeast spread, yeast helps cure the yeast infection in the vagina.
Therefore females suffering from vaginal yeast infections should increase their yogurt consumption. Eating plain Greek yogurt regularly can be a good option for females. Ensure you eat natural yogurt free of additives, flavoring agents, sweeteners, and preservatives. It is because these additives can increase yeast growth, worsening the symptoms.
If you dislike eating yogurt, you can increase probiotic intake through supplementation. Besides eating, there can be other ways to use yogurt for vaginal yeast infections. Apply yogurt directly on the vulva or insert it vaginally using a tampon.
Try Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is another at-home remedy for yeast infections in the vagina. This oil works because of its antifungal properties, which are beneficial for eliminating yeast growth from the vagina. Remember, oregano oil is effective against yeast vaginal infection; it is not the oreganos that are recommended for infection recovery. You must use the oregano oil prepared from wild oregano or Origanum vulgare.
It is best to dilute the oregano oil with some carrier oil and then apply it to the vagina. Carrier oils such as olive or sweet almond oil can be used. Add three to five drops of essential oil for each ounce of carrier oil. Apply this mixture by massaging gently on the skin. Be cautious while applying this oil mixture, don’t insert the oil into the vagina. Also, avoid ingesting oregano oil; it is only for topical use.
Try Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another oil that can be used for treating vaginal yeast infections at home. This oil contains antifungal properties. Studies have shown that coconut oil can work effectively against Candida albicans infection. It makes coconut oil an effective home remedy for females with vaginal yeast infections.
Be sure to buy pure organic coconut oil. It must be free of additives and preservatives; otherwise, yeast infection can be worsened. Apply it directly on the vaginal skin for a few days until you notice improvements in your symptoms.
Some studies have shown that garlic can also effectively treat fungal infections. Some strains of Candida are proven to be more effectively removed by garlic. If you want to go with a remedy, you can increase the garlic intake simply through your diet. Don’t try to use garlic through vaginal routes. You may get an idea to use garlic suppositories for vaginal yeast infection, but it is not a good idea. The use of garlic on the genital skin can result in burning, itching, redness, and some other related side effects.
Try Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is effective against viral, fungal, and bacterial infections. Due to these antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is an effective home remedy for vaginal yeast infections. Particularly, if you combine this home remedy with other recovery options, such as probiotics, there are increased chances of improving your symptoms.
Before applying tea tree oil for vaginal infection, dilute it first. It is because essential oils such as tea tree oil are potent in nature. Direct application can result in side effects such as burning of the skin. You can dilute the tea tree oil with carrier oils such as coconut or almond oil.
Suppositories containing tea tree oil are also available for females. These suppositories are considered the safest option because there is less risk of side effects associated with using tea tree oil suppositories. Avoid using this remedy if you have sensitive skin. You can first try coconut oil on less sensitive skin, such as on the arm, and notice if any side effects occur. You can use this tea tree oil if there are no side effects. Also, this oil should not be taken orally but only for topical use.
Try Boric Acid
Boric acid vaginal suppositories can also be an effective home remedy for treating yeast infections in the vagina. It is because of the antiseptic abilities of boric acid. It helps eliminate yeast growth from the vagina. Mostly, it is recommended with conventional medications for yeast infection.
But there are some side effects associated with the use of boric acid. When used in excess, boric acid is toxic, worsening the symptoms. Other related side effects of boric acid include renal damage, heart disease, skin irritation, and even death if patients use boric acid in large amounts. It is more damaging more the damaging skin.
Before applying it to the sensitive genital area, check the boric acid on less sensitive skin such as arm skin. Avoid using boric acid if you experience burning, irritation, and itching. Also, boric acid is not a recommended home remedy for pregnant women. Also, never use this remedy on broken skin.
Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Taking a bath in water with added apple cider vinegar is another home remedy for alleviating yeast infection. Studies have shown that acidity of apple cider vinegar can effectively eliminate fungal growth from the vagina. Therefore females suffering from vaginal yeast infection should go with this home remedy.
To benefit from apple cider vinegar, you have to prepare a lukewarm water bath with this vinegar. Add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bathtub. Then, relax in this bath for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat this procedure once daily.
Remember, apple cider vinegar plus water bath is not similar to douche. Douche aims to remove all microbial growth, including beneficial bacteria, from the vagina. It puts females at more risk of developing fungal and bacterial infections. Due to these reasons, females are recommended to avoid using douche for vaginal cleansing.
Try to Increase Your Vitamin C Consumption
Vitamin C boosts the immune functions in the body. By increasing immunity, vitamin C boosts the body’s ability to fight against foreign agents causing infection. Similarly, females can use vitamin C to increase the immune system against fungus-causing vaginal infections. You can increase your vitamin C intake by eating citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, berries, etc. Vitamin C supplements can also be taken to alleviate infectious symptoms.
Try to Increase Your Vitamin E Intake
Vitamin E can reduce the symptoms of vaginal infections caused by fungal attacks. This home remedy can help reduce the severity of the fungal attack and boost recovery along with other conventional treatments. It offers potent anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce the vaginal inflammation caused by yeast infection. Females can use vitamin E suppositories to apply on the vagina and alleviate the yeast infection. Alternatively, oils rich in vitamin E can also be used to treat vaginal yeast infections.
Try Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil is another essential oil that can be used as a home remedy for treating yeast infections in the vagina. Studies have found that lemongrass oil can inhibit the growth of infectious fungi by interfering with their biofilm.
You can apply this oil topically on the skin containing the infection. Dilute this oil with any carrier oil before applying it. Never insert it into the vagina-otherwise mild to severe side effects can occur. Lemongrass oil capsules are also available, which can make topical application easy.
Now, you must be all aware of the home remedies for yeast infections in the vagina.
All the remedies we discussed above can help females maintain a healthy microbiome of the vagina and alleviate yeast infection symptoms. These remedies work by boosting the growth of healthy bacterial cultures and inhibiting the growth of infectious fungi in the vagina. If you notice some serious symptoms, not recovering with home remedies, you must seek proper medical attention.
Can a vaginal yeast infection go away on its own?
In some cases, when acute yeast infection occurs in the vagina, there is a chance of self-recovery without any treatment. But, if you notice any mild to severe symptoms, you need proper treatment. In case you are experiencing 3 to 4 episodes of vaginal yeast infection, you may need along term treatment.
Can a yeast infection cause vaginal dryness?
Yes, yeast infection can cause vaginal dryness. It is mainly because of the disturbance in the pH of the vagina, which leads to dryness of the vaginal walls. But remember, vaginal dryness alternatively cannot cause yeast infection.
How long does a vaginal yeast infection last?
It depends on the medication you're taking to treat vaginal yeast infections. The frequency and intensity of the yeast infection in the vagina also decide the recovery duration. Sometimes, it may take a few days for the female to recover completely. A duration of one week can also be required if the symptoms are more severe.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.