Yeast infections are so common that at least a three fourth of women will have one at some point in their lives. It may also affect men, but only in rare occurrences. Half of all women have more than one infection in their lives.
If you suspect that you are suffering from a yeast infection, do consult your doctor, because a lot of the symptoms are common to other more serious diseases.
Some of the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are:
- Itching and burning in the vagina and around the vulva.
- Swelling of the vulva
- A white vaginal discharge.
- Pain during sexual intercourse
What causes a yeast infection?
Yeast is actually the common name for the fungus Candida Albicans. These are tiny organisms that normally grow on the skin around and inside the vagina.
The acidic environment of the vagina keeps them from growing. If the acidic levels of the vagina fall, the yeast grow profusely and this leads to a vaginal infection.
The acidic balance of the vagina changes due to a variety of reasons such as menstruation, pregnancy, diabetes, frequent use of antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids, unhygienic conditions, frequent exposure to semen, chemicals used in soaps and tampons, and wearing tight clothing that restricts the skin from breathing.
What can I use to cure a yeast infection?
Fortunately, yeast infections are relatively easy to cure. You may want to try some home remedies for curing this infection, in consultation with your doctor, because home remedies generally have a longer lasting effect than over the counter medication. Here are some popular time-tested remedies for fighting yeast infections:
Yogurt: The good bacteria in yogurt help fight yeast infections effectively. The yogurt also has an extremely soothing effect on the affected area. Be sure to use plain, unsweetened yogurt, because sugar feeds the yeast. You can even use home-made yogurt. Dip a tampon into the plain yogurt and insert it into your vagina or simply rub some yogurt on the outside. This should be done twice or thrice a day, depending on the severity of the infection, until the infection gets cured.
Apple-cider vinegar: Apple-cider vinegar can also be used both internally and externally. However, you will have to dilute it if you wish to make a topical application. The best way to do this is to add about a cup of apple cider vinegar into your bathwater and take a nice hot bath. This will soothe the itching and help cure the infection.
Garlic: Garlic is a very effective home remedy against yeast infections. The garlic cures the infection and also provides relief from the itching and burning. Insert a clean clove of garlic into the vagina every couple of hours or as needed. There are also some garlic tablets that are available in the Markey, which may also be used.
Oil of Oregano: Oil of the oregano herb, when taken internally, is very potent against yeast. Choose an oil with a high carvacrol content and drink a teaspoon daily or as per the directions on the label.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is an aromatherapy oil with strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil can be used in the form of suppositories. Use one suppository per day until the infection ceases.
Some do’s and don’ts
Do follow these additional tips when fighting a yeast infection with your chosen home remedy. They will aid you in curing your infection faster.
- Drink lots of water. Frequent water intake makes you urinate more frequently. Thus, the body is able to flush out the sugars that feed the yeast. A regular intake of water will also help prevent further infections from occurring.
- Avoid foods that feed the yeast such as sugar and refined flours such as white flour and yeast.
- Avoid using birth control pills and antibiotics when you have a yeast infection. Antibiotics and birth control pills weaken the immune system and it takes longer to cure infections.
- Avoid douching as it can reduce the acidic levels in the vagina causing leading to further yeast growth.
- Do wear cotton underwear. Synthetic underwear does not allow the skin to breathe and traps heat and moisture which is very conducive to the growth of yeast.
- Do not wear clothing that is tight around the crotch for the same reason.
- Keep the vaginal area dry, clean and free from sweat to discourage the growth of yeast.
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.