A yeast infection, or candidiasis is a condition that affects many people, – but it is more common in women. Fortunately, most yeast infections can be easily treated by anti-fungal medications some of which can be gotten over the counter. Previously, it was impossible to get yeast infection treatment without a prescription, which was especially frustrating to women who had recurrent yeast infections.
They knew exactly what they were suffering from and knew what drug could help; – still they had to seek a doctor’s prescription to get the drugs they needed. After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA approved over the counter yeast infection treatments, a variety of treatments have become accessible to most women.
Types of Over the Counter Yeast Infection Treatment
Over-the-counter yeast infection treatments come in a number of forms mainly:
a. Anti-fungal vaginal creams
This is the most common form of over the counter yeast infection treatment. Typically, the vaginal cream is applied inside the vagina using an applicator, where it eliminates the yeast. However, some creams are applied externally on the opening of the vagina and the vulva. These creams are merely used to relieve the symptoms of itching but do not treat the infection.
A common setback of vaginal creams is that they are messy and may leak out during the day. Hence, they are preferably used at night.
A suppository is a bullet/oval shaped tablet which is inserted into the vagina and it slowly dissolves giving out the medicine, which kills the yeast. Suppositories usually come packaged with a plastic device that helps one to insert the tablet into the vagina.
One advantage of suppositories/tablets over vaginal creams is that they are less messy and less likely to ooze out.
Also, they are usually stronger than creams and hence are used for fewer days.
Some ointments are available for rubbing into the vaginal area to relieve the itching symptoms
Examples of Over the Counter Yeast Infection Treatment
There are several examples of over the counter treatment made by different manufactures, with each treatment having a specific active ingredient. The table below shows some of the over the counter yeast infection treatments and the active ingredient contained in them.
Factors to consider when choosing an Over The Counter Yeast Infection Treatment
1. Cost of the treatment: Even though a certain cream or suppository is effective, it is important that you obtain it at a reasonable cost. You may use the internet to compare prices and then decide on the best product and where to buy it.
2. Time duration of the treatment: Some over the counter drugs are more potent than others and hence take a shorter time to eliminate the yeast infection. This is the case especially for suppositories containing clotrimazole or miconazole nitrate. However, the faster the medication works, the more expensive it is.
3. Side effects: Some anti fungal vaginal creams may have side effects associated with them. It is therefore important to read the labels carefully and decide what is best for you.
4. Convenience: Some over the counter treatments are more convenient to use than others. For example, suppositories are not likely to leak out while vaginal creams are messy and may leak out.
5. Interference with sexual intercourse: The vaginal cream may be appropriate for you if plan to abstain from sex but if you want to engage in protected sex it is best to use a suppository because vaginal creams are oil based and may interfere with latex found in condoms or diaphragms.
Safety tips when using Over The Counter Yeast Infection Treatment
i- Before using over the counter yeast infection treatment, consult a doctor to ensure that you are actually suffering from a yeast infection. This is because yeast infections have similar symptoms to other diseases like bacterial vaginosis or Trichomoniasis.
ii- Ensure that you follow the medication instructions to the letter. Do not stop using the treatment earlier than the time required even if the symptoms disappear.
iii- Over the counter yeast infection treatment can interfere with other medication. It is imperative that if you are taking medication for any other disease your doctor should be consulted before using over the counter yeast infection medication.
iv- Consult your doctor before/during usage of over the counter yeast infection treatment if:
• It is your first time to use this treatment.
• You are suffering from diabetes or HIV/AIDS.
• You are pregnant or lactating.
• You develop side effects like: fever, a foul smelling discharge and abdominal pains when using this treatment.
• You complete the required treatment and your symptoms have not abated.
NB: If the yeast infections keep recurring, it is best to seek a medical attention, as this may indicate a more serious underlying condition like diabetes, cancer or HIV/AIDS.
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