Vaginal Yeast Infection Treatment

It is estimated that about 70% of women suffer from at least one vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. A vaginal yeast infection brings about its fair share of embarrassment, inconvenience and discomfort to the affected woman. Luckily though, it is not a debilitating or injurious condition and vaginal yeast infection treatment is readily available.

The types of vaginal yeast infection treatment can be divided into 3 groups:

1. Natural treatment/Home remedies
2. Over the counter vaginal yeast infection treatment
3. Prescription medication

Natural Treatment of Vaginal Yeast Infection

This treatment involves use of natural plants and substances which are known to posses anti fungal properties. Some of the natural/home remedies for vaginal yeast infections include :

a) Use of yoghurt
Yoghurt is known to have essential bacteria, known as Lactobacillus acidophilus which combat the yeast cells. Note: Yoghurt should only be used when there is absolute certainty that one is suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, otherwise it can aggravate a bacterial infection

How to use yoghurt
i. Ensure you eat plenty of unsweetened yoghurt
ii. Take a tampon and dip it in some unsweetened yoghurt, after which you should insert it into the vagina for some hours. Repeat this process daily until the symptoms cease
iii. Also, you can douche the vaginal region using a solution of unsweetened yoghurt

b) Use of tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural chemical having anti fungal properties, making it an effective vaginal yeast infection treatment. However, tea tree oil is a very potent chemical and it must be used in very small quantities, diluted using either olive oil or sweet almond oil.

How to use tea tree oil
i. Pour a few drops of tea tree oil on a tampon and then insert the tampon into the vagina for about an hour. Repeat this process twice a day until the symptoms come to an end

Notes about tea tree oil
- Tea tree oil is a very potent chemical and it must be used sparingly.
- Tea tree oil may cause a slight burning effect, but will eventually bring about relief.
- Some women have an adverse reaction to tea tree oil and therefore it is best to consult a doctor in case of very serious side effects.

c) Use of garlic
Garlic is a bitter plant which resembles an onion. It naturally kills off yeast.

How to use garlic
i. Wrap a fresh clove of garlic in some cheesecloth. Tie the wrapped garlic using an unwaxed dental floss and use the dental floss to carefully insert it into the vagina. Leave it there overnight.
ii. You may also use mix a clove of garlic along with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in two cups of water and use the resulting solution for douching.

d) Use of vinegar
Vinegar works by restoring the vagina to its normal acidic pH and therefore inhibiting the growth of yeast.

How to use vinegar
i. Dip yourself in a half filled bath tub containing water mixed with half a cup of apple cider vinegar and half a cup of salt for about 30 minutes. Repeat this daily until symptoms disappear completely.
ii. Alternatively, you can prepare a douching solution by mixing one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a fresh clove of garlic in two cups of water.

e) Use of honey
Honey also inhibits the growth of yeast

How to use vinegar
i. Apply liberal amounts of honey into the vaginal area and leave it there for about an hour. Repeat this process at least once daily until the symptoms are relieved.

Notes about Home remedies
- They are relatively cheap and accessible.
- They have few or no side effects, when appropriately used.
- Some remedies merely relieve the symptoms, but do not cure the infection.

Over the Counter Vaginal Yeast Infection Treatment

Yeast infection treatments are available over the counter in most pharmacies. Over the counter treatments come in form of vaginal creams or suppositories. The vaginal creams are typically applied into the vaginal area using an applicator daily, for a few days until the infection clears up. Suppositories are bullet shaped tablets that are inserted into the vagina using a plastic device. They slowly melt, releasing the medicine.

Common brands include:
• Monistat
• Gynezol
• Femstat
• Gyne-Lotrimin
• Mycelex
• Terazole etc

Notes about vaginal yeast infection treatment
- Most over the counter treatments are commonly misused by women who falsely believe that they have yeast infections.
- Vaginal creams are known to interfere with latex found in condoms and diaphragms and hence suppositories are preferable when having protected sex.
- Vaginal creams tend to be messier and can leak out, as opposed to suppositories.

Prescription Medication for Treating Vaginal Yeast Infection

Prescription medications are those treatments which are prescribed by a doctor, after conclusive tests have been carried out and proved that the patient has a vaginal yeast infection. They are very effective and eliminate the infection completely after a short time.
Common drugs include:
• Diflucan: this is an oral pill taken only once to eliminate the yeast infection.
• Nizoral: this is an oral pill that takes between one to two weeks to eliminate the yeast infection.

Notes about Prescription medication
- They cannot be taken by pregnant women and people using certain medication.
- They are usually expensive.
- They are very effective.
- Some have undesirable side effects like weakness and dizziness.
- They may end up eliminating both the essential bacteria as well as the yeast, making one susceptible to future vaginal yeast infections.

After the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection crop up, it is important that the woman seeks the proper vaginal yeast infection treatment. The choice of treatment is usually upon the patient’s discretion, but where one is in doubt, professional opinion can be sought from a doctor.

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