Yeast Infection Treatment

A yeast infection, or candidiasis is a condition that is prevalent in many people. It is caused by a fungal organism known as Candida albicans. Yeast infections bring about a lot of discomfort, inconvenience and embarrassment to the concerned person. Thanks to scientific advances, however, a wide range of treatments are now available to persons suffering from this condition. Yeast infection treatment can be divided into two main categories:

i. Natural treatments/Home remedies.
ii. Artificial treatment.

Natural Yeast Infection Treatment

This form of treatment has been around for centuries, before the advent of tablets and pills. Basically, it involves the use of natural plants and substances which possess certain anti fungal properties to eliminate the yeast infections.
More and more people are turning to natural treatments nowadays, often because of the expenses and side effects characteristic of artificial drugs.

Common remedies include use of yoghurt, tea tree oil, vinegar, garlic, honey and healthy habits. Unless stated otherwise, these remedies should be carried out at least once daily until the symptoms come to an end.

a) Use of Yogurt: Yogurt is said to posses certain bacteria known as Lactobacilli acidophilus. These bacteria are essential bacteria that help to control the population of yeasts in the vagina. Therefore, introducing yogurt into one’s diet, either indirectly through the diet or directly into the vagina, through douching or a tampon, proves as an effective treatment for yeast infection.

b) Use of tea tree oil: Tea tree oil possesses certain anti fungal properties that make it an effective treatment for yeast infections. It can be applied into the vagina though use of a tampon. However, it is also a very potent chemical and therefore it must be used in very small quantities, in diluted form.

c) Use of vinegar: The vagina normally has an acidic pH of 4.5. Vinegar works by restoring this pH and therefore eliminating the conditions that are favorable for growth of yeast. Vinegar also has some anti fungal and ant bacterial properties. Douching the vaginal area with a mild solution of vinegar or soaking yourself in a bath tub containing water mixed with about a cup of vinegar is an effective treatment for yeast.

d) Use of garlic: Garlic also has anti fungal properties that make it an effective treatment for yeast infections. A paste of garlic may be rubbed onto a skin infection but in the case of a vaginal infection, a clove of garlic should be wrapped in cheesecloth and inserted into the vagina carefully, tied using an unwaxed dental floss.

e) Use of honey: Honey provides environmental conditions that are not favorable to yeast. Applying liberal amounts of honey in the vaginal area will eliminate the yeast.

f) Healthy habits: These healthy habits, though they don’t kill the yeast directly, eliminate the conditions that they thrive in and also make the body’s immune system more capable to fight off yeast infections. They include:

• Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamin C.
• Having plenty of rest.
• Wearing loose, dry and breathable underwear preferably made from cotton.
• Avoiding scented tampons and sanitary pads, scented toilet paper, feminine deodorant sprays, birth control pills and commercial douches.
• Engaging in protected sex.

Advantages of Natural treatment
- They are usually cheap and accessible.
- They have few or no side effects if used appropriately.
- They can be used by people in special circumstances whereby taking of antibiotics would compromise them e.g. diabetics, HIV/AIDS patients or pregnant women.

Disadvantages of Natural Treatments
- Some of them do not cure the infection but merely relieve the symptoms and therefore the infection keeps recurring
- They take a lot of time to cure the infection

Artificial Yeast Infection Treatment

Yeast infection treatment is also available in form of prescription medication or over the counter medication. These treatments are usually very effective and eliminate the yeast infection within a short time.

Types of artificial treatment
a) Prescription medication:
These are drugs that are prescribed by a doctor after he/she has done tests and confirmed that you are indeed suffering from a yeast infection. Example include:
• Diflucan which is a one day oral pill taken to eliminate yeast infections.
• Nizoral is an oral pill that is taken for one or two weeks, depending on the dosage given.

b) Over the Counter treatment: These are a wide range of treatments that can be found in most pharmacies. They usually come in the form of vaginal creams or suppositories (bullet-shaped tablets inserted into the vagina). Common brands include:
• Monistat.
• Vagistat.
• Gynezol.
• Gyne-Lotrimin.
• Mycelex.

Advantage of artificial treatment
- They are very effective and take a short time to cure the infection.

Disadvantages of artificial treatment
- They are very expensive.
- Some of them have undesirable side effects like dizziness and weakness.
- They cannot be used by some people special circumstances e.g. pregnant women, diabetics or people on other medication.
- The antibiotics contained in these treatments may end up killing both the yeast as well as the essential bacteria, increasing the chances of a recurrence of the yeast infection.

As it can be seen from the foregoing, there are a number of treatments which can be used to eliminate yeast infections. The choice of a specific treatment is made by the individual according to his/her personal preference but in case of uncertainty, it is best to consult a doctor.

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