The itchy, bothersome feeling of a yeast infection is all too painfully familiar to many women. If you’ve had one or many yeast infections, you know that treatment is foremost on the minds of sufferers and their loved ones alike. Discover the basics of vaginal yeast infection treatment and empower yourself.
Treatment is conditional. There are different ways of treating vaginal yeast infections. The decided upon tactic depends upon the type of infection. Typically, doctors will select the least invasive methods first, moving on, if necessary, to more aggressive treatments.
Uncomplicated yeast infections. The uncomplicated yeast infection is characterized by its infrequency and mild to moderate symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is the most common form of yeast infection. Treating the uncomplicated yeast infection involves a couple options. Your doctor may suggest:
- Prescription medication — Single-dose, oral, anti-fungal medication is a handy and effective way to treat yeast infections. Diflucan (or the generic, fluconazole) is prescribed one pill at a time. Usually only one pill is required for successful treatment.
- Vaginal medication — Many vaginal treatments are available in over-the-counter preparations. From one-time applications to seven-day regimens, these anti-fungal creams must be applied nightly for effective relief and eradication of the infection. Suppositories are a similar form of treatment and may offer another method that some women prefer.
Complicated yeast infections. Yeast infections that don’t go away or reoccur might be considered complicated yeast infections. Your doctor is the best judge of your medical condition. Be sure to consult your physician should you have severe symptoms, pregnancy, diabetes or an immune deficiency. Your doctor will treat these yeast infections differently. Some types of treatment for complicated yeast infections include:
- Long-term vaginal medication — Anti-fungal cream for a course of seven to 14 days is a more aggressive method of treating complicated yeast infections. These vaginal therapies also come in suppository or ointment forms.
- Prescription medication — Multiple doses of fluconazole, instead of the single dose, may be required for complicated yeast infections.
- Long-term treatment plan — Reoccurring, complicated yeast infections will likely require a maintenance plan. Your doctor may suggest anti-fungal medications to be taken long-term to keep the yeast fungus under control and preclude future infections. Maintenance therapy may last from a few weeks to months, depending upon the severity of the infection and your doctor’s recommendations.