Vaginal yeast infection, a bacterial infection of your nether region that causes itching, burning and discharge, is more common than you’d think: As many as three out of four women experience a yeast infection in their lifetimes, says the Mayo Clinic. It’s not the type of thing that goes away if you ignore it, either—the longer you wait to treat it, the worse it gets. The good thing is that there are some home remedies for yeast infections that actually work. Before you take the DIY approach, though, first make sure your doctor diagnoses that yeast is really the culprit. If you’re experiencing recurring infections, there could be something more serious behind it. Then, if it looks like you have a mild to moderate yeast infection, consider these home remedies.
Simple sugar in all its forms (don’t forget alcohol!) fuels yeast overgrowth, says Jacqui Solowjew, naturopathic doctor at Revivelife Clinic in Ottawa, Ontario. Solowjew recommends cutting it out and eating a whole-food-rich diet instead. Bonus health boost!
Garlic contains allicin, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of yeast. It is also an antifungal agent. Solowjew recommends adding it liberally to your diet—as in one clove, three times per day. Not a huge fan of garlic breath? You can also pop an oral supplement. “When choosing a form of garlic for oral supplementation, the garlic product with the highest amount of allicin in its stable form should be chosen,” says Heather Barrett, naturopathic doctor at Synergy Natural Medicine Clinic in Monrovia, Calif. Solowjew recommends looking for the phrases "standardized extracts" and tablets that are "enteric coated" on the product label. "In clinical practice, I see good results when using whole garlic bulb enteric-coated 500 mg tablets standardized to contain 4.5 mg allicin each."
Essure is a permanent birth control procedure that works with your body to create a natural barrier against pregnancy. The Essure procedure involves placing soft, flexible inserts into your fallopian tubes. Over a period of about three months, tissue forms around the inserts. The build-up of tissue creates a barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs and prevents contraception.
It’s an old wives’ tale that may just work: Increasing intake of yogurt (specifically, unsweetened yogurt that contains live cultures) is said to reduce vaginal yeast. While the Mayo Clinic notes that this approach still remains largely unproved, some studies do show symptom relief in women. Solowjew adds that gelatin capsules of probiotics with a dose of around 200 million CFU can be inserted into the vaginal canal during a bad infection nightly for up to two weeks. Consult with your doctor before doing so, of course.
When you know your family is complete, you’re ready to consider permanent birth control. More and more women like you are making the decision to have the Essure procedure to prevent unplanned pregnancy so they can fully enjoy the lives they have built for themselves. They’re choosing lives without hormones or the hassle of other birth control methods and the confidence of knowing that they are protected from unplanned pregnancy forever.
Sorry, but sex is a major no-no when you have a yeast infection. Avoid sexual activity to avoid re-infection and reduce irritation. Also, while it’s unlikely that you have spread your yeast infection to your partner, it’s possible. To be safe, even after symptoms have subsided, engage in only protected sex until you are 100 percent sure the whole deal is gone for good.
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