Wearing Damp Or Tight
We’ve all heard this advice, but when a yeast infection is on the mend it can be easy to forget it. “If you have a yeast infection, avoid tight fitting or damp clothes or underwear,” Rachel Stone, MSN MPH, Pill Clubs Director of Triage, tells Bustle. “Yeast loves damp dark environments, so wearing loose clothing and underwear during a yeast infection can help it go away more quickly.” She also notes that it’s important to change quickly after gym time or a swim to make sure that yeast doesn’t linger in the damp clothing.
What To Expect From Prescription Treatment
If you have severe symptoms or OTC medication doesnt clear up your infection, you may need a prescription medication. Your healthcare provider may also recommend taking antifungal medications regularly if you get frequent yeast infections.
Prescription yeast infection medications, such as fluconazole , are taken by mouth. Youll usually only need one dose, but you may be prescribed two doses for very severe symptoms.
Other prescription yeast infection treatments include vaginal antifungal medications you can use for up to two weeks.
Your doctor may also recommend boric acid, another vaginal treatment, that can help treat yeast infections that dont respond to antifungal medications.
If you get a yeast infection while pregnant, OTC topical treatments can provide relief. Your healthcare provider wont prescribe fluconazole, as it can increase the risk of birth defects.
Still, its important to follow up with your healthcare provider if youre pregnant and have a yeast infection thats not getting better.
Have You Heard About Using Boric Acid For Yeast Infection
Boric acid has become an increasingly popular yeast infection in recent years. For many women suffering from chronic yeast infections, it turned out to be a real life-saver. Studies show that boric acid:
- Can kill yeast species that are immune to conventional yeast infection treatments
- Is a pretty safe treatment option as it rarely gives side effects
- Its also effective in BV and Trichomoniasis treatment
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How Can I Get Rid Of A Yeast Infection At Home
Home remedies: Over-the-counter treatments. Antifungal treatments in the form of ointments or pessaries can be purchased over-the-counter to treat yeast-based infections. Boric acid. Genital boric acid tablets can work for women with an infection from yeast. Tea tree oil. Probiotic supplements. Natural yogurt. Coconut oil. Garlic. Oil of oregano.
Your Hormone Levels Are In Flux
Shifts in hormone levels can affect the vaginal microbiomeâand in some cases, make it more susceptible to infection.
Wondering how this happens? It often comes down to estrogen levels. Thatâs because estrogen promotes the production of a sugar called glycogen. Glycogen acts as the main form of sustenance for protective bacteria called lactobacilli, which help maintain a healthy vaginal pH and keep pathogens at bay. When there is less estrogen present, there is less glycogen to feed the lactobacilli, which leaves an opportunity for BV-causing bacteria to overgrow.
On the other hand, glycogen is also food for yeast cells, so estrogen levels that are higher than normal can encourage Candida to multiplyâbringing on a yeast infection.
Thatâs right â not enough estrogen could create an opportunity for BV, while too much estrogen could encourage a yeast infection
As our hormones change throughout the month, as well as when we get pregnant, give birth, and go through menopause, the risk of bacterial or yeast infections change. This also happens when switching birth controls or dealing with a hormonal condition or imbalance. If you are managing consistent or recurring hormonal changes, vaginal issues may follow suit.
This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding all the ways hormones can influence the microbiome but you can read more about this relationship here.
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Conditions That Can Mimic A Yeast Infection
Six possible causes of symptoms that may masquerade as yeast infections include:
If you arent getting relief from the usual measures, or you arent quite sure of the diagnosis, its worth a trip to the office to get checked out, says Dr. Zanotti. Call your doctor to be sure youre addressing any problems with appropriate treatment.
What Should I Know About Yeast Infections
Also called vaginal candidiasis, vaginal yeast infection affects up to three out of four women at some point in their lifetimes, and many women experience at least two episodes. OTC medications can often effectively treat yeast infections, but those who have recurrent infections may need a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan.
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Disruptive Microbes Have Formed A Biofilm
Candida also has the ability to form biofilms, which can make your yeast infection resistant to treatment with antifungals, too.
Based on your unique vaginal microbiome, Evvyâs personalized reports can help you determine whether or not the microbes in your vaginal are prone to producing biofilm that enables resistance and/or recurrence.
How To Prevent Yeast Infections
Most of the time, the cause of a yeast infection is unknown. However, there are some common factors that can increase the risk of a yeast infection:
- Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics can increase likelihood of developing a yeast infection in 25-33% of individuals
- Increased estrogen levels appear appear to promote candida overgrowth, specifically when using an oral contraceptive that is high in estrogen, during pregnancy, and during estrogen therapy
- Immunocompromised individuals tend to have higher rates of yeast infection, especially individuals with HIV or those taking corticosteroids
- Diabetes can increase the likelihood of yeast infections due to high blood sugarâpeople with diabetes are more likely to acquire a vaginal infection than those who do not have diabetes
There are also some lifestyle changes you can make if you experience frequent yeast infections:
- Wear cotton underwear: Cotton allows the skin to breathe and wonât trap moisture that can contribute to the growth of yeast and bacteria.
- Wash and dry off after exercising: Like wearing cotton underwear, staying clean and dry helps prevent yeast overgrowth.
- Try a probiotic: Taking a daily probiotic helps promote healthy vaginal flora and can help keep yeast in check.
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Why Are Yeast Infections So Complicated
A vaginal yeast infection, also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis or vaginal thrush, is a very common fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of yeast. In fact, approximately 75% of women will experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetime.
Mild to moderate yeast infections that are sporadic or infrequent are normally caused by the yeast, Candida albicans and are called âuncomplicated yeast infectionsâ. This can usually be easily treated using over-the-counter antifungal medication.
In some cases, the yeast infection cannot be easily treated or it will come back after treatment. This could be because it is a âcomplicated yeast infectionâ or because it is not a yeast infection at all! Up to two-thirds of non-prescription drugs used to treat yeast infections are used in error.
Yeast infections that are severe, recurrent, caused by non-albicansCandida and/or occur in women who are immunocompromised are called âcomplicated yeast infectionsâ. To maximize treatment success, it is important to know if your symptoms are really down to a yeast infection, and if so, what type of yeast infection it is. To add to all this, sometimes yeast isnât a problem at all !
We are here to help you navigate through the complicated world of vaginal yeast. Hereâs how to decode your yeast infection in 5 simple steps with
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection
- Thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Burning or discomfort when urinating or during intercourse
- A red or swollen vulva
- Vaginal soreness, pain, or a rash
- Vaginal inflammation
If this is the first time youâve ever had yeast infection symptoms – or you arenât sure whether you have a yeast infection or something else – head to your doctor for medical advice before trying to treat it yourself. The same goes if you develop any other symptoms besides the above.
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Do I Need To See A Doctor If I Get Thrush
If you have had vaginal thrush in the past and the same symptoms come back then it is common practice to treat it without an examination or tests. Many women know when they have thrush and treat it themselves. You can buy effective treatments without a prescription from pharmacies.
However, remember a vaginal discharge or vulval itch can be due to a number of causes. So, do not assume all discharges or itches are thrush. The following gives a guide as to when it may be best to contact a doctor or nurse if you think that you might have thrush. If you:
- Are under 16 or over 60 years of age.
- Have treated yourself with a thrush treatment from the chemist, but your symptoms have not gone away.
- Have abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- Have lower tummy pain.
- Are unwell in yourself in addition to the vaginal and vulval symptoms.
- Have had two episodes of thrush in six months and have not consulted a doctor or nurse about this for more than a year.
- Have had a previous sexually transmitted infection .
- Have had a previous bad reaction to anti-thrush medication or treatments.
- Have a weakened immune system for example, if you are on chemotherapy treatment for cancer or are taking long-term steroid medication for whatever reason.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection
If you develop symptoms from a yeast infection, they’re likely to be bothersome until you treat the infection, though sometimes they do come and go on their own. Symptoms may include:
- Odorless vaginal discharge that’s often white, creamy, or cottage cheesy
- Burning when you urinate
If you find yourself wiping vigorously after urinating , that’s a clue, too.
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External Vaginal Itch Creams
A common misconception is that vaginal itch creams can treat yeast infections. Many women who use these products intending to treat a yeast infection soon discover the products shortcomings. While they may temporarily relieve the symptoms of your infection, they will not cure it.
Now, lets clear up some misconceptions about what causes yeast infections.
How To Use Boric Acid Suppositories
For best results, insert one suppository before going to bed, every night for 14 consecutive days. You can insert it using your finger or a suppository applicator. Dont forget to use a panty liner as it may leak out during the night.
Make sure you abstain from sexual activities during your treatment.
If you often get yeast infections, keep using one suppository a week for up to six months after you finish your treatment. Its called maintenance treatment and it will help you nip the infection in the bud before you develop any yeast infection symptoms.
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Vaginal Yeast Infection Treatment For Infections That Wont Go Away
I have had only one previous yeast infection. Science has not backed all home remedies, but recent studies have medically tested the following methods: Treatment includes oral or intravenous fluconazole, intravenous amphotericin B, or oral flucytosine. Dont share nail clippers with other people. As such, sometimes longer treatment is necessary, like a course of treatment that lasts 14 days. When I felt the symptoms coming on again, I texted a friend who has a degree in public health. More research into SIFO is needed to determine the causes and most effective treatments. A month earlier, the symptoms of a yeast infection had seemingly gone away after a 1-day suppository treatment.
- Sometimes the yeast grows quickly and causes an infection.
- Yeast infections usually happen in warm, moist parts of the body, such as the mouth, and moist areas of skin.
- Change out of wet clothing and swimsuits right away.
- These remedies kill it from the outside and when combined with those for the inside, very good success rates have been achieved.
While yogurt may be effective, it may not be as fast acting as antifungal treatments.
Look For Otc Yeast Infection Medications Ending In Azole Miconazole Clotrimazole
Dr. Brandye says these are easily accessible and will treat a yeast infection. However, “sometimes there can be resistance, or a different species of yeast that won’t respond to these medications,” she adds. In these cases, you’d wanna call up your doc to get a prescription for an oral medication like fluconazole.
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Yeast Infections Are Super Common Heres What You Should Know About Preventing And Treating One
A month earlier, the symptoms of a yeast infection had seemingly gone away after a 1-day suppository treatment. When I felt the symptoms coming on again, I texted a friend who has a degree in public health.
Do I need to see a doctor since I just had a yeast infection?
I had some garlic in my kitchen, so I decided to give it a go. An article said to insert the clove at night and to anchor it to the outer world with a piece of floss. That night, my dutiful boyfriend Nick used a dentists pick to puncture the clove and secure the floss. In it went, and off we dozed.
I think it worked! I texted my friend, foolishly.
A few hours later, the fire down under raged.
And so began a series of appointments, prescriptions, and Google searches that would persist November through January.
What Could It Be If Its Not A Yeast Infection
Several different womens health conditions share symptoms with yeast infections, and its not uncommon to mistake them for each other. If your yeast infection doesnt clear up with antifungal medication, you might have something else, such as a:
- Urinary tract infection : This occurs when bad bacteria multiply in your urinary tract, triggering symptoms such as a burning when you urinate, bloody or cloudy urine, pain during sex, and abdominal pain. Antibiotics can treat UTIs.
- Sexually transmitted infection : STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes can cause itching, burning, and unusual vaginal discharge. If you notice blisters, sores, or any kind of rash around your vaginal area, its worth seeing a doctor, especially if youve recently had unprotected sex.
- Bacterial vaginosis : This bacterial infection is similar to a yeast infection in many ways, with one crucial difference: Its caused by bacteria instead of fungus. BV is characterized by a thin gray or white discharge with a strong fishy odor .
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Applying Oils Down There Might Not Be The Best Remedy Either
Other natural remedies for yeast infections you may hear about are coconut oil and tea tree oil. But take caution, the docs say. “I would suggest you avoid the tea tree oil or coconut oil in the vaginal area because research doesnt suggest they work, and they may cause more harm than good,” says Dr. Rainford. Tea tree oil can actually be irritating if you put it near your vulva. And coconut oil, while generally safe for your skin, “is not consistently effective at curing yeast,” Dr. Sophocles points out.
When To See A Doctor For A Yeast Infection
As with any womens health concern, you should always consult a doctor to prescribe appropriate treatment. Insufficient treatment can cause recurring symptoms or chronic infections.
People of menstrual age are more likely to experience yeast infections than younger people with vaginas who have not yet started menstruating. This is likely due to many different factors, but the hormonal changes that bring about menstruation can play a role in increasing yeast infection risk for some people.
Among people who get recurring yeast infections, many report experiencing symptoms at the same time every month, in sync with their menstrual cycle. High levels of estrogen can lead to candida overgrowth, and estrogen increases after your period. Yeast infections that occur before your period may be due to changes in vaginal pH that happen during that time as part of your cycle.
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What Causes Yeast Infections
If you experience symptoms of a yeast infection, talk to your doctor. They will likely recommend over-the-counter or prescription antifungal creams, or even oral medication. Typically, a yeast infection lasts a few days, but it could take 1-2 weeks in more severe cases. In addition to treatments, there are lifestyle choices you can make to reduce the likelihood that you get recurring yeast infections, including the type of underwear you wear.