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A vaginal yeast infection (also called vaginal candidiasis or vaginal thrust) is a type of vaginitis or inflammation of the vagina caused by a fungus known as Candida. It is characterized by vaginal irritation, intense itchiness, soreness, pain during or after intercourse, urination and vaginal discharge. Vaginal yeast infection affects your vagina and the tissues at the vulva. It is a common condition, as 3 out of 4 women experience this condition at some point during their lifetimes.
Yeast infection can be spread to a male or female partner. Symptoms of a male yeast infection include itching and irritation of the penis after sexual contact with an infected woman.
Candida may be present in small amounts in some women but not cause disease. The presence of Candida without symptoms of infection does not require treatment.
The potential causes for vaginal thrust are:
- antibiotics: many women develop a yeast infection after taking antibiotics for several days (antibiotics kill some of the good bacteria in your body, including those that kill the yeast),
- your menstrual cycle: a woman is most likely to develop this condition around the time of her period,
- birth control methods: birth control pills and one-time morning-after pills produce a change in hormone levels, which can cause a yeast infection,
- various health problems (such as HIV or diabetes),
- general illness, poor eating or sleeping habits, and stress.
This condition is usually treated with antifungal medications. Taking an oral treatment (prescription required) is the fastest and most effective cure for a yeast infection.
Another way to treat yeast infection is using a topical treatment. Topical treatments are available both over-the-counter and with a prescription and they include antifungal creams, ointments, and suppositories that are applied to the affected area.
Now, here you have some home remedies for yeast infection.
First of all, you have to buy an at-home pH test. Normal vaginal pH is around 4, which is slightly acidic. If it’s above that, you’d better go see your doctor (this is not indicative of a yeast infection). If it’s below that, it is probably a yeast infection. It’s still best to see your doctor, but if it seems to be like other yeast infections you’ve had, treat it with the following home remedies.
Yogurt contains live cultures of bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus) that help restore the level of healthy bacteria in the vagina.
- 1-2 tablespoons plain yogurt (not flavored or sweetened, as the sugar will only make things worse).
- You can either eat yogurt or use it as a topical treatment on the affected area.
2. Cranberry juice
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice, but make sure it is 100% cranberry juice.
Garlic has strong antifungal properties.
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- Mince some garlic and add it to your meals, eat garlic plan or cut a clove of garlic in half and place it in the vagina overnight.
- There are also garlic tablets and, if you prefer this method, they can be inserted into the vagina or swallowed.
4. Aloe vera juice
- Keep aloe vera juice in the fridge.
- Soak a cotton pad in it and apply it to your vulva as needed (you can also use slippery elm powder).
- This method will only relieve itching and won’t kill yeast, so it must be combined with other treatments to really stop the problem.
You should bear in mind that although some women are more predisposed to yeast infections than others, there are some things you can do on a daily basis to prevent the appearance and spread of yeast infections:
- wear cotton underwear that keeps your genital area dry and prevents moisture build-up,
- change your underwear regularly,
- always wipe from front to back when using the toilet in order to prevent the spread of yeast or other bacteria from your anus,
- keep your vaginal area clean (use mild, unscented soap and water and rinse well),
- stay away from tight-fitting jeans or pantyhose, as these increase the temperature and moisture levels in your genital area,
- change tampons and pads often (every 4-6 hours),
- don’t douche,
- and don’t use deodorant tampons, feminine sprays, powders, or perfumes, as these items can change your vaginal flora.