While mild yeast infections can sometimes go away on their own, most won’t leave you in peace so easily. Fortunately, that’s the bad news.
The good news is that you might not need to run to the doctor or pharmacy to treat one.
A Common Infection
Most women have experienced at least one vaginal yeast infection, which is caused by the opportunistic yeast, candida. When the delicate balance between bacteria and yeast is upset, candida can quickly flourish out of control, becoming an infection. This leads to symptoms such as burning, itching, and thick, white discharge. The longer the yeast is able to go unchecked, the worse the infection can become.
Finding the Right Weapon
When a yeast infection strikes, you want it gone as soon as possible—but you might not want to suffer the irritation that can come with using an antifungal. If your infection is mild, your first line of defense could be as simple as eating plain, unsweetened yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotics that compete with candida, and have long been used to aid similar imbalances in the gut. If using yogurt topically, it’s important to make sure it’s unsweetened, as candida thrive on sugar.
Other Home Remedies
While yogurt may treat mild infections, moderate to severe yeast infections likely need additional help. Luckily, there are some home remedies using items you might already have on hand.
Studies have shown using tampons treated with light applications of tea tree oil can work as effectively as the typical over-the-counter yeast infection treatment. Other studies have shown boric acid, which can be found in suppository form, also to be safe and effective, although there have been some reports of burning and discharge.
No matter how you treat it, the earlier you address a yeast infection, the quicker you’ll recover. Any yeast infection that doesn’t clear up within 7-10 days should be addressed by your doctor.