Treat Yeast Infections: Is It Ever OK to Treat a Yeast Infection on Your Own?

Condoms or diaphragms may be damaged and fail to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Mayo clinic marketplace, [28] Other alternative treatment approaches include switching contraceptive, treatment of the sexual partner and gentian violet. You can use these products whether or not you are menstruating. Application methods and length of treatment will depend on the brand you choose. Once you confirm your privacy choices here, you can make changes at any time by visiting your Privacy Dashboard. Miconazole and clotrimazole products are available in one, three, six, and seven-day formats. Studies have shown that as many as two-thirds of all OTC drugs sold to treat yeast infections were used by women who didn't actually have a yeast infection. But evidence for the bacteria's helpfulness is inconsistent. The shocking statistics — and myth-busters — may surprise you.

  • What are some symptoms of yeast infections?
  • A sample of vaginal discharge can be taken during a wet mount test.
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Itchy and irritating, vaginal yeast infections are also exceedingly common. So, how's a girl to know the difference between a yeast infection or something else? This medication may be fatal if taken orally and is used only to treat candida fungus that is resistant to the usual antifungal agents. Medicine put into the vagina can be uncomfortable. What’s more, since yeast thrive in a warm, moist environment, clinicians also advise taking preventive steps such as wearing cotton underwear, avoiding tight-fitting clothing and not staying in damp clothing, like after a workout or swim, as well as using unscented feminine hygiene products, including pads and tampons. For one woman who's really sensitive, a small colonization can cause a lot of itching and burning.

However, it’s worth pointing out that these suppositories can irritate your skin. A vaginal yeast infection means that too many yeast cells are growing in the vagina. Make a list of questions to ask your doctor. Yeasts are a type of fungus. Who to see Health professionals who can diagnose and treat a vaginal yeast infection include: If you are treating athlete’s foot, you should pay special attention to spaces between the toes; wear well-fitting, ventilated shoes; and change your socks and shoes at least once daily. Even if you have had a yeast infection before, it may be a good idea to call your health care professional before using an over-the-counter medication to treat your symptoms.

Prior to each use, the vaginal applicator is filled with the terconazole vaginal cream. 7 Today, healthcare costs are estimated to be between $4 and $5 billion annually, with OTC sales reaching $295 million. If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor before treating it with a nonprescription antifungal cream. Sufferers can experience itching both inside the vagina and on the outer labia; a burning sensation (especially during sex or urination); redness and swelling of the vulva; and an abnormal vaginal discharge (usually thick and white or yellow in colour). Using only plain yogurt with active cultures, once or twice a day, rub a few tablespoons’ worth around the outside of the vagina to quell irritation, or insert the same amount into the vagina. Instead, stay nice and fresh with a mild soap (like Summer's Eve Feminine Wash for Sensitive Skin, $13; ) and grab some fragrance-free detergent when it comes time to wash your underwear. Vaginal products come in a variety of different forms such as vaginal creams, tablets, suppositories, and ovules that get inserted high into the vagina, usually at bedtime, using an applicator. Have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which would require a medical exam.

Oral medication isn't recommended if you're pregnant.

Invasive Infections

Yeast can be present in the vagina and cause no problem or symptoms, but occasionally it overgrows and invades the vaginal tissue, leading to a yeast infection (2). Symptoms usually resolve quickly, although in more severe cases treatment may be needed for up to two weeks. One good choice is cotton underwear. What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis? These medications are fairly effective for mild yeast infections. Your health care professional also may suggest other tests. Who is affected?

What treatments are available for vaginal yeast infection? Still, they're not for everyone: But many women think that they have a yeast infection when they actually have another problem. Although there is limited absorption with topical agents, an increased INR has been documented with concomitant use of warfarin and intravaginal miconazole. So what should you do about it? A yeast infection is a common fungal infection that can develop when you have too much yeast in your vagina. Because this is not that common a mycology culture is recommended to rule out the other scenarios.

You can use an antifungal cream or a suppository that you put into your vagina. That’s why it is always important to read and follow the Drug Facts label. HOwever, if you have a history of using them with limited success but getting in for a full evaluation isn’t possible/practical then consider this sequence:

That’s not to say there aren’t other things women can do that can reduce risks for yeast infections.

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These are available over-the-counter or with a prescription. Complicated infections include recurrent VVC (4 or more episodes within 12 months or recurrent symptoms within 2 months), VVC with severe symptoms, and/or VVC while pregnant, diabetic, or immunocompromised. Like all things on the Internet, this post isn’t direct medical advice. She’s not opposed to using the oral as a first-line treatment — it’s a matter of personal preference — but it’s not a solution if Monistat’s not working. OTC and prescription medications include:

Vaginal boric acid capsules are available over-the-counter. Having high estrogen levels (hyperestrogenemia), such as during pregnancy, hormone therapy (HT or ET) use, high-dose birth control pill use, and the menstrual cycle. Mycelex-7 cream: If your post-workout routine involves collapsing on the couch — because, hello, you just killed that spin class, so you can be lazy forever, right? In these cases, a medication for a yeast infection will not work and may cause a delay in proper diagnosis and treatment of the actual problem. To see what’s causing your vaginitis, your doctor may do an exam, look at a sample of your vaginal discharge under a microscope, or do other tests, like a urine test. Make sure to wash the affected area and dry thoroughly before use. You have never had a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed by a healthcare provider.

It may not work anymore, and it could even make the infection worse. J Am Board Fam Pract. ’ Like, enjoy yourself. What signs and symptoms should I watch out for? There are OTC medications in the family of drugs called "azoles," which are used to treat yeast infections.

12,13 The normal vaginal environment protects women against vaginal infections.

Superficial Infections

Yeast is a single-celled microorganism which can live in the vagina. There isn't a critical need to rush to your gyno if you think you might have a yeast infection. If you're not sure what's going on or if you have other symptoms along with the discharge and vaginal itching, you could also just start with a doctor's appointment. You probably already know the telltale symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, which include intense itching, inflammation, and a thick, white discharge (and if you need a refresher, here's a rundown of yeast infection symptoms).

They can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) or with a prescription, and take the form of an antifungal cream, ointment, suppository, or medicated tampon.

Single-dose miconazole nitrate vaginal ovule in the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis: Oral products used for vaginal yeast infections are absorbed by your body and travel through your bloodstream to the vagina, where they work to treat the infection. Your healthcare provider may also recommend taking antifungal medications regularly if you get frequent yeast infections. Superficial fungal infections. Are sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection.

What can cause vaginitis?

There are also lifestyle-related reasons, like spending too much time in damp workout clothing or swimwear, or wearing non-cotton underwear that doesn’t allow for much airflow. Ross says, thanks to its antifungal properties. But in a 2020 review, researchers expressed skepticism about the results of earlier clinical trials on probiotic use, arguing that the women studied were often not a relevant sample—for example, they didn't report experiencing recurring vaginal infections, or the studies weren't conducted on at-risk women, such as those taking antibiotics. Subscribe to webmd newsletters, because many antifungal drugs can be toxic to a developing fetus, the CDC recommends that topical treatments—such as creams or suppositories for vaginal candidiasis—be used whenever possible. This information is intended to provide readers with health information. Trichomoniasis usually is treated with a single dose of an antibiotic by mouth. Choose underwear made from breathable, natural fabrics such as cotton, and don’t wear it to bed or sit for long periods in tight-fitting clothing.

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If you are not satisfied with an item that you have purchased, you may return the item within 30 days of delivery for a full refund of the purchase price, minus the shipping, handling, and other charges. Use it for seven days. While search results show many are looking online for yeast infection home remedies, experts say the data doesn’t support the hope and hype. In addition to speaking with a doctor to determine if antibiotics are necessary, in some cases where taking them consistently leads to recurrent yeast infections, it may be advisable to take medication to treat or prevent yeast infections as well while on antibiotics.

Product selection will be based mostly on patient preference. You need to see your doctor/nurse practitioner (NP) for this. It’s best to take a pass on this one. However, “because it is taken orally, it gets processed by the liver and put into the bloodstream, where it recognizes the fungus and kills it,” says Janda. From 1993 to 1997, OTC sales of vaginal antifungal products and feminine hygiene products increased from $90 million to $250 million6; during this same time period, physician office visits for vaginal conditions and prescriptions decreased by 15%.

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13 Diabetic patients who are uncontrolled are more prone to VVC, as hyperglycemia also enhances binding of Candida to the vaginal epithelial wall. A vaginal culture. The most commonly prescribed anti-yeast pill is Diflucan (generic name: )Now, let's get to your concern about repetitive vaginal infections. You can also dip a tampon in the yogurt, let it soak for a few minutes, and then insert it. Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast within the vagina, and are very common, affecting around 75% of women at least once in their lifetime. Philadelphia, PA: Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.


Depending on what province you live in, you may need to ask the pharmacist at the dispensary counter for the medication. But if you come down with them often—five percent of women get four or more a year—the standard treatments aren’t going to cut it for you. If the symptoms don’t go away after treatment, it may be a different kind of infection and should be checked by a healthcare provider. Sign up for six free recipe e-books, the situation becomes dire when yeast or abnormal gut microbes proliferate and dysbiosis occurs. Prime members enjoy FREE Two-Day Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books.

Make sure to refrigerate them to ensure the potency of the live cultures. The type of vaginitis treatment that’s best for you depends on: Vaginitis treatments vary depending on what’s causing the problem. Single-dose oral medication. Yeast infections are not a matter of cleanliness, and douching will only irritate the area.

Mendling W, Schlegelmilch R. You may have discharge during the day, so wear a panty liner and change it regularly (if you are menstruating, use pads instead of tampons). First of all you need this background information: VVC is the only vaginal infection for which OTC treatments are available, allowing women to self-diagnose and self-treat their condition. Boric acid has antifungal properties, and when a woman inserts it into her vagina and lets the suppository dissolve, it kills both the yeast and the bacteria, says Dardik. J Clin Microbiol. If this is the first time you have had vaginal symptoms, you should see your health care professional. Most of the vaginal treatments are available as creams, vaginal tablets, or suppositories.

  • And while this super common condition is unlikely to turn into something more serious, coming down with one just might drive you nuts with frustration.
  • Candidiasis (vulvovaginal).
  • For women who get repeat yeast infections that the prescription pills or yeast-killing creams aren’t curing, this is an option.
  • Even though vaginitis can be super itchy and irritating, try not to scratch.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

A yeast infection develops when Candida fungi, which is a type of yeast, grow uncontrollably on the surface of the skin or in mucous membranes inside the body. Any medication, including the ones used to treat a yeast infection, can also cause an allergic reaction. If you have symptoms of vaginitis, it’s a good idea to see your nurse, doctor, or local Planned Parenthood health center.

Last updated August 29, 2020. Bacterial vaginosis is a form of abnormal vaginal environment that can lead to other complications including miscarriage, preterm labor, serious infection after surgery and pelvic inflammatory disease. Trending on medicinenet, be sure to see your doctor the first time you have symptoms of a yeast infection. Using certain types of birth control that contain estrogen can as well. “The problem is that women in the United States have become encultured to believe that any bothersome vaginal symptom is a yeast infection and they automatically go to treat that, when it’s not,” she says. Many vaginal problems that can manifest with the same symptoms as a yeast infection must be ruled out-eg, sexually transmitted infections such as a chlamydia infection, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis.

The information in this column should not be construed as providing specific medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand their lives and health.

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

Talk with your doctor before using an antifungal medicine along with warfarin. The number of items in your shopping list has exceeded the maximum limit. Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years. If you'd prefer not to use a cream, you can also take an oral antifungal medication called fluconazole (Diflucan). But, fun fact: This can lead many women to erroneously think they have chronic yeast infections because when they use the topicals they feels better for a while.

Check out these 15 genius uses for tea tree oil instead. Antibiotics, steroid medications, chronic stress and a diet high in sugar and processed foods can make a woman susceptible to yeast overgrowth, says Carrie Watkins, a naturopathic doctor based in Victoria. Caused by an overgrowth of the yeast that normally make your vagina their home, a yeast infection triggers crazy intense itching or burning along your outer and inner labia, redness, and typically a thick, white, curd-like discharge.

NovaDigm Therapeutics. It is found in small numbers in the normal vagina. Your doctor can also give you tips on relieving burning and itching. This powerful, single dose product features a convenient Ovule® that adheres to the vaginal walls for Yeast Infection symptom relief 4x faster than the leading prescription pill. How much weight can a hawk carry? Make sure you dry yourself thoroughly before getting dressed. Pain in the vagina during sexual intercourse.

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Vaginal yeast infections can also be spread by sexual contact, but in general they aren't considered a sexually transmitted infection. In these cases the over-the-counter medications obviously won't work. If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor. The symptoms of VVC are usually nonspecific and can be due to a variety of causes. Make sure you dry yourself thoroughly before getting dressed. Alldredge BK, Corelli RL, Ernst ME, et al, eds.

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Yeast love warm, moist environments, so changing your underwear early lowers the odds of it growing and thriving down there. Have not been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) , which would require a medical exam. So don’t call your doctor and ask for a diflucan, which is the oral version of the treatment. They’re convenient, but if you don’t have a yeast infection they may not give you relief, and, if you use them too much, you could kill off good bacteria and end up with even more yeast overgrowth. See your doctor if2: Farage MA, Miller KW, Ledger WJ.

These include miconazole (Monistat), tioconazole (Vagistat), and clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin). It is one of the most common types of vaginal infection. What is trichomoniasis? The external female genital area. Antifungal medicines that you take as a pill by mouth affect the entire body (so it can also treat any yeast infection elsewhere in the body). Broad-spectrum antibiotic use alters the bacterial microflora, allowing for the overgrowth of Candida organisms. Although they can bother you a lot, they are not usually serious.

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The intravaginal product will stay around for 3 days affecting the exam, so if you used the 3 day treatment you can’t really be evaluated until day 6 or 7. When your immune system is weak or when normal bacteria die, too much of the fungus can grow. You should see a healthcare provider for treatment of these symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend boric acid, another vaginal treatment, that can help treat yeast infections that don’t respond to antifungal medications. If you are trying to access this site from the United States and believe you have received this message in error, please reach out to [email protected] See your doctor again if treatment doesn't resolve your symptoms or if your symptoms return within two months.

Avoid scratching, because this can cause breaks in the skin which can become infected. Have pain during sex or urination. What is atrophic vaginitis? Pain while urinating when urine touches irritated skin. Gunter, a gynecologist and the director of pelvic pain and vulvovaginal disorders at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, says true recurrent yeast infections, defined as four or more per year, are pretty rare — only 5 to 8 percent of women have them, though they’re more common among people with diabetes.

When your blood sugar is high, some of the extra sugar is found in your saliva and acts as food for candida. Questions about any yeast infection treatment prescribed should be directed to one's pharmacist and medical provider. If you decide to use an ovule format, insert it before bedtime. Wearing tight-fitting, nonabsorbent pants or undergarments that hold in warmth and moisture. MMWR Recomm Rep. As such, sometimes longer treatment is necessary, like a course of treatment that lasts 14 days. Medicine choices Vaginal antifungal medicines, such as miconazole (Monistat) and tioconazole (Vagistat), are available in 1-day, 3-day, and longer courses, depending on the strength of the medicine.