About Author — Medically reviewed by Dr. Heidi Lightfoot, MD who is an anesthesiologist in Hampshire, United Kingdom. Alongside her clinical work, she has an interest in medical writing and clinical research.

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PlushCare takes content accuracy seriously so that we can be your trusted source of medical information. Most articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.D.s, NPs, or NDs. Click here to meet the healthcare professionals behind the blog.

How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection

Yeast infections, sometimes known as thrush or candidiasis, are caused by a fungus called Candida. Infection with this fungus leads to unpleasant symptoms such as itching, burning and pain in your most sensitive areas. There are a wide variety of medical and natural remedies available to treat yeast infections. Read on to learn what a yeast infection looks like and how to get proper treatment promptly.

Yeast infections Symptoms

How can you be sure you have a yeast infection?
The most common symptoms of a yeast infection include:

  • Thick, white, odorless vaginal discharge, which may resemble cottage cheese
  • Vaginal itching
  • Swelling around the vagina
  • Pain or burning during sex
  • Soreness
  • Burning during urination
  • Redness
  • Rash

How to get rid of a yeast infection

Luckily, most yeast infections can be treated with over the counter medication, which you usually need to use for one to seven days to make sure it is effective. There are several different types of yeast infection treatments. The most common yeast infection treatments include:

  • Creams: Creams usually come pre-measured in an applicator. They can be messy and leak, so it’s best to use them at night. While many creams go inside the vagina, some go at the opening of the vagina to relieve itching locally. It is important to read the instructions carefully before using these creams. Examples of antifungal creams used for vaginal yeast infections include:

  • Tablets and suppositories: The same active ingredients found in antifungal creams may also be available as tablets or vaginal suppositories. Tablets are pills that you take by mouth and suppositories are inserted into the vagina. These are easier to take and less messy, so they can be more convenient to use during the day. They also tend to start to work faster, so will likely relieve your symptoms sooner.

When using a yeast infection treatment, always follow the directions carefully and make sure to complete the entire treatment, even if you feel better before you have finished the course you have been prescribed.

Antifungals can affect how well other medications work, so you should always speak to a doctor before starting an antifungal if you are on any other regular medications.

Home remedies for yeast infection

While there isn’t much scientific evidence to support these natural treatments for yeast infections, lots of women find them to be helpful.

These natural remedies will not do you any harm, so if you don’t want to use an antifungal, are looking for an extra treatment for you symptoms or are trying to make sure the yeast infection doesn’t come back, you can try these home remedies:

  • Yogurt. Plain, sugar-free yogurt that contains live cultures of Lactobacillus, a ‘healthy bacteria’ that is key to good health, can be used for yeast infections. You can either add yogurt to your diet or apply the yogurt directly to the vulva or vagina. The healthy bacteria in the yogurt help restore the natural balance in your vagina and reduce the amount of Candida. This is good for your health in general, and will also help treat and prevent yeast infections.
  • Boric acid, although toxic in large amounts, can be mixed with water and applied to your vulva or vagina and used as an antiseptic.
  • Probiotics work in a similar way to the Lactobacillus bacteria and help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in your body. They can be taken orally or used vaginally as a suppository to boost the levels of beneficial bacteria in your vagina.
  • Coconut oil. There are studies to support the use of coconut oil as a treatment for yeast infections – it works as an antifungal against Candida. You can apply pure, organic coconut oil directly into your vagina.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can be diluted and used for up to five days as an antiseptic, though you should use it very carefully if applying to sensitive areas such as the vagina.
  • Vitamin C. Taking vitamin C supplements or increasing the amount of vitamin C in your diet can help boost your immune system and help your body fight off a yeast infection by itself. There may also be a role for vitamin C in topical treatments such as creams and suppositories.

Think you may be suffering from a yeast infection? Book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor to talk about your symptoms and get a prescription today!

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