Yeast is a type of fungus. Yeast infections are caused by overgrowth of the fungus candida albicans. Small amounts of yeast are always present in the vagina, but when too much yeast grows, an infection can occur. Most women (and a few men) will get a yeast infection (or many) in their lifetime. Yeast infections can be spread through sexual contact or can happen on their own with no sexual contact. People of any age can get infected.
– Thick white or yellow discharge that may have a cottage cheese consistency and/or fishy smell.
– Redness or irritation around genital area.
– Genital soreness.
– Discomfort or pain during urination.
– Discomfort during sex.
Yeast infections are usually easily treatable, though for some people they can be ongoing nightmares. Doctors will typically suggest using Monistat 3 or 7 day treatment (can be purchased without a prescription at grocery stores), or prescribe the pill Fluconazole (aka Diflucan). Men that have yeast infections can treat also be treated with Monistat by covering their genitals with the cream for several days. Always check in with a doctor though, to make sure what you think is a yeast infection is actually a yeast infection.
For women, the two most effective home remedies for treating yeast infections are:
Boric acid: normally used to kill ants and clean the house, boric acid sounds like an intimidating, if unsafe substance to put in your body. And it can be. Boric acid is a powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral powder that should not be inhaled, eaten, or put on broken skin. But! It is extremely effective against even the most stubborn yeast infections when used properly. You can buy boric acid online, but it also is extremely inexpensive at grocery stores. You can either insert a teaspoon manually or get a couple 00 size gel capsules, fill them with boric acid, and insert those into your vagina. Some women mix the powder with shea butter to make it more soothing. If you don’t want to mess with the powder, many natural food markets sell boric acid suppositories, like Yeast Arrest. Do not have sex for a couple days after using boric acid because you want to get rid of your yeast infection first, and if you’re using the powder, you may experience a feeling of grittiness that can be irritating. Many women also experience a watery discharge while using boric acid so keep that in mind.
Garlic: to use garlic, take a fresh organic garlic clove and carefully peel it so it has no marks or scratches on it (otherwise it may cause a burning sensation), then gently insert it into the vagina with your finger. Retrieve it in a day or two with your finger. Don’t worry, the garlic clove cannot get lost inside you, it will stay in your vagina. Garlic is highly effective at getting rid of yeast infections when used correctly – just don’t have sex while it’s inserted inside you and keep in mind your vagina will smell like it for a couple days. Including more garlic in your meals is helpful too.
Also, if you’ve got a yeast infection or constantly have discharge, consider adjusting your diet to eliminate or limit processed sugars, bread and pasta, starchy carbs, and fungi (mushrooms, peanuts). Sugar feeds the yeast; if you starve the yeast of its food supply, it will eventually die. Also think about taking high quality probiotics to bring more good bacteria into your body to crowd out the bad bacteria. Side note: if you have recently taken antibiotics you may as well stock up on the probiotics and be prepared to treat a yeast infection, because often times the antibiotics upset your internal balance of good and bad yeasts as well as your vaginal pH, allowing bad yeasts to take over.
If you get chronic yeast infections or your yeast infections do not get better with the standard treatments, you might have a separate condition (like candida overgrowth), bacterial infection, or STD. It is also possible you and your partner are passing the yeast infection back and forth, so make sure they get treated at the same time you do to prevent re-infection.
To learn more about yeast infections, check out the Mayo Clinic. To find a location to get tested for a yeast infection, talk to your doctor, visit our resources page, or Google test centers in your area.
***This is a blog and the information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, nor is it meant to take the place of your personal physician’s advice.***