Vaginal Yeast Infections - Home Treatment
vaginal yeast infection if you:
- Are pregnant.
- Are not sure your
symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection. If you have never been
diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor before treating it
with a nonprescription antifungal cream. Sometimes women think they have a
vaginal yeast infection when symptoms are caused by
a different condition, such as
bacterial vaginosis or a
sexually transmitted infection (STI).
been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which would require a
- Are having a
For more information on self-treatment, see:
Vaginal Yeast Infection: Should I Treat It Myself?
Using nonprescription medicine
When using a
nonprescription vaginal medicine for a vaginal yeast
infection, follow the directions on the package insert, as well as these
- Eat a
balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, and nonfat dairy products. Eating right helps your body fight off
infections. Although there is no clear connection between eating foods with
lactobacillus organisms, such as yogurt or acidophilus milk, and reducing
symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, these foods can be part of a healthy
- Use pads instead of tampons while you are using nonprescription
vaginal medicines. Tampons can absorb the medicine.
- Avoid using
soap when cleaning the vaginal area-rinse with water only.
sexual intercourse is painful, avoid it. Otherwise, use a water-soluble
lubricating jelly (such as K-Y Jelly) to reduce irritation. The oil in antifungal creams or suppositories can weaken latex. This means condoms and diaphragms may break, and you may not be protected from STIs or pregnancy.
- If the genital area is swollen or painful, sitting in warm water
(in a bathtub or
sitz bath, not a hot tub) may help. Or instead, you
may try putting a cool, damp cloth on the area. Do not rub to try to relieve
Report your symptoms to your doctor if:
- You are not sure that you have a yeast
- Your self-treatment is not working after one complete
course of therapy.
Things to consider
The risk of self-treatment is that
your symptoms may be caused by a type of vaginal infection other than a yeast
infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
If you have pelvic pain or fever, get an evaluation by a doctor.
If you are pregnant, it is important to be evaluated for vaginal
symptoms. Some vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis,
chlamydia, may increase your risk of complications
If you have
risk factors for an STI, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before using
a nonprescription medicine.
Talk to your doctor before you try
unproven home treatment methods, such as applying tea tree oil in the vagina or
taking garlic supplements. These treatments have not been well studied. They
may even cause other problems, such as allergic reactions, in some
women.2 Douching is not recommended, because it can
make some infections worse.