What Should I Do If I Get Repeat Yeast Infections
If you get four or more yeast infections in a year, talk to your doctor or nurse.
About 5% of women get four or more vaginal yeast infections in one year. This is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis . RVVC is more common in women with diabetes or weak immune systems, such as with HIV, but it can also happen in otherwise healthy women.
Doctors most often treat RVVC with antifungal medicine for up to six months. Researchers also are studying the effects of a vaccine to help prevent RVVC.
Is It Safe To Use Over
Yes, but always talk with your doctor or nurse before treating yourself for a vaginal yeast infection. This is because:
- You may be trying to treat an infection that is not a yeast infection. Studies show that two out of three women who buy yeast infection medicine don’t really have a yeast infection.2 Instead, they may have an STI or bacterial vaginosis . STIs and BV require different treatments than yeast infections and, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems.
- Using treatment when you do not actually have a yeast infection can cause your body to become resistant to the yeast infection medicine. This can make actual yeast infections harder to treat in the future.
- Some yeast infection medicine may weaken condoms and diaphragms, increasing your chance of getting pregnant or an STI when you have sex. Talk to your doctor or nurse about what is best for you, and always read and follow the directions on the medicine carefully.
Does My Sexual Partner Need To Be Treated If I Have A Vaginal Yeast Infection
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Yeast infections are a very common fungal infection that most women or people assigned female at birth will have in their lifetime. Its highly treatable with medication, some of which are available to purchase at your local drug store without a prescription. Even though you may know the signs of a vaginal yeast infection, its important to get examined by your healthcare provider. They can recommend the best treatment based on the type of yeast infection you have and its severity.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/02/2022.
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When Should I See A Doctor
If youve never had a yeast infection, you should see a doctor for a proper diagnosis before you try any OTC treatments.
You should also talk with a doctor if you dont notice any improvement in your symptoms within 7 to 14 days. In this case, you may need a prescription-strength treatment, or you could have a different infection.
How Can You Prevent Vaginal Candidiasis
Eating natural, unsweetened yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus may help prevent yeast infections occurring.
The risk of yeast infections may also be lessened by staying hydrated and urinating when the need arises, not holding it in.
Women should wipe from front to back after a bowel movement, urinate before and after sex, and avoiding using douches, vaginal sprays, and scented feminine hygiene products.
They should also avoid wearing restrictive, synthetic clothing, or change out of such clothing as soon as possible after exercising or swimming.
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When To Call Your Doctor
Reach out to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your prescription and how to take your medicine. Check in with your doctor’s office if your symptoms don’t disappear after you finish taking all your medicine as prescribed.
See your doctor if you have four or more vaginal yeast infections in one year. It could be a condition called ârecurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.â Itâs not common, but if you have it, you may need to take an antifungal medication for up to 6 months.
Frequent, repeated yeast infections can also be a sign of a resistant strain or more serious condition, including untreated diabetes. Your doctor can help you figure out what the problem is.
Yeast Infection And Periods
Having both a yeast infection and your period can feel like a double whammy. However, this isnt uncommon. Yeast infections are most likely to occur in women during the final days leading up to their period.
If you experience white to yellow discharge in the week before your period, this isnt automatically a yeast infection unless you have other hallmark symptoms, too, such as redness, burning, and itchiness.
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How Can I Prevent Candida Albicans
You can prevent an overgrowth of Candida albicans by:
- Maintaining good oral and physical hygiene.
- Eating a well-balanced diet.
- Managing your stress.
- Keeping blood sugar levels controlled if you are diabetic.
If you take antibiotics or medications that may cause an overgrowth of Candida, talk with your healthcare provider about ways to treat the possibility of a yeast infection as a side effect or an underlying health condition.
What Are Vaginal Yeast Infections
Theyâre itchy and uncomfortable, and no one really likes to talk about them. But vaginal yeast infections are very common in women. Itâs estimated that 75% of women will have at least one yeast infection in their lifetime.
Though yeast infections can happen to anyone at any time, there are certain things that make getting them more likely. Most infections can be cleared up quickly and easily.
The normally contains a healthy balance of bacteria and yeast. The hormoneestrogen helps bacteria called lactobacilli to grow. These bacteria kill harmful organisms in the and keep you healthy. But when something happens to tip that balance, a fungus called candida can grow out of control and cause a yeast infection.
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What Are The Risks Associated With Antifungal Drugs
Antifungal drugs that are applied to the skin or mucous membranes are generally well tolerated. The possible side effects include further irritation of the inflamed areas, burning and itching.
When using mechanical contraceptive devices, it’s important to read the package insert carefully. Some antifungal drugs are oily. This can make contraceptives like condoms more porous, allowing sperm to pass through them.
If antifungal drugs are taken in the form of tablets that you swallow, they can lead to other side effects such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and diarrhea. There are also a lot of medications that shouldn’t be used together with antifungal drugs because they may influence each others effect. These include certain medicines, blood-pressure-lowering drugs and medications for psychological problems. You can find out about these drug-drug interactions in the package insert that comes with the antifungal drug.
Medication For Treating Yeast Infections
Standard medicines for yeast infections are all a part of the class of antifungal drugs called azoles. They include:
Treatments last one, three, or seven days, all of which are equally effective. Unless you have an allergic reaction to the medication, side effects are generally mild.
You should not use tampons while using the suppositories and creams. You should also avoid condoms and diaphragms because the medicines contain oil, which can degrade the contraceptives.
Having sex while being treated for a yeast infection is not generally recommended because it may worsen symptoms and cause micro-tears in your skin that increase your risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease.
Diflucan is a prescription pill for yeast infections. Most women only require a single dose of the medication to clear their yeast infection, but fluconazole is not recommended for pregnant women due to a potential risk of harming the developing baby.
Fluconazole may cause mild and infrequent side effects, such as headache, rash, and upset stomach. More rarely, severe side effects may develop, such as flu-like symptoms, swelling, and seizures.
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Where Should I Keep My Medicine
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C . Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
The Best Yeast Infection Treatments
The following are some products a person can use to treat their yeast infection at home.
Before starting treatment, individuals should contact a doctor for a diagnosis. Knowing exactly which infection they have ensures that the person uses the appropriate treatment and does not create fungus resistant to future treatments.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Todayfollows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
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Remedies And Treatments For Yeast Infections
The most effective treatment for yeast infections is a dedicated course of antifungal medication. However, you can also try several home remedies if you are waiting to see a doctor for a diagnosis and prescription. Here are six treatments for yeast infections.
Many yeast infections occur when your immune system is busy or damaged. Itâs common to experience yeast infections while on antibiotics because your bodyâs normal bacteria die off.
Yogurt is another healthy source of probiotics. Just make sure that you eat the yogurt. It doesnât offer any benefits when applied topically, and the sugar thatâs present in all yogurt may cause other infections as well.
Apply Saltwater Rinses
Yeast infections can sometimes be reduced and soothed by rinsing the area gently with saltwater. Mix a half teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. For oral thrush, you can gently swish the mixture around in your mouth. For other areas of your body, you can soak the infected area for several minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
Apply Coconut Oil
Coconut oil seems to act as an antifungal agent both in the lab and in people.
You can gently apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the site of the yeast infection. This may help kill off some of the yeast and may soothe irritated, dry, uncomfortable skin, allowing it to heal.
Use Tea Tree Oil
How Should I Use This Medicine
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
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Yeast Infection Treatment For Women
- Greek YogurtAs yogurt contains live bacteria, it can help treat a bacterial imbalance. However, do not add sugar to the yogurt as it might only increase the fungus by feeding it.
- Coconut oilA significant connection has been made between pure coconut oil and treating yeast infection in women. Beena Shino, an academic, has stated that it is as effective as ketoconazole in treating the infection! Applying organic coconut oil in the infected areas will help soothe the symptoms and treat them.
- Apple Cider Vinegar BathAccording to studies conducted, apple cider vinegars acidic component can help reduce the presence of yeast and other microorganisms that have multiplied during the infection. An apple cider vinegar bath is a perfect way to relax by soaking into it for 15 20 minutes in such a scenario. Make sure to heavily dilute apple cider vinegar in water to avoid any irritation to the skin!
- Vitamin C intakeTo boost your immune system that can help fix your systems imbalances, vitamin C can provide a significant helping hand. Its anti-microbial properties should be ingested orally via medicines or even foods containing vitamin C. However, do not apply the charge to the vaginal tissue.
- Over-the-counter antibioticsDepending on what country you are in, certain medicines can be taken without a prescription, such as Gynazole-1 and Terazol 3.
Baking Soda And Yeast Infections
Be sure to speak to your healthcare provider before using a baking soda solution to ensure that you have a correct diagnosis, and whether is safe for you to use. You may have a different infection about two-thirds of people who buy OTC yeast infection treatments don’t have yeast infections after all.
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Probiotic Suppositories And Supplements
Probiotics help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body.
If you start a regimen of oral probiotics that contain strains of the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, you can bring your digestive tract and vaginal flora back into alignment. Eating yogurt is one way to increase probiotics.
Oral supplements take about 10 days to reach full effect, so some people use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to see results more quickly.
Probiotic suppositories have also been shown to be effective for treating vaginosis.
What Side Effects May I Notice From Receiving This Medicine
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention :
- vaginal irritation, itching or burning
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Are Yeast Infections Contagious
Yeast infections arent considered to be sexually transmitted infections , but they can be passed to a partner if you have sex without a barrier method.
Its also possible for a baby to get a fungal diaper rash at birth if the mother has a yeast infection. However, you wont catch a yeast infection from sharing a shower or exchanging saliva with someone.
When To Contact A Doctor
Most home remedies bring relief within a few days. Some may take up to 1 week.
If your infection goes away with treatment but then returns, contact a doctor for advice. You may need a prescription-strength treatment to get rid of the infection for good.
Follow these tips to help prevent future yeast infections.
- Limit the amount of sugar and processed foods you consume. Yeast thrives on sugar.
- Wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear.
- Dont spend extended periods of time in wet clothes or bathing suits. Yeast grows in warm, moist environments.
- Only use antibiotics when necessary.
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Lifestyle Changes That Support Medical Yeast Infection Treatment
While taking yeast infection medication, certain lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms and prevent worsening symptoms. These include:
- Keeping your genital area clean and dry
- Wearing loose-fitting underwear, pants, or shorts to prevent irritation and sweating, which can lead to the growth of more yeast
- Promptly changing out of wet bathing suits or exercise clothing, and washing sweat-covered or wet clothes after each use
- Keeping your blood sugar level under control if you have diabetes
Ruling Out Other Vaginal Conditions
A few other vaginal conditions result in symptoms that are like those of thrush. See your doctor if you:
- have had several episodes of thrush in a short period
- have had recent sex without a condom with a new partner
- have associated pain in your pelvic area or abnormal bleeding
- treated yourself with a thrush treatment and your symptoms havent gone away.
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What Causes Recurring Yeast Infections
About 5 to 8 percent of women experience four or more yeast infections in a single year, a condition known as recurrent or chronic yeast infections.
It’s not clear why some women get chronic or recurring yeast infections, but there are several risk factors that can predispose you to it, such as pregnancy, birth control pills, estrogen therapy, regular antibiotic use, diabetes, and conditions that affect your immune system, particularly HIV.
Treatments used for normal yeast infections are effective if your recurring yeast infections are caused by C. albicans.
But some infections are caused by other Candida species, such as C. glabrata, which may require treatment with a Mycostatin vaginal cream or tablet, a vaginal gel containing the antifungals amphotericin B and flucytosine, or another treatment.
How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
In most situations, it will take an average of 10 to 14 days for the infection to clear up completely. After you begin treatment, your symptoms will decrease in severity or often go away. If your symptoms stop, you might feel like you can stop treatment, but it is necessary to follow your treatment plan from start to finish so the infection completely clears up and does not return.
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How Is A Yeast Infection Treated
Yeast infections are usually treated with antifungal medicine. See your doctor or nurse to make sure that you have a vaginal yeast infection and not another type of infection.
Your doctor or nurse can also give you a single dose of antifungal medicine taken by mouth, such as fluconazole . If you get more than four vaginal yeast infections a year, or if your yeast infection doesn’t go away after using over-the-counter treatment, you may need to take regular doses of antifungal medicine for up to six months.
How Do I Manage Symptoms Of Candida Albicans Infection
Taking care of your symptoms starts with eliminating environments where Candida thrives. You can take steps to manage symptoms by:
- Avoid foods with refined carbohydrates, yeast or foods high in sugar.
- Treat the infection with medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Manage your overall health and treat underlying health conditions.
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How Are Vaginal Yeast Infections Diagnosed
Yeast infections are simple to diagnose. Your doctor will ask about your medical history. This includes whether youve had yeast infections before. They may also ask if youve ever had an STI.
The next step is a pelvic exam. Your doctor will examine your vaginal walls and cervix. Theyll also look at the surrounding area for external signs of infection.
Each yeast infection is different, so your doctor will suggest a treatment thats best for you. Treatments are generally determined based on the severity of your symptoms.