Yeast Infection: Need to Get Rid of One Fast?
Anyone who has had a yeast infection understands just how uncomfortable and inconvenient they can be. At best, they are a nuisance that lasts several days. If left untreated, they can become serious infections.
Most women will get a yeast infection, also called vaginal candidiasis, at least once in their lifetime. Research suggests that 75 percent of women will get a yeast infection at some point, with most women who get yeast infections experiencing them more than once.1 The Center for Disease Control estimates that yeast infections are responsible for 3.6 million doctor visits every year, accounting for $3 billion in medical costs. Though most common in women, men too can suffer from yeast infections in other areas of the body such as the mouth or tip of the penis.11
The good news for yeast infection sufferers is that there are plenty of medications and treatment options available. Unfortunately, some fungus strains are becoming increasingly resistant to medicine as a result of women neglecting to take their full round of treatment. When this happens, the fungus gets enough exposure to the medication to adapt and improve its immunity. That’s why it’s important for women to complete their full round of treatment for a yeast infection, even if symptoms improve quickly.
What is a Yeast Infection?
Although yeast infections can occur on other parts of the body, including the mouth and skin, the type of yeast infection people are usually talking about is found in the vagina. A vaginal yeast infection results from an over-production of a type of fungus called Candida Albicans, which already lives inside women’s vaginas. Yeast grows naturally, but when overgrowth occurs, patients can feel extreme discomfort.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
Common symptoms of a yeast infection include the following:
- Vaginal rash
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal pain or soreness
- Watery or thick, white vaginal discharge
- Burning sensation when using the bathroom or during intercourse
When to Call a Doctor for a Yeast Infection
There are many over-the-counter medications that you can pick up from your local pharmacy to treat a yeast infection. If you have any questions, consult with a doctor before heading to the drug store.
Women who are pregnant or have certain medical conditions should consult with a doctor to make sure they have a safe treatment plan. Additionally, if you have additional symptoms such as a fever or chills, talk to your doctor, as these could be signs a different type of infection.
Here are some signs that it’s time to call your doctor about your yeast infection:
- You’re pregnant
- You develop other symptoms
- This is your first yeast infection
- You have uncontrolled diabetes
- You have a lowered immune system
- Your symptoms persist after trying over the counter medications
- You have four or more yeast infections in a 12-month timespan
- Your vagina is excessively swollen or itchy to the point that there are visible cracks, sores, or tears in the skin
How to Treat a Yeast Infection
These are the most common ways to treat a yeast infection. If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to call your doctor for advice.
Medications to Treat a Yeast Infection
Research has shown that medications applied internally (such as suppositories or direct applicators) have an efficacy rate of 80 percent or higher, making them the most effective treatment option.3 Pill options are also available.
The following tried-and-true medications are used by millions of women to treat a yeast infection. Some may require a prescription, and all of them are available at most local pharmacies.
Monistat Cream for Yeast Infections
You can find Monistat at most pharmacies and drug stores. It is a cream that you apply directly to your vagina to get rid of a yeast infection quickly. There is also a generic version that may be less expensive called Miconazole Nitrate. You can find it in one-day, three-day, or seven-day doses.
Gynazole-1 for Yeast Infections
A more expensive option, Gynazole-1, delivers fast relief for yeast infections with the ingredient butoconazole. Although pricey compared to other medications, its single-dose application may appeal to women who do not want to wait more than one day for their yeast infection to go away. A more cost-effective option is Terconazole, which uses the same ingredients but requires more than a single dose.
Monistat 7 Suppository for Yeast Infections
Monistat also makes a suppository, which you insert directly into your vagina for yeast infection relief. You will need to take one suppository per day for seven days. Make sure to complete the full round of dosing, even if your symptoms go away before you have used all the suppositories.
Fluconazole for Yeast Infections
This is the cost-effective, generic form of the pill Diflucan. Fluconazole is a good option if you don’t want to apply a cream, as long as you take it as prescribed and use it for the full round of your prescription, even if your symptoms go away.
Home Remedies for Yeast Infections
When you have a yeast infection, you might find yourself willing to try anything for the hope of getting some relief as you wait for your anti-fungal medication to kick in. Be careful when trying home remedies, as many of them may end up causing more discomfort. Here is what you need to know about some of the most commonly recommended home remedies for treating yeast infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Yeast Infections
Many articles online talk about how douching with apple cider vinegar or taking a bath with it can get rid of a yeast infection. One thing to note is that douching is no longer considered a valid way to get rid of a yeast infection. Doing so with apple cider vinegar can cause more harm than good, leading to increased pain and irritation and the potential for further infection.
Some research suggests that adding a capful or two of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath can prevent further growth of candida.5 However, there is not yet enough research to definitively say that bathing in apple cider vinegar will do anything for your yeast infection.
There are enough benefits of apple cider vinegar to add it to your diet, though.6 Drizzle it on your salads or start your day by drinking a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to reduce candida growth.
Boric Acid for Yeast Infections
Another popular holistic treatment for yeast infections is vaginal boric acid tablets. Research has shown that boric acid can effectively treat yeast infections, especially among women who did not find relief from other treatments.7 Talk to your doctor before taking this approach, and do not use boric acid if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant as it may be toxic to the fetus.8
Probiotics for Yeast Infections
You may be familiar with the role probiotics can play in gut health, but did you know that probiotics are also essential for vaginal health? Vaginal probiotics have been found to be helpful in getting rid of yeast infections, especially when used in combination with other treatment methods.9
Specifically, look for yogurt or a probiotic supplement that includes the strain Lactobacillus, which has been shown to effectively prevent candida from overgrowing.10
Preventing Future Yeast Infections
After going through one yeast infection, you probably want to do whatever you can to avoid more in the future. A few ways to prevent yeast infections include:
- Eating probiotic-rich foods
- Showering shortly after sexual intercourse
- Not wearing panty liners all day, every day
- Avoiding wearing tight pants or pantyhose
- Showering and changing soon after a workout
- Avoiding spraying or putting lotion on or near the vagina
- Maintaining a strong and healthy immune system
If you do end up with a yeast infection, try one of the above medications or talk to your doctor to see what your treatment options are. Most women find relief within just a few days of the onset of their yeast infection when they act quickly. Make sure to save on your yeast infection treatment by using prescription coupons from America’s Pharmacy. Search your local area to find these medications at a reduced rate near you.