Yeast infections. Miserable, right? Uncomfortable, embarrassing and beyond irritating. The Centers for Disease Control estimates, that 75% of adult women get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Men also get them, but much more rarely, and infections are prevalent in people with compromised immune symptoms. Since so many people, mainly women, experience the boresome problem, we should know How To Treat A Yeast Infection with the best yeast infection treatment.
So here is a chart of medication recommended will help you decide what the best yeast infection treatment is for you.
|Top Rated 5 OTC Treatments On Amazon.com||Weight||Price||Rating|
|Threelac Probiotic Dietary Supplement, Natural Lemon Flavor, Includes 60 .053-Ounce||7.2 oz||$40.32||3.9/5.0|
|FloraFemme – Vaginal Probiotic Suppository – Clinical Strength- 57+ Billion CFUs||1.6 oz||$49.95||3.7/5.0|
|Gyne-Lotrimin 3 Vaginal Cream and Three Applicators, 3-Day Treatment, .74-Ounce||7.2 oz||$21.44||4.6/5.0|
|AZO All Natural Concentrated Cranberry Tablets, 50 Count 4.8-Ounce (Pack of 3)||4.8 oz||$22.99||4.4/5.0|
|Monistat 7 Vaginal Antifungal Cream with Disposable Applicators, 1.59-Ounce||4.0 oz||$12.43||4.3/5.0|
What is a yeast infection?
To know How To Treat A Yeast Infection and which is the best yeast infection treatment, we need to know what a yeast infection is. It is a form of vaginitis caused by a fungus, called Candida albicans. It is an actual form of yeast, that exists naturally in our bodies. When something allows the fungus to multiply in excess, an infection occurs. There can be many different reasons for the yeast to overgrow. Stress, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition, especially too much sugar, cause the body’s immune system to weaken. Weak immune systems are unable to control the growth of the yeast. Certain medications, such as antibiotics, birth control pills and corticosteroids, prevent the natural bacteria in our bodies from keeping the yeast in check.
Menstruation, hormonal changes during menstruation and pregnancy can also cause a yeast infection. Also, illness and disease, including HIV/AIDS and diabetes, that is not well controlled, will allow yeast to grow. It should be noted, that yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted diseases. They can, however, be transmitted during oral-genital sex. A yeast infection of the mouth is called thrush. Thrush is most often seen in children, and needs to be treated by a doctor.
What causes yeast problems?
- Diabetes and other health conditions
- Hormonal imbalances (menopause or menstruation)
- Using certain soaps, bubble bath oil and some vaginal hygiene products (tampons, douches)
- Use of HRT hormone replacement therapy
- Restrictive clothing such as pantyhose and tight slacks
- Underwear made from nylon and other non-breathable fabrics
* It has been suggested that poor dietary habits are also linked to yeast infections.*
What are the signs and symptoms?
Since yeast infections are a form of vaginitis, it is important to be sure the symptoms we have are specific to yeast. The infections range from minor to severe, but to most of us, even the most minor yeast infection is intensely uncomfortable. Yeast infections are already established before the individuals are noticing any symptoms. The primary signs of a feminine yeast infection include but are not limited to:
- intense vaginal itching
- odorless white (or cream colored) discharge
- redness or swollen tissue in the vaginal area
- painful urination
- burning when urinating
How to prevent yeast infections?
There are several ways we can prevent yeast infections, that aren’t caused by physiological matters. Always change out of wet clothes as soon as possible. This includes bathing suits, work clothes and gym clothes. Avoid excessive douching. This causes a change in vaginal pH, allowing yeast to grow. It is also unnecessary. The vagina is capable of cleaning itself. It is not needed for good hygiene. Wear cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes, when possible. We should try not to wear tight fitting clothes and pantyhose, if possible. Avoid hot tubs and extremely hot bathes. This doesn’t mean we can never relax in a nice, hot tub, but moderation is, as always, key. Avoid harsh soaps and feminine hygiene products, as they contain harsh irritants and alcohols that cause irritation and change vaginal pH. Fresh cranberry juice can restore vaginal pH, helping to fight off the overgrowth of yeast.
How to treat a yeast infection with the best yeast infection treatment
So, we have decided that the symptoms we are experiencing come from a yeast infection. Now, we need to decide how to treat it and what is the best yeast infection treatment. Since we no longer need to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment, it is up to us to figure this out.
For the person who gets a yeast infection only on occasion, a course of an anti-fungal medication is usually recommended. These anti-fungals are in a class of medications known as azoles. This comes from the suffix of all of them, azole. This is definitely one way to know we are looking at the correct medication. If we see azole at the end of the generic name, we’ve got the right stuff. The most common one is Monistat, or miconazole (Click here to see Price, Ratings and Reviews on Amazon.com). This comes in a cream form with an applicator, to insert into the vagina, or as a suppository. It also comes in a one day, three day, or seven day treatment. The cream form is messy, but it does also help with external itching and irritation. The suppository form comes with an applicator, as well, but causes much less mess. It usually comes with a tube of cream to use on external irritation. As for the one day or three day treatment, this comes down to a matter of price. Obviously, the convenience of only one day of treatment, and the absolute relief that comes with it will cost more. It is usually about $30. The other azoles are butoconazole, or Gynazole-1, clotrimazole, or Gyne-Lotrimin 3 (Click here to see Price, Ratings and Reviews on Amazon.com), and terconazole, or Terazol 3. These are all over-the-counter medications (OTC’s), and can be bought at any drug store, supermarket or superstores. It should be noted, that all of the above medications contain an oil, that weakens the latex in condoms and diaphragms. Alternate forms of birth control should be used. A suppository of 600mg of boric acid is also available, but it needs to be used every day for two weeks. There is a one dose pill, Diflucan, but this can only be prescribed by a doctor.
As always, we should consider cost. Over the counter ointments and suppositories run from about $10-50.
The newest medical ideas tend toward the natural, or homeopathic, treatments. There aren’t many, but they merit mention. We have already mentioned boric acid suppositories. While they appear to be effective, there are problems that need discussing. Boric acid suppositories have to be made at compounding pharmacy. This means the neighborhood chain drugstore will probably not be able to help. As well, there are safety concerns, as implied by the name “acid.” This substance should never be used orally. It should also never be used on opened skin, which can be a problem, as irritation from the yeast infection may cause tiny spots of open skin. It should never be undertaken without the advice of a healthcare professional.
Essential oils are also used in homeopathic medicine. Tea Tree Oil has shown some effectiveness in treating yeast infections. It has to be diluted, and essential oils tend to be at least moderately expensive. Unless it’s being used to treat multiple yeast infections, it would not be considered very cost effective, and thus not one of the best yeast infection treatments. In addition, if a person is having multiple yeast infections, a healthcare professional should be consulted.
There are a few natural remedies, as well. Garlic has anti-microbial properties. If used in the early stages of a yeast infection, it can be effective in curing the infection. Advanced stages can be treated with garlic, but larger quantities are needed. It is recommended that a cut clove of garlic should be used as a suppository, inserted into the vagina. Personally, this seems rather impractical. As if a yeast infection is not miserable enough, walking around smelling like garlic doesn’t seem to appealing. Garlic pills and capsules can be used, but are not considered to be as effective.
Another natural remedy is oregano oil. Used topically, it can help with symptoms of a yeast infection. Combined with clove oil, in a capsule, it can prevent overgrowth of yeast. This might be helpful for people who know when they are likely to experience an infection. For instance, many women know, that if they need to take an antibiotic, they will most likely get a yeast infection.
Finally, in the natural remedy category, is Goldenseal. It contains a component called berberine, that can inhibit the growth of fungi. No more than 4g per day should be taken by adults. Too much can cause irritation of the stomach and esophagus. It should never be used in children! Lavender and Aloe Vera gel have also been mentioned as natural remedies. Lavender oil or dried lavender can be added to a bath. A lavender bath, for 10-15 minutes, is supposed to helpful. Aloe Vera gel can be used topically. All of these natural remedies need to used for a minimum of 5-7 days.
In our quest for how to treat a yeast infection, we should consider home remedies. These are included only as information, as there is no real proof if, or how well they work. The most common one seems to be a tampon dipped in yogurt, and then inserted into the vagina twice daily. This must be continued until symptoms disappear, plus one day. Also, the yogurt must be unflavored and unsweetened. Cold coconut oil and cinnamon oil is said to helpful in treating a yeast infection. It should be used 2-3 times a day, but no time frame could be found, as to how long to keep using it.
A hot sitz bath with vinegar can help restore vaginal pH, and relieve symptoms. Again, we have no information on how long to continue these therapies. A tea of rosemary can be used as a douche, and four cups of thyme tea a day is supposed to help. Avoiding yeasty food during an infection, including any yeast type supplements, may help the infection clear up sooner. Black Walnut, licorice and chamomile, either taken internally or applied directly to the affected area, are also listed as home remedies.
To do a quick review, yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a naturally occurring fungus. It is a form of vaginitis. The symptoms include intense itching, white, odorless discharge of a cottage cheese consistency and pain or burning during urination and/or sex. A person may have all of the symptoms, or just a couple. Three out of four women will get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Yeast infections are not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease, but can be passed to a sexual partner. People with compromised immune systems from chronic disease are likely to experience yeast infections.
So, how to treat a yeast infection with the best yeast infection treatment could be one of many, many things, or a combination of them. There are the over the counter treatments, which are proven to work well, and provide quick relief. Homeopathic treatments can be used, if that’s what a person prefers. There are multiple natural remedies, some with proven efficacy, some not. Finally, there a plethora of home remedies offered. Not sure how much stock to put in the home remedies, but that would be a person’s individual choice.
Of course, we can’t forget prevention, an ounce of prevention and all that. It’s a good idea, in theory, but there are always instances where we know a yeast infection cannot be avoided. What is important to remember is, a person should know for sure that what they are experiencing is indeed a yeast infection. Women who have never had a yeast infection, but suspect that’s what they have, should seek medical attention. Using yeast infection treatments on a different form of vaginitis can cause more harm. As always, if a women is pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a healthcare professional. For the rest of us, how to treat a yeast infection with the best yeast infection treatment will be a matter of choice, convenience and cost.