A yeast infection, also known as Candida, is basically caused by a group of microscopic fungi or yeast called Candida albicans. It generally affects the vaginal area but can also develop around dentures, under the breasts, lower abdomen, nail beds, and beneath skin folds.
Some of the signs of a yeast infection are itching, burning or swelling in and around the affected area. If it is a vaginal yeast infection, there will be pain or discomfort in the vagina during sex, a burning feeling when urinating, and odorless vaginal discharge. There are many natural remedies that can eliminate the infection in a relatively short time.
For yeast infections, purported natural therapies include:
- Yogurt & probiotics
- Boric acid
- Tea tree oil
- Douching (especially with vinegar)
Apart from these remedies, few things should be kept in mind-
Natural fibers such as cotton promote optimal dryness because they don’t retain moisture to the same extent as polyester, nylon and other man made materials. Wearing all-cotton panties is a great start in the fight against yeast infections. If all cotton panties aren’t your personal preference, you will receive almost as much protection by wearing panties with a cotton crotch.
Douches and other feminine hygiene products frequently make women more susceptible to the development of yeast infections because they contain chemicals that negatively impact the body’s natural balance. Under no circumstances should you douche if you have a current yeast infection; harmful bacteria can be spread to the cervix from the vagina this way and can even reach the uterus, which could result in serious long term health consequences.
It should go without saying that keeping the vaginal area clean is one of the best ways to prevent the development of a yeast infection, but many busy people fail to spend the necessary amount of time practicing good hygiene. Cleansing the area thoroughly at least once per day will lessen vulnerability to yeast infections substantially. It is important, however, to dry the area as thoroughly as possible after washing so as to not create a moist environment. If you live in an area with a humid climate, you may want to consider drying the area using a blow dryer on a low setting in order to achieve a maximum level of dryness.
As you can see, dryness is a major factor in keeping safe from suffering from yeast infections, and cleanliness is also a major component. If you keep dry and clean most of the time and make certain to incorporate awareness of possible yeast infections into your daily routine, including what you eat, you will probably be able to avoid developing yeast infections altogether.
A home vaginal swab that measures pH levels, taken with an OTC test such as the Vagisil Screening Kit, can confirm a yeast infection diagnosis. But health experts recommend that women with complicating factors such as pregnancy or recurrent infections, schedule a doctor visit. Certain yeast infections may require a more aggressive treatment than a cream. Your doctor can prescribe one to three doses of the oral antifungal fluconazole, which has a success rate of up to 90%.