Vaginal yeast infection: causes and solutions
To speed up the relief of a vaginal yeast infection, some natural remedies with antifungal properties can be used. Due to their composition, they help stop the growth of Candida albicans.
A vaginal yeast infection is a common condition that usually develops from the growth of the fungus Candida albicans. This microorganism naturally inhabits the vagina, but it can multiply due to certain factors.
As a consequence, uncomfortable symptoms such as inflammation, itching, and disturbances in the flow occur. In addition, it sometimes produces an uncomfortable odor and discomfort when having sex. What are your causes? Can it be fought with natural remedies?
This time we want to dedicate this space to solving these questions. Also, we will review in detail its main symptoms and some recommendations for its prevention.
Causes of vaginal yeast infection
A wide variety of microorganisms naturally inhabit the vagina. The Candida mushroom is one of them. In a normal state, bacteria known as Lactobacillus help keep their growth under control to avoid discomfort.
However, when these suffer an imbalance, the yeast manages to grow excessively and produces an infection. This, in turn, maybe the consequence of factors such as:
- Prolonged consumption of antibiotics
- Pregnancy and hormonal changes
- Weakened immune system
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Bad eating habits
- Stress and insomnia
When a vaginal yeast infection is recurrent or does not go away with regular treatment, its cause may be different from the growth of the Candida fungus. In these cases, it is essential to request medical check-ups and laboratory tests.
The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection can vary depending on the course of the disease. When the infection is mild, the patient may only experience vaginal itching and changes in her discharge. However, as the problem progresses, it can also occur:
- Swelling around the vagina
- Pain during intercourse
- Burning when urinating
- Flushed skin
- Lumpy, grayish flow
Natural remedies to combat a vaginal yeast infection
All yeast infections are different. Therefore, it is important to consult the doctor when the discomfort persists for several days. Conventional treatment includes topical medications such as clotrimazole or fluconazole, among others.
However, milder cases can be alleviated with some natural remedies with antifungal and antibacterial properties. Although they are not as powerful as prescription remedies, their use may promote the relief of symptoms. Do you know them?
Probiotics in Greek yogurt can support the treatment of vaginal yeast infection caused by Candida albicans. These live bacteria, specifically Lactobacillus acidophilus, help create a healthy environment in the vagina.
How to use it?
- First of all, it is essential to buy a Greek yogurt that does not contain added sugar, since it feeds the mushroom.
- Later, you can apply it to the external parts of the vagina.
- It is also beneficial to consume one serving a day.
Boric acid is an ingredient with antiseptic and antifungal properties that favors the control of yeast infections. Research carried out in 2009 suggests that it may contribute to the treatment of vaginosis (1).
However, it is essential to know that, in large quantities, it is an aggressive ingredient that can cause kidney damage, acute failure of the circulatory system, or death. Therefore, it should not be used on cracked skin and cannot be taken orally.
How to use it?
- To cope with vaginal yeast infection it is advisable to dissolve a small teaspoon in a bucket of water.
- The preparation is applied to the vulva area to minimize discomfort.
Caution: This remedy should not be used while pregnant.
Coconut oil is an ingredient with antifungal properties that can help control the growth of the Candida albicans fungus. Thus, its regular use contributes, in a way, to curb vaginal yeast infection.
How to use it?
- First, get pure, 100% organic coconut oil.
- Then apply it to the affected area.
- Use it daily until you feel an improvement.
Undoubtedly, garlic is still valid as one of the best natural remedies against infections. According to the results of a laboratory study, garlic (2) could be a powerful remedy for controlling Candida albicans. However, the evidence is still required to verify these effects.
How to use it?
- To take advantage of its properties, the daily consumption of a raw garlic clove is recommended.
- It can also be useful to make a preparation for external use: crush garlic, pour it in hot water and let it cool. Then strain it and apply the liquid as a rinse.
Caution: Under no circumstances should garlic be inserted into the vagina. Cases of burns and pain from these types of remedies have been reported.
Wild oregano oil
Wild oregano oil (Origanum vulgare) contains two powerful antifungals known as thymol and carvacrol. These components help stop or slow the growth of the Candida albicans fungus. So this remedy is useful against vaginal yeast infection.
How to use it?
- Combine three drops of oregano essential oil with coconut oil.
- Subsequently, apply it to the external parts of the vagina (vulva area), with a light massage.
Caution: avoid using undiluted oil. Also do not apply it inside the vagina. Remember that essential oils should not be taken orally.
To take into account!
The effectiveness of these natural remedies varies and the evidence of their success is, above all, anecdotal. Despite this, its regular application can help alleviate symptoms in a few days. However, if the discomfort gets worse or comes back, it is best to see your doctor.
Depending on the severity of the infection, pharmacological treatments are likely to be required. Even some additional tests may be necessary to rule out other conditions.