What is a Yeast Infection?
Scientifically known as Candidiasis, a yeast infection is caused by the Candida fungus and it occurs in the vagina. Some yeast cells are always present in the vagina of a woman but when these multiply uncontrollably, it leads to a yeast infection. Penile yeast infection is also very similar in presentation. A yeast infection is characterized by swelling, severe itching and irritation in the vagina. It is very common to get a yeast infection.
How is a Yeast Infection Caused?
A yeast infection can be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, consuming too many antibiotics, stress, hormonal imbalances especially near the menstrual cycle, poor immunity, pregnancy and by consuming too many sugary foods. At times, a yeast infection can also be caused due to sexual contact.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
You have a yeast infection if you experience some or all of the following symptoms:
• Swelling and soreness in the vagina/penis
• Burning sensation
• Painful intercourse
• Watery or whitish grey discharges in small or large amounts
How to cure yeast infection?
It is fairly easy to treat a yeast infection by applying an anti-fungal ointment or cream along with some tablets. However, these medications may not suit everyone so they need to use some safe methods to treat their yeast infection. There are many home remedies that can be used to cure a yeast infection and these usually do not have any side effects.
Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
1. Tea Tree Oil – Like other essential oils, tea tree oil also has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. It acts as a natural cleanser for fungus.
Tip – Just mix two drops of tea tree oil along with one drop of olive oil and apply on the affected area. Women can also place a tampon with a few drops of tea tree oil in their vagina. You can put a fresh tampon in the morning and change it in the afternoon but do not sleep with one at night.
2. Garlic – Eating fresh organic garlic every day can help to clear your yeast infection within a few days since it is a natural antifungal. Many women also like to place a clove of garlic in their vagina but one should stop it immediately if any irritation is felt.
Tip – Take 3-4 garlic cloves and crush them. Prepare a smooth paste and apply it on the affected area. If you feel any irritation, you can add a few drops of coconut oil or Vitamin E oil to it and then apply it.
3. Coconut Oil – It has been known for its antifungal and anti bacterial properties since ages. It effectively helps to kill all the fungi that cause the yeast infection. The biggest advantage of using coconut oil is that it is completely natural and does not cause any side effects.
Tip – Apply coconut oil on the affected area at least thrice a day. You can also mix a few drops of cinnamon oil with coconut oil and apply it on the affected area.
4. Yoghurt – Unsweetened yoghurt contains a friendly bacterium – Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps to control the yeast infection in the body. One should consume fresh yoghurt every day to treat the yeast infection.
Tip – Women can dip a tampon in yoghurt and place it in the vagina. This tampon may be changed every couple of hours. Itching can be relieved by simply applying some plain yoghurt on the affected area.
5. Boric Acid – It is a mild antiseptic and it also contains antifungal properties.
Tip – Take some boric acid and dilute it with water. Apply this diluted solution to the affected area and wash thoroughly with water after a few minutes. You might need to repeat this for a fortnight to get rid of the problem completely.
6. Cranberries – This delicious fruit contains antifungal and antibacterial properties and it is very effective in treating yeast infections and many other infections of the urinary tract.
Tip – Just drink unsweetened cranberry juice every day as many times as you can. It helps to speed up the process of healing.
7. Grapefruit seed extract – It is a natural antifungal and can help to treat yeast infections.
Tip – Take about 10 drops of fresh grapefruit seed extract and mix it in 2 cups of water. Put it in a jar and shake well. Use this solution to wash the affected area.
8. Oregano Oil – Oregano oil is a natural antifungal and is one of the most effective ways to treat a yeast infection. It also possesses anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-bacterial properties. Oregano herbs contain two very strong antimicrobial agents, namely thymol and carvacrol. These antimicrobials come in contact with the water in our bloodstream and this leads to dehydration, which kills the yeast cells.
Tip – Just add 3 drops of oregano oil in half cup of water and drink this mixture twice daily.
Some points to remember:
• Maintain good vaginal hygiene by washing the vaginal/penile area every day with lukewarm water. A good feminine wash can help to drive away the foul odors. Wash the vagina after intercourse. Many women do not like to wash themselves during the menstrual cycle and this is a very unhealthy practice. There is nothing to be ashamed of it and moreover this is the time when you have all the more reason to keep yourself clean. So, the next time your period is around, make sure you wash yourself.
• Always wear cotton underwear. Avoid wearing tight jeans and if you do wear, change out of it as soon as you can. Any amount of moisture can help the yeast cells to grow uncontrollably. Men and women, who hit the gym regularly, should change out of their gym clothing as soon as they reach home. A shower can not only help to relax the body but also remove any germs and microorganisms.
• And please, do not ever scratch down there. Not only can the infection spread through your nails; you can also hurt yourself immensely.