We all have experienced it at one time or another, but none of us like to discuss it. It is the vaginal yeast infection that we are talking about, which can sometimes even make our life hell! And why not? That itchiness and discomfort felt in and around the infected genital area is something extremely embarrassing and annoying too. It is definitely not something to talk about, right? Well, let us tell you that such infections are very common in women and you should never ever leave them untreated. In fact, studies have found that around 75% of all women experience vaginal yeast infections at least once in the lifetime and nearly 45% of them suffer from multiple cases. So today, we will be keeping all the shyness away and talk about how to be free from it through effective preventive tips and home remedies.
What Is Vaginal Yeast Infection?
A vaginal yeast infection, medically termed as ‘candidiasis’, is a condition in which the healthy balance of lactobacilli bacteria (destroy harmful organisms) and yeast cells in a vagina gets disrupted and the yeast cells start to multiply, thereby causing the overgrowth of the fungus called ‘Candida Albicans’. This leads to a white or yellowish discharge from the vagina, which does not have any foul smell but is clumpy and icky. Moreover, the infection causes intense itching, swelling, and irritation.
There are millions of women suffering from vaginal yeast infection without really doing anything about it as they are either unaware of remedies or too conscious to seek help. However, proper treatment can cure it within a few days or a couple of weeks based on the severity of the issue.
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Causes Of Vaginal Yeast Infection
The microorganism ‘Candida’ occurs naturally in the vaginal area and its growth remains in check by lactobacilli. But when there is an imbalance in the system and the ‘good bacteria’ fails to work, the yeast gets proliferated which results in an infection. Following are the most common factors responsible for it:
- Excessive stress
- Lack of proper sleep
- Poor eating habits
- Higher levels of sugar in your system due to uncontrolled diabetes
- Antibiotics that lower the amount of lactobacillus in the vagina
- A weak immune system with no potential to fight the infection
- Hormonal imbalance triggered by menopause, pregnancy, and breastfeeding
- Use of products, such as vaginal sprays and douches
Symptoms Of Vaginal Yeast Infection
These are some of the telltale symptoms of vaginal yeast infection that you must not ignore:
- An odorless, whitish-gray discharge that is thick and clumpy like cottage cheese
- Vaginal itching, irritation, soreness, and discomfort
- Rashes, redness, and swelling of the vulva and the vagina
- Burning sensation during urination and intercourse
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Home Remedies For Vaginal Yeast Infection
Not all vaginal yeast infections are similar and only an expert can suggest you the best possible treatment (antifungal ointment, tablet, cream, etc.) for each. However, if you are not ready to seek help from the doctor, just turn to these natural home remedies for relief rather than suffering from the infection silently:
Enrich your diet with probiotics, such as the probiotic-rich version of yogurt. The lactobacilli in it will not only help in removing the infection-causing fungus but also promote the multiplication of the good bacteria in the vagina.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus supplements also lower the risks of vaginal yeast infection by slowing down the growth of candida in the area.
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Garlic is an antimicrobial agent that puts a stop to the uncontrolled growth of yeast in the vaginal area, thereby curing the infection fast. Make a paste out of a few cloves of garlic and a little warm water and consume a tsp. of this every day. Applying crushed garlic on your vagina is also known to curb the infection effectively.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Add 4 tbsps. of apple cider vinegar to half a cup of warm water and wash your vaginal area with it every day. ACV makes sure that the yeast does not get a suitable environment to proliferate anymore and thus, cures the infection in just within a week.
4. Grapefruit And Olive Oil
Applying grapefruit juice mixed with a few drops of olive oil to the affected area helps control infections naturally. You need to practice it every day before going to bed and wash it off the next morning with plain water.
5. Olive Oil And Rosemary Oil
Mix a tsp. of olive oil with one or two drops of rosemary oil and apply it to the troubled region. Do this every night for a week for quick relief from vaginal yeast infections.
6. Coconut Oil And Cinnamon Powder
Mix a pinch of cinnamon powder with some pure coconut oil and apply it around your vagina. Leave it for about an hour and then wipe it off. You can follow this up with an application of plain coconut oil that has anti-microbial properties. This will help curtail yeast infections successfully.
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Tips To Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infection
Apart from trying home remedies, you should also make some lifestyle changes as well as follow the best preventive tips in order to keep vaginal yeast infections away. Check them out below:
- Eat a well-balanced diet and drink lots of water to keep your body nourished and hydrated all the time.
- Reduce your sugar intake or try some natural alternatives to sugar.
- Replace your synthetic undergarments with cotton or linen ones.
- Choose slightly loose underwear over tight pants or pantyhose.
- Do not use harsh soaps or detergents to clean your vaginal area.
- Do not use hot water to wash your undergarments.
- Avoid douching and feminine deodorants.
- Stop using scented sanitary tampons and pads.
- Steer clear of frequent hot baths or spending time in hot tubs.
Did You Know?
There is a myth that the vaginal yeast infection is a sexually transmitted infection or STI. But, in reality, sexually inactive women can also experience it any time. However, sexual contact can spread the infection from person to person more rapidly.
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