Yeast live in the vagina all the time in small, harmless numbers. But when these fungi grow out of control, the resulting itchiness, burning, and redness are extremely uncomfortable. In some cases, a thick, white, odorless discharge, resembling cottage cheese, also appears. Lactobacillus bacteria (a healthy type) normally keep the vagina's pH and yeast levels in check. But the balance can be tipped by antibiotics, corticosteroids, uncontrolled diabetes, or raised estrogen levels from birth control or pregnancy. Yet, in many cases, there's no easily identified culprit for the pasty yeast infection. However, there are a few things you can do in order to get rid of a boring yeast infection.
Keep your skin clean and dry
Yeast can only multiple to harmful levels when the conditions are just right. The best way to stop yeast from spreading is to keep your skin clean, dry, and free from scrapes or wounds. Practicing good hygiene and taking care of any open cuts properly helps prevent infections, whether in the vagina, digestive tract, mouth or elsewhere. Make sure to wash the genital area with soap every day and dry off the area well after showering, since fungi is most commonly found in moist environments (which is exactly why they can thrive in leftover foods and damp areas outdoors, such as soil).
Wear clean clothes
Make sure to wear clean underwear, and ideally make your underwear cotton or another breathable fabric. Allowing air to reach your genitals helps stop moisture and warmth from developing, which worsens yeast growth.
Maintain a healthy diet
A diet that boosts your immune system can help your body stay in tip-top shape, greatly reducing the risk of an infection since an increase in protective white blood cells is able to target the problem before it worsens. This is the reason why a weakened immune system is one of the significant risk factors for recurring yeast infections. People with viruses like HIV or autoimmune disorders, diabetes, or cancer are all prone to developing infections more often.
Rule out allergies
Sometimes allergies to condoms/latex, soaps or other hygiene products such as bath oils, tampons, spermicidal jelly or douches can cause allergies and infections. Chemical products are irritating to the sensitive genital area and can negatively impact the balance of bacteria in your vagina. If you’ve recently started using new products and notice infections taking place, try switching up your products, and use something more natural instead (like coconut oil as a natural lubricant, for example).
Use supplements and essential oils
Certain supplements and essential oils are beneficial for stopping yeast in its tracts, including: Probiotic supplements, which are one of the best natural treatments for yeast infections since these replenish good bacteria, Apple cider vinegar, which helps balance pH levels, and elderberry and milk thistle, which help cleanse your liver from prescription medications and hormones from birth control pills.
Don’t try to diagnose yourself with a yeast infection. Visit your doctor to confirm the infection even if you plan to use at-home remedies. Sometimes other infections can be mistaken for yeast infections. Make sure you’re using the correct treatment.