A vaginal yeast infection is a medical condition caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the vagina. This is a common infection in women and it can be easily treated.
This condition is also known as candidiasis, yeast vaginitis, candidal vulvovaginitis or candida vaginitis. Other species of yeast cells or candida can cause this infection but 90% of cases are caused by Candida albicans.
Candida species are normally present in the vagina in little amount and they cause no harm at this stage but when this normal balance is obstructed and candida overgrows and multiplies, this leads to candidiasis.
The lactobacillus bacteria is a healthy bacteria present in the vagina that control the growth of yeast cells like candida. A reduction in the levels of these healthy bacteria gives room for yeast cells to overgrow and cause candidiasis.
This is not a sexually transmitted infection but it can be spread sexually. It can occur in women who are celibate. A recurring yeast infection may be caused by a different strain of candida and this requires a culture and sensitivity test for proper treatment.
Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infections
The main cause of a vaginal yeast infection is an overgrowth of yeast cells or candida. Factors that can cause this misbalance are:
- Excessive and indiscriminate use of antibiotics
- Chemotherapy can cause this by causing injury inside the vagina
- A suppresses or compromised immune system
- Hormonal imbalance
- Some medications like oral contraceptives and cortisone-related drugs can weaken the immune system
- Some medical conditions like pregnancy and diabetes can cause this
- Insomnia and stress
- Douching and use of perfumes and antiseptics in the vagina can upset the natural balance and cause problems
- Excess intake of refined sugar and sugary foods because sugar feeds yeast cells and harmful microbes
Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infections
- Intense Itching of the genital areas
- Abnormal discharge (very thick, whitish-grey and odorless)
- A burning sensation
- Irritation and inflammation
- Slight bleeding in some cases
- Painful urination
- A mild smell that is unusual
- Soreness or redness of the vagina
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Swelling of the vagina
Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infections
SEE ALSO: Ten Health Benefits of Garlic and Uses
Apple Cider Vinegar
This miracle liquid has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, it eliminates harmful bacteria and makes the genitals inhabitable for them. It boosts the levels of probiotics and relieves the symptoms of candidiasis.
Add a cup of organic ACV to your regular bath water and soak in it for thirty minutes. Do these once daily till you see the desired results.
Plain yogurt is rich in probiotics like the lactobacillus bacteria, this eliminates harmful microbes and creates a healthy environment for friendly bacteria which inhibit the growth of harmful microbes.
It prevents overgrowth and corrects unhealthy balance between these microbes. Make sure you use unsweetened yogurt with live cultures so that the sugar won’t aggravate the symptoms.
Apply the yogurt to the affected part and wash it off after thirty minutes. Do these two times daily.
Garlic is a strong killer of harmful microbes. It is a popular remedy for vaginal candidiasis and other infections. Crush fresh garlic till they form a paste and apply this on the affected place. Wash it off after ten minutes.
You can also insert raw garlic cloves in the vagina and remove it after sometimes.
The fatty acids present in this wonderful oil fights harmful microbes and inhibit their growth. It has a strong antifungal property and studies have proven its effectiveness against Candida albicans.
Apply coconut oil on the affected region many times daily; make sure you make use of pure, organic coconut oil. Don’t wash the oil off after applying.
Cranberries are strong fighters against bacterial and fungal infections. This makes them effective against yeast infections. You can eat cranberries or take unsweetened cranberry juice many times daily.
This kills harmful microbes and speeds up the healing process. The tablets are also available.
Oregano Essential Oil
The oil made from wild oregano is effective against fungal infections and other microbial infections. It contains carvacrol and thymol which are powerful antifungal compounds.
Dilute this oil with coconut oil and apply it on the genitals. Add three drops of oregano oil to three tablespoons of coconut oil or any other carrier oil of your choice.
Don’t ingest without the supervision of a naturopath and don’t apply it directly on your skin without mixing or diluting it.
Aloe vera gel fights harmful microbes, relieves the symptoms of yeast infections and soothes the body. It treats inflammation, redness, and irritation and hastens healing.
It contains lots of antiseptic compounds that kills harmful microbes and inhibit their growth. Scoop out fresh aloe vera gel from a matured leaf and apply the gel directly on the affected part and wash it away after some minutes.
Do these three times daily.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
This essential oil can kill fungi and other harmful microbes including viruses and bacteria. It maintains the healthy balance between yeast cells and lactobacillus bacteria and it boosts the population of healthy flora in the vagina.
This essential oil is effective but it shouldn’t be used without diluting it with coconut oil or any carrier oil like jojoba, almond or olive oils. Apply this mixture on the affected place three times every day.
Green tea has lots of powerful antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and help the body overcome this infection. Drink many cups of green tea daily and you can also wash the affected part with the tea.
This is a natural antiseptic that works wonders in killing microbes and fighting off infections, many women swear by this and there are few studies to prove its effectiveness.
Use three percent hydrogen peroxide, dilute it with water and use it to wash your vagina. An alternative way to do this is to soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and rub it on your genitals.
Wash it off after thirty minutes.