Preventing Vaginal Yeast Infections

Vaginal candidiasis is the medical term for a vaginal yeast infection. Candida albicans is a fungus that is naturally found in the vagina. When the fungus grows profusely, vaginal candidiasis is the result. Though it is generally known that fungus resides in many body parts, the overgrowth of yeast causes vaginal infections. A very common phenomenon, about 75% of women suffer such an episode at least once during a lifetime. Minor infections come and go, healing themselves often. If infections occur frequently, they require care and treatment. Clinical diagnosis usually does not require laboratory tests.

Effective Prevention Procedures

As with many kinds of infections, the practice of personal cleanliness and hygiene is very important, especially in the private parts. Clean and dry areas will minimize such attacks. Avoid moisture and wetness for long periods like in bathing suits or in the rain. Yeast spreads in moist surroundings.

  • Do not use vaginal deodorant lotions or sprays. Avoid douches. They might destroy good bacteria and alter the PH level.

  • Wear cotton underwear that does not fit tightly.

  • Sugar attracts yeast. Don’t take much of processed foods and sugar.

  • Take only essential antibiotics.

  • Use only water-based lubricants for sex purposes.

Know the Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infections

The confusion arises from somewhat similar conditions in yeast infections, UTI and bacterial vaginosis. Though they occur in the same region, recognize the differences in symptoms.

A vaginal yeast infection gives rise to a white and thick vaginal discharge. The genital region experiences itching and pain. The vulva may be red and inflamed. No odor is felt.

UTI symptoms are different with painful and foul-smelling urination and pelvic aching. Along with fever and chills, nausea is experienced.

Vaginal infection also occurs in bacterial vaginosis that gives rise to a fishy, harsh odor.


  • Immune system disorders like HIV-positive cases may allow the wild growth of the yeast

  • Hormonal changes could alter the balance in the vagina. Pregnancy and menopause are some situations when hormonal changes happen

  • Sexual contact can pass the yeast from one person to the partner. Further, penetrative sex could change the vaginal bacteria

  • In diabetes, enhanced sugar levels in the vaginal membranes encourage yeast growth

  • Antibiotics often kill the beneficial bacteria that exist in the vagina

  • The use of lotions and sprays in the vagina changes the balance


How will the doctor decide if it is BV, yeast infection, or vaginal infection? A medical history would reveal if such infections happened earlier. Don’t forget that it could be sexually transmitted. An examination of the affected area would show signs of infection. The PH of the vagina is recorded. A sample of the discharge could be analyzed to check for bacteria or fungi.


An expert thinks that even mild cases should be treated. Otherwise, the possibility of more serious infections arises. It is true that mild cases vanish by themselves after a few days. OTC anti-fungal medications help to treat the infection quickly. The medication could take different forms like an ointment or suppository. The infection may be resolved in a single day.

Alternatively, oral medications like fluconazole might be prescribed. Miconazole and tercanozole are other antifungal medications. Oral ones are taken by mouth and some others need to be applied to the affected area. A suppository requires an applicator.

Abstinence from sex is advised during the treatment and recovery since more irritation would happen. The fungal infection can be spread through sexual contact. In order to be certain of the nature of the infection, avoid self-medication and seek professional help.

Home Remedies

A gynecologist could confirm the nature of the infection, whether yeast or others. Avoid taking chances, especially the first time the infection occurs. If a yeast infection is quite certain, some remedies found at home may be very effective. Regarding effectiveness, try out some and see.

  • Probiotics like Greek yogurt with live bacteria work well against the fungus. Plain Greek yogurt without added fruit or sugar is recommended. The bacteria help to build healthy vagina surrounding. Eating yogurt expands the gut microbiome and reduces the growth of yeast in the body. Along with eating, yogurt may be applied on and around the vagina.

  • Alternatives are probiotic supplements that balance the bacteria and yeast levels in the body. Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria in the probiotics can restore balance in the digestive tract and the vagina. Oral supplements may take 10 days to act and vaginal suppositories are so much faster.

  • Derived from the fleshy coconut, the fatty oil has many health blessings and works against fungi. Effectively tested against C. Albicans, use the organic oil with no additions. Apply it to the affected area.

  • The essential tea tree oil is known to kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Try a vaginal suppository with tea tree oil. It is powerful. Don’t forget to dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Don’t put undiluted tea tree oil on the skin. Sensitive skin must not use tea tree oil. Use it sometimes only.

  • A superb antiseptic, boric acid is believed to treat yeast infections well. Along with other medications, a boric acid suppository could be used in the vagina. Heed the warnings about boric acid use. Don’t take it by mouth. Don’t put it on broken skin. Boric acid is dangerous in large quantities and could lead to death and failure of the circulatory system. Pregnant women need to avoid boric acid completely.

  • Vinegar has several health benefits and apple cider vinegar can relieve yeast infections. With half a cup of ACV added to water, the detrimental yeast will be deleted. Soak for 20 minutes. Avoid douching with ACV.

  • Garlic works well too in the war against yeast, according to some studies but more is required. Add garlic to the diet.

  • Vitamin C, Vitamin E, hydrogen peroxide, and oil of oregano are other home remedies.

Since the yeast infection is not at all serious even if it occurs, try prevention as the first line of defense. Don’t take anything for granted and consult a doctor even if it is a mild vaginal yeast infection. The possibility of recurring and worsening infections cannot be ruled out. Make sure that it is clean and dry in the private parts all the time. Loose cotton underwear is the best bet.

Updated on: 30-Jan-2023


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