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10 Home Remedies for Yeast Infections

Discussions on "10 Home Remedies for Yeast Infections" in "Gynaecology Problems" forum.

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    10 Home Remedies for Yeast Infections

    10 Home Remedies for Yeast Infections

    Peek at Your Pee
    Why do it: Check for infection, liver disease, and more.

    Normal urine is clear or a light shade of yellow. A few foods (as well as vitamin B supplements) can change it to a different color, but most of the time your urine shouldn’t vary much. What you’re really looking for is a sudden darkening. Dark yellow urine, or urine that looks blood-tinged, can signal dehydration or a urinary tract infection (UTI). It can also be a sign of liver disease. Bloody urine can also mean anything from kidney stones to bladder cancer. So if your urine is dark, don’t chug water or cranberry juice and ignore it; have your doctor check it right away.

    How to do it: Take note of the hue of your urine. If it’s pale yellow most days and then suddenly green or pink or brown for several days in a row, even though you know you’re drinking plenty of fluids, let your physician know.
    1: Stay Dry and Loose

    Yeast organisms like warm, moist conditions, with little or no oxygen. In order to deny them the perfect growing medium, dry your vaginal area thoroughly after bathing or showering.
    Opt for "breathable" cotton underwear and loose pants, and, if you must wear nylons, choose those that have a built-in cotton-lined panty. Also, avoid lounging around in a wet swimsuit; change into dry clothing as soon as you're done swimming for a time.
    2: Practice Good Hygiene

    The organisms that cause yeast infection produce secretions that are irritating to the genital tissues. The nerve endings that sense the presence of the yeast are located at the vaginal opening. Although you may have an infection inside the vagina, you can often get symptomatic relief simply by frequently washing away the secretions with water until your chosen treatment knocks out the infection.
    While yeast is usually passed between sexual partners, it can also be passed to others, including children, through activities such as shared baths. To ensure you're not passing yeast, avoid bathing or sharing towels or bathwater with your children; wash your hands frequently -- and always after using the bathroom -- with soap and water; and wash your clothing in hot water. The high water temperature in your washing machine should destroy any yeast organisms on your clothes. But if you want to be sure they're all gone, add a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle.
    You should also wash up extra carefully before lovemaking and should ask your sexual partner to do the same.
    Let your body clean itself.
    3: Avoid Harsh Soaps and Feminine Hygiene Products

    Not only can the alcohol and other chemicals in these products cause irritation, but they could alter the pH balance of the vagina, allowing yeast to flourish.
    Routine douching isn't a good idea if you don't have vaginal symptoms. However, for women with yeast-infection symptoms, a mild vinegar douche can help restore the vagina's normal pH (which is about 4.5). Douching with yogurt that contains live lactobacillus or acidophilus bacteria may help restore the friendly microorganisms lost during infection or as a result of antibiotic use. For the best douche results, follow these easy steps:

    1. Prepare the douche solution as outlined above.
    2. Make sure the container, tube, and irrigation nozzle are very clean. If not, clean them with a good antiseptic solution.
    3. Lie in the tub with a folded towel under your buttocks and with your legs parted. Suspend the container 12 to 18 inches above your hips.
    4. Insert the nozzle into your vagina with a gentle rotating motion until it encounters resistance (two to four inches).
    5. Allow the solution to flow in slowly. Use your fingers to close the vaginal lips until a little pressure builds up inside. This allows the solution to reach the entire internal surface. An effective douche should take ten minutes or so.

    4: Use Yogurt

    The live culture in plain yogurt is a great remedy for a yeast infection, helping to restore the acid-bacteria balance in more ways than one. Of course, you can eat yogurt. But you can also insert 1 to 2 tablespoons into your vagina, apply it externally to the affected area (anal or vaginal), or use it as a douche by diluting it with warm water.
    Another alternative is to use lactobacillus tablets vaginally once or twice a day and douching with vinegar twice a day for two days. Check the natural-supplement aisle of your local pharmacy or a health-food store for the lactobacillus tablets.
    5: Bring on the Boric

    Several studies have shown boric acid to be a safe, inexpensive and effective yeast remedy. If your doctor approves of the idea, try using boric-acid capsules as a suppository the next time you have a flare-up. To make your own suppositories, fill size "O" gelatin capsules with boric acid. Insert one capsule vaginally once a day for a week. (Check with your pharmacist for the gelatin capsules and boric acid.)
    Skip this remedy if you are or may be pregnant, however, since boric acid hasn't been studied among pregnant women. Instead, talk with your physician about other treatment options.
    6: Try Over-the-counter Fungal Creams

    Both miconazole (Monistat) and clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin) are effective in treating yeast infections. These products, which used to be available only by prescription, are available over the counter in pharmacies and many variety stores.
    Apply the medication as directed in the package insert. Complete the full course of treatment, as specified in the insert; do not stop using the medication early, even if your symptoms subside. If you find that you frequently get a yeast infection around the time of your menstrual period, try using one of these antifungal creams a few days before and/or after your menstrual period as a preventative.
    7: Head to the Kitchen

    Unsweetened cranberry juice may acidify vaginal secretions and equip them to fight off the yeast. Eating two fresh garlic cloves a day, either plain or minced and tossed in a salad or sauce, may also prevent yeast infections or help clear up a case of thrush. Garlic has antifungal properties.
    For thrush, brush your teeth after every meal with a mild toothpaste of baking soda and water. Commercial toothpaste may be too harsh if sores develop. Pour a little baking soda in your hand and add just enough water to make a paste. Then, rinse with 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon of three percent hydrogen peroxide. Replace your toothbrush when the infection is cured.
    8: Go Herbal

    For thrush, make a basil tea and use it as a gargle. Boil 3 1/2 cups water, remove from heat, and add 1 1/4 teaspoons ground basil. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Cool and gargle. Or sweeten to taste with maple syrup and drink 1 cup twice a day.
    To relieve itching and burning, make a tea of rosemary, and use it as a douche or dab it onto the external area. Or make a thyme tea using 1 teaspoon dried thyme per 1 cup boiling water. Steep and drink 1 to 4 cups per day if you have a yeast infection.
    9: Treat Both Partners and Rethink Contraception

    Sexual partners can play "hot potato" with yeast infections, passing them back and forth, even if one of them has gotten treatment. Often, men harbor yeast organisms, especially in the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis, but show no symptoms. So when one partner is treated for a yeast infection, the other should be treated at the same time to avoid reinfection.
    Couples who make love before a yeast infection has been completely cured should also use condoms during intercourse (even if another form of contraception, such as the Pill or an IUD, is being used) to act as a barrier and prevent passing the infection.
    Women who take birth control pills also appear to be at increased risk for developing yeast infections. While researchers haven't established a cause-and-effect relationship between the Pill and yeast, some studies have shown that oral contraceptives increase the glycogen (the body's storage form of sugar) in the vagina (which provides more food for yeast reproduction).
    Contraceptive sponges seem to be a yeast culprit, too, although no one is sure why. If recurrent yeast infections are a problem for you, consider an alternative birth control method such as condoms, a diaphragm, a cervical cap, or an intrauterine device (IUD); discuss it with your doctor.
    10: Avoid Routine Douching

    Women who douche frequently in the belief that it's a healthy practice may actually increase their risk for yeast infections by altering the vagina's pH balance. Routine douching is simply not necessary, since the vagina is able to clean itself.
    Routine douching has been linked to an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. PID can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes and result in infertility. If the infection spreads to the circulatory system, it can be fatal.
    A 1990 study showed that women who douched three or more times per month were three-and-a-half times more likely to have PID than women who douched less than once a month. The symptoms of PID include fever, chills, lower abdominal pain or tenderness, back pain, spotting, pain during or after intercourse, and puslike vaginal discharge. In most cases, a woman does not show all of the symptoms listed. If you have any PID symptoms, consult a physician immediately.
    Not only has routine douching been associated with an increased risk of PID, some researchers believe it may increase a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer.
    The message is clear: While an occasional douche during an infection might be helpful, don't make a habit of douching.

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