If you're looking for information on getting rid of male yeast infections, go here: How to Get Rid of Male Yeast Infections.
What is a Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection is a very unpleasant condition that many women deal with daily. In fact, 75% of all women will have one in their lifetime, while 50% will have multiple yeast infections. The signs and symptons of a yeast infection include itching and redness around the outer vagina (vulva), soreness, rash, and/or burning especially while urinating. Also, a cottage-cheese like discharge may be present. While these are the symptoms of a yeast infection, not all women or girls will experience all of them, but if severe itching is not present then you may be suffering from some other condition - see your doctor immediately.
Yeast Infection Causes and Prevention
A yeast infection is caused by the fungus Candida albicans which naturally occurs inside your body. Because of the naturally acidic environment of the vagina, the number of yeast is controlled. However, if the pH level drops, the prevalence of yeast may rise, causing a vaginal yeast infection.
There are lots of things that can trigger a yeast infection, some of the most common being:
- Antibiotics (the leading cause of vaginal yeast infections)
- Period (menstruation)
- Contraceptives (birth control pills and condoms – nonoxynol-9 or a latex allergy)
- Steroids (often found in antibiotics)
- Pregnancy/Hormonal changes
- Clothing that is too tight, non-cotton, dirty (traps heat and moisture)
- Sexual transmission
- Weakened immune system
- People with weakened immune systems are also more susceptible to thrush (Learn how to get rid of thrush), a yeast infection in the mouth with symptoms including white, creamy patches in the on the tongue, in the throat or mouth.
- Allergic reactions to chemicals such as dyes, perfumes and inks.
Here are some tips for women to prevent the onset of a yeast infection:
- Wear natural-fiber clothing and underwear with a cotton lining.
- Don’t wear tight clothing such as panty hose, tights, leggings, nylon underwear, and tight jeans.
- If you are sexually active always use a condom.
- Don’t stay wet after bathing or swimming and don't stay in a wet swimsuit for long periods of time.
- Use feminine sprays or deodorants sparingly - especially if experiencing symptoms.
Yeast Infection Cures and Treatments
If you suspect that you have a yeast infection, visit your doctor first. He or she can diagnose you and may prescribe Diflucan (fluconazole), a one-dose yeast infection drug available only by prescription.
Over the Counter Treatments for Yeast Infections
ALWAYS read the label and follow the directions carefully in order to safely get rid of your yeast infection.
There are several over the counter creams, including but not limited to:
- Femstat 3 (butoconazole nitrate)
- Gyne-Lotrimin (clotrimazole)
- Monistat 7 (miconazole)
- Vagistat (tioconazole)
What is the Remedy for a Yeast Infection?
The world wide web is full of home-brewed remedies and cures. Always consult you doctor prior to following the advise of arbitrary web sites. Following are some of the more popular yeast infection home remedies - feel free to add your families yeast infection home remedy using the form at the bottom of this page to share them with others:
- Yogurt - The bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus is naturally occurring in yogurt and is also found in healthy vaginas. This bacteria kills yeast by producing hydrogen peroxide. Here are a few ways to use it:
- ONLY use plain, no-sugar-added yogurt and be certain that it contains the live bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus.
- Apply yogurt to the outside and inside of the vagina.
- Make yogurt popsicles by either freezing it in a tampon applicator or in the fingers of rubber gloves, then insert into the vagina at the first sign of a yeast infection.
- Use a syringe with no needle.
- Apply once or twice a day until one day after the symptoms have subsided.
- You can also use acidophilus tablets found at your local health food supermarket.
- Garlic - Adding garlic to your diet will help kill yeast because it contains a natural anti-fungal substance.
- Cranberries – Eating cranberries will lower the pH of your urine causing a rise in vaginal acidity as it passes through the vagina. The yeast infected areas will be “washed clean”.
- This is a mild remedy and should be used at the first sign of an infection.
- In the case of a more serious infection, this method can be combined with other home remedies.
- Cranberry pills, which can be found at natural food stores, can be taken throughout the duration of a yeast infection as a supplement.
Getting Rid of Yeast Infection Itchiness
If the itching is driving you nutty then try one of these common remedies:
- Combine slippery elm powder and water to make a paste and then apply to the outside of your vagina.
- Cool some aloe vera juice in the refrigerator, then soak a cotton pad in the juice and apply to your outer vagina.
- Note: Slippery elm and aloe vera are only used to relieve itching and will not kill the yeast fungus (They will only relieve yeast infection symtoms). Do NOT use them internally.
Male Yeast Infections
Yes! Men can get yeast infections too, referred to as penile yeast infections. Men are less likely to get them, but it can happen. He may not be aware that he has one due to the fact that symptoms are not always present. However, the symptoms include a rash on the penis that is scaling, white and moist, and redness or itchiness beneath the foreskin. Lowered immunity is the main cause of genital yeast infections in men, but it is also possible to pass it from one partner to the other during sexual intercourse (To avoid this, learn how to boost your immune system). Because of this, it is important for both partners to be treated if one is diagnosed as having a yeast infection.
Penile Yeast Infections
Man get yeast infections in the same way that women do - the most common causes of a yeast infection (male) are:
- Sexual Transmission
The only guaranteed method in killing the yeast infection in men is to use a prescription medication such as Diflucan (fluconazole) and Nizoral (ketaconazole). For more information about male yeast infections, go here: How to Get Rid of Male Yeast Infections.
Remember, the best first step in curing any yeast infection is to consult your doctor.