An itchy, sore vagina is no good to anyone and can really take the fun out of just about everything. If you have never been diagnosed with a yeast infection you may want to go and see your friendly OB because the symptoms commonly associated with a yeast infection could be due to something more serious. But if you are only experiencing mild symptoms, or are quite familiar with your vagina’s response to a bumper crop of Candida albicans, you might want to try a few of these home remedies before you head over to the gyno.
Quickly: a few of the most common causes of yeast infections:
Antibiotics, anal sex, stress, your period, sex with someone who has a yeast infection (men can get them as well), sitting in a wet swimsuit/undergarments for too long (your vagina ought to be properly ventilated), and excesses (read: more than your usual amount) of beer or sugar might push you over the edge.
As soon as you feel that familiar itch:
Take the paper off of a clove of garlic and pop it up into your vagina. I like to score the outer skin because I think it works faster (however this can be irritating to a really enflamed vulva). You can leave the clove up there for several days although it is probably best to change it out every morning, it usually drops out when you pee if you push with your pelvic muscles. (*Bonus: you may be able to taste the garlic in your mouth. I have no idea how this works but it does.)
For painful irritation:
Buy some plain yoghurt, make sure it has active cultures and contains no sugar (sugar feeds the yeast). Eating plain yoghurt may help bring the bacteria in your vagina back into balance but you can also take the cool, creamy stuff and apply it right to the problem to soothe irritation. If you don’t do dairy or are particularly susceptible to yeast infections, you may just want to keep probiotics in pill-form in your fridge and take them regularly.
Slightly stronger medicine:
I have used tea tree oil to knock out a particularly bad yeast infection. The oil is anti-fungal just like garlic. Just dab a little on a piece of cotton and swab it on your labia majora. This method can burn a bit on first application but it worked for me after about three days of tea tree and garlic.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I have, however, suffered from my fair share of yeast infections and I have successfully cured them by these methods.
—By Cali Lindstadt