Last week I had a ridiculously painful yeast infection. You know it’s coming on when everything down near the genitals gets inflamed, irritated, and itchy. Discharge thickens significantly, and the smell is much more musky. Yeast infections are extremely common and most people with a vagina will get at least one in their child bearing years. It is the same thing as thrush and athletes foot, only occurring in the vagina. It is not an STD or an STI and it has nothing to do with hygiene.
Yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast. In the vagina, this happens when the environment is disrupted. Increased moisture, weakened immune system, or an imbalance of the pH levels can all cause this.
There are many treatment options for a yeast infection. Prescription wise, you might be given a single or multiple dose antifungal/antibiotic.
However, a yeast infection is relatively easy to treat by yourself. I’ve had a handful of yeast infections so far (booo) and have so far been able to manage it. Here’s what has worked for me.
1. Over the counter: You can get an over the counter yeast infection treatment to kick start the curing process and reduce the pain. If you are in a lot of pain, the one-dose ovules that are inserted up into the vagina can bring a sigh of relief. Monistat makes a pretty solid line, and the generic dupes (like Equate) are just as good. Just look at the ingredients and concentration percentages on the back to make sure that they are the same.
2. At home: However, over the counter treatments can be very expensive, and in my experience, take just as long to work as home treatments (1 week – yes, it definitely sucks). I have found a killer duo that has brought me a lot of relief and gotten my sweet parts back to normal.
External – natural, PLAIN, nonsweetened (SUGAR FREE!) yogurt. Apply directly to burning/itching spots on the vulva. It also helps to eat lots of yogurt!
Internal – this is going to sound strange, but….garlic is amazing.
Peel a clove–I prefer larger ones as they are easier to get out–and stick it up into your vagina while you sleep. After 9-10 hours, remove it. The anti-fungal properties of garlic are absolutely magical. Do this for a week.
Some websites will advise that you slice the garlic. I do not. I have heard many a burning horror story when people cut the garlic open for more intense saturation.
As far as getting it out, I didn’t have a problem getting them out, even the small cloves. If you need a little help, try pushing like you’re giving birth to it while your finger is in there. Then latch it and pull it out. If you’re worried about getting it out (you needn’t be – it cannot get lost or go anywhere) you could also wrap some cheese cloth around it with some twine. Leave the twine hanging outside of the vagina like a tampon string so you can simply pull it out when you’re done.
Don’t forget to sport your cotton undies while you have a yeast infection, avoid yeasty foods (*ahem* beer) and drink lotsssss of water!