When you get yeast infections — particularly if you suffer with a lot of them — it’s always best to consult your doctor and figure out what’s up and if there’s an underlying issue causing them. But if you only get them from time to time and are into trying some more natural methods to speed along the healing process, here are a few to add to your arsenal:
- Boost your probiotics. Eating some yogurt (plain, unsweetened Greek varieties are best) and/or taking a high quality probiotic supplement can help you feel better, and can also help keep another infection at bay. The active cultures in yogurt help regulate the delicate pH balance down there, while probiotic supplements contain millions of live cultures to amplify the same effect.
- Avoiding any perfumed soaps or body washes. I know a yeast infection makes you want to scrub the hell out of yourself in an attempt to wash it away, but you”ll only make it worse. Stop putting anything down there except for ointment or cream prescribed specifically for yeast infections. Avoid perfumed soaps, body washes, and even detergents and you can help clear them more quickly (and avoid further infections).
- Apple cider vinegar. ACV kills literally everything. You can use it on your skin to keep acne at bay, and you can also use it help clear up a yeast infection. There are multiple ways to try this method — soaking in it, doing an ACV douche, etc. Whatever you do, be sure to dilute the vinegar before applying to skin due to its high acid content.
- Yogurt tampon. Aside from just consuming yogurt, you can dip an unscented tampon in plain yogurt (no fruit or sugar, or you’ll just make the infection a MILLION times worse) and insert it. Again, this doesn’t work for all women, but plenty say it gives them release from the itching and horrible pain a yeast infection causes.
- Tea tree oil. Much like ACV, tea tree oil is effective for pretty much everything — including yeast infections. It kills germs and is totally natural (but again, it needs to be diluted rather than applied directly to the skin). You can either soak a tampon in tea tree oil that’s been diluted in water, or add several drops to your bath water in the evening for help.
- Boric Acid. So, I get it sounds scary because the word “acid” is in the name, but boric acid can be your best friend if you have a yeast infection. When used as a suppository, boric acid is known to help clear up this lovely infection quickly. See? Not so scary after all.
- Changing to cotton underwear. Not only should you be getting out of a damp bathing suit or sweaty gym clothes as soon as possible to avoid bacteria and fungus growth, but you should probably ditch the fancy thongs and silk panties and switch it over to plain old cotton (or go commando). It allows the vagina to “breathe” a bit more and helps to inhibit the overgrowth of nasties.
- Oil of oregano. Oil of oregano is a crazy effective anti-fungal, and given that yeast infections are simply an overgrowth of the Candida fungus, it’s the perfect remedy. You can take it by adding 2-3 drops to water and drinking it twice a day. You might just be pleased with the results!
- Progestin-only birth control. You might not think often about your daily birth control pill, but it could be the cause of some of your problems, especially if you get yeast infections a lot. Switching to a pill that contains only progestin or an IUD instead of methods that contain estrogen. Huh, go figure.