Natural Cures and Remedies for Yeast Infection
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Dealing with a yeast infection is probably the most prominent form of vaginitis but there are several other types as well. Inflammation of the vagina is called vaginitis. A change in the normal balance of bacteria, reduced levels of estrogen (usually during menopause) or an infection can be the cause.
Different Types of Infections and Their Causes:
Yeast infections -- This is when you have an overgrowth of candida albicans in the vagina. This is the most prominent kind of vaginitis and a majority of women will have a yeast infection at some point in their life. Can be caused by a weakened immune system.
Possible causes: A yeast infection is not sexually transmitted. It occurs when imbalances in the body's flora disrupts the normal environment of the vagina causing an overgrowth of Candida albicans. Usually if you have a yeast infection you may have overgrowth of candida in other parts of your body such as the intestines, mouth and throat, toe nails, etc. Factors that increase your risk of yeast infections are antibiotics and steroids and hormonal changes caused during pregnancy or taking birth control pills. Although vaginal contraceptives, feminine hygiene products (sprays and deodorants) and tight-fitting clothing may not cause yeast infections, they may increase your likelihood of getting one.
Trichomoniasis -- This type of vaginitis is caused by a parasite and is usually transmitted by sexual intercourse.
Possible causes: As mentioned above Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease. It's cause is a microscopic, one-celled parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It spreads during sexual intercourse with someone who already has the infection. In men the organism usually infects the urinary tract and often does not cause any symptoms.
Bacterial vaginosis -- This is an overgrowth of one or more organisms that are normally found in the vagina that upsets the natural balance of bacteria. In a healthy vagina good bacteria dominates the bad bacteria. When the bad bacteria becomes dominant it upsets the balance. This type can spread during intercourse but it can also occur in women who aren't sexually active. It particularly occurs during pregnancy.
Possible causes: Primary causes are multiple sex partners, over the counter douches (especially scented ones) and use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control.
Atrophic vaginitis -- This is caused by a reduction in estrogen levels, usually after menopause. The vagina can become dry and cause itching or burning pain.
Other noninfectious causes of vaginitis are: Spermicidal products, vaginal sprays, perfumed soaps and scented detergents.
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Symptoms of Infection
Overview of symptoms --
- Vaginal itching
- A change in odor, color or amount of discharge from your vagina
- Painful urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Possibly light vaginal bleeding
Symptoms by type of vaginitis --
Yeast infections -- The predominant symptoms are itching and a thick white discharge that resembles cottage cheese.
Bacterial vaginosis -- With this type you may develop a foul-smelling discharge with a grayish color. It can have a fishy odor that is especially noticeable after intercourse.
Trichomoniasis -- This type may cause a greenish-yellow and sometimes frothy discharge.
How to deal with a yeast infection naturally, click here.
How to Prevent
- Eat yogurt that contains lactobacillus cultures
- Take showers and avoid baths, hot tubs and whirlpool spas
- Make sure to rinse soap out of the genital area completely
- Don't use harsh soaps that are scented, deodorant or antibacterial
- Always wipe from front to back when using the toilet
- Condoms help stop infections caused by intercourse
- Avoid scented tampons or pads
- Wear all cotton underwear
- Don't wear underwear to bed
- After a course of antibiotics supplement with acidophilis for at least a month
- Eliminate sugar from your diet as it feeds candida
Homeopathy Remedies for Vaginitis
Arsenicum album -- When you have burning and discharge
Borax --Burning pains with an egg-white discharge
Calcarea carbonica -- When you have intense itching with a thick white or yellowish discharge that gets worse just before your period
Sepia -- When you have burning sensations with milky white discharge and a sense of pressure. Use especially if you feel irritable or depressed or both.
Graphites -- When you have a backache with thin white discharge that is worse in the morning and when walking.
Kreosotum -- This remedy is strongly indicated for vaginitis with thin and watery, unpleasant smelling, very irritating discharge that makes the vulva swell and itch.
Sulphur -- For discharge that looks yellowish, is offensive-smelling and causes strong burning and itching. Symptoms may be aggravated by warmth and bathing.
Supplements and Herbs
Garlic and Pau D'arco -- These are two good herbs to help you control candida albicans overgrowth. If you want further information on dealing with a serious overgrowth of candida, go to my Candida page. Garlic can be inserted vaginally as well. Of course, the downside is the smell but it is very effective. Put the peeled clove in some gauze and tie it with some string. You can use dental floss if you want. Leave some string dangling in order to pull the garlic out. Lave it in overnight.
Vitamin A -- Taken daily as a supplement vitamin A enhances the integrity of the vaginal lining. Vitamin A can also be used directly in the vagina by just inserting a vitamin A capsule or using a vitamin A suppository. It can be irritating to the tissue and so should not be used more than once a day for no more than seven days.
Vitamin E --Vitamin E can be taken orally, topically, or vaginally. It can be used as a suppository to soothe the vagina or just use the oil topically to soothe the vulva. Vitamin E can be used once or twice per day for 3 to 14 days. If taken orally, there is no limit to how long you can use it as it has many benefits.
Tea Tree Oil Suppositories -- It gives relief from vaginal itching and helps contain the infection. Excellent for the control of candida infection or yeast infection.
Echinacea -- Echinacea is known to improve the immune function. In order to increase resistance against infection use echinacea as a tincture or as tea up to three times a day. Echinacea is effective in dealing with all types of infections and it improves resistance to recurring infections.
Probiotics -- Probiotics such as acidophillus to rebuild and balance the intestinal and body flora preventing overgrowth of yeast. You can insert two capsules of acidophilus into your vagina daily to increase the flora directly. Plain unsweetened yogurt with live cultures can be used as a suppository. Insert at least two tablespoons daily -- be sure and wear a pad. Yogurt can be inserted with an empty tampon inserter or a turkey baster.
All immune boosting supplements and herbs are also helpful
Povidone Iodine Douche -- Put two tablespoons of povidone iodine (Betadine) in one quart of warm water (filtered or bottled) and douche once per day for at least a week but no longer than two weeks. This may sting the first couple times but then it doesn't, proving that is is healing the infection.
Peroxide Douche -- Three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in one quart of filtered or bottled water and use once a day for one week to 10 days. Hydrogen peroxide is produced naturally by bacteria in your vagina and kills yeast. So this douche will help you replenish the hydrogen peroxide balance.
Vinegar Douche -- Put one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one pint of water (filtered or bottled). You can use this douche for one week to two weeks. This douche may burn initially but will stop after the first couple times.
Boric Acid Douche -- A boric acid douche can help to acidify the vaginal pH so that unwanted bacteria cannot survive and multiply. Put one tablespoon of boric acid powder in one quart of warm water (filtered or bottled). Use one to two times per day for one week.
Tips on Douching -- Use only one douche at a time and don't douche during your period. When you are douching for the first time or for an acute infection try the vinegar douche or boric acid douche. When you have recurrent vaginitis use the Betadine or Provodine iodine douche. Stop douching if you feel any pain or symptoms worsen. If your vaginitis or yeast infection is persistent, you need to see a doctor and find out what is going on.
For our recommended natural yeast infection guide, go here.