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5 Home Remedies to Beat Recurring Yeast Infections
Yeast – Candida albicans – is a fungus that is a harmless part of the natural flora in women’s intimate areas and male and female intestines. An imbalance in the natural flora of these areas can lead to excessive growth of yeast and thus an infection. Such an imbalance can be caused by a number of avoidable factors, but can also be a result of antibiotic use, high estrogen levels during pregnancy, or because of underlying health issues such as diabetis or HIV.
The symptoms are usually itching, burning, yeasty smell and a white discharge and any woman that has gone through a yeast infection knows how unpleasant this infection is. While certain factors can increase the risk of suffering from a yeast infection it is still not understood why some women are more prone to yeast infections than others. If you suffer regularly from yeast infections you might be interested in trying some of these natural home remedies to keep your natural flora in balance and yeast infections a memory from the past.
1. Keep Yourself Ventilated
Since yeast thrives in warm and damp surroundings it is one of the best preventive measures to keep your intimate areas cool and dry. Wear loose clothes during the day such as skirts or loose pants and avoid tight jeans and leggings.
Make sure your panties are made of cotton to keep you dry and cool—artificial fibers such as nylon, polyester and leather fabrics retain heat and moisture. If you like your nylon panties just make sure that they have a cotton crotch or use a mini-pad during the day. Also change out of wet swimming suits immediately after finishing your swim, as the moist surrounding will increase the risk of getting a yeast infection.
Sleep naked during the night or leave the panties off under your nightie and give your body beautiful 8 hours to recover its natural balance and thus fight off these nasty yeast infections.
2. Keep It Clean
It is important to keep yourself as clean as possible if you suffer from regular yeast infections.
- Wash yourself with plain water as soaps remove the natural oils that protect your skin.
- Since your internal body parts are naturally self-cleansing try to avoid douching as this can push infections up to your uterus.
- Wipe yourself from front to back after using the toilet to make sure that no unwanted bacteria and yeasts come in touch with your sensitive areas.
- You can also try to make yourself a cleansing bath. Fill a tub halfway with warm water and add ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of vinegar to match your cleaning bath’ water with the body’s natural saline state and the vaginal pH of 4.5. Simply sit in the water until it cools down, without extra washing.
- To destroy the spores of Candida is not as easy as you might think, so it is important that you wash your underwear hot enough or add a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle of your washing machine.
- You can also scrub the crotch of your panties with detergent before adding them to the washing machine if you want to be on the safe side.
3. Keep It Natural
Adding chemicals to an already unbalanced internal flora can easily trigger yet another yeast infection.
- Try avoiding scented personal products, such as scented tampons or sanitary pads and make sure they are made of cotton instead of synthetic fiber.
- Stop using after-bath powders, as these contain starch on which yeasts can thrive and avoid any other chemicals such as douches, contraceptive gels, sprays and foams.
- Use only natural lubricants during intercourse such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline, not to be used in combination with condoms) and even plain yoghurt or egg whites.
- Don’t use scented oils, as the perfume again can cause further irritation.
- Also avoid colored toilet paper as the ink in them is another irritant that is said to be linked to yeast and bladder infections.
Once you have a yeast infection you can try rubbing 1-2 tbsp of plain yoghurt on and in your intimate parts—the lactobacteria will help restoring the acid-bacteria balance. Alternatively you could use lactobacillus tablets from your local health store.
To relieve the itchiness of a yeast infection you can prepare yourself a rosemary tea and gently dab it with a clean cloth on the external areas of the affected body part.
4. The Lover's Cove
Intercourse is another potential risk to trigger an unwanted yeast infection.
- Both partners should wash their intimate parts and hands before intercourse to avoid transferring extra yeast germs.
- Use only natural lubricants and avoid getting in direct touch with spermicide to maintain the natural balance inside your body.
- It is also helpful to urinate directly before and after intercourse to flush out your urethra to avoid bladder infections.
- Using a condom will further prevent you from passing a yeast infection back and forth between you and your partner.
- You might also want to reconsider your mode of contraception if you suffer from persistent recurring yeast infections. Though the exact mechanism hasn't been understood yet, birth control pills might lead to a higher glycogen content in your female parts and thus increase the risk for yeast infections.
- Last but not least you should avoid intercourse while you are having a yeast infection as this might cause further irritation or might lead to reinfection through your partner, later.
5. Keep the Balance From Within
Ultimately a healthy immune system will be more likely to maintain a healthy balance and beat an upcoming yeast infection before it fully unfolds. Try to eat healthy, wholesome, and organic foods; exercise regularly; and get a good night’s sleep.
Excessive consumption of dairy products and artificial sweeteners has been linked to a higher risk of getting a yeast infection. Instead you can try to eat probiotic yoghurts to increase your lactobacteria, have some cranberry juice to acidify your urine, and eat two raw garlic cloves in your food to take advantage of the anti-fungal properties of garlic.
Additionally a well-balanced diet should contain less sugar, which helps keeping yeast infections away. Yeast thrives on sugar, so high sugar content in your food or a diabetic predisposition can lead to yeast infections. Avoid overuse of caffeine, alcohol, or any other drugs as this will put your immune system under stress.
These home remedies for yeast infections will not always be enough to prevent getting or cure an ongoing yeast infection completely. In cases of bad yeast infections you should use an antifungal cream. If you have a chronic problem with yeast infections and are following these five simple home remedies for yeast infections already, you should consult your doctor and try to find the cause of the problem—sometimes yeast infections can be the result of your overall emotional and physical well-being and can't simply be treated with home remedies.