You Might Try Self-Care for a Yeast Infection If:
- You've been diagnosed before with a yeast infection and you now have the same symptoms, so you are absolutely sure you have a yeast infection and not something else.
- You haven't had sex with a new partner, so you're not at risk of having been exposed to any new STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Many of the symptoms of a yeast infection -- itching, burning, and vaginal discharge -- can mimic the symptoms of STDs.
See Your Doctor If:
- It's the first yeast infection you've ever had. See a doctor to be sure it's not a more serious problem that needs a different treatment, such as a urinary tract infection or STD.
- You're pregnant. Any medications, including over-the-counter vaginal creams, need to be approved by your doctor during pregnancy.
- You have frequent yeast infections. Having four or more yeast infections in one year is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). Roughly 5% of women develop RVVC and need to be treated for up to six months with an antifungal medication. Frequent, repeat yeast infections can also be a sign that you have diabetes or another medical condition.
Yeast Infections: Tips for Self-Care
- Yogurt. Eating yogurt with live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus -- a natural, "friendly" bacteria -- may help prevent a yeast infection from recurring.
- Acidophilus. Taking supplements containing lactobacillus acidophilus may also help prevent yeast infections.
- Watch what you wear. Avoid tight-fitting pants and wear cotton panties to allow your body to "breathe" and stay cool. Yeast love a moist, warm environment -- so keep things airy and dry to prevent a yeast infection from coming back.
- Nonprescription vaginal creams. If you already have a yeast infection, try one of the over-the-counter medications you can buy in your local drugstore to treat your symptoms. These come in vaginal creams that you insert into the vagina with a plastic applicator, as well as dissolvable tablets or suppositories (oval-shaped doses of the medication you insert into the vagina).