A vaginal yeast infection is a common condition with women, but is often either shrugged off as being due to excessive vaginal discharge, or is treated with self medication. Yeast infection or Candida can prove to be extremely problematic if it is left untreated. Yeast can transform from its benign form to an extremely infectious state and engulf most of the systems in the body, including the brain.
Strictly speaking, vaginal yeast infections should be first treated with home remedies before any conventional yeast infection treatments like allopathic ointments, creams, or oral drugs. This is all the more important if infection occurs during pregnancy-- especially early pregnancy-- as the safety of the baby is at stake.
Candida albicans, also known as yeast, is natural flora that exists in the intestines, mouth, and vagina. Besides excess intake of sugar, pregnancy, birth control pills, hormonal supplements for menopause, chemical douches, spermicidal products and fissures caused by tampons are some of the major causes of vaginal yeast infections. If you experience vaginal itching, redness or inflammation in the vaginal area, the following safe and natural remedies may be beneficial.
Prevent the growth of yeast. The idea is to let air circulate as much as possible. Try to keep the vaginal area dry and clean, as a damp and moist environment helps Candida grow. Avoid wearing tight clothes and sleep without tight undergarments. If you must use a panty hose, select those that come with a cotton crotch. Do not dust cosmetic powder in the vaginal area. Most of these powders have a starch base, which is conducive to yeast growth.
Do not use chemicals inside the vagina. Avoid douching with chemical formulations. Use lukewarm water mixed with vinegar, instead. Use mineral oil, petroleum jelly or egg white for lubrication during intercourse. These are devoid of chemicals and will not irritate. Avoid using baby oils, as they contain perfume and can cause irritation. Petroleum jelly is not advisable for use with condoms, as it may cause holes in the rubber. Use plain water for washing.
Sitz baths are a super way of cleaning and douching. Mix salt or vinegar (half cup) to a shallow bath and sit with knees apart. This relieves the itching sensation, and the result can be perceived almost immediately.
Avoid having intercourse during a vaginal infection, as it increases irritation and can also be passed on to your partner.
No Candida treatment can be complete without dietary control. Avoid sugary foods, carbohydrates and commercial foods that contain chemical additives and preservatives. During the infection, eat at least three to four glasses of yogurt and you will be rewarded with a complete vaginal Candida cure. Yogurt contains bacterium that inhibits the growth of yeast and should be consumed on a daily basis, even after the symptoms disappear.