6 Home Remedies for Yeast Infections That You Should Never Try
First things first: If you think you have a yeast infection — which isn't uncommon at all and could definitely be the case — you should call your gynecologist. While some yeast infection symptoms are easy to diagnose (such as itching or thick, clumpy discharge), it's best to run those your concerns by your ob-gyn. Your doc can confirm for you whether or not it's a yeast infection, and either offer you some prescribed treatment steps or ask you to come into their office because something sounds off.
What you shouldn't do is try one of these at-home fixes — despite what the internet might say, doctors agree that none of these suggestions are good. "There are absolutely no home remedies to get rid of yeast infection," says Lauren Streicher, M.D., associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. And if they're basically useless, that means you're going to be stuck suffering from your uncomfortable symptoms even longer. So, put away the coconut oil for yeast infection symptoms and save it for your hair care routine.
Avoid coconut oil, and these other at-home "cures" for yeast infections — they don't work and can actually do more harm than good:
While some studies claim applying yogurt to the vagina is a quick cure for a yeast infection, you shouldn't rush off to buy a tub just yet. It's true that lactobacilli, a bacteria in yogurt, can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, the yeast that causes the fungal infection. But that only helps you prevent a yeast infection — not cure it, says Lakeisha Richardson, M.D., an ob-gyn in Greenville, Mississippi. "The few studies that have looked at the use of yogurt vaginally or orally have methodological flaws (no control groups, short follow-up, very small numbers of women in the study), and this approach to treatment is considered unproven," says Barb DePree, M.D., of Lakeshore Health Partners in Holland, Michigan. "The same can be said for the use of probiotics in pill form," she adds. And whatever you do, do not put yogurt directly inside your vagina. "I would not recommend anyone put yogurt into their vagina," says Dr. Richardson. Let's just leave it at that. (Related: Can You Have Sex with a Yeast Infection?)
Using coconut oil for yeast infection symptoms might sound perfectly fine since it's safe to use elsewhere on the body, right? Well, not really. Studies show that coconut oil has antifungal properties and that it could help curtail the growth of certain candida yeast strains, but coconut oil for yeast infections has not been proven to work. "Coconut oil cannot help control the growth of yeast," says Dr. Richardson. And, again, don't put anything up your vagina that hasn't been specifically approved for that purpose.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Is there anything apple cider vinegar can't do? Actually, yes — it is not an effective remedy for a yeast infection, regardless of whether you bathe in it or apply it topically, says Dr. Richardson. One study did show that ACV's antifungal properties could help against the yeast candida, but there's one problem: It's not the same strain that's present in vaginal yeast infections. There's also the idea that the high acidity in ACV could create a vaginal environment that's hostile to yeast, but you don't want to mess with your vagina's pH levels, says Dr. DePree. "Yeast infections do not disrupt the normal vaginal pH, unlike some of the other vaginal infections, so 'balancing' the pH isn't a solution of treating or preventing a yeast infection," she says.
Studies have shown that boric acid can effectively treat vaginal issues, but "it is not a most commonly used method for simple yeast infections," says Dr. Richardson. That's probably because using this treatment calls for making it by pouring boric acid powder into gel capsules, and then putting it in your vagina. And let's be real: Do you really want DIY acid down there? "The only time boric acid should be considered a treatment of yeast infections is if there is known resistance to the more commonly used medications," says Dr. DePree. Another reason to hesitate? "There is no safety data on long-term use of boric acid, and it causes local irritation," she adds.
A small study once claimed that oral garlic supplements could be simple combatant to yeast infections, thanks to its strong antifungal properties. Some people even try eating garlic straight or making a paste to apply to their vagina. But it's not a smart strategy. "Even with its antifungal properties, garlic cannot help treat a yeast infection — and I don't know if anyone would want their vagina smelling like garlic," says Dr. Richardson. Valid point. (Related: 6 Reasons Your Vagina Smells and When You Should See a Doc)
Cranberry Juice or Pills
Who hasn't tried chugging cranberry juice at the first sign of vaginal discomfort? Unfortunately, doing so is not a natural cure for yeast infections, says Dr. Richardson. In fact, you're actually treating an entirely separate part of the body. "They're better used for the urinary tract system," she explains.
Literally just created an account specifically to say to anyone who reads this not to listen to it, at the very least about the yogurt and cranberry juice. Love how the section "disproving" cranberry juice as helpful was so tiny... Hmmm! Of course a doctor is going to tell you to not try home remedies, they don't get paid if you don't rush off to see them every time you have a problem! Coming from a poor family and entering into another poor family, my mom and her mom and HER mom all swore by cranberry juice for UTI and yeast infections, and yogurt to keep your probiotics in check. Sure helped me during pregnancy, more than some pill I couldn't take because it'd harm my baby!Read More
I used this excellent natural remedy to eliminate yeast infection:
Natural remedies work great.Read More
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It's funny, literally every other source I've read on yeast infections that mentions these treatments says that they work. They all cite studies and evidence for their use. This is the only article I've seen that says these things don't work. "Even with it's antifungal properties (garlic) won't work for a yeast infection" Really? Why? Admittedly antifungal and no reasoning behind claims that it's ineffective. And as for the smell? That seems like a trivial reason not to use a treatment! And I'd rather my [filtered] smell like garlic for a week than have a yeast infection! Neither of those statements are very persuasive. You need more than a single persons opinion to have a compelling article...Read More
Why did you filter my statement about washing your private parts with it? Is [filtered] now a word we don't say? Are you in this age or not?Read More
I have used borax to get rid of yeast with very good results. You can wash your under ware in it, and [filtered] with a dilute solution. I like using Kolorex or caprolytic acid (pills you swallow) as well. The Capricin pills are what works in coconut oil. Kolorex is an anti fungal from New Zealand that works quite well. I have also used Jatoba bark tea from Brazil with good results. The antifungals they gave me from the doctor's office stopped working. I think this is because they wouldn't give me enough to get rid of the problem or even slow it down. I wonder how much anti fungal resistance is due to doctors being basically ignorant about treating fungal infections. I wonder about this fro antibiotics as well. I do not have a good working immune system. But no matter how much I ask, NO MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL has ever done anything but give me an AIDS test to address the problem. This system of medicine rewards incompetence and needs to be changed considerably.Read More
Your article is incorrect on numerous accounts. As a Naturopathic doctor specializing in Women's health I have helped hundreds of women who got trapped in the Flagyl/ Monistat vicious cycle of treating chronic yeast infections. in addition to massive dietary changes- no sugar, alchol, etc it does help to vaginally supplement lactobacillus, as do products containing herbs, capryllic acid (coconut oil) and boric acid. Sometimes home remedies do not work if not used correctly but they are rarely as harmful as the awful drug store alternativesRead More
Very incorrect! But because shes is a dr she gets paid from people beimg sick. Why would ahe tell anyone a natural way? She wont get paid for doing so. Dr get paid from sickly people. Why force people to take meds that are harmful to the body and quite frankly dont work. Boric acid does work when used correctly.
How can coconut oil be used for yeast infection I have been trying it but I dnt think its working I started itching