Vaginal Thrush: Home Remedies and Self-Care - eMediHealth (2022)

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Vaginal thrush refers to the overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans present in the vaginal microflora. It is a common condition that resolves within 2 weeks with proper care and antifungal medications.

Vaginal Thrush: Home Remedies and Self-Care - eMediHealth (1)

It is recommended to visit a doctor and discuss your symptoms, especially if you have recurrent vaginal thrush.

Home Treatments for Vaginal Thrush

The following easily available ingredients can help alleviate the problem and may be used as alternative treatments.

1. Try yogurt

There is a popular belief that the intake of yogurt or livelactobacilli decreases the rate of Candida infection and prevents relapse. (1) Further research is needed to establish the efficacy of yogurt andlactobacilli in preventing and treating vaginal thrush. (2)

2. Apply honey

The antimicrobial properties of honey make it a cost-effective alternative for the treatment of vaginal thrush. (3)(4) Creams containing honey and yogurt can help relieve the itch associated with vaginal infections. (5)

Summary:

Honey acts as a natural antifungal and antibiotic agent that can help treat vaginal infections.

3. Use coconut oil and garlic

Vaginal Thrush: Home Remedies and Self-Care - eMediHealth (2)

Some people also use coconut oil topically and garlic to treat vaginal thrush. However, further studies are required to support this claim. (6)(7)(8)

Summary:

Coconut oil possesses antifungal properties that can help treat vaginal thrush.

4. Apply boric acid

Some studies demonstrate the efficacy of topical application of boric acid in treating vaginal yeast infection. However, it should be reserved for azole-resistant and recurrent infections, especially those caused by Candida glabrataspecies.(9)(10)(11)

Summary:

Boric acid contains antiviral and antifungal properties that can be employed in the treatment of vaginal infections.

5. Use tea tree oil

Tea tree oil possesses anti-fungal properties that can aid in the treatment of vaginal yeast infections.

A combination of tea tree oil and conventional drug such as fluconazole can be used in the form of gel and may help treat yeast vaginal infections. (12) When using topically, mix tea tree oil in a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil to prevent irritation of the vaginal walls.

6. Consume apple cider vinegar

ACV possesses antifungal properties against Candida (13) and therefore, can be used to treat a bad case of vaginal candidiasis. Dilute one or two tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water and consume.

7. Use green tea

Green tea has a high content of antioxidants that assist the body in fighting fungal infections.

A study demonstrates that green tea is effective in preventing the attachment of yeast cells to each other, thus prohibiting excess yeast formation. (14) You may either consume it in tea form regularly or add green tea leaves to your bath.

8. Drink cranberry juice

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and prevent yeast and bacteria from reproducing by inhibiting their attachment to vaginal walls. (15) Consuming 1–3 cups of pure cranberry juice a day can help prevent and treat vaginal thrush.

Note: It is recommended to consult your doctor before applying any remedy inside your vaginal area.

Self-Care Tips to Prevent Vaginal Thrush

Vaginal Thrush: Home Remedies and Self-Care - eMediHealth (3)

It is necessary to maintain vaginal hygieneto prevent yeast infections. Here are a few suggestions that can help prevent vaginal thrush and manage its symptoms:

  • Avoid panty liners and topical lubricants.
  • Wear all-cotton underwear.
  • Do not wear pantyhose (wear a thigh-high or knee-high hose instead).
  • Wear loose-fitting pants or skirts.
  • Remove wet bathing suits and exercise clothing promptly.
  • Use dermatologically approved detergents.
  • Double-rinse underwear and any other clothing that comes into contact with the vulva.
  • Do not use a fabric softener on undergarments.
  • Use soft, white, unscented toilet paper.
  • Avoid getting shampoo on the vulval area.
  • Do not use bubble bath or any perfumed creams or soaps.
  • Wash the vulva with cool to lukewarm water only.
  • Rinse the vulva with water after urination.
  • Use 100% cotton menstrual pads and tampons.
  • Use a water-based lubricant if needed during intercourse.
  • Urinate (to prevent infection), and rinse the vulva with cold water after sexual intercourse.
  • Avoid contraceptive creams or spermicides.
  • Do not swim in highly chlorinated pools.
  • Avoid the use of hot tubs.

Will Your Sexual Partner Need Treatment?

Although generally not a sexually transmitted disease, vaginal thrush can be transmitted to your partner during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The risk of infecting your partner depends on certain factors. (16)

Men have low chances of getting infected. However, if any of the following symptoms develop, they should consult a doctor:

  • Itchy, red rash on the penis
  • Irritation under the foreskin or at the tip of the penis (balanitis)
  • Spotty, red rash on the tip of the penis

Final Word

Vaginal thrush can be easily treated with an antifungal course. It is vital to manage the factors that cause the overgrowth of Candida. To avoid recurrence, it is important to maintain good vaginal hygiene and take preventive measures.

Continue ReadingVaginal Thrush: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

References

  1. Zangl I, Pap I-J, Aspöck C, Schüller C. The role of Lactobacillus species in the control of Candida via biotrophic interactions. Microbial cell (Graz, Austria). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6946018/. Published November 25, 2019.
  2. Buggio L, Somigliana E, Borghi A, Vercellini P. Probiotics and vaginal microecology: fact or fancy? BMC women’s health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357464/. Published January 31, 2019.
  3. Hermanns R, Cremers NAJ, Leeming JP, van der Werf ET. Sweet Relief: Determining the Antimicrobial Activity of Medical Grade Honey Against Vaginal Isolates ofCandida albicans. Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6787731/. Published September 9, 2019.
  4. Banaeian S; Sereshti M; Rafieian M; Farahbod F; Kheiri S; Comparison of Vaginal Ointment of Honey and Clotrimazole for Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: A Random Clinical Trial. Journal de mycologiemedicale. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28760590/.
  5. Darvishi M; Jahdi F; Hamzegardeshi Z; Goodarzi S; Vahedi M; The Comparison of Vaginal Cream of Mixing Yogurt, Honey and Clotrimazole on Symptoms of Vaginal Candidiasis. Global journal of health science. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26153168/.
  6. Watson CJ; Grando D; Fairley CK; Chondros P; Garland SM; Myers SP; Pirotta M; The Effects of Oral Garlic on Vaginal Candida Colony Counts: A Randomised Placebo Controlled Double-Blind Trial. BJOG: an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24308540/.
  7. Bahadoran P, Rokni FK, Fahami F. Investigating the therapeutic effect of vaginal cream containing garlic and thyme compared to clotrimazole cream for the treatment of mycotic vaginitis. Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208935/. Published December 2010.
  8. AP; ODOOAADOAO. In Vitro Antimicrobial Properties of Coconut Oil on Candida Species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of medicinal food. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17651080/.
  9. Iavazzo C, Gkegkes ID, Zarkada IM, Falagas ME. Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence. Journal of women’s health (2002). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21774671. Published August 2011.
  10. De Seta F, Schmidt M, Vu B, Essmann M, Larsen B. Antifungal mechanisms supporting boric acid therapy of Candida vaginitis. The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19059942. Published February 2009.
  11. Khameneie KM, Arianpour N, Roozegar R, Aklamli M, Amiri MM. FLUCONAZOLE AND BORIC ACID FOR TREATMENT OF VAGINAL CANDIDIASIS–NEW WORDS ABOUT OLD ISSUE. East African medical journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26866095. Published April 2013.
  12. Mertas A, Garbusińska A, Szliszka E, Jureczko A, Kowalska M, Król W. The influence of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) on fluconazole activity against fluconazole-resistant Candida albicans strains. BioMed research international. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334616/. Published 2015.
  13. Mota AC; de Castro RD; de Araújo Oliveira J; de Oliveira Lima E; Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis. Journal of prosthodontics : official journal of the American College of Prosthodontists. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25219289/.
  14. PC; ENAB. The Effects of Tea Polyphenols on Candida Albicans: Inhibition of Biofilm Formation and Proteasome Inactivation. Canadian journal of microbiology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19898545/.
  15. Hisano M, Bruschini H, Nicodemo AC, Srougi M. Cranberries and lower urinary tract infection prevention. Clinics (Sao Paulo, Brazil). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3370320/. Published 2012.
  16. Arfiputri DS, Hidayati AN, Handayani S, Ervianti E. RISK FACTORS OF VULVOVAGINAL CANDIDIASIS IN DERMATO-VENEREOLOGY OUTPATIENTS CLINIC OF SOETOMO GENERAL HOSPITAL, SURABAYA, INDONESIA. African journal of infectious diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5876779/. Published March 7, 2018.
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    FAQs

    How can I get rid of thrush quickly? ›

    Severe cases of thrush are usually treated with antifungal medications. They're available as tablets, lozenges, or liquids that you swish around in your mouth before swallowing. Common medications include: Antifungal mouthwash (nystatin)

    How do you get rid of internal vaginal thrush? ›

    To treat the vaginal infection, you can use an internal treatment that contains the active ingredient clotrimazole or fluconazole. Choose from the oral pill, soft gel pessary, pessary or internal vaginal cream. These products all treat your infection, but different people prefer different format options.

    What home remedy can I use to stop itching? ›

    The best home remedies for vaginal itching
    1. Baking soda bath. Baking soda baths can potentially treat yeast infections as well as certain itchy skin conditions. ...
    2. Greek yogurt. ...
    3. Cotton underwear. ...
    4. Apple cider vinegar bath. ...
    5. Probiotic supplements. ...
    6. Coconut oil. ...
    7. Antifungal cream. ...
    8. Cortisone cream.

    What foods help clear yeast infections? ›

    Yogurt with live bacterial cultures. Fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles. Supplements containing lactobacillus or acidophilus.

    What should I eat when I have thrush? ›

    Lean chicken, fish and meats. Non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, bean sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, mushrooms, salad greens, tomato and zucchini. Healthy fats like avocado, eggs, nuts and extra virgin olive oil. Fermented foods such as yoghurt and sauerkraut.

    What causes vaginal thrush? ›

    The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Certain bacteria (lactobacillus) act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast.

    How long does thrush last without treatment? ›

    How Long Does Oral Thrush Last Without Treatment? A mild case of oral thrush can clear up on its own without treatment. With the right treatment, symptoms should improve within a few days. Without any treatment, it can take between three to eight weeks to resolve itself.

    Does salt water treat thrush? ›

    However, while you wait for a doctor's appointment, here are some remedies you can try at home to stop the thrush from getting worse. Rinse your mouth with saltwater. Salt kills yeast, so rinsing your mouth with salt water is a good way to fight the yeast infection.

    Why is my Vigina itchy inside? ›

    Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and other organisms can cause vaginal/vulvar itching and irritation and other symptoms. Yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis). About three out of every four women will develop a yeast infection at some point in their lives.

    What foods cause yeast infections? ›

    Foods containing simple sugars, including many fruits. White flour and other glutenous grains. Anything fermented with yeast, such as alcoholic drinks. Some dairy products, including whole milk.

    Which medicine is best for itching in private parts female? ›

    Clotrimazole reduces vaginal burning, itching, and discharge that may occur with this condition. This medication is an azole antifungal. It works by stopping the growth of yeast (fungus) that causes the infection. The vaginal product comes in 2 forms (a vaginal cream or tablet).

    Which ointment is best for itching in private parts female? ›

    Monistat Vaginal Cream

    This cream can treat external vulva irritation and itching caused due to fungal infection. This cream has been used and trusted by women all over the world. You need to apply this cream before going to bed. Use this regularly to get rid of itching in the intimate area easily.

    What vitamins are good for vaginal health? ›

    Studies suggest that supplements like vitamin E, vitamin D, sea buckthorn oil, hyaluronic acid, fish oil, and DHEA could help increase vaginal lubrication.

    What fruit is good for yeast infection? ›

    Candida Diet Fruit List
    • Olives.
    • Avocados.
    • Starfruit.
    • Cranberries.
    • Raspberries.
    • Blackberries.
    • Strawberries.
    • Casaba melon.

    Can stress cause yeast infections? ›

    Women tend to be more likely to get vaginal yeast infections if their bodies are under stress from poor diet, lack of sleep, illness, or when they are pregnant or taking antibiotics. Women with immune-suppressing diseases such as diabetes and HIV infection also are at increased risk.

    Is Cranberry Juice Good for thrush? ›

    Cranberry juice and yoghurt are two foods that taken regularly may help prevent thrush occurring. Candida loves a damp warm environment.

    Can thrush make you sick? ›

    Key points about thrush

    It is uncommon in people without underlying conditions. Thrush might cause a cottony feeling in your mouth or a loss of taste. Usually, antifungal medicine can treat thrush. Sometimes untreated thrush may turn into a more serious infection, especially in people who are very ill.

    Does thrush make you tired? ›

    One of the most common symptoms associated with Candida is fatigue.

    Will thrush go away by itself? ›

    Thrush often goes away on its own in a few days. Your provider may prescribe antifungal medicine to treat thrush. You paint this medicine on your baby's mouth and tongue. If you have a yeast infection on your nipples, your provider may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal cream.

    Does bath help thrush? ›

    But, before you plan a long soak in a lavender oil filled bath, turn off the taps – hot baths can actually make thrush symptoms worse; go tepid or take a shower, instead. Scented soaps and body washes can disrupt the delicate pH of your vagina and have an irritant effect on its sensitive mucosal lining.

    Does vaginal thrush go away on its own? ›

    If thrush isn't treated it eventually goes away on its own. There's no need for your partner(s) to have treatment unless they have signs and symptoms of thrush.

    What does vaginal thrush look like? ›

    What does thrush look like? If you have vaginal thrush, the skin outside your vagina may be red, cracked or damaged. You may see a thick, white vaginal discharge (it may look like cottage cheese). For more information, see 'symptoms of vaginal thrush'.

    What causes vaginal thrush? ›

    The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Certain bacteria (lactobacillus) act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast.

    Why do I keep getting vaginal thrush? ›

    What causes thrush? Your vagina naturally has a certain amount of yeast. Thrush is caused by the growth of too much yeast. You are more likely to get thrush if you have recently taken antibiotics, you have diabetes or your immune system is weakened (for example, because you have HIV).

    How long does thrush last without treatment? ›

    How Long Does Oral Thrush Last Without Treatment? A mild case of oral thrush can clear up on its own without treatment. With the right treatment, symptoms should improve within a few days. Without any treatment, it can take between three to eight weeks to resolve itself.

    Can thrush be caused by stress? ›

    What causes thrush? Most people have small amounts of the Candida fungus in the mouth, digestive tract and skin. They are normally kept in check by other bacteria and microorganisms in the body. When illnesses, stress, or medications disturb this balance, the fungus grows out of control and causes thrush.

    What foods cause thrush? ›

    Fruits high in sugar like bananas, dates, grapes and mango. Foods containing wheat, rye and barley. Canola oil, sunflower oil and margarine. Cheese, milk and cream.

    What should I eat to prevent thrush? ›

    How can your diet help?
    • Avoid sugar. Candida feasts on sugar, so it's advisable to avoid processed foods (often full of hidden sugars.) ...
    • Choose low-sugar fruits. ...
    • Choose gluten-free. ...
    • Choose nuts wisely. ...
    • Opt for non-starchy veg. ...
    • Anti-fungal foods. ...
    • Avoid wine and beer. ...
    • Eat fermented foods sparingly.
    1 Jul 2020

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