Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida . Candida normally lives within your body and on your skin without causing any problems. But sometimes Candida , commonly called yeast, can multiply and cause an uncomfortable infection.
Most women will have a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their life. Symptoms include:
- exhaust “ricotta” thickness
Yeast infections are not a sexually transmitted disease (STD) , so they can happen to women and girls of all ages.
Many yeast infections can be cured at home with over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal creams and suppositories. Increasing resistance to antifungal drugs has led many women to seek alternative treatments, such as yogurt.
Yogurt can be used to treat a yeast infection from:
- applying topical yogurt to the vulva (the area around the vaginal opening)
- inserting yogurt into the vagina
- consume yogurt as part of your diet
Some people find that a mixture of yogurt and honey is more effective. Other people take probiotic supplements that contain lactobacillus , the friendly bacteria in many yogurts.
Yogurt and baking powder
Yogurt is a safe and convenient treatment option used by women all over the world to treat yeast infections. It works because of a type of bacteria called Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus is a “good” bacteria that normally lives in the digestive tract, the urinary tract, and the vaginal area without causing problems.
People take oral lactobacillus for the treatment of a variety of conditions, including:
- rotaviral diarrhea in children
- traveler’s diarrhea
- irritable bowel syndrome
- general digestive problems
Lactobacillus can be found in:
- many, but not all, yogurt
- some other fermented foods
- dietary supplements
What does the research say says?
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database evaluates the effectiveness of natural products based on scientific evidence according to the following scale:
- probably effective
- possibly effective
- perhaps ineffective
- probably ineffective
Lactobacillus is eventually assessed as effective for vaginal yeast infections.
A 2012 study found that a mixture of yogurt and honey was actually more effective than an antifungal agent for treating vaginal yeast infections in pregnant women. Participants in this study applied the mixture of yogurt and vaginal honey. The clinical cure rate for the yogurt mixture was 87.8 percent. With antifungal cream, it was 72.3 percent.
Researchers in a 2015 study compared a mixture of honey and yogurt with clotrimazole cream and the researchers of the 2012 study reached the same conclusions.
How to use yogurt for yeast infection
According to the research studies mentioned above, the best way to use yeast for the treatment of a yeast infection is to apply it locally or vaginally. Just be sure to use a simple sugar without added sweeteners.
To apply vaginal yogurt:
- Take a tampon from its applicator. Fill the applicator with yogurt, and use it to place yogurt in the vagina.
- You can also use an old applicator from an antifungal cream. But be sure to wash it first with warm water and soap.
- Freeze the yogurt first. Some people freeze the yogurt inside a tampon applicator. Others use the finger of a latex glove. You could even put it in an ice tray. It will be cold, but relaxing.
- Or you can simply use your fingers to get the most in the vagina as you can.
Many people believe that eating yogurt can treat or prevent a yeast infection. This theory is largely anecdotal, but adding healthy bacteria into your body can not hurt.
Some people take probiotics that contain lactobacillus. A review of the literature found that there is promising, but not conclusive, research suggests that probiotics can help prevent yeast infections in women who get three or more per year.
What kind of yogurt should you use?
Not all yogurt is created equal. Check the ingredients to make sure it contains lactobacillus. Make sure you have white yogurt. Also vanilla yogurt has extra sugar. If you are going to eat yogurt, go with a low fat version.
Many of the studies conducted on yeast for yeast infections involved by mixing yogurt with bee honey. Honey has strong antimicrobial properties, which seem to increase the effects of yogurt.
Yogurt for diaper rash
Yeast infections are often the cause of diaper rash in young children. Yeast lives in warm and humid places, like under your baby’s diaper. A Candida diaper rash is caused by the same type of bacteria that causes vaginal yeast infections. Topical yogurt application could be an effective treatment, but there is no search for a backup.
There are few risks associated with topical application of yogurt, but ask your pediatrician before adding milk products to a child’s diet under 12 months.
How long does it take to work?
Expect to use yogurt for about seven days. In general, we recommend that you continue to use it until the symptoms have disappeared.
The risks of this treatment
The only risk related to this treatment is that it can not relieve the itching more quickly than commercial vaginal creams can. Talk to your doctor if you have a yeast infection that is not improving.
When to see a doctor
You can get treatment for a yeast infection from your primary care physician or gynecologist, or at the women’s health or family planning clinic. Symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to the symptoms of other conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases. If you have recently had unprotected sex with a partner, particularly a new partner, you may wish to consult your doctor for a pelvic exam.
Otherwise, make an appointment with your doctor when:
- you get a yeast infection for the first time
- you are not sure if you have a yeast infection
- the symptoms do not improve after using OTC antifungal creams or suppositories
- other symptoms develop, such as blisters, fever, or foul smelling discharge
Yogurt can help treat vaginal yeast infections. There are no real risks, and it may be cheaper than some of the OTC antifungal creams. Take a test to see if it works for you. If this is your first yeast infection, consult your doctor. See also the doctor’s symptoms are worsening or not the improvement after a week.