Yeast Infection Treatments
Homeopathic Treatments for Yeast Infections
A yeast infection in the vaginal region is typically the result of Candida albicans, which is a fungus that is normally present in the vagina in manageable quantities. When this yeast grows out of control, it can turn into an infection.
Approximately 75% of all women will get a yeast infection at some point in their lives. There are many circumstances when an infection could occur including when a woman is pregnant, if she has diabetes, if she uses oral birth control, if she takes steroids, or if she takes antibiotics. In addition, women who have gone through menopause are more susceptible to yeast infections because their estrogen levels are reducing, which leads to the thinning of the vaginal walls.
The basic symptoms of a yeast infection are:
1. Vaginal itching or burning
2. Vaginal discharge that is white and may resemble cottage cheese
3. Discomfort when having sex
4. Discomfort when urinating
Even though a number of non-prescription medications and homeopathic treatments available, it is important to get an official diagnosis of a yeast infection if:
1. You have never had a yeast infection before
2. You have been diagnosed in the past with urinary tract infections or vaginal infections
3. You have already attempted an over-the-counter or homeopathic remedy and it hasn’t helped
4. Your immune system is suppressed because of AIDS, cancer treatments, or other ailments
5. Your symptoms include fever, vomiting, upset stomach, chills, back pain, stomach pain, bloody discharge, or you are having trouble urinating. You should get to an emergency room right away if you have these symptoms because it might be pelvic inflammatory disease, a kidney infection, or appendicitis.
6. You are having sex with a new partner or you have had sex with more than one partner. You need to rule out a sexually transmitted disease in cases like this.
It is important to see a doctor if you are unsure if you have an infection because it can be misdiagnosed as bacterial vaginosis. This is a prevalent medical condition that happens when there are more bad bacteria in the vagina than good. This can be transmitted sexually; however, it can also show up in women who use an IUD for birth control or who douche. It can also occur during pregnancy. The symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include a foul fishy odor and a grayish discharge. The odor typically gets stronger following sex.
A yeast infection can also be confused with noninfectious vaginitis, which is caused by soaps that are fragranced, douching, feminine sprays, and bubble baths. These products can cause the vaginal region to become irritated. Symptoms of noninfectious vaginitis include pain, burning, and itchiness. Atrophic vaginitis is a type of noninfectious vaginitis that occurs in women after menopause due to decreased levels of estrogen.
Finally, yeast infections have similar symptoms to trichomoniasis. This is a sexually transmitted disease that is the result of a parasite called trichomonasvaginalis. If a man gets this disease, he will likely experience no symptoms. If a woman gets this disease, she may have a yellowish-green, frothy discharge. The presence of trichomoniasis can lead to an increased risk of chlamydia, HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea.
If treatment is not sought, a yeast infection can lead to worse conditions. For instance, pregnant women with yeast infections can give birth to a premature baby that has a low birth weight.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a complication that can be the result of an untreated yeast infection. This condition can scar the fallopian tubes and lead to the inability to conceive.
One of the most prevalent homeopathic treatments for yeast infections is the use of probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are found in healthy people in their digestive system and their vaginas. They are often called good bacteria and are necessary for keeping the bad bacteria, like Candida, from growing out of control. This explains the use of probiotics as a homeopathic treatment for yeast infections.
The probiotic that is used to treat yeast infections is Lactobacillus, and Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, and Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14 in particular. Certain research programs have shown that vaginas that have reduced levels of Lactobacilli are more apt to develop yeast infections.
Other research studies have shown that Candida albicans can be suppressed by the introduction of Lactobacilli. Even though certain clinical studies agree with this, they have not been extensive enough to provide absolute proof that this occurs.
Probiotics can be purchased as supplements that can be taken by the mouth at any health store. There are vaginal probiotic suppositories available as well, but they can be hard to locate.
2. Boric Acid Suppositories
Boric acid is a second homeopathic treatment for yeast infections. This is a chemical that contains both antifungal elements and a basic antiseptic. A study in Italy showed that boric acid works as well as itraconazole, which is an antifungal medication, when given as a topical treatment.
Another study showed that one dose of 150 milligrams of fluconazole or Difulcan is similar to 600 milligrams of boric acid in the form of a vaginal suppository. The boric acid actually worked better than the fluconazole.
Boric acid suppositories can be purchased from certain pharmacies that can make compound prescriptions. There is one brand name boric acid suppository, which is Yeast Arrest that is made by the supplement company Vitanica based out of Oregon. Yeast Arrest is formulated with boric acid, Oregon grape root, and calendula.
There are some worries about the safety of boric acid, since it is toxic and cannot be taken by the mouth, inserted into wounds, or put on cuts. Nor should it be used for an extensive amount of time, or in a larger dose than what is directed. Pregnant women, kids, and babies should never use boric acid. Some of the side effects seen with boric acid are vaginal soreness or burning.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, an essential oil, has also been touted as a homeopathic solution for yeast infections. It should be diluted with water and applies as a topical solution to the vaginal area. Tea tree oil contains a compound known as terpinen-4, which is apparently what remedies the infection.
There is yet to be any research done on humans concerning the effectiveness and safety of using tea tree oil to treat yeast infections. Until there is more proof, it is not suggested that tea tree oil be used. If it is used, it needs to be diluted. It should never be used at full-strength.
There are several precautions that can be taken to guard against getting a yeast infection in the first place.
1. Refrain from douching
2. Wear a condom
3. Wear cotton underwear
4. Do not take baths or sit in hot tubs
5. Do not use any feminine product that have a fragrance.