A vaginal yeast infection is a common condition affecting up to 3 out of every 4 women at some point. There are many possible causes of yeast infections, and isolating the cause can help you correct a vaginal bacterial imbalance and prevent future episodes of yeast infections.
With the right natural treatments, you can get rid of a yeast infection by introducing natural remedies that help correct yeast overgrowth.
About Vaginal Yeast Infection
A vaginal yeast infection is a common condition caused by a fungal infection. It can cause discomfort in the forms of itchiness, burning and discharge. Vaginal yeast infections are classified as a type of vaginitis, which is inflammation of the vagina. Also known as vaginal candidiasis, vaginal yeast infections affect roughly 75% of women periodically throughout their lives. Many women develop the condition multiple times and may even experience recurrent episodes frequently in a single year.1
Vaginal yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted diseases, as even non-sexually active women can develop them. However, the fungus that causes yeast infections can be spread via mouth-to-genital contact. Candida is the fungus that causes vaginal yeast infections. Like the gut, the vagina also contains a balanced mix of bacteria—good and bad—including candida.1,2
The lactobacillus bacteria produces an acid, which helps to balance out the bacteria in the vagina and prevent a yeast overgrowth. Whenever the balance of bacteria is disturbed, it leads to too much yeast, or what’s called a yeast infection. Commonly, the use of antibiotics is a main cause of yeast infections as they can decrease healthy bacteria in the vagina. Other possible causes of yeast infections include:1,2
- Unmanaged diabetes
- Compromised immune system
- Taking the birth control pill
Women taking hormonal supplements may also experience yeast infections. Any changes that cause a fluctuation in estrogen levels can also affect the balance of bacteria in the vagina.1
If any of the above factors produce too much yeast, women experience symptoms of yeast infection. Common yeast infection symptoms include:1
- Itching and irritation around the vaginal opening (vulva)
- Burning sensations during intercourse or when urinating
- Redness and inflammation around the vulva
- Vaginal pain and soreness
- Vaginal rash
- Water discharge
- Thick, white vaginal discharge that is odorless and has the consistency of cottage cheese
Typically, yeast infections are caused by the common candida albicans fungus, although there are other types of fungus that can cause a yeast infection as well. Some of the others types of fungus that cause yeast infection may be more difficult to treat or resistant to treatments.1
Top Natural Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection
To get rid of a yeast infection naturally, try the following at-home remedies:
Apple Cider Vinegar - With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory health benefits, ACV can help correct a vaginal bacterial imbalance and alleviate painful yeast infection symptoms.
Tea Tree Oil - The anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil can help fight off a fungal infection causing vaginal candidiasis.
Garlic Clove - Garlic is a natural anti-fungal herb that can help heal a yeast infection and prevent future breakouts.
Yogurt - Yogurt contains healthy lactobacillus bacteria that can help restore the proper balance of bacteria in the vagina and prevent yeast overgrowth.
Coconut Oil - Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce redness and swelling around the vulva and can also help eliminate a yeast infection with its anti-fungal benefits.