When too many yeast cells grow in a woman’s vagina, then a yeast infection is to blame. Most women would probably be surprised to learn that yeast, a fungus, exists normally in their vagina without issue – that it’s actually entirely healthy.

However, when too much yeast occurs due to an imbalance, then an infection is present. Symptoms of a yeast infection typically include itching, soreness, painful urination or intercourse and an odorless white discharge.

Yeast infections can be caused because you are taking antibiotics or because your estrogen levels are raised – like during pregnancy (a common time for a yeast infection) or while undergoing hormone therapy (such as birth control pills or menopause treatment). Fortunately there are steps you can take, both at home and with the help of your PGOMG provider, that can cure a yeast infection.

At home yeast infection treatment (and prevention)

  • Probiotics: Have you ever been prescribed antibiotics and had your doctor advise that you consume yogurt daily until you finish treatment? This recommendation isn’t out of the blue – he or she is trying to help prevent a yeast infection. Many yogurts contain probiotics that help maintain a healthy level of vaginal fungus – or yeast.
  • Cotton underwear: Cotton underwear can go a long way toward helping to prevent or get rid of a yeast infection. Keeping your genital area clean, dry and free from tight clothing that causes a warm, moist environment is key. Cotton is a breathable fabric.
  • Antifungal medication: Antifungal medication and boric acid suppositories can be located at your local drugstore. It is important to follow the directions on these products, as using too much, too little, or using the products for too long or short a period of time can have adverse effects – including failure to treat the yeast infection.

From your PGOMG provider

  • If an at-home treatment for yeast infection is proving ineffective or if the yeast infection returns frequently, then you should visit your provider to discuss prescription medication. Your doctor will be able to review your symptoms and determine the proper course of treatment in order to cure the yeast infection.
  • Different birth control: Many birth control options use estrogen to prevent pregnancy, but this hormone can sometimes cause a vaginal imbalance and lead to a yeast infection. Ask your provider about progestin-only birth control if you are concerned about a recurring yeast infection.