Here’s an alarming statistic: About half of all women will get two or more yeast infections in their lives, while about 75 percent of women have experienced at least one already. Of course, there are more factors at play than simply being a woman. Those who are pregnant or diabetic, are on birth control, or have compromised immune systems are all more likely to develop yeast infections more often.
Luckily, no matter what your personal situation might be, you can prevent a yeast infection – and you can do it naturally. This is good, because if you’re anything like me you’ve tried medication after medication, to no avail.
Understanding Yeast Infections
Before I dive in to the many ways to prevent yeast infections without the need for over-the-counter or prescription medications, I want to quickly explain what a yeast infection is. It’s essentially an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans that naturally lives in your vagina. (Fun!) The fungal overgrowth can trigger a host of symptoms, from irritation and inflammation to itching and potentially painful discharge. (Not fun!) The infection occurs when the normal balance of bacteria is thrown off.
Natural Treatment of Yeast Infections
Fortunately, there are some simple lifestyle changes that can help you treat – and say goodbye forever to – yeast infections. Some effective natural treatments include:
- Tea tree oil, for its ability to naturally kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses; dilute with a carrier oil and apply topically, or use a homemade suppository
- Boric acid, for its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties; mix with water and apply topically
- Yogurt, for its probiotics (or good bacteria); eat regularly
- Apple cider vinegar, for its ability to restore a balanced acidity level; dilute with water and apply topically, or add to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes
- Hydrogen peroxide, for its ability to restore vaginal bacterial flora; dilute equally with water and apply topically
- Garlic, for its ability to kill yeast; add it to your diet
- Echinacea and Vitamin C, for their ability to fight off infection; increase your intake to boost your immune system
Prevention of Yeast Infections
To keep yeast infections at bay and ensure the optimal balance of vaginal bacteria, you should:
- Wash and dry underwear thoroughly and frequently
- Replace tampons and sanitary napkins frequently
- Eat yogurt or take probiotics regularly
- Wear cotton or silk underwear to let dampness evaporate
- Stick to natural and unscented feminine sprays
- Avoid using a douche because it can kill good bacteria
- Change out of wet clothing as soon as possible
See? These are pretty easy to implement, and they don’t require changing your eating habits or making a complete lifestyle change. It is possible to live without frequent yeast infections using these little tweaks to your daily routine. I hope they help!