Yeast infections are common during pregnancy, mostly because of pregnancy hormones, but also because you may have elevated blood sugar levels. You may also get a yeast infection from taking antibiotics. A severe yeast infection will need to be treated by a healthcare practitioner, but if you catch it very early, you usually can use natural treatments to get rid of the infection.
If you have a yeast infection, continued sexual contact with your partner can aggravate it and may cause it to return. It is a good idea to stop sexual contact for a little while and your partner should also be treated as he or she can also get the infection and transfer it back to you again, even if they are not showing signs or symptoms of having it.
Eating too much sugar may also cause a yeast infection. Reduce your intake of sugary foods to help end the infection.
It is important to note that there are different kinds of yeast infections, so not all treatments will cure all types of yeast infections. A yeast infection may be caused by an overabundance of yeast or by too little yeast. Too little yeast is most often caused by taking antibiotics or by removing the beneficial organisms in your vagina by douching or using antimicrobial treatments such as tea tree oil or garlic. These types of infections do better with treatments that reintroduce beneficial organisms such as applying yogurt or probiotics. Too much yeast is a more common problem and is generally characterized by a white cottage-cheese-like discharge and unpleasant smell. These treatments will respond better to garlic suppositories.
Yogurt is a commonly used natural remedy for yeast infections. The yogurt should not be flavored or contain any sweeteners. Use only plain yogurt. Regular yogurt works, but many swear by using Greek yogurt. Any yogurt that you use should contain live cultures such as acidophilus.
The yogurt can be applied using a very clean finger. You can also fill the tip of a tampon applicator with yogurt and freeze it, then insert it into the vagina. Applying the yogurt to the outer areas of the labia and vagina can also help with the itching. You can place the yogurt on a maxi pad and sit on it. Cold or frozen yogurt can be especially relieving.
Garlic suppositories are also commonly used and are very safe. Garlic is naturally antimicrobial. To use it, peel a single clove of garlic. It may also help to crush or abrade the garlic slightly. Insert the clove as far into the vagina as possible and leave it there overnight. If you have trouble reaching the clove to remove it, it may fall out on its own during the day or you can wrap the clove in a single piece of thin gauze before inserting it so that it will be easier to remove.
Probiotics are also used topically to cure yeast infections. Probiotics usually contain acidophilus as well as a variety of other beneficial organisms which may or may not be contained in yogurt. To use, simply insert one probiotic capsule into your vagina.
Tea tree oil used as a wash is commonly referenced as a natural treatment for yeast infections, but tea tree oil is harsh and damages mucosal linings and may do more harm than good, especially if you are someone who is particularly sensitive. If you insist on using it, one or two drops of tea tree oil in a full douche is recommended.
Treatment can be continued for up to two days, but if you do not experience any relief, it is time to see a healthcare practitioner.