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Vaginal yeast infections: Here’s how to diagnose and treat this menace at home

Vaginal yeast infections: Here's how to diagnose and treat this menace at home

Additionally, the symptoms almost always get progressively worse if left untreated for prolonged periods, so if you suspect you have an infection, get to treat it immediately.

The symptoms to look out for

The most common symptoms are itching, a burning sensation and possible vaginal discharge that has a thicker consistency than regular discharge. You may also see signs of rashes, redness or irritation that may or may not be accompanied by swelling. You might notice discomfort or pain while urinating. Sexual intercourse also becomes uncomfortable. You are most likely to notice these symptoms just before or after your menstrual period when your body has more hormone fluctuations.

Fact is, all healthy vaginas contain a small amount of a certain type of fungus called Candida albicans (also known as yeast). Your body also contains certain bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus that keep the growth of this yeast under control. When the balance of these organisms is upset, this can least to the overgrowth of yeast and subsequently an infection.

The specific cause can vary from person to person, and a combination of factors might also be responsible. The most common cause, however, is an unlikely enemy – antibiotics. Antibiotics might be wonder pills that make your fever go away, but in the process of killing harmful bacteria, there is a slight chance that they also end up killing some helpful bacteria as collateral damage, causing the growth of yeast to go out of control.

High oestrogen levels can also cause an infection, so the culprit might be something as simple as hormonal imbalance right before or after your menstrual cycle. In addition, a diet high in added sugars, having an improper sleep cycle and leading a stressful life can also make you more vulnerable.

If you prefer trying natural ingredients first, here are some remedies you can try.

Coconut oil has a soothing effect on irritated and inflamed skin and has antifungal properties to fight the infection-causing yeast.

Method: Use pure, organic coconut oil to apply directly to the affected area. You can safely repeat this twice or thrice a day with no side effects. You could also choose to apply coconut oil on a clean tampon and then insert the tampon.

Aloe vera has several beneficial properties that can help cure yeast infections. While pure aloe gel has antifungal properties, internal consumption can help increase white blood cells, which helps your body fight yeast from within.

Method: You can safely drink aloe vera juice every day until you see improvement. Just add 2 teaspoons of fresh aloe gel to any fruit juice and blend it together. Additionally, you could also apply pure aloe gel to the affected area three times a day.

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

It’s been long established that apple cider vinegar is a miracle potion sent from above. ACV can be used to treat your infection both internally and topically. ACV is antifungal and helps restore the pH balance of your vagina. It also increases the growth of healthy bacteria to curb yeasts production.

Method: Consuming ACV on an empty stomach by adding a tablespoon to a glass of water or a cup of tea can help a great deal. For topical application, dip a cloth in less than five percent acidity ACV and place it directly over the affected area. Allow it to remain for 30 minutes before rinsing it in water. You could also choose to add a cup of ACV to your warm bath and soak in it.

Epsom salts are known to have soothing effects on irritated skin and can also help kill fungi.

Method: Replace your bubble baths with one cup of Epsom salt in your warm water bath and soak in the bath for 10 to 15 minutes. It is not recommended to overuse this treatment, and it can be performed thrice a week at the most.

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