Is yoghurt safe and effective for the treatment of yeast infection?

Research shows a combination of yoghurt and honey is an effective alternative to antifungal creams for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections.

You may have suffered from one before or know someone who has suffered from a vaginal yeast infection. It affects up to 3 out of 4 women some time in their lifetimes.

It is a fungal infection caused when the body produces excess candida—an otherwise harmless fungus that lives inside or outside the body, in this case in the vagina.

Symptoms of yeast infection

Many women go on to experience it again more than twice after the first episode. Since it is not sexually transmitted, it can happen to women and girls of all ages. Symptoms include:

  • Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva—the tissues at the vaginal opening
  • A burning sensation especially during sexual intercourse or while urinating
  • Vaginal rash
  • Thick, odourless cottage cheese discharge
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva

Yoghurt as an alternate treatment

Over-the-counter anti-fungal medications and suppositories are highly effective for treating yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis. However, many women are turning to yoghurt as an alternative as resistance to anti-fungal medications increases.

Plain, natural yoghurt that contains lactobacillus bacteria has been found to be the most effective home remedy for this infection.

Make sure the yoghurt you use contains no natural sweeteners or sugar as these may worsen the infection.

To get the yoghurt into your vagina, you can:

  • Simply scoop it up with a finger and insert it directly into your vagina
  • Fill a clean tampon applicator with yoghurt and insert it
  • Freeze the yoghurt-filled tampon applicator before inserting it. This gives a cooling effect that helps with the soreness.

If the infections keep recurring—four or more times within a year—you may need to see a doctor for a longer treatment plan other than yoghurt or anti-fungal medications.

3 body parts that are most prone to infection 3 body parts that are most prone to infection