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.