There are many home remedies for yeast infection.
Over-the-counter treatments are easy to buy and usually cheap.
But do these remedies really work?
This page is looking at the ones that do and the ones that don't so you can make an informed choice.
Most of these creams for vaginal itch are NOT effective as a home remedy for yeast infection.
To be fair, all of the responsible manufacturers state that. They're certainly not trying to deceive anyone, but because so often these products are found amongst or beside yeast infection treatment products, many women assume that they do treat vaginal thrush.
They contain things to stop you from itching and to stop you from FEELING the itch even if you are still itching!
These creams do not have any anti-fungal effect. They may mask symptoms such as the itchiness but they don't cure, and by alleviating the itch, a woman may take longer to seek the yeast infection treatment that she does need.1
Most of them advise you to see a doctor if the symptoms continue for more than 7 days. Unfortunately, not all women read the fine print!
Some of these products are listed below. There are many, many more. They do have their use in giving some relief while you're waiting for a yeast infection treatment to kick in, but these guys are not a cure.
In the list of active ingredients they will have name such as benzocaine (an anesthetic), resorcinol (an external pain relief) and hydrocortisone (stops the itching).
|Brand Name||Active Ingredient||What It Does|
|Summers Eve Anti-Itch Gel||Pramoxine Hydrochloride 1%, glycerin 39%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Equate Vaginal Cream||Benzocaine 20%, resocinol 3%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Vagisil Original||Benzocaine 20%, resocinol 2%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Vagisil Extra Strength||Benzocaine 20%, resocinol 3%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Vagi-gard Sensitive||Benzocaine 5%, benzalkonium chloride||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Vagi-gard Extra Strength||Benzocaine 20%, benzalkonium chloride 0.13%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Gynecort Anti-Itch Cream Maximum Strength||Hydrocortisone Acetate 1%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Monistat Itch Relief Cream||Hydrocortisone 1%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
|Walgreens Feminine Anti-Itch Cream||Benzocaine 5% , Resorcinol 2%||Effective as an anti-itch only, not effective as an antifungal|
So the products listed above are NOT home remedies for yeast infections. They're anti-itch medications.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration have a 7-day limit on the use of over-the-counter external analgesic medications such as some of the ones above (20% benzocaine, 3% resorcinol).
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology says about those ingredients: "appears to be safe when used as directed; however, the results cannot be extrapolated to the very young. Nevertheless, lavish or frequent application over wide areas of excoriation might lead to toxic concentrations and methemoglobinemia. Therefore patients with serious vaginal disease should be advised against self-treatment beyond the 7-day limit imposed by the Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter external analgesic medications." (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1997;176:1006-8.)
I'll state right up front that I am not an expert on homeopathic treatments. And I am unable to find any verifiable evidence that it works as a home remedy for yeast infection. Having said that, Lord knows but the medical/scientific community is reluctant to take some things seriously WHATEVER evidence is thrown at them but homeopathy would not be my treatment of choice as a home remedy for yeast infection.
If you believe in homeopathy and wish to try this, then do see an experienced practitioner rather than trying over-the-counter-treatments. Homeopathy bases its treatments on what your symptoms are so that, as I understand it, depending on exactly what your discharge, itch, pain and swelling is, the suggested treatment will change. So it isn't a case of "one size fits all!"
Some commercial homeopathic remedies for yeast infection are listed below.
|Brand Name||Main Ingredient||Other Ingredient||What It Does|
|Yeast-Away||Borax 14x HPUS||Calendula officinalis 1x HPUS, Candida albicans 30X HPUS||Unknown|
|Yeast Guard||Pulsatilla 28x||Candida parapoilosis, Candida albicans 28X HPUS||Unknown|
|Azo Yeast Tablets||Boneset and Mistletoe Leaf 6x||Lactobacillus sporogenes||Unknown|
And I know all you homeopathy believers will be bristling indignantly when I say the effect is unknown but that is what the medical experts say.1 I can not find any Random Controlled Trials on it as a home remedy for yeast infection and, believe me, I have looked.
Yeastaway claims only to provide "temporary relief of symptoms" and Azo "daily use can help avoid and relieve the symptoms".
So once again, these are NOT effective home remedies for yeast infections.
These include brand names such as Monistat 1, Monistat 7, Equate, Vagistat 1. These products all belong to the imidazole family of antifungals and all of them are effective as a home remedy for yeast infection. There is not much difference between the various brands and women should chose according to preference.1
The ingredients are all listed on the CDC approved treatment list for Candida vaginitis.
What they DON'T do quite as effectively is KEEP you cured. Vaginal yeast has a bad reputation for coming back.
This is where probiotics such as Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 in products such as Fem Dophilus come into the picture. They recolonise your vagina with good bacteria - the bacteria that are supposed to be there - so that there isn't room for the yeast to reappear.It is from this last group of fungal vaginal creams and probiotics that you willl find the most effective home remedies for yeast infections.
REFERENCES for Home Remedy for Yeast Infection
1. Lauren B. Angotti, Lara C. Lambert, David E. Soper. Vaginitis: Making Sense of Over-the-Counter Treatment Options. nfect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2007; 2007: 97424.
Measures pH in the correct range for women's health