Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infections


Yogurt, Probiotics, and ‘Good’ Bacteria for Yeast Infection

The vagina is home to numerous beneficial microbes, which keep pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes, including Candida, in check.

The yeasts grow out of control when something — such as antibiotics, hormones, pregnancy, or health issues like diabetes and HIV or AIDS — disrupts that delicate balance.

Because of this, one of the most common natural remedies for yeast infections is aimed at restoring the vagina’s population of friendly bacteria, especially Lactobacillus acidophilus, by using yogurt or probiotics.

Overall, despite a host of research on the topic, the evidence for the consumption of healthy bacteria to treat or prevent yeast infections is inconsistent at best.

Some research has shown a benefit. For example, a study published in 2017 involved 200 women with vulvovaginal candidiasis, half of whom received standard medical treatment while the other half received 1 cup of sugar-free yogurt containing L. acidophilus every day for two weeks in addition to standard medical treatment. Those who ate the yogurt daily reported fewer symptoms, such as vaginal discharge, burning sensation during urination, vaginal itching, and swelling of the vulva, than those who received only medical care.

Similarly, a study published in September 2021 determined that a probiotic supplement in addition to fluconazole led to more improvement in symptoms of a yeast infection than fluconazole alone.

A research review published in January 2020 found that Lactobacillus strains helped treat bacterial vaginosis but had no clear benefit for yeast infections.

In addition, reviews have found that many clinical trials on the subject had methodological issues, making it difficult to draw reliable conclusions.

Either way, regular ingestion of beneficial bacteria poses very little harm, so you can try the remedies without worry.

Do avoid applying yogurt directly to your vagina. Despite any advice you may read on the internet, this may actually contribute to yeast growth and make the infection worse.


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