Yeast infection, also known as candidal vulvovaginitis, afflicts three out of four of all women, causing a myriad of symptoms including pain, itching, burning, swelling, redness, and thick discharge.

An imbalance of naturally occurring bacteria and yeast that allows a strain of candida fungus to overpopulate the vagina. If you are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, have reason to suspect an STD, or are dealing with recurrent infections, it is important to see a doctor. However, that isn’t always possible for many people, or you may need to wait a while before your appointment.

If you are a relatively healthy adult, there are several things you can do from home to prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections.

Get Your Daily Dose of Probiotics

Because yeast infections are caused by an imbalance of microorganisms in the body, any line of action should involve supplementing the microorganisms that keep candida in check. The specific bacteria you need is called lactobacillus, and it is commonly found in yogurt and other fermented foods. You can also find it in capsules at most stores that sell vitamins. Read the label to be certain the product contains the live bacteria you want.

Steer Clear of Simple Carbs and Yeast

In addition to introducing microorganisms that keep fungus in check, it also helps to avoid foods that fungus feeds on. That means cutting sugar and other simple carbs, like white bread and pasta, as well as yeast, which is found in things like peanuts, alcohol, and cheese. Too much sugar can also depress the immune system — a big disadvantage when fighting an infection.

Avoid Food Allergies and Sensitivities

If you have any food allergies or sensitivities, it is important to strictly avoid them while getting over a yeast infection. These sensitivities often cause full-body inflammation, which suppresses the immune system and makes it difficult for the body to fight off an infection.

Boost Your Immune System

While avoiding things that suppress the immune system, you will also want to do what you can to boost it. So get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, eat your veggies, and have a good laugh! Exercise is also a huge plus, but the discomfort from the infection may make it difficult to move, so you can decide whether or not that’s a good choice for you.

Let Your Vagina Breathe

Wearing certain types of underwear or other clothing that restrict airflow to the vagina can intensify the warm, wet environment that allows fungus to thrive and take over. Whether you already have a yeast infection or are looking to prevent one, cotton underwear are a must. You can also consider going commando during sleeping hours to maximize vaginal ventilation.

Eat Raw Garlic

Garlic has a long history of fighting infections in the body, so it’s not a bad idea to eat plenty when trying to get over a yeast infection. Its antimicrobial properties are strongest when the cloves are crushed and eaten raw. Garlic’s spicy flavor can make it difficult for some people to swallow, even when hidden in food, so try mincing a clove, swirling it in a few tablespoons of water, and gulping it down quickly. You can even chase it with a little bit of honey if the aftertaste is still too much.

Use a Boric Acid Suppository

Boric acid is a natural chemical compound that is often used to treat especially persistent cases of yeast infection. It must be inserted into the vagina in the form of a capsule made specifically for yeast infections, which can be found in many health stores. Never put other forms of boric acid into the vagina, and never consume it by mouth because it can be fatal.

Vaginal yeast infections are uncomfortable and inconvenient, but there is plenty you can do at home to get over them more quickly — and you might even improve your overall health along the way.

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Yeast infection, also known as candidal vulvovaginitis, afflicts three out of four of all women, causing a myriad of symptoms including pain, itching, burning, swelling, redness, and thick discharge. An imbalance of naturally occurring bacteria and yeast that allows a strain of candida fungus to overpopulate the vagina. If you...