How Are Yeast Infections Treated? 

Contact Us

Vaginal yeast infections are very common, affecting up to 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lifetimes. These troublesome infections, also known as vaginal candidiasis or thrush, cause irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva. There are several causes of yeast infection, the most common being antibiotic use, increased oestrogen levels, uncontrolled diabetes, and an impaired immune system.

Some thrush symptoms are minor and clear up on their own while others can be persistent and will not go away without treatment from antifungal medication. Oral and topical medications are available that can effectively treat vaginal yeast infections. For milder infections, an array of home remedies is purported to provide relief from symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of Yeast Infections?

Some thrush symptoms are minor and clear up on their own while others can be persistent and will not go away without treatment from antifungal medication. Yeast infection symptoms can range from mild to moderate, and include:

  • Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva (the skin folds outside the vagina)
  • There may also be soreness of the vulva. You may have a burning sensation, especially during intercourse or while urinating.
  • A thick, white, odour-free vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese. The discharge can add to the itch and discomfort around the vulva.

Severe thrush symptoms that may result from a complicated yeast infection include extensive redness (erythema), swelling and itching that leads to tears (vaginal fissuring), cracks or sores.

What Causes Yeast Infections?

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called candida. This fungus often occurs naturally in the vagina, but its number is usually kept in check by good vaginal bacteria such as Lactobacillus. Sometimes, however, that balance can be disrupted causing the fungus to multiply and cause thrush symptoms.

Factors that can make thrush more likely to develop when the natural vaginal balance is altered include:

How Are Yeast Infections Treated?

There are a few ways of treating thrush. A traditional medical approach includes using either topical or oral anti-fungal medications although several home remedies might help to reduce, soothe or prevent mild yeast infections.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments include pessaries and creams which you insert into the vagina with an applicator. You can usually get these treatments at your pharmacy or supermarket without a script. Many yeast infection treatments come in 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day strengths. In general, the more concentrated the drug, the shorter the time you need to take it.

Clotrimazole is a commonly used antifungal medicine that can be bought at your pharmacy. It comes as an external cream, an internal cream, and a tablet you insert into your vagina (pessary). Some products, such as Canesten Thrush Duo, combine clotrimazole with other medicines. The capsule contains fluconazole, while the cream contains clotrimazole. Other, less commonly used anti-fungal creams include miconazole, tioconazole, butoconazole and terconazole. A prescription might be required for some of these.

Oral Medication (Tablets)

Although medication and topical treatments are thought to be equally effective, tablets are more convenient. Two thrush treatment tablets are available, namely fluconazole, which is taken as a single dose, and itraconazole which is taken as two doses over the course of one day. Both treatments are available on prescription, while fluconazole is available without a prescription in certain countries (such as the United Kingdom). 

Fluconazole (Diflucan) is the most used oral medication for treating vaginal candida infections. It is a one-dose pill that effectively treats fungal infections by damaging the cell wall of the fungus that creates the infection, thereby making it harder for the fungus to multiply.

Home Remedies

Despite the effectiveness of conventional medical treatments, some people may choose to try home remedies for yeast infections. However, not all home remedies are backed up by clinical trials and thus have not been proven effective against yeast infections. It is, therefore, important to seek professional medical advice and receive an accurate diagnosis before using any home remedy. Some common home remedies may include:


Greek Yoghurt 

Yoghurt is a probiotic because it contains live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria help promote a healthy environment in your vagina and gut. Yoghurt can be eaten or applied topically to the vagina and vulva.

Boric Acid 

Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic, that is said to help clear up yeast infections resistant to other remedies. It is normally taken in the form of vaginal suppositories. Boric acid should never be taken orally or by pregnant women.

Probiotic Suppositories and Supplements 

Probiotics can help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body. Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria may be beneficial in improving the health of your digestive tract (gut) and vagina.  

Coconut Oil 

Coconut has many health benefits including antifungal properties. Organic coconut oil can be applied directly to the affected area.

Tea Tree Oil 

Tea tree oil is an essential oil used to help kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses. The safest way to use tea tree oil to treat thrush is in the form of tea tree vaginal suppositories. It should never be ingested or applied internally.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Due to its acidic composition, an apple cider vinegar bath may assist with reducing thrush symptoms. Usually, half a cup of apple cider vinegar is added to a lukewarm bathtub.


You can use garlic to help treat a yeast infection by simply adding more of it to your diet. Garlic should not be inserted into your vagina as it can burn your mucous membranes.

Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that can kill bacteria and yeast.  Adding it to a bath or diluting it in water before applying it to your skin may help with yeast growing on the genitals.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is an immune system booster and has antimicrobial properties.  Increasing your intake of vitamin C may boost your body’s ability to fight a yeast infection.

Vitamin E 

Some evidence suggests that vitamin E can help reduce inflammation caused by certain vaginal thrush infections.

Access medical solutions and achieve your health goals.

Simply contact us and our Health+ Consultant will be in touch within 24 hours.

Contact Us