A vaginal yeast infection is a common and uncomfortable problem that many women will experience at least once in their life. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available. Due to the number of treatment options available, it can be difficult to know the best choice for you – that’s why we are going through some of the pros and cons of each in this blog post.
This article will cover the pros and cons of various OTC and prescription medications available to treat yeast infections. It also discusses the four best yeast infection pills and treatments to help you feel more informed when making treatment decisions and talking to your doctor.
The OTC therapies available in the market for yeast infections typically have one of four ingredients: miconazole, clotrimazole, tioconazole, and butoconazole. All these drugs belong to the same antifungal family. Therefore, they have the same mechanism of action and work in identical ways to break down the causative agent of yeast infection, Candida albicans. It is the most common fungus that leads to yeast infections. Eventually, the infection-causing organism dissolves, and the infection is cleared.
These drugs are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy (1). However, discussing the pros and cons of these various types of medications with your healthcare provider when you visit for your yeast infection is best. In addition, different treatment options are available for yeast infection, such as creams with special applicators, vaginal tablets and vaginal suppositories or inserts. Once you begin using an OTC antifungal medication, the symptoms related to your yeast infection will probably start to resolve within a few days.
You must continue to take your medication for the entire number of days that are recommended. The reason for this is that the fungus may still be active enough to result in a relapse.
Certain creams and antifungal inserts can damage spermicide, diaphragms, and condom material (2). A warning is always listed on the product’s labels, so it is important to read them. In addition, it is essential to talk to your healthcare provider about other treatments that don’t pose similar risks to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Another thing to remember is that vaginal intercourse during the therapy could displace such medications from the vagina, reducing medication effectiveness and resulting in irritation.
The label on the OTC medications should be read carefully. These products should only be used for the area it is meant to be used. Precautions need to be taken not to use products on your vagina if they are made to be used on other areas of the body.
These OTC products are not intended for use by men. They should also not be used for other types of infections, such as fungal infections under the fingernails or inside the mouth, known as thrush.
If you visit your healthcare provider for a mild to moderate yeast infection, they may give you a single dose of Diflucan, which contains fluconazole. Diflucan is appropriate for uncomplicated cases. It can cause mild to moderate side effects, including stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea, and headache (3).
Oral fluconazole should generally be avoided if you are pregnant since high doses can cause congenital disabilities (4). Your healthcare provider may recommend prolonged vaginal or oral treatment if you have recurring yeast infections. For example, you may take two to three doses of the oral Diflucan pill, then weekly doses of Diflucan for six months or possibly a topical medication or both (5).
Sometimes a yeast infection is caused by the Candida glabrata, which doesn’t respond to the usual oral medications. The alternatives include 14 days of intravaginal treatment with a boric acid gelatin capsule, a cream with 3% amphotericin B and 17% flucytosine, or a cream with only 17% flucytosine or nystatin suppository. Your healthcare provider may advise you to avoid vaginal sex during the treatment. Be sure you know when you can resume safely.
A male partner can get a yeast skin infection on his penis or have irritation from a vaginal treatment product. Condom or oral dam use can prevent the passing of yeast to and from your sexual partner. If you’re using one, remember to read medication instructions to ensure it doesn’t damage the condom.
Complementary Medicine (CAM)
You may choose to consider one or more of the following complementary remedies. Some are supported by research, but others require further study to determine their effectiveness.
● Boric Acid Suppository
Boric acid suppositories can be used to treat the Candida albicans species of yeast. (2) They can be purchased online or in drugstores, but you should check with your healthcare provider before you take them to ensure you are using a reputable brand. But you should never take boric acid by mouth or use it on open wounds. It is not safe to use while pregnant. (6) Even when used as recommended, you may have some skin irritation.
● Probiotics and Active-Culture Yogurt
The health of the vagina relies on beneficial probiotic bacteria (lactobacilli, including L. acidophilus) to maintain a slightly acidic pH and keep yeast from overgrowing. People with a suppressed immune system or recent abdominal surgery should avoid probiotic supplements. (7) Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so check with your doctor before using them.
Four Best Yeast Infection Pills and Treatments
1. Best for prevention
This type of treatment is a probiotic. It helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria, which in turn helps prevent yeast infections. This product is specially designed to maintain good bacteria inside your vagina. Its directions say to take only one or two pills daily.
Profase promotes a healthy microbiome and is capable of preventing bacterial and yeast infections, as well as urinary tract infections.
As it is a dietary supplement, it is not regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
2. Best for quick relief
Monistat 1 Combination Pack
This type of treatment is a cream. This single-dose vaginal insert has a prefilled applicator which contains an egg-shaped suppository, sometimes known as an ovule. It is a maximum strength dose of miconazole nitrate for relieving the symptoms of yeast infection through just one dose.
It can be utilized at any time, day or night, and helps quickly relieve the yeast infection symptoms. Patient compliance as only a single dose is required.
The single dose is strong, and according to some customers, there can be an irritation for a few hours after using this product.
3. Best cream to relieve symptoms
Vagisil Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Crème
This type of treatment is also cream. This product does not treat the yeast infection directly, rather, it is a cream that helps in relieving common yeast infection symptoms like skin irritation.
It helps block the odour from a yeast infection and provides long-lasting relief from itchiness.
It won’t treat the yeast infection and only helps in relieving itchiness. This product is not a good long-term solution since it will not fix the yeast infection.
4. Best natural treatment
Love Wellness the Killer
This type of treatment is a vaginal suppository. Boric acid is a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Love Wellness the Killer can be utilized to treat yeast infections because it is a suppository containing boric acid.
It helps in treating both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections and also helps in controlling odour.
The directions about how long to take the product are unclear and need further research. There are also no anti-itch ingredients, and pregnant women are not recommended to take boric acid.
When you find that you have a yeast infection, it can be annoying and painful, and getting rid of it while relieving the symptoms will become your top priority. There can be a tendency to jump right into the first treatment option you come across to try and find some relief from your infection. However, so many different types of remedies are available to you, so it’s essential to do your research before beginning a treatment option. Hopefully, this article has given you a good picture of the many treatment options available to you and their pros and cons. Now you can choose the best option and quickly get rid of those painful symptoms!
About The Author
Dan Jackowiak, Nc, HHP, is the Founder of Yeast Infection Advisor. Dan is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner and Nutritional Consultant that personally suffered from yeast and bad bacterial overgrowth of the gut for most of his life. The information on his website is a combination of his own nutrition and holistic training, life experiences, collaboration with fellow experts on his team, and over 18 years of studying medical research on candida yeasts infections of all types, which has allowed him to take his life and health back help others overcome yeast-related health problems and digestive problems of all kinds.
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