Vaginal thrush, or vaginal yeast infection, is an infection that most women suffer from. In some individuals, it can occur more than once in a lifetime. This problems occurs due to excessive growth of yeast in the vagina.
Bacteria in the vagina produce acid which prevents the overgrowth of yeast (Candida), but when the balance between the good bacteria and yeast gets disrupted, it causes an infection.
Common symptoms of vaginal thrush include itching in the vagina and the vulva area, which can become severe. Burning sensation during urination, thick vaginal discharge, pain during an intercourse and soreness in the vaginal region are some other symptoms of this infection.
Women who are sexually active can have more of this problem than those who are not. Severe diabetes, low immunity, HIV/AIDS, use of oral contraceptives and hormone therapy can be other factors that can worsen the infection.
Though not classified as a sexually transmitted infection, this problem is more common in women who are frequently sexually active. Some of the other risk factors include taking antibiotics, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, impaired immunity, HIV/AIDS and use of oral contraceptives or hormone therapy that can increase the oestrogen levels in the body.
Vaginal thrush can be treated through home remedies. Here we list 5 such home remedies:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Natural enzymes present in apple cider vinegar regulate the vaginal pH and that in turn prevents the growth of yeast. Apple cider vinegar boosts immunity and the good bacteria, which in turn prevents the overgrowth of yeast.
Mix apple cider vinegar with water and wash the vaginal area with it twice in a day. You can also take bath in water mixed with a few drops of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Besides, you can also drink warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar to treat the condition.
2. Garlic: It is an effective herbal remedy to treat vaginal thrush. It has antifungal property which controls the yeast's growth. Take a garlic clove and place it in the vagina for the night. The next day, clean the area with lukewarm water. Do this daily for a few days. One can also eat fresh garlic cloves daily or use them in cooking.
3. Coconut Oil: This is another natural agent to cure vaginal thrush. The antifungal properties of coconut oil neutralise the fungi, which causes the yeast infection. Apply extra-virgin coconut oil directly on the affected area two-three times in a day and also take coconut oil in your diet daily.
4. Aloe Vera: The nutrients in aloe vera prevent the growth of yeast, while its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties treat the yeast causing vaginal thrush. Prepare a glass of aloe vera juice by blending aloe vera gel with a cup of orange juice and plain water. Drink this juice daily for a few days. Also, applying the gel on the affected area helps in reducing the infection. However, drink the juice in moderation and also wash the aloe vera leaves thoroughly before using them.
5. Yogurt: Yogurt contains probiotics or good bacteria that help in maintaining a good vaginal condition, which is essential to check the overgrowth of yeast. If you eat eight ounces of yogurt daily, the chances of infection in the vagina go down by a great extent. One can apply yogurt in the vaginal region and wash it with lukewarm water or eat yogurt daily. However, the yogurt should be free of sugar.