How are yeast infections treated?
A yeast infection is treated with antifungal creams that are applied locally to the area surrounding the vagina or with antifungal suppositories or cream that are inserted into the vagina. Often a combination of both of these are prescribed at the same time. Examples of topical antifungal agents used to treat a yeast infection include butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin Vaginal Cream), terconazole (Terazol 3 Vaginal Cream), tioconazole (Vagistat-1), miconazole (Monistat), and nystatin. Some treatments for a yeast infection are available to buy from a pharmacy without a prescription. Fluconazole (Diflucan) is an oral antifungal that is used to treat yeast infection.

Self-help measures

  • Eat yogurt with live, active cultures. This can increase the levels of naturally occurring bacteria known as lactobacilli, which will help to decrease the levels of Candida albicans and help to prevent recurrent yeast infections. Natural yogurt can also be applied directly into the vagina during an attack.
  • Cut down on refined sugar (eg, chocolate); this can also be beneficial.
  • Add a tablespoon of vinegar to bath water to relieve symptoms of itching.
  • Wear cotton underwear and try to avoid wearing tights or tight clothing.
  • Avoid using highly perfumed bubble baths and soaps. Use a simple soap or baby product instead.
  • Sexual intercourse during a yeast infection can be painful. However, if sexual intercourse takes place while one or both partners have a yeast infection a condom must be used until both partners have been treated to prevent reinfection.

Further information
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/vaginal-yeast-infections.cfm

Last Reviewed: May 2013