1. To most effectively treat a yeast infection is to get confirmation from your health care provider by a pelvic examination. For women with their first yeast infection, the recommendation absolutely is to see your health care provider for a firm diagnosis. For women familiar with the symptoms and therapy, self diagnosis is recommended as a first line therapy.
2. Cream therapy with soothing components are available OTC and thus the go to therapy for a quick resolution of simple yeast infection symptoms. If you have a yeast infection with no symptoms of bother, there is no treatment indicated.
3. Creams are not only soothing, but actually have been shown to work faster. In a study from the Robert Wood Johnson institute faster initial relief of itching and burning and irritation of a yeast infection the cream works in an hour, whereas the pill taken orally works in 4 hours. Creams can provide 4 hours of complete relief, although the pill takes about 16 hours to provide complete relief.
4. If the symptoms are recurrent or chronic there are a few new options you may want to consider speaking to your gyno about. One in 20 women with a yeast infection will develop chronic and recurrent infections, so you want to get the best success so that this doesn’t happen.
5. Success of treatment really depends on which species of yeast you have. Most yeast infections are due to pesky and pervasive Candida albicans. Some experts say albicans are 95% of those infections we see, others knock that percentage down to only 75%.
6. The best way to avoid an infection is to treat until resolution, too many women will abandon treatment as soon as they feel ok.
7. Treatment success depends on whether you also have a bacterial co-infection or an STD. If you try to self diagnose, you’re probably right somewhere between 1/3 and 50% of the time, a pelvic exam can help to determine if you have both types of infection.
8. The initial treatment may be less likely to be successful if you have hormonal issues complicating the problem. Women are more likely to get yeast infections in the second half of the menstrual cycle, when estrogen is lower, and progesterone is more dominant.
9. Douching doesn’t cause yeast infections, or really affect the cure rates one way or the other.
10. Avoiding sex and oral sex until cured probably helps, but there’s not a lot of good scientific evidence to help prove this one way or the other. In some studies receptive oral sex causes more yeast infections, and in some studies not, but few studies really culture the partner’s mouths! You can’t always eat your way to a clean vagina either.
11. For the most effective cure avoid overly sugar diets. Dairy diets really haven’t changed the rate of yeast infection in most women, but eating probiotics, such as yogurt has lowered the rate of getting yeast in the first place!
For more information, see us for a gyno check at Women’s Health Practice.