Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal thrush, vaginal/vulvovaginal candidiasis (vvc) or candida vulvovaginitis is one of the most common yeast infections. Generally people think of vaginal yeast infection when they come across the term “yeast infection”. However, vaginal yeast infection is just one type of yeast infection and candida yeast can actually cause infections of different body parts – mouth, gut, skin, penis etc. You can discover more about these different types of infections here.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it affects 75% of all adult women at least once in their life. Candida yeast is a normal inhabitant of the vagina – it lives there along with bacteria like lactobacilli; however, under certain conditions candida can multiply extensively causing it to overgrow.

Candida overgrowth leads to inflammation and classic symptoms of vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infection can sometimes become recurrent – when someone has a vaginal yeast infection at least 4 times in a year the infection is considered recurrent. It is estimated that about 5% of women in their reproductive years get recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.

This article will provide you detailed information on everything you need to know about vaginal yeast infections and help you make informed decisions regarding your treatment.

Causes and Risk Factors

To know how to manage, treat or even prevent vaginal yeast infections, we need to know why this infection happens in the first place. Why do some women get these infections very often while others never get it? What puts you at higher risk for getting these infections?

1) Weakened immune system: It is generally women with weakened immune system who get vaginal yeast infections. As a normal inhabitant of vagina, candida yeast does not cause any trouble because the local antibodies secreted by the vagina keep the population of candida in check. However, in women with weakened immune system, the body is not able to keep the growth of candida under control and candida overgrows causing infection.

So, when is it that your immune system becomes weak? If you have AIDS or diabetes, you are sure to have a weakened immune system. Apart from this, nutrient deficiency can cause you to have reduced immunity to pathogens. A review article published in 2005 by Cunningham-Rundles, McNeeley and Moon describes in details the mechanisms by which nutritional deficiency can cause lowered immunity. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C, riboflavin, iron, zinc, and selenium affect our immunity and lack of these can cause decreased immunity and increased susceptibility to infections.

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A 1986 study by Edman, Sobel and Taylor showed clearly that women with recurrent vaginal candida infection had significantly lower zinc levels in the blood. Deficiency of vitamin A also leads to lowered mucosal immunity and could be one of the reasons that can lead to vaginal candida infections. It is therefore important for you to assess if your nutritional intake is balanced and does provide you all the vitamins and minerals that you need for proper immune response.

The question that might bother you now is “I do not have any immunity weakening disease. How do I know if I have lowered immunity due to other reasons”? Look for the following signs:

  • a) You eat too much sugary stuff: Studies carried out in the 1970s by scientists invariably showed that consumption of sugar reduced immune function in different ways. For example, Sanchez and colleagues showed in 1973 that after consuming 100g sugar, the immune cells called phagocytes had very reduced function 1-2 hours after consumption. The effect lasted up to 5 hours after sugar intake.In 1982, Samaranayake and MacFarlane from Scotland showed that dietary carbohydrates had an effect on adherence of candida cells to our epithelial cells which line all our tissues and organs. They showed that when candida grew in the presence of certain carbohydrates, its ability to adhere to the epithelial cells was significantly increased. So eating sugary and starchy stuff can also make you more susceptible to vaginal candida infections – not only by reducing your immunity, but also by increasing the adherence of candida to the vaginal cells.
  • b) You have regular respiratory infections: According to American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, too many infections (including respiratory infections) in a year can signal a lowered immune status.
  • c) You are chronically stressed: If so, you are more than likely to have a suppressed immune system. A meta-analysis of 300 research studies was done jointly by Segerstorm and Miller. This 2004 study showed convincingly that, under chronic stress, immunity afforded to us by both the immune cells and the antibodies is suppressed.
  • d) You do not drink enough water: If you do not drink enough water, you end up accumulating the toxins that would otherwise get flushed out of your body. These toxins affect your immune system in a negative way.

2) Antibiotic usage: Frequent antibiotic usage decreases the vaginal microflora, especially lactobacilli. The normal vaginal microflora is protective against candida overgrowth. Once this normal flora gets disturbed by antibiotics, it makes you susceptible to candida infection. Xu and colleagues did a study in 2008 that showed clearly that use of even short courses of antibiotics increased both the vaginal colonization and symptomatic vaginal candida infection. A 2009 Indian study of over a thousand women by Ahmad and Khan found that 44.8% of antibiotic users had vaginal candida infection as compared to only 12.9% of non-users. Read our comprehensive article on antibiotics and yeast infection connection to learn more.

3) Uncontrolled diabetes: Another one of the major risk factors is poorly controlled diabetes. It can also result in chronic or recurring vulvovaginal candida infections. A study by Leon and colleagues which was published in 2002 showed that people with type I diabetes (insulin dependent) are three times more likely to have excessive candida as compared to those with type 2 diabetes (not insulin dependent). Watch this video by Eric Bakker to learn about candida and diabetes connection.

4) Estrogen excess: It has been shown clearly that estrogen helps candida grow in environments that would otherwise be bad for it. For example, a research study by Zhang and colleagues published in 2000 showed that when candida was exposed to estrogen, it grew better and could even survive unfavourable conditions such as temperatures as high as 48oC.

There is also another way by which estrogen aids establishment of candida infection. Spanish researcher Relloso and colleagues published data in 2012 which showed that increased estrogen during ovulation and period following it impairs the immune response against candida. Additionally, studies done back in 1989 on vaginal epithelial cells by Kalo-Klein and Witkin had already showed that estrogen and progesterone inhibited the cellular immune response against candida.

It is difficult to point at a single factor that leads to candida infection – some people who do have estrogen excess do not get candida infection. This points towards a combination of factors that could be at work when a person gets a candida infection. In a recent 2016 article, Wang and colleagues described their research work in mice showing that a combination of estrogen and immunosuppressive agents like steroids are ideal for candida to establish itself in the vaginal mucosa. Thus, if you have excess estrogen while you are having immunosuppressive agents (or a lowered immunity due to any other reason), you will be more likely to get vaginal candida infection.

You may have estrogen excess in following conditions:

  • a) Use of oral contraceptives: Almost all oral contraceptives are a combination of synthetic estrogens and progestins. Thus, they add a constant level of excess estrogen. There are many studies that show that use of oral contraceptives is linked with an increased risk for vaginal candida infections. For example, a 2009 Indian study on over a thousand women by Ahmad and Khan found that 57.5% of oral contraceptive users had vaginal candida infection as compared to only 11.8% of non-users. However, there are some studies that do not find any such link. Although this link is controversial, oral contraceptives do increase your estrogen levels on a regular basis and, combined with other factors, could put you at higher risk for vaginal candida infections.
  • b) Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Postmenopausal women have a decrease in hormone secretion and are at risk for developing conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease etc. To counter this, they may be placed on HRT. However, women receiving hormone replacement therapy have a higher risk of developing vaginal candida infections as has been shown by many researchers. Dennerstein and Ellis showed with their study on postmenopausal women in 2001 that there is a significant relationship between use of estrogen and candida infection. They found that this was because estrogen stimulated maturation of epithelium which led to production of glycogen. Glycogen acts as an attractive substrate for growth of candida.
  • c) Pregnancy: During pregnancy a woman produces more estrogen than she produced in her whole life when not pregnant!! Pregnancy seems to increase both the level of colonization of vagina by candida as well as the risk for symptomatic candida infection as has been seen from scientific research. Ahmad and Khan’s study on over a thousand women in 2009 found pregnancy to be a strong risk factor for vaginal candida infection with 76% of pregnant women having the infection as compared to only 31% of nonpregnant women. The increase in risk of getting vaginal candida infection is due to the increase of sex hormones (which includes estrogen) in pregnancy – especially in the last trimester where the estrogen levels peak.

5) Immunosuppression: Suppression of immunity either due to a disease (like HIV), or use of immunosuppressive drugs (like corticosteroids used as anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressant given during organ transplant or to treat autoimmune disease) can put you at a higher risk for vaginal candida infection. It reduces the person’s ability to fight infections as well as reduces the protection of vaginal tissues by antibodies.

6) Use of intrauterine devices (IUDs): Use of IUDs for contraception increases your risk of getting vaginal candida infection. Demirezen and colleagues from Turkey showed in 2005 that prolonged use of IUD can predispose a woman to vaginal candida infection. They also proposed that IUDs may reduce lactobacilli in vagina and thus also increase the risk for candida growth. Additionally, Demirezen and colleagues found that IUDs destroy cervical mucus which acts as a barrier against infections.

That candida is able to form biofilm on IUDs was shown by Auler and colleagues from Brazil in 2010. They studied women using IUDs who had vaginal candidiasis and concluded that biofilm on IUDs is an important risk factor for vaginal candida infection.

7) Use of Spermicides/condoms: Several research studies have found use of spermicides-condoms associated with a higher risk for vaginal candida infections. McGroarty and colleagues from Canada reported in 1990 that this association is due to the spermicidal compound nonoxynol-9 (N9) which increases the adhesion of candida to the cells. In 1999, Watts and colleagues showed that N9 also had a negative effect on the normal flora of the vagina. As the normal flora keeps candida population in check, any alteration in this is likely to promote candida growth.

Other suggested reasons include allergy to latex, sensitivity of vaginal cells to condom and small traumas to the vagina which all could potentially promote the growth of candida. Consult with your doctor in this case.

8) Poor personal hygiene: A 2009 Indian study by Ahmad and Khan found that 36.5% of women with poor genital hygiene had vaginal candida infection as compared to only 15.6% of women with good genital hygiene. Poor personal hygiene can make you more susceptible to candida infections by increasing the numbers of candida in the vagina. Improper intimate hygiene practices (like wiping back to front) can also allow candida from the gut to colonize the vagina and is likely a major source of candida.

9) Orogenital sex: Receptive oral sex has been found to be one of the risk factors for getting vaginal candidiasis. One-half to one-third of the population has candida in their mouths. Reed and colleagues showed with their research in 2009 that candida can indeed be transmitted from mouth to the vagina. They also showed that orogenital sex is associated with increased incidence of vaginal candida infection. They proposed that saliva may also promote adherence and growth of candida in the vagina by providing moisture and also acting as an irritant or by changing the immune response.

10) Clothing habits and hygiene: Using tight and poorly ventilated clothes or using synthetic underwear increases your risk for getting vaginal candidiasis. This is likely because such clothing increase moisture and temperature levels in the vaginal area, thereby promoting growth of candida. Neves and colleagues have also suggested in a 2005 study  that synthetic underwear could cause allergic reactions that change the vaginal environment leading to vaginal candida infections.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are not totally specific to this condition – similar symptoms can be seen in conditions other than vaginal candidiasis. Presence of candida in the vagina also does not point towards vaginal candidiasis as many women with candida colonizing their vagina remain asymptomatic.

Some of the symptoms that a woman with vaginal candidiasis will have are:

• Vaginal and vulvar itching, intense itching that can drive them crazy
• Redness in the vaginal and vulvar area (sort of rashes)
• Painful urination (this is a biggie)
• Painful sexual intercourse (this could also be UTI)
• Discharge that is generally thick cottage-cheese like, and that does not have any strong odour

You can access a table that gives an overview of different conditions that have similar symptoms, here.

One must be extremely cautious when self-diagnosing. A 2002 study by American scientists from D. G. Ferris’ laboratory found that only one-third of the women were able to correctly diagnose themselves. A wrong self-diagnosis is generally accompanied by the wrong use of over-the-counter antifungal agents. This does not solve the woman’s issues with infection, in fact it delays treatment and also can lead to development of antibiotic resistant types of candida.

If you have any of these symptoms and suspect that you have vaginal candidiasis, your best option is to visit your health care provider and ascertain using lab tests if what you have is indeed candida infection.

Tests & Diagnosis Available

When you suspect that you have vaginal candidiasis it is important to get correct diagnosis.

You may use an at-home screening kit (like Vagisil screening kit or Monistat vaginal health test) to test for the cause of your infection. Keep in mind that this is only an assessment test and cannot identify specific cause of the infection and cannot be used to self-medicate.

The kits basically check for the pH (acidity) of your vagina. They come with two individually wrapped wands with a pH paper attached to one of the ends. A normal vagina has a pH between 4 and 4.5. If your vaginal pH is above this pH, the cause could be due to bacteria, trichomonas, or if you are post-menopausal it could also be due to atrophic vaginitis. If on the other hand, the pH is between 4 and 4.5, you could have vaginal candidiasis or irritant vaginitis.

After you have conducted the screening, you will need to see your doctor to make a confirmatory professional diagnosis of the specific cause of your problem.

A professional diagnostic lab will carry out the following tests to determine the cause of your infection:

a) Microbiological tests: The discharge will be checked for presence of candida. A wet preparation of the discharge (saline and 10% KOH) or Gram stain will be checked under the microscope for presence of candida in abnormally large numbers. In women where the microscopy is negative for candida, cultures of candida will be done. Cultures are also used to identify the specific type of candida and whether the infection is caused by unusual nonalbicans candida species like candida glabrata. Sometimes antibiotic sensitivity test will also be carried out to decide on the best treatment.

b) Biochemical tests: KOH whiff test is done to test for bacterial vaginosis. This test is negative for candida infections. A few drops of potassium hydroxide solution are added to a vaginal discharge sample and is then checked for a strong fishy odour. If such an odour is present, it indicates bacterial vaginosis and sometimes may indicate trichomonas infection.

Treatment – How To Treat The Issue

Sometimes vaginal thrush will go away on its own and will not need treatment – it depends on how much your body is able to fight the infection on its own and how strong your immune system is. Vaginal candidiasis generally needs to be treated because an uncomplicated vaginal candida infection can become complicated and severe if left untreated. Additionally, there is a risk that you will pass on the candida to your sexual partner. Development of bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infection is another complication that you may face if you leave your infection untreated.

Let us look at the treatment options that are routinely used to treat vaginal candida infections, their benefits and problems, and also some natural treatment that you could use instead of the pharmaceutical treatments.

Pharmaceutical treatment:

Vaginal candidiasis is classified into two types and the pharmaceutical treatment is based on the type:

  • Uncomplicated vaginal candidiasis: When the vaginal candidiasis occurs infrequently, in a woman who does not have a compromised immune system due to diseases like AIDS or diabetes, and produces only mild to moderate symptoms. This type of candidiasis is caused by Candida albicans.
  • Complicated vaginal candidiasis: When vaginal candidiasis is recurrent or severe or which occurs in women with diabetes, AIDS or immunosuppressive therapy. Cases involving nonalbicans candida are also classified as complicated vaginal candidiasis.

For uncomplicated candida infection, short-course ointments (one application for 1 to 3 days) are usually given. Ointments for external and intra-vaginal application containing antifungal azole compounds or nystatin are both available over-the-counter, but azole ointments have been deemed to be more effective than nystatin. Additionally, suppositories containing these compounds are also available.

Azole drugs include clotrimazole, miconazole, tioconazole, butoconazole and terconazole. Orally, fluconazole or itraconazole is usually given in a single dose – however oral therapy is avoided during pregnancy or lactation. According to CDC, 80-90% patients who complete this therapy experience relief from symptoms and culture tests for candida are negative after therapy.

For complicated vaginal candidiasis, it is important to know exactly what species of yeast is causing the infection. Every episode of recurrent vaginal candidiasis caused by Candida albicans can generally be treated with short duration treatment with oral or topical azoles. However, sometimes longer term treatment is given to control the fungus and is followed by a 6 month long maintenance dose of oral fluconazole.

About 50% of women on maintenance therapy develop the infection again when the treatment is stopped. Therefore episodic treatment is preferred over maintenance therapy. Conventional therapies are not as effective against nonalbicans candida such as Candida glabrata, and tests need to be done to confirm the activity of drugs against them.

The commonly used azole drugs act on the enzyme that is involved in the final step of making ergosterol which is a key component of the fungal membrane. Lack of ergosterol causes the cell membrane to not form properly and leads to killing or growth inhibition of the fungal cell.

Azole drugs that are used for candida infections are of two types: imidazole based and triazole based. Imidazole based drugs are for topical use while the triazole based drugs are available for oral use. However, there can be severe issues with oral intake of these drugs (itraconazole may cause heart failure and fluconazole can lead to acute liver injury) and so these should be avoided as much as possible. Here is a table that gives you an overview of the azole drugs used for treating candida infections, including the side-effects and warnings.

Azole drugTypeTrade namesForm availableSide-effectsWarnings
ClotrimazoleImidazoleCanesten
Lotrimin
Gyne-Lotrimin
Mycelex
Cream, lotion, powder, solution for skin, lozenges, vaginal tablets and creamitching, burning, irritation, redness, swelling, stomach pain, fever, foul smelling discharge (vaginal product), upset stomach or vomiting (lozenges)N/A
ItraconazoleTriazoleOnmel
Sporanox
Oral (Used generally for systemic infections)diarrhea,constipation, gas/bloating, heartburn, unpleasant , sore/bleeding gums, headache, dizziness, sweating, muscle pain or weakness, joint pain, decreased sexual desire or ability, nervousness, depression, runny nose/ other cold symptoms, fever, hair loss
Serious: blurred vision or double vision, ringing in the ears, inability to control urination or urinating more than usual
May cause heart failure
TioconazoleImidazoleTrosydTopical (external and internal ointments)Mild vaginal burning, irritation, or itching
Serious:Rash, Hives, Itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue, fever or chills, foul smelling vaginal discharge, nausea, severe or prolonged vaginal burning, irritation, or itching, stomach pain, vomiting
N/A
ButoconazoleImidazoleFemstat GynazoleVaginal creamburning, irritation, stomach pain, fever, foul smelling dischargeN/A
FlucanazoleTriazoleDiflucanOral or intravenousheadache, dizziness, diarrhea, stomach pain, heartburn, change in taste

Serious: nausea/vomiting, extreme tiredness, unusual bruising or bleeding, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes, flu like symptoms, dark urine, pale stools, seizures, rash, blistering or peeling skin, hives, itching, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, difficulty breathing or swallowing

May cause acute Liver injury
MiconazoleImidazoleMonistat
Fungoid
Zeasorb
Micatin
Topical (External and Internal creams; pessaries)increased burning, itching, or irritation of the skin or vagina, stomach pain, fever, foul-smelling vaginal dischargeN/A

Natural Treatment:

Considering the number of side-effects that the pharmaceutical drugs have, rising drug resistance of candida to these drugs, and the recurrence of infection post-treatment, natural holistic treatment of these infections is your best option. What I mean by holistic treatment is the treatment of the person as whole – externally as well as internally – and not just symptoms of a particular part of your body. Why internally, you ask? It is because you need to strengthen up your system internally – regain the balance of normal bacterial flora, regenerate your mucous membranes and immunity of these membranes, and boost your general immunity as well. This would allow you to fight the external infection and get rid of it for good!

A good natural and holistic treatment includes diet, lifestyle and natural medicines that take care of your infection without creating any side-effects that further debilitate your body.

  • Diet

You need to follow a good, well balanced diet that provides you all the essential macro- and micro-nutrients. Like I have described earlier in this article, a deficiency of micronutrients can severely weaken your immune system. Deficiencies of zinc and vitamin A can specifically reduce your immunity against candida.

Your diet should be balanced even in terms of carbohydrates – stop or reduce the intake of sugar and other refined carbohydrates in your food. Eating large amounts of sugary and starchy food can make you more susceptible to candida infections – we have also discussed this earlier in this article.

You need to have a good source of protein (lean meat, milk, nuts, lentils), good fats (avocados, extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed sesame seed oil, flax seeds, flax seed oil etc.) to keep your hormones in balance and to provide well-functioning membranes to the cells, carbohydrates and other macronutrients (brown rice, unrefined wheat flour, grains, vegetables and fruits), a good source of lactobacilli and other good bacteria (yoghurt, kefir, and other fermented food and dairy products). Make sure that you have a varied diet – choose a variety of vegetable, fruits, nuts etc. Try and choose organic produce when you can – this way you avoid pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones etc. in your diet.

  • Lifestyle

You need to stop taking alcohol completely. Alcohol has far reaching impact on our immunity and our nutrition. A woman taking alcohol sustains more tissue damage from alcohol than a man does. A 1996 study by Eriksson and colleagues from Finland found that acetaldehyde increase on taking alcohol is higher in women and even more so during the high estrogen phases of the menstrual cycle. So if you want to keep your vaginal candida infection at bay, it is important that you stay away from alcohol. You can read more about the link between alcohol and candida here.

A stressful lifestyle is candida’s best friend! If you have a situation that is constantly stressful, you need to make changes to get out of that situation. If a job is too stressful, change jobs; work on a stressful relationship; if you are a chronic worrier – stop worrying and meditate; exercise in moderate amounts – exercise reduces stress; drink plenty of water – remove the toxins you accumulate in excess because of stress; and prioritize your sleep – sleep is a stress-buster. If stress does not allow you to calm down and sleep, try a warm bath and some calming herbal teas before you go to bed. Warm milk before sleep also helps you sleep better.

Stay away from antibiotics – both antibacterial and antifungal. These disrupt the balance of your natural microflora. Do not use NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and corticosteroids as much as you can as these suppress your immune system. Of course, these drugs can be life-saving in certain instances – so I am not telling you to avoid them under the most pressing circumstances, but am telling you to change your mindset about solving every issue with a single pill. Prevention is better than cure – so work towards developing a good immunity. This way you will avoid getting infections and thus avoid antibiotic usage. Do not jump for a pill with every single issue. No issue is solved completely until you tackle the underlying cause – and same is true with candida infection.
You need to make these long term lifestyle changes and you will find yourself healthier, with more energy and free of candida infections.

  • Natural medicines

There are good natural antifungal options available when it comes to treatment of vaginal candida infection. Tea-tree oil is a natural antifungal agent. A 2006 study by Mondello and colleagues from Italy found that a component of tea-tree oil is effective against candida that was resistant to azole antifungals! A cream or suppositories containing tea-tree oil will therefore be effective against your vaginal candidiasis. Additionally, coconut oil has antifungal properties as well. You can read about the antifungal/anti-candida properties of coconut oil here. It is a good idea to include it in your diet as well as use it for vaginal application. You can also use natural baths to help ease the itching and pain from the infection. A detailed article on natural anti-candida baths can be found here.

You can also try the range of CanXida products created by Eric Bakker ND after years of research and experience with candida infections. CanXida Remove is an oral alternative to azole drugs. It provides many anti-candida benefits without any serious side effects. It provides relief from itching, burning and discharge related with vaginal candida infection. It has 12 most clinically proven herbal medicines and nutrients of highest quality – Garlic, caprylic acid, undecylenic acid, Betain HCL, Grapefruit seed extract, Black walnut hull extract, Pau D’arco extract, Neem extract, Clove extract, Berberine HCL, Biotin and oregano oil. These compounds attack candida in different ways and kill candida without allowing candida to develop resistance. CanXida Restore can be supplemented to your treatment with CanXida Remove to restore your natural enzymatic and normal-flora balance thereby supporting your candida treatment. CanXida will give you best results when complemented with a well-balanced candida diet and lifestyle changes.

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Prevention

Prevention is always better than cure. What strategies can you adopt to avoid getting vaginal candidiasis in the first place? Look at the risk factors – see if you fall into any of the higher risk scenarios. If so, make an effort to lower your risk. If you are pregnant or are immunocompromised, put extra effort into lowering your risk of developing vaginal candidiasis.

In general:

  • Maintain good personal/intimate hygiene. Do not douch if you do (unless its douching protocol discussed in our other articles) – douching changes the natural ecosystem of the vagina and allows candida to establish itself.
  • Always use cotton underpants as you need proper aeration of the area and avoid moisture build up. Damp and improperly aerated areas promote the growth of candida
  • Work towards building a good immune system. Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. Get your vitamins as much as you can through natural sources as it is much easier for the body to use vitamins in natural form. Include a daily dose of sunshine if you can – if you live in a region where sunshine is scarce, make sure that you boost your vitamin D levels through supplements.
  • Try and avoid corticosteroids where you can as these suppress your immunity. If you develop a good immunity, you will rarely get into situations where you need to use corticosteroids.
  • Avoid overuse of antibiotics. You can read more about antibiotics and how they promote candida growth here.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep heals the body and repairs it. Lack of sleep also increases cortisol levels which can trigger candida infections through different mechanisms. Read more about cortisol and candida link here.
  • Drink enough water to flush out toxins that could harm your immunity.
  • Avoid alcohol like plague. Alcohol has far reaching impact on our body, reduces our immunity and makes us more susceptible to candida infections. You can read more about alcohol and candida connection here.
  • Avoid stress. it suppresses your immune system. If you cannot avoid stress, learn to handle stress. Meditate; A 2016 American study by Black and Slavich analysed 20 random controlled trials involving more than 1600 participants found evidence that mindfulness meditation can positively affect our immune system by causing decrease in inflammation, increase in cell based immunity and also increase in enzyme activity that protects against aging of cells. Including meditation into your lifestyle, whether or not you are chronically stressed, will help boost your immunity not only against candida, but also against many other infections. Make sure watch our three part Candida and Stress connection video series Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Is yogurt good for it?

Yes, it is beneficial to take yogurt orally as well as for application to sooth the itching and pain and to restore the natural normal flora of the vagina. However, a good probiotic enzyme is recommended which is more potent try canXida restore.

Can you get vaginal yeast while breastfeeding or during pregnancy?

Yes, you can.

I have white bumps can that be because of the infection?

It can be because of the yeast infection, but it could also be due to blocked follicle (folliculitis), or due to a viral infection.

Can I smell bad down there?

If you smell bad down there, you likely have a bacterial infection and not yeast infection.

Can it cause sores?

Yes, complicated yeast infections can result in fissures and sores.

Can it cause swelling? Or is swelling a symptom?

Yes, it is.

What are some good home remedies for vaginal yeast infection?

Tea-tree oil based creams, coconut oil, yogurt, natural herbal baths are some good home remedies and you can also use CanXida Cream which contains all of those ingredients plus more.

Is rash a symptom?

Yes, it is.

What is the difference between vaginal yeast infection discharge and normal discharge?

Normal discharge can be clear or cloudy white and may appear yellowish when dry on clothing. It can also be thin and stringy. The color and consistency of normal discharge will vary depending on the ovulation cycle. Vaginal yeast discharge appears thick, white, clumpy and cottage cheese-like. There is also an increase in the amount of discharge.

Should one treat vaginal yeast with only local treatment or should I also take some pill?

It depends on the severity of your infection. If you have an uncomplicated yeast infection and your immune system is not in a decent working condition, local topical treatment could be enough. However, with more complicated and recurring cases, it is advisable to take an oral pill like CanXida Remove and use CanXida Cream with it locally.

Is coconut oil useful to rub down there?

Yes, coconut oil has antifungal properties. So a good quality coconut oil can be useful.

Can you possibly get the vaginal yeast after having sex?

Yes. If your sexual partner has candida and you have a weakened immune system due to any reason, you may contract vaginal yeast after having sex. You can also get the infection from improperly cleaned sex-toys which run the risk of having candida biofilms on them. Excessive sex can also lead to the infection by causing small lacerations in the vagina that promote the growth of candida. Additionally, oral receptive sex also has the potential of giving you vaginal candida infection as one-third to one-half the population has candida in their mouth as their normal flora.