In a normal vagina, there exist many kinds of bacteria and a few yeast organisms. Most commonly, the vagina contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, which keeps bad bacteria and bad yeast organisms from overgrowing. There are things, unfortunately, that can upset the balance of the organisms in the vagina, causing an overgrowth of yeast organisms and a yeast infection. Yeast infections can be uncomfortable with pain, soreness, and itching, but they tend not to very dangerous. Many people just wonder "Do yeast infections go away without treatment?" Read on to find out if this is possible.
Do Yeast Infections Go Away On Their Own?
It is possible for mild yeast infections to go away on their own. If your symptoms are very mild, you may want to wait and forego treatment to see if the infection will resolve. Sometimes, however, it will go away but will come back to become a severe infection. This is why it is necessary to consider your options before deciding what to do.
In general, they can go away without any type of treatment, usually when you begin menstruating. The blood in the vagina will increase the pH of the vagina, therefore, decreasing the number of yeast cells, which cannot grow in a higher pH environment.
If you suffer from recurrent yeast infections, however, prevention and treatment can be difficult and the infection will not resolve on its own. Women who suffer from yeast infections that keep coming back should have an evaluation for problems like diabetes mellitus or the presence of resistant strains of the yeast organism so that the infections can be resolved for good.
Self-Care or See a Doctor?
1. When Self-Care Might Be Fine
Since you have known the answer to "Do yeast infections go away on their own" you need to learn some self-care measures. However, self-care of your vaginal yeast infection might be okay if you have had a documented yeast infection in the past and you have the same symptoms back again. You can treat yourself if you are completely sure your symptoms are from a yeast infection and are not due to another type of STD.
You can also treat yourself if you haven't had any sex with a different partner, which might put you at risk of having new other type of sexually transmitted disease, because some of the symptoms you experience in a yeast infection, such as vaginal burning, itching or a vaginal discharge, can be caused by other STDs.
2. When to See a Doctor
There are a few situations in which it is best if you go and see a doctor for your yeast infection. These include the following:
- You are pregnant—if you need to take a medication for your yeast infection, even if it is an over the counter medication, you should have your doctor's approval before starting the medication for your yeast infection.
- You have never had a yeast infection before—if you haven't had a yeast infection before, your doctor should confirm that this is what it really is. Things like bladder infections can feel like yeast infections, so this has to be ruled out before you start on treatment.
- You have had recurrent yeast infections—if you have had at least four yeast infections in a single year, doctors call this recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. About 5 percent of women have this condition and may require up to 6 months of therapy with an antifungal medication, in order to eradicate the infection from your system. You also may have an underlying medical condition causing recurrent yeast infections, such as diabetes mellitus, and this should be evaluated by your doctor.
- You are anxious regarding your symptoms—if this doesn't seem the same as other yeast infections you have had, it might be a good idea to see a healthcare provider to make sure the infection is truly a yeast infection. Prescription medications for yeast infections may eradicate the infection faster than a product you would buy at a pharmacy.
You should also contact your doctor right away if you are experiencing abdominal pain or a fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit along with vaginal symptoms. This could mean you don't have a yeast infection, but instead, you are suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease.
How to Treat Yeast Infections
Do yeast infections go away on their own? While some may be, for others, you may need to use some kind of treatments to get rid of it.
1. Home Remedies
Some women will find relief by soaking in a bath that contains apple cider vinegar. The vinegar can change the acidity of the vagina so that the yeast will die off. Just put two cups of apple cider vinegar into a warm bath and soak in it for fifteen minutes. Dry thoroughly after getting out of the tub. Most women can find this help their symptoms when done daily for 2-3 soakings.
You can also apply a bit of plain yogurt to the vaginal area so as to reduce the amount of irritation and restore balance to the vagina. Use plain yogurt that contains live yogurt cultures about 1-2 times daily with about 2-3 tablespoons at a time around the vagina. You can also insert the yogurt into the vagina by soaking a tampon in the yogurt before putting it into the vagina.
These home remedies are especially good for pregnancy, when you don't want to take any kind of medication for the yeast infection.
Here are many natural ways to fight against vaginal yeast infection.
2. OTC Treatments
Yeast infections can often resolve on their own, but sometimes the itching can be so severe that you want to take something to resolve the infection. Many yeast infection medications can be purchased over the counter, including Monistat vaginal cream. If you are not pregnant, you could try boric acid suppositories, which act as a mild antiseptic medication.
3. Prescribed Medications
If you suffer from chronic yeast infections, you may take boric acid capsules, available by prescription. These are gelatin capsules that you insert into the infected vagina each night for a couple of weeks. This acts as an anti-inflammatory medication as well as an antiseptic medication.
How to Prevent Yeast Infections
Even though you have gotten a sure answer to "Do yeast infections go away on their own?" it is still better to avoid it in the first place. There are many things you can do to prevent its occurrence. These include the following:
- Keep your vagina area dry at all times. Dry it off after you take a shower and stay away from wet bathing suits and wet exercise clothing, changing into cotton underwear or cotton pants. Stay away also from extremely hot baths or hot tubs.
- Let the vagina breathe. Use only cotton underwear and don't wear tight pants, tights, or pantyhose. Try not to wear underwear to bed.
- Lower your intake of sugar, as well as alcohol. Sugar is the primary food source for yeast organisms.
- Make use of probiotics, particularly if you need to take antibiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria you can get as a supplement or in yogurt or fermented products.
- Don't use feminine sprays, tampons containing deodorants, bubble baths, or douches. These can be irritating to the vagina.