Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Vaginal yeast infections are extremely common, and there are many ways to treat them.
Choosing a treatment is a personal decision, but some get rid of infections quicker than others. In this article, we look at how long a yeast infection can last without treatment, as well as recovery times for both over-the-counter and home treatment options. A yeast infection happens when the balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina is disrupted.
This allows a fungus called Candida to multiply. A yeast infection can cause an itching or burning sensation in the vagina, as well as a thick or clumpy white discharge.
The severity of a yeast infection depends on how much the Candida multiplies before it is treated. Yeast infections may be:. A mild yeast infection may go away on its own, but this is rare. It is always a good idea to treat a yeast infection, even if it is mild. If yeast infections are not treated properly, they are more likely return. Treatments for yeast infections soothe the affected area and target the overgrown Candida fungus.
This double action reduces the itching and burning and restores a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria. Doctors recommend over-the-counter antifungal drug treatments called azoles for mild to moderate yeast infections.
These are available as:. These treatments may irritate when first applied, but after a few days of use, the yeast infection symptoms should start to fade. A course of treatment typically lasts between 3 and 7 days. Normally, the yeast infection will have cleared in this time. For more severe yeast infections, a doctor may prescribe a longer course of prescription azole treatment. Prescription azole treatment typically lasts between 7 and 14 days.
The yeast infection should clear up within this time frame. Science has not backed all home remedies, but recent studies have medically tested the following methods:.
Tea tree oil is another promising home remedy for yeast infections. A study found that tea tree oil is effective in fighting off all types of Candida fungus.
To use tea tree oil for a yeast infection, pour a few drops across the top and sides of a tampon and insert the tampon into the vagina.
Leave in place for a few hours and then remove. The topical or internal application of yogurt is an effective home treatment for yeast infections. Natural yogurt contains healthful bacteria called Lactobacillus. These bacteria produce hydrogen peroxide that kills the excess Candida. A study found that yogurt might be Can an infection go away on its own effective than clotrimazole Canestenan antifungal cream.
Using a yogurt without any added sugar is essential.
Sugar can cause Candida to multiply more, making the infection worse. Some women find inserting an unused tampon applicator filled with yogurt works well. Freezing it first may bring additional cooling relief. Others simply use their fingers to apply the yogurt. A research review found boric acid to be a safe alternative remedy for yeast infections. Boric acid suppositories are available for purchase in pharmacies. There are also many available to buy online.
People can also Can an infection go away on its own their own by putting no more than milligrams of boric acid into a clean gel capsule. Boric acid suppositories can sometimes cause side effects, including vaginal burning and discharge. This treatment can be repeated once a day until the infection clears. It is not suitable for women who are pregnant. Once the symptoms resolve, the yeast infection should be gone.
However, it is a good idea to complete the "Can an infection go away on its own" course of any treatment, as recommended. Completing treatment ensures that the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is restored.
If yeast infections are not treated fully, they are more likely to return. If a woman is experiencing symptoms of a yeast infection for the first time, it is best to speak to a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.
The symptoms of a yeast infection will usually improve within a week with treatment. If they do not, a doctor can recommend further treatment.
Yeast infections are common, but persistent or recurrent infections may indicate an underlying health condition, including diabetes.
Any woman who has more than one yeast infection a year should speak to a doctor. We picked linked items based on the quality of products, and list the pros and cons of each to help you determine which will work best for you. We partner with some of the companies that sell these products, which means Healthline UK and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link s above. Article last reviewed by Wed 28 March All references are available in the References tab.
The comparison of vaginal cream of mixing yogurt, honey and clotrimazole on symptoms of vaginal candidiasis. Global Journal of Health Sciences7 6— In vitro activity of tea tree oil vaginal suppositories against Candida spp.
Phytotherapy Research29 10— Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: Journal of Women's Health20 8— MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Table of contents Overview Over-the-counter treatments Prescription treatments Home remedies Is the yeast infection gone? When to see a doctor. If treated correctly, most yeast infections will clear up in a week.
Tea tree oil may be an effective home remedy. Can yogurt treat a yeast infection? Many women use yogurt to treat vaginal yeast infections.