Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

Vaginal Yeast Infections - Home Treatment

Do not self-treat a vaginal yeast infection if you:

  • Are pregnant.
  • Are not sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection. If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor before treating it with a nonprescription antifungal cream. Sometimes women think they have a vaginal yeast infection when symptoms are caused by a different condition, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • Have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which would require a medical exam.
  • Are having a recurrent infection.
Vaginal Yeast Infection: Should I Treat It Myself?

Using nonprescription medicine

When using a nonprescription vaginal medicine for a vaginal yeast infection, follow the directions on the package insert, as well as these guidelines:

  • Use pads instead of tampons while you are using nonprescription vaginal medicines. Tampons can absorb the medicine.
  • Avoid using soap when cleaning the vaginal area—rinse with water only.
  • If sexual intercourse is painful, avoid it. Otherwise, use a water-soluble lubricating jelly (such as K-Y Jelly) to reduce irritation. The oil in antifungal creams or suppositories can weaken latex. This means condoms and diaphragms may break, and you may not be protected from STI or pregnancy.
  • If the genital area is swollen or painful, sitting in warm water (in a bathtub or sitz bath, not a hot tub) may help. Or instead, you may try putting a cool, damp cloth on the area. Do not rub to try to relieve itching.

Report your symptoms to your doctor if:

  • You are not sure that you have a yeast infection.
  • Your self-treatment is not working after one complete course of therapy.

Things to consider

The risk of self-treatment is that your symptoms may be caused by a type of vaginal infection other than a yeast infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If you have pelvic pain or fever, get an evaluation by a doctor.

If you are pregnant, it is important to be evaluated for vaginal symptoms. Some vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia, may increase your risk of complications during pregnancy.

    1|2
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    Doctor discussing screening with patient
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    iud
    Expert views
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz