Vaginal yeast infections are uncomfortable, causing itching, irritation, and discharge. They’re also quite common: Three out of four women may get one at some point in their lives. The good news is they can usually be managed with over-the-counter treatments and home remedies.

Yeast infections can develop for a variety of reasons. Some women get them around their period or during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Certain birth control pills may also increase your risk of getting a yeast infection.

Prevention

Wearing Cotton Underwear
*Tight-fitting clothing, especially clothing that’s made out of man-made materials — like nylon and polyester — can hold in moisture. *Yeast likes to grow in dark, moist places. Experts recommend that women wear cotton underwear or at least underwear with cotton lining in the crotch. Cotton allows more air to flow through the genital area.
Products such as scented tampons or pads, certain soaps, and detergents can irritate your vagina, causing an imbalance in the natural bacteria. *Use unscented items and gentle cleansers. Avoid using powders and fragrant sprays in the genital area.

Proper Hygiene
*American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises women against douching. This is because it can kill good bacteria in the vagina that prevent infections. Instead, you should clean only the outside areas of your vagina with gentle soap and water.

When to See a Doctor
Don’t try to diagnose yourself with a yeast infection. Visit your doctor to confirm the infection even if you plan to use at-home remedies.

Talk to your doctor if your yeast infection doesn’t improve after using home remedies or over-the-counter medications. You may need a prescription medication.
Always remember your health first!