No one wants to get a yeast infection. And we mean NO ONE. Those tricky, obnoxious symptoms and the often lengthy recovery time make yeast infections right at the top of the most inconvenient (and most common) health issues to struggle with.
But you can help your body avoid getting a yeast infection and help your body heal fast — in as little as 24 hours, in fact! Learn what causes a yeast infection, how to treat a yeast infection, and how to prevent a yeast infection in the future.
What Is Yeast?
If you’re a seasoned bread-maker or an avid home-brewer, you’re no doubt familiar with yeast. Certain yeasts are used in baking to help leaven dough, others in wine-making and brewing to help with fermentation.
But, what exactly is yeast?
Yeast is a living, breathing organism. It’s a fungus that’s found in plant leaves, flowers, fruit, soil — and people. In fact, your body is filled with yeast, called Candida, from the inside out! It lives on your skin, in your mouth, in your digestive tract, in your vagina (if you’re a female), and more.
The yeast in your body plays a key role in your digestive health, your vaginal health, and your immune system strength. This is why it’s essential to make sure your body is in balance. Too much or too little yeast in your body can lead to infection and other health issues.
Life in the Flora
But yeast isn’t the only thing living in and on your body. There’s a whole colony of organisms that includes yeast, fungus, bacteria, and more! This community of living smaller-than-the-eye-can-see organisms is called ‘flora’ or ‘microflora’. Most often, you’ll hear about ‘gut flora’ or ‘skin flora’. But any area of your body with a colony of living organisms is a flora.
Healthy flora is like a friendly apartment building. Your neighbors don’t play their music too loudly, they’re happy to lend you a cup of sugar when you need one, and they’ll hold the door open for you when your hands are full of packages. Everyone in the building’s living in happy harmony!
An unhealthy flora, on the other hand, is like that apartment building when an unfortunate neighbor moves in. Maybe you only find the guy in 2B mildly annoying — he left his garbage bag in the hallway again.
Or maybe he’s gotten impossible to ignore — throwing parties that keep you up all hours of the night.
Or worse yet, maybe he props the door open whenever he forgets his keys — letting any ol’ passerby inside.
If all’s well, you likely won’t think twice about your flora. But if there’s a problem, like an unruly neighbor, it can often become glaringly obvious, and problematic, fast! Often this happens in the form of yeast overgrowth.
Types of Yeast Infections
Of course, there are plenty of reasons you may have an issue with your intestinal flora—but one of the most common causes for concern is a yeast infection. Because there are many different florae, there are also many different types of yeast infections.
Oral thrush, for example, is a yeast infection in your mouth. Cutaneous candidiasis is a yeast infection on your skin and nails. Most often, this type of yeast infection is found in between your fingers or toes, in your armpits, in your groin area, under the breasts, and anywhere else that has skin folds. Definitely no fun!
Unfortunately for your little one, certain diaper rashes are also caused by a yeast infection.
Oh, and let’s not forget about penile yeast infection. Yes, men get yeast infections, too.
But of course, the most common and therefore the most widely discussed yeast infection is the vaginal yeast infection. It’s found in your vagina’s flora. And if you shudder at the thought of a vaginal yeast infection, you’re not alone!
A yeast infection comes with some incredibly uncomfortable symptoms. But before we discuss those, let’s first learn what exactly a yeast infection is.
What is a Yeast Infection?
Your body makes yeast, called Candida, at a rate you can handle. It even plays a role in keeping your body going! When you’re healthy and have a ‘normal’ bacterial balance, candida lives peacefully in your body and on your skin. No muss, no fuss, no problems!
Sometimes, though, certain factors can cause Candida to multiply too rapidly and this is what leads to infection. The wetter and warmer the climate, the quicker the fungi multiply and spiral into an infection. The vagina is the perfect place for Candida to thrive!
What Causes Yeast Infections in Women?
While a yeast infection can occur just about anywhere in the body that has yeast, your vagina is often a hotbed for bad bacteria, fungus, and yeast. Yeast infections can develop easily in the vagina, and symptoms can worsen quickly.
That’s because it doesn’t take much to throw off the chemical balance in your vagina. Even a small imbalance can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and, in turn, an infection. Some things that can affect your vagina’s balance and cause a yeast infection in women include:
- Changes to hormone levels. Your hormones can shift the balance in your vagina and lead to infection. During PMS, menopause, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, hormone levels vary from the norm and can affect your vagina’s health. Curamed + Dim, Estromend, PM Phytogen are all excellent choices for balancing out-of-control hormones for women. You can also check out our YouTube video on the topic right here.
- Taking antibiotics. Antibiotic use is a guaranteed way to throw off the microbiome in your gut and your vagina. Antibiotics kill both good bacteria and bad bacteria. This means that after taking any antibiotics you’re susceptible to a bacterial imbalance — and a yeast infection. The longer you’re on them the more likely you are to develop an imbalance. If you’ve taken antibiotics at any point, we strongly recommend taking probiotics (like this one or this one!) to help your body reestablish good bacterial and yeast balance for your whole body.
- Diabetes — especially uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes, can cause yeast overgrowth. High levels of sugar in the body feeds the yeast in your vagina. If you’re diabetic, you should check out this natural glucose support supplement — it’s one of the most effective products we carry!
- A weakened immune system, or immune system disorders. If your immune system is out of whack, it can promote yeast growth. So — boost that immune system! Elderberry supplements (this elderberry supplement is our all-time favorite) and other immune-booming supplements that are designed to strengthen and fortify the immune system will be a great choice to help your body naturally get rid of yeast infections before they can get going.
- Products like douches or vaginal sprays can strip your vagina of healthy bacteria and cause an overgrowth that can lead to infection. Avoid doing this unless specifically advised to by your doctor.
- Your diet also plays a role in your vaginal health. Diets high in sugar, or fermented food and beverages can cause a yeast infection. Eliminating sugar is always at the top of the list — yeast feeds off of sugars!
Can Men Get Yeast Infections?
Yep, they sure can! Anyone with yeast in or on their body (which is all of us) can get a yeast infection. This includes men, kids, and even our pets! Men most often develop a yeast infection in the scrotum or penis.
What Causes Yeast Infections in Men?
Yeast infections in men have very different causes than yeast infections in women. In fact, one way a man can get a yeast infection is from a woman who also has one! But sexual intercourse is not the only reason men get yeast infections.
Causes for yeast infections in men include:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection. That’s right, you can get a yeast infection from your partner, so exercise caution when getting intimate.
- Poor hygiene can make you vulnerable to infection as you’re not properly caring for your private parts. Take showers or baths frequently.
- Being uncircumcised can increase the likelihood you’ll develop an infection. The foreskin is a happy home for harmful bacteria and fungi that can lead to infection. If you practice good hygiene, however, this won’t be an issue.
- Taking antibiotics has the same effect on men, as they do on women. They kill good and bad bacteria and can leave your body out of balance.
- Diabetes, too, can lead to a yeast infection in men.
- And diet is just as important for a yeast infection. Avoid high-carb, high-sugar foods, that can cause a yeast infection.
What are the symptoms of a yeast Infection?
Both men and women can get yeast infections. While they do occur in gender-specific areas on the body, several of the symptoms are similar. Here’s what both men and women may experience with a yeast infection:
- Discharge. For women, it’s typically thick, white, and looks like cottage cheese. Unpleasant, indeed. For men, the discharge also may resemble cottage cheese and has a foul odor. Have you lost your appetite yet?
- Itching, burning, and irritation. In men, this occurs on the tip of the penis, foreskin, or scrotum. In women, it occurs most often in the vulva, but any area of your vagina and surrounding tissue is subject to that burning itch-itch-itch.
- Painful intercourse or a burning sensation during sex.
Yeast Infection Symptoms in Women
If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, you’ll likely go to great lengths to avoid ever having one again! Of course, there are those lucky souls who only ever experience mild discomfort. But for others, a vaginal yeast infection is about as bad as it gets! Let’s go over some of the symptoms:
- A burning sensation especially when peeing. The severity depends on the severity of your infection!
- Vaginal pain and soreness range the spectrum from mildly uncomfortable to excruciating.
- Sores or fissures on the skin that can get additionally infected.
- Swelling in the vagina.
- Bleeding and/or a raw rash.
Yeast Infection Symptoms in Men
While having a vaginal yeast infection is unpleasant, men have to suffer through some uncomfortable symptoms in their own right, like:
- Redness and rashes, or rash-like bumps in the infected area. These bumps are called papule and may also be filled with pus. Ouch!
- Difficulty getting an erection.
- Trouble pulling back your foreskin.
- Foul smell, particularly around the foreskin.
UTI Vs Yeast Infection — Are They Different?
Based on your symptoms, are you still unsure it’s a yeast infection? Many symptoms are similar between UTIs and yeast infections. They’re both infections that occur “down there” and might be to blame if you feel a burning sensation when you pee. That said, they’re very different!
Many folks commonly confuse a UTI with a yeast infection and vice versa. Here’s what you need to know.
UTI’s occur when bacteria (the bad kind) enters your urinary system. You’ll likely feel a burning sensation when you pee and will feel the need to ‘go’ much more frequently than normal. Your urine may appear cloudy in color and have a strong odor. This can be a helpful distinguishing symptom, as yeast infections in women don’t typically result in pee or discharge that has much (if any) an odor.
UTI’s can affect you anywhere along your urinary tract, from your urethra all the way up to your ureters, bladder, and kidneys.
Here are some common causes:
- Contact with stool. Your poo contains all kinds of bad bacteria—including E.coli and more. When you don’t practice good bathroom hygiene, or you love wearing thongs, bacteria from your stool can enter your urinary system.
- Having sex. During intercourse, there’s a lot going on down there. Bacteria can be introduced to the vagina and urethra by the penis. It’s recommended that women urinate promptly after having sex to help flush out any bacteria from the urethra.
- Not peeing enough! If you’re prone to “hold it” as long as you can, think again. Not urinating frequently enough can cause UTIs.
- Exposure to STI’s. In addition to potentially causing you to develop an STD, and STI can also introduce harmful bacteria to the urinary tract, causing a UTI.
- Bath bombs and hot tubs. Not so relaxing, huh? Hot tubs are often a hot bed of bacteria if proper cleaning procedures aren’t followed.
Here’s some additional info you may find helpful:
- Both men and women can get UTIs, but women are more likely to develop a UTI simply because of the arrangement of their anatomy.
- You can have a UTI and a yeast infection at the same time. If this is your situation, you have our deepest sympathies. We’d suggest you see your doctor for some help finding rapid relief.
- You don’t need to be sexually active to experience a UTI.
Doctors most often treat UTIs with antibiotics. That’s not a bad thing, especially when you have a UTI that is causing significant discomfort. But, before you do turn to a solution that will wipe out your healthy bacteria and put you at higher risk of a yeast infection, try a natural alternative.
UTI BFF and Ellura are both excellent options that help your body naturally eliminate the bad bacteria and stay in balance in the future. Add a good probiotic like this one, and you’ll radically reduce the chances of a UTI recurrence — even if you are prone to them.
How Long Does A Yeast Infection Last?
Yeast infections vary in both severity and the amount of time it takes to beat them. Some yeast infections subside on their own with no intervention. On average, a yeast infection usually will clear up after a few days with natural supplements and home remedies.
Severe or stubborn yeast infections could require doctor intervention and medication and can last much longer. Be sure you listen to your body and keep tabs on the severity of your symptoms to gauge your course of action.
That said, there’s a lot you can do to help ease your symptoms and get rid of your yeast infection fast.
What’s The Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection?
The urge to itch at an inopportune moment no doubt has you in a hurry to banish your symptoms and get rid of your yeast infection. The good news is, there are many things you can do to help!
Supplement with a Yeast-Blasting Dietary Aid
Re-balance your yeast levels with a dietary supplement like Candidase Extra Strength. This high potency formula is designed to support healthy yeast levels in your flora by lowering Candida overgrowth AND balancing bacteria in your GI tract, your urinary tract, and your vagina. It’s packed with fungus-busting probiotics that offer that added support your vagina needs to beat a yeast infection!
But Candidase is most effective when it’s paired with a rapid cleanse system. We recommend Renew Life CandiSmart, a targeted yeast cleansing formula. It’s a 15-day, 2-part program designed to banish excess yeast, alleviate your infection symptoms and help your body to naturally rebalance your flora — which helps to prevent reoccurrence. Plus, it supports your other flora, too. From your gut to your intestines, your vagina to your urinary tract, and every microcolony in between, this program will help you get rid of your yeast infection, fast!
By combining these two supplements, you’ll have just discovered how to get rid of yeast infections in 24 hours. At least — the common mild to moderate yeast infections. While this method is excellent for most, any signs of a severe yeast infection will warrant a chat with your doctor.
Home Remedies for Yeast Infections
In addition to taking a bacteria-blasting supplement, there are additional at-home remedies that can offer relief and help you get rid of your yeast infection. Taking a probiotic is a great way to support the supplements above while also lowering the chances of recurrence. Anyone who frequently struggles with yeast infections should definitely consider taking a probiotic daily!
Probiotic supplements target bacterial balance in your whole body—so it makes sense that they can help with a yeast infection! Choose one targeted for females, like MegaFood MegaFlora Women’s Probiotic, so you know it’ll promote vaginal and urinary tract health.
Boric acid may sound boring, but it’s an ingredient that has some serious anti-fungal properties. There are many boric acid suppositories available for purchase that can help relieve symptoms, naturally.
Tea tree oil is another great fungus-fighting compound. While there’s some debate about the best way to take tea tree oil to help get rid of your yeast infection, no matter how you choose to use it, it’s VITAL to properly dilute tea tree oil in a carrier oil before use. Tea tree essential oil is a very potent essential oil and the vagina is a very delicate area. ALWAYS err on the side of safety when it comes to using essentials oils, but especially in regard to your vaginal area. The best bet is to find a tea tree oil suppository from a reputable brand.
Greek Yogurt: Because greek yogurt is full of healthy bacteria, it can be used to help rebalance bacteria in your vagina and alleviate some of your yeast infection symptoms. Simply scoop some plain greek yogurt onto your fingers and massage into the skin around and just insde your vagina. Make sure the yogurt you use is free from any sweeteners or other additives. It should also contain Lactobacillus, as this is most effective! It might seem a little strange, but the cool yogurt can also help with itching and irritation, as well!
Baking soda and water is a gentle option that can help rebalance the pH of your vagina and get rid of yeast infections. Mix one teaspoon in a half cup or so of warm water. Pour it gently into your vagina or douche. Alternatively, take a hot bath with two cups of baking soda added to the water.
Coconut Oil is full of antioxidants and also has antifungal properties. This makes it a great home-remedy for a yeast infection. Simply spread some coconut oil onto your fingers and insert into the vagina. Or, try applying coconut oil to a clean tampon and inserting that way. However you choose to do it, make sure your coconut oil is 100% organic and does not contain any other ingredients or additives!
What If My Yeast infection Won’t Go Away?
As mentioned previously, it’s important to pay attention to your body and your symptoms! If you have a severe yeast infection, seek medical attention promptly. If your symptoms are extremely uncomfortable or they haven’t improved in the last 36 hours, get to your doctor, girl!
9 Ways to Prevent a Yeast Infection
Unfortunately, repeat yeast-infections are a reality for many, many women. Not only do 3 out of every 4 women have a yeast infection at least once in their life, but many of those women will develop recurring yeast infections. But the good news is, there are some things you can do to prevent future yeast infections.
- Avoid extremely tight-fitting pants or panties.
- Avoid douching, which removes all the bacteria from your vagina—the good and the bad.
- Avoid scented feminine products, bath products, toilet paper, or personal hygiene products. Change pads or tampons frequently.
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics. Of course, there are times when antibiotics are needed. But try to limit use to the really essential times, to avoid bacterial imbalance. When you do need antibiotics, make sure you take probiotics during the entire antibiotic cycle and for several weeks after it’s over.
- Avoid wet or damp clothes. Change out of sweaty gym clothes stat. And try not to hang out in a soggy bikini at the beach!
- Avoid synthetic panties. Instead, choose organic cotton, bamboo, linen, or other forms of natural fibers. These are far more breathable and much better for your lady bits — and man parts too!
- Promote personal hygiene for your sexual partner! A dirty penis (or anything else that goes in your vagina, for that matter) can introduce harmful bacteria and make you more susceptible to a yeast infection or vaginal infection. The reverse is also true! Women need to practice healthy personal hygiene as well.
- Wipe from front to back. This helps prevent the spread of yeast or bacteria from the anus to your vagina.
- Avoid eating lots of sugars, yeast-heavy, or processed foods. These foods are hard on the natural flora of your body and can contribute to yeast overgrowth.
Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll never get a yeast infection again. But these tips will help prevent another flare-up!
How to Get Your Groove Back—and Your Bacteria Balanced—After a Yeast Infection
You’re symptom-free after a yeast infection—now what? After your infection’s cleared up, it’s essential to treat your vagina kindly and rebalance that flora! This is especially true if you took antibiotics or anti-fungal medications to get rid of your yeast infection.
As previously mentioned, antibiotics and anti-fungal medications make a clean sweep. They kill everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. While this can effectively get rid of a yeast infection, it often leaves your flora depleted of essential bacteria once the infection’s gone. To build back healthy bacteria, fungus — and yes, even yeast! — try taking a pre and probiotic supplement. The nutrients will help your flora thrive, and grow into the healthy microcolony it was before your infection.
Try a supplement like Flora Basilica. It is designed to support not only healthy bacteria in your vagina but in your gut, intestines, and whole body, too. We carry multiple potencies, depending on your needs. From 25 – 150 billion probiotics, each formula is packed with protein strains to help replenish everything that was destroyed with antibiotics or antifungal medications.
While yeast infections certainly aren’t enjoyable for anyone, knowing more about what causes them and how you can prevent them will hopefully bring you peace of mind! If you still have questions, get in contact with our team! They’re knowledgeable about all things yeast-infection and are happy to help. Reach out to us via live chat or email.