Vaginal health is something that women are often afraid to talk about, even with our mothers and closest friends. And yeast infections are one of those things that most of us are unable to talk about because the embarrassment factor super high. The most common over-the-counter treatments for yeast infections, anti-fungal creams and suppositories aren't always effective, may cause greater discomfort and may lead to drug resistance. These also include ingredients I wouldn't put on my skin and hair let alone inside my love pocket. Vagisil, for instance, does not treat yeast, and contains sketch ingredients like methylparaben, a likely endocrine disruptor, and propylene glycol, which may trigger inflammation. A popular gynecologist prescription, Difulcan (or fluconazole) works for only certain yeast strains and can cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, or even hair loss.

So what are your options? Well there are quite a few holistic health options. I discovered some of these myself during the first (and only) time I got a yeast infection my senior year of high school when I tried tampons for the first time and it was scented. I didn't event notice it was scented. Why must a tampon be scented, that does not even make sense! Needless to say, I paid a hefty price for those artificial fragrances.

With that being said, what are common causes of vaginal infections?

  • antibiotics (they lower the amount of lactobacillus, or good bacteria, in the vagina)
  • imbalance in the vaginal flora (mine was caused by artificial fragrance)
  • pregnancy
  • uncontrolled diabetes
  • weak immune system
  • poor eating habits, including a lot of sugary foods
  • hormonal imbalance near your menstrual cycle
  • stress
  • lack of sleep

During this time I did learn many things about naturally remedying and preventing yeast infections:

  • Vinegar Douche: some women believe in regular douching but I have only done it once (and it was a modified version) to relieve the extreme discomfort of that one yeast infection I had. I do not recommend regular douching for vaginal health (some believe it helps with unpleasant smells) because it disrupts vaginal flora, which may cause infections. In other words, douching destroys not only harmful bacteria, but also the helpful kind that keep yeast under control.
  • Oral Probiotics: can be used to prevent and counteract an active infection. Bacteria isn't bad, the wrong kind or balance of vaginal bacteria is.
  • Diet: Avoiding sugar, white rice or flour, anything fermented with yeast like alcoholic beverages feed the growth of yeast. A diet high in vegetables and fiber is recommended as well as fermented foods.
  • Clothing: Cotton and silk underwear absorb moisture, on the other hand, nylon and other synthetic fabrics hold moisture close to your skin, encouraging the growth of yeast. Avoid sitting around in sweaty gym clothes or a wet bathing suit. Change into dry clothes as soon as possible.
  • Vaginal Steaming: Vaginal steaming is an ancient practice and herbal detox for womb/reproductive system. It is said to help eliminate fibroids, dryness, odor, infection, loseness, itching, yeast, heavy periods, long periods, and cramping. Nspiyahdlife sells these amazing herb mixes to use while steaming, she is an incredible advocate for the practice.
Vaginal care and health is important and it is nothing to be embarrassed about.