You feel it happening. The uncomfortable itching. A burning sensation when you go to the restroom. An unusual discharge. You know you’re developing a yeast infection, but who has time to go get a prescription?
The good news is, you can get relief from your symptoms in the privacy of your own home, without disrupting your schedule or even using a traditional over-the-counter treatment.
Holistic care for yeast infections is possible, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how it works, what you’ll need, and why you’re getting yeast infections in the first place.
The Vaginal Microbiome
First things first, let’s talk about what's going on inside your vagina and on your vulva. Your vagina is host to trillions of organisms that make up your vaginal microbiome. Just like your gut, this living flora helps keep your vagina and vulva balanced and helps it function properly.
Your vagina’s microbiome helps keep your vaginal pH balanced. The perfect vaginal pH balance is typically between 4.0 and 4.5, which means the vagina is naturally acidic. It’s important for pH balance to stay within this range. When it doesn’t, you could get an infection.
Infections happen when one strand of bacteria in your vagina begins to overgrow.
What Causes Your pH to Become Unbalanced?
There are numerous reasons why your vaginal pH could be a little off. Here are some of the most common.
Douching. One of the most common ways you can send your vaginal pH into the red zone is by douching. Your vagina does not need to be cleansed; it takes care of cleaning and restoring itself with each monthly cycle.
Douching can introduce cleansers and chemicals to your most sensitive areas that strip it off moisture and eliminate good bacteria, leaving you vulnerable to developing an infection.
Most douches contain questionable ingredients that you really wouldn’t want to introduce to any part of your body, let alone your vagina.
- Your period. Menstrual flow is naturally more alkaline than your vaginal pH. Changes during your monthly cycle can contribute to an imbalance.
- Sex. Semen is also more alkaline than your vaginal pH, so having sex can change the pH balance of your vagina.
- Medications. We’ve all had the experience of getting a yeast infection after a round of antibiotics. This happens because the antibiotics eliminate too much of the good bacteria, allowing an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
Most of the time, your vaginal pH is self-regulating. You experience changes to it daily without even noticing. However, sometimes, the change in pH is large enough to result in an infection.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection is an overgrowth of yeast inside the vagina that can spread to the vulva. If you’re a little confused about the difference, here’s a quick anatomy review.
- Vagina. This is your internal genitalia. It’s the tube stretchy tube that connects your exterior sex organs to your cervix and uterus. This is where tampons are inserted.
- Vulva. The vulva makes up the genitals on the outside of your body. It consists of your labia, clitoris, the opening of your vagina, and the opening of your urethra.
Both parts of your body can become extremely uncomfortable when you have a yeast infection.
What Causes Yeast Infections?
Yeast infections can be caused by the same factors that cause vaginal imbalances like the ones mentioned above. Additionally, yeast infections can be caused by:
- Metabolic health that is not being maintained.
- Immune deficiencies.
- Birth control or hormone therapies.
- Clothing that is wet or too tight (like gym clothes or swimwear).
If you develop a yeast infection, you’ll have noticeable symptoms.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
Most of the time, you’ll know right away if you have a yeast infection. If you’ve never had a yeast infection before, you should see your doctor. Here are some of the most common symptoms you can experience with a yeast infection:
- Itching on the vulva and in the opening of the vagina
- Burning on the vulva and during urination
- Thick, white, odorless discharge that is chunky or lumpy
- Irritation and pain in the vagina and on the vulva
Yeast infections that aren’t treated can develop worsening symptoms. If you’ve got one, it’s best to try some of the methods below to get relief.
Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection
When you have a yeast infection, you need tried and true methods of getting relief so you can stay comfortable and get on with your day.
Here are five home remedies for vaginal yeast infections you can try.
Probiotics are doses of good bacteria that help replenish and restore the levels of good bacteria in your vagina and on your vulva. Just like taking a probiotic for your gut health improves your digestion, you can use probiotic products to help restore your vaginal pH balance.
Rael’s Soothing Gel to Foam Wash and Soothing Vulva Relief Gel both contain lactobacillus ferment. Using these products help restore healthy vaginal pH levels by ensuring levels of good bacteria are present to fight off the overgrowth of bad bacteria.
These products also contain nourishing plant botanicals, so your most sensitive area stays hydrated and comfortable. Aloe helps soothe burning and irritation so you feel normal again.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been used for centuries for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties. This gentle, plant-based oil helps restore vaginal pH levels and soothe skin irritation at the same time.
Tea tree oil is extremely potent, so you’ll want to avoid reaching applying the essential oil itself directly to your vulva. Instead, try using Rael’s Soothing Feminine Mist. Our portable, convenient mist is great for vaginal care on the go.
Formulated with tea tree oil, hibiscus, and hyaluronic acid, our soothing feminine mist can give you immediate relief from itching, burning, and sensitivity without soiling your underwear or making a mess.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil also has antifungal properties which make it a great solution for dealing with fungal yeast infections. In fact, research shows coconut oil is effective in combating a particular type of yeast, called c. albicans.
Coconut oil is also incredibly nourishing and hydrating, and well tolerated by virtually everyone. While coconut oil is certainly safe enough to just slather right on your nether regions, we recommend getting your daily vaginal coconut oil dose in our Soothing Gel to Foam Wash.
The coconut oil added to our wash also acts as a mild cleanser, helping gently care for your most sensitive parts when they’re irritated and inflamed.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps support your body’s immunity, and not just the immunity you need to defend against an oncoming cold. Your immune system can help you battle fungal infections, too. Increasing your vitamin C intake when you have a yeast infection can help your body fight off the bad bacteria.
Additionally, you can use vulva care products that contain vitamin C to help deliver relief right where you need it most. Our Soothing Gel to Foam Wash contains vitamin C, which is essentially like boots on the ground for your good bacteria.
5. Nourishing Ingredients
You need ingredients that will help get rid of yeast and restore your vaginal pH balance, but you also need ingredients to give you relief from the itching, burning, and irritation you’re experiencing.
Rael’s entire vulva care line is rich with ingredients like aloe, hyaluronic acid, and nourishing plant botanicals. We often overlook the delicate skin that surrounds and makes up the vulva, but this skin can become dry, chapped, or rashy-especially when you have a yeast infection.
Aloe helps soothe irritation and burning while hyaluronic acid ensures your skin is moisturized. Plant botanicals like hibiscus flower help alleviate burning so you can feel completely comfortable.
Tips and Tricks for Yeast Infections
In addition to these home remedies, here are some other steps you can take to get relief and help send your yeast infection packing.
- Wear loose clothing and cotton underwear. Other materials can trap moisture and heat inside. Cotton is most breathable and helps prevent bacterial growth.
- Increase your probiotic food intake. Yogurts, kombucha, and other fermented products can help increase the levels of probiotics in your body.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will help thin out vaginal discharge.
Above all, be patient with your body and with yourself. Yeast infections are uncomfortable, but they’re nothing you can’t handle.
The Bottom Line
When you get a yeast infection, you have numerous holistic care options for getting relief. Rael’s Vulva Care products are designed to help you deal with symptoms of vaginal discomfort and help restore your vaginal pH levels.
Sure, you’ve got a yeast infection, but with Rael’s complete care system, that doesn’t stop you from having an inspiring, undistracted day.
Lactobacilli Dominance and Vaginal pH: Why is the Human Vaginal Microbiome Unique? | Frontiers
Vulvar Anatomy | NationalVulvodynia Association
Yeast Infection (Vaginal) - Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic