Putting a dab of yogurt on the vagina to treat yeast infection is an age-old natural treatment practice many women have held on to.
The belief is that it is a natural cure for thrush; which is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina.
How that popular belief came about? Well, it is quite simple, because yogurt is probiotic and has friendly bacteria, it is thought that it serves a good medicine to treat and prevent the condition.
It has long been believed the bacteria provides a protective barrier across the vaginal walls.
But as promising as it sounds, the individual species of lactobacilli in yogurt are very different from those that are good for your vagina.
That’s according to Caroline Mitchell, director of the vulvovaginal disorders program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Other studies have looked at whether or not taking oral probiotics can influence your vaginal health, and it turns out that most of the bacteria don’t ever make it to the vagina.
So again, the idea that yogurt is going to “fix” your yeast infection is probably wrong, she says.
What’s the best way to treat ‘uncomplicated thrush’?
Uncomplicated thrush is common – about 75 per cent of women will have vaginal thrush in their lifetime.
It is caused by a fungal infection (Candida albicans) that lives in the vagina, often without causing symptoms.
Why some women get it is unclear. It mostly occurs during a woman’s reproductive years.
When symptoms do occur, they include itching, burning and a ‘cottage cheese-like’ discharge.
Mild thrush can usually be treated with a short course of antifungal medication. The symptoms will usually clear up within a week or two.
What if I keep getting thrush?
Recurrent thrush refers to four or more diagnosed episodes of vaginal thrush within 12 months.
Because the four episodes have to be identified with a swab test, research into this area is difficult and costly.
Compared with research into uncomplicated thrush, the published studies in this case are few and of poorer quality. No research so far has found a cure that works for all women.
Treatment for recurrent thrush?
The only remedy for recurrent thrush, as noted by a large study is ‘suppression and maintenance’ therapy.
Symptoms are suppressed with a high dose of anti-fungal treatment followed by a maintenance dose (weekly or monthly) for up to six months to prevent remission.
Some women are reluctant to take anti-fungal medications for long periods, as they can have some side-effects, including abdominal pain.
Because of this and the expense, many turn to alternative therapies to address the situation.
It is impossible to predict how long persistent thrush may last for individual women, but the good thing is most will respond to long-term therapy, and it will eventually ease.
This is an original Healthfoodsolution.com article. Feel free to leave comments and questions below this post.