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Yeast infections result in itchiness and pain. Most yeast infections are mild, and people can usually treat them with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. In other cases, a doctor may suggest a prescription medication for long-term use.

This article explains different options people have to treat a vaginal yeast infection at home following diagnosis.

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A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

Yeast infections occur due to an overgrowth of Candida. This is a type of fungus that normally lives in areas of the body such as the vagina and mouth.

According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), most females will experience a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain that some common symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:

They add that risk factors for developing an overgrowth of Candida include:

The OWH points out that a yeast infection may develop due to sexual intercourse. However, doctors do not classify this as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Since yeast infection symptoms are similar to those of other infections and conditions, such as contact dermatitis, a person should contact a doctor before taking any OTC medications. The doctor can test for yeast or other infections to provide the appropriate treatment.

Doctors typically recommend OTC antifungal medications to treat a vaginal yeast infection.

Antifungal medications come in a variety of forms, including:

  • creams
  • tablets
  • ointments
  • vaginal suppositories

Treatments may come as one single dose or a daily dose over several days. A person should read the dosing instructions carefully to ensure they use the correct dosage.

Some of the products in this article are classed as homeopathic treatments.

There are no FDA-approved homeopathic products. This means that any product sold in the U.S. and marketed as homeopathic is not FDA approved and the FDA has not tested it for safety or effectiveness.

MNT chose yeast infection treatments that meet the following criteria:

  • Reputable brands: Our medical and business teams have thoroughly researched all brands in this article to ensure their safety and reputability. This means the brands we chose do not make unsupported health claims and their products do not contain unsafe ingredients.
  • Accessibility: MNT chose brands that are widely available in-store, online, and over the counter.
  • Cost: MNT selected nonprescription items with some of the most budget-friendly price points. For prescription products, MNT ensured multiple payment options, including health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible savings accounts (FSAs).
  • Treatment times: MNT chose products that claim to treat yeast infection symptoms in as few days as possible.

The following are some products a person can use to treat their yeast infection at home.

Before starting treatment, individuals should contact a doctor for a diagnosis. Knowing exactly which infection they have ensures that the person uses the appropriate treatment and does not create fungus resistant to future treatments.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best preventive treatment: Uqora Promote

The makers of Uqora Promote say the product promotes vaginal health rather than specifically targeting yeast infections. However, it contains Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus), Lactobacillus rhamnosus (L. rhamnosus), and Lactobacillus reuteri, which the company claims can help balance vaginal bacteria.

Some research suggests that Lactobacilli such as L. acidophilus and L. rhamnosus show promise in preventing vaginal infections.

The company recommends taking this supplement daily with a glass of water.

Uqora Promote may be suitable for people who regularly get yeast infections as a preventive treatment. It is vegan-friendly and gluten-free, meaning it may also suit people following certain diets.

The pros and cons a person can consider include:

Pros

  • useful as a preventive treatment
  • suitable for vegans
  • gluten-free
  • free shipping
  • subscription is possible, making it cheaper by 15%

Cons

  • targets vaginal health instead of treating yeast infections specifically
  • does not have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval

This product is available for around $30.

Best preventive suppository: Love Wellness The Killer

The Killer by Love Wellness aims to prevent yeast infections from developing and claims to keep vaginal bacteria healthy.

The capsule contains boric acid, which may be effective in treating recurrent yeast infections that have not responded to to anti-fungal treatments.

The brand recommends inserting this vaginal suppository once a day before bed for up to 14 days, as needed. The brand also recommends that the best times to use The Killer might be after sex, after a period, or when a person is experiencing symptoms of a pH imbalance.

The FDA classes this product as an unapproved homeopathic treatment and states it has not tested it for safety or efficacy. The FDA writes that it is not aware of scientific research that supports the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

The Killer is suitable for anyone who may be prone to vaginal yeast infections. Love Wellness does not recommend a person to have sexual intercourse while using this product.

A person may wish to consider the following pros and cons of this product:

Pros

  • affordable price
  • subscription service is possible, saving 25%
  • gluten- and dairy-free
  • not tested for safety or efficacy

Cons

  • a person cannot have sexual intercourse during the treatment
  • shipping is not free unless customers spend over $35
  • unsuitable for vegans

This product is available for around $21.99.

Best 2-day treatment: FemiClear Yeast Infection 2-Day Treatment

FemiClear’s 2-day yeast infection treatment includes two suppositories that a person inserts into their vagina and an external anti-itch ointment for symptom relief.

The product contains calendula, tea tree oil, olive extract, beeswax, and olive oil to combat itching and discomfort.

The company recommends using this yeast infection treatment before bed or wearing a panty liner to ensure that it does not leak.

Older 2015 research found that tea tree oil may help improve difficult-to-treat yeast infections when combined with other treatments, such as fluconazole.

However, research is limited, and another 2015 study found that tea tree oil may only improve yeast infections caused by certain types of Candida bacteria.

The FDA classes this product as an unapproved homeopathic treatment and states it has not tested it for safety or efficacy. The FDA writes that it is not aware of scientific research that supports the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

This may best suit individuals who currently have a yeast infection and prefer to use organic ingredients. However, it is unsuitable for vegans because it contains beeswax.

The potential pros and cons of this product may include:

Pros

  • organic ingredients
  • affordable price
  • treatment lasts 2 days

Cons

  • unsuitable for vegans
  • does not have FDA approval

This product is available for around $19.

Best for varying treatment options: Monistat

Monistat is available in several pharmacies and retail stores, including Walmart, throughout the United States. It provides treatment options that include 1, 3, and 7 days’ worth of doses.

This product comes in the form of internal suppositories and external creams with applicators that help people place the yeast infection treatment in the right area. Some packs include additional topical itch medications to help ease symptoms.

Each applicator contains 200 milligrams (mg) of miconazole nitrate, a medication that treats fungal infections.

This product is most suited to individuals who currently have a yeast infection and would like to try multiple methods to treat it.

A person can consider the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • readily available in retail stores
  • various treatment options available in one pack
  • FSA- and HSA-eligible
  • affordable price

Cons

  • reviews mention burning, stinging, or itching sensations
  • may cause heavy discharge

A pack of three applicators is available for around $13.

Best 7-day treatment: CVS Health Miconazole 7-Day Treatment

This CVS Health treatment comes with seven doses of disposable internal applicators and external cream.

Each applicator contains 100 mg of miconazole nitrate. The manufacturer recommends that people insert an applicator before going to bed. Individuals should dispose of the applicator immediately after use.

The treatment is available both in-store and online. It may best suit individuals who would prefer a product that works while they sleep. However, a person should not use this if they have not received a diagnosis of a yeast infection from a doctor.

The pros and cons a person can consider include:

Pros

  • affordable price
  • uses both internal applicators and external cream
  • available to purchase in-store and online
  • works while a person sleeps

Cons

  • may cause burning and itching sensations
  • a person cannot use tampons while using this product
  • users cannot have sex while using this product

This product is available for around $7.99.

Best pill: Fluconazole

Fluconazole is a generic version of the prescription pill Diflucan, which people can take to treat yeast infections.

Individuals need to take a single pill first. If symptoms do not improve after 2 days, they can take a second pill.

Online pharmacies, such as Wisp, offer quick delivery of fluconazole. They can also provide same-day or rushed prescriptions to a person’s local pharmacy.

Wisp offers subscriptions for those who regularly have yeast infections and accepts FSA and HSA cards as payment.

This product may be most suitable for individuals who regularly experience yeast infections or when creams have not worked.

The potential pros and cons of this product include:

Pros

  • available for same-day pick up from a local pharmacy
  • FSA- and HSA-eligible
  • subscription service available

Cons

  • one-time purchases are expensive
  • Wisp does not accept insurance

A person can choose from a $15 quarterly fee if they regularly experience symptoms or a $65 one-time fee.

The table below compares each of the products for price, ingredients, and more.

UquoraLove WellnessFemiClearMonistat
CVS HealthGeneric Fluconazole
Pricearound $30around $21.99around $19around $13around $7.99around $15–65
Active ingredientsL. acidophilus

L. rhamnosus

L. reuteri
boric acidolive oil

melaleuca

calendula

lavender
essential oil
miconazole nitratemiconazole nitrategeneric fluconazole
Treatment timeprobiotic comes in a 30-day supplyup to 14 days of use2 days1, 3, or 7 days7 days2 days

A person should contact a doctor if they suspect that they have a yeast infection, as symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions. The doctor can properly diagnose and treat a yeast infection.

If a yeast infection does not clear up with treatment, the person should seek further medical advice. They may need to adjust their medications to treat any itching and discomfort.

Recurring yeast infections

According to the OWH, yeast infections are usually mild. They cause symptoms such as itchiness, pain, and unusual discharge. Most females will develop a yeast infection at some point in their life.

The OWH also says that some people develop recurring yeast infections.

Risk factors for recurring yeast infections, or recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), include having diabetes or a compromised immune system.

However, individuals can develop recurring yeast infections even if they do not have any risk factors.

If a person experiences RVVC, a doctor will likely recommend or prescribe antifungal medications for up to 6 months to help keep the fungus under control.

People can take some steps to help prevent yeast infections. For example, they can try:

  • avoiding irritating soaps
  • not using vaginal douches
  • regularly changing tampons and sanitary napkins
  • keeping the outer genital area dry and clean
  • not using panty liners every day
  • avoiding scented products for use around the vagina
  • only using antibiotics when a doctor prescribes them
  • wiping from the front to the back after using the toilet
  • changing into dry clothes immediately after swimming
  • wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear
  • maintaining a stable blood sugar level

Some people may find that consuming probiotic yogurt helps prevent yeast infections. A 2013 pilot study found that eating yogurt with probiotics reduced fungal activity, which may help prevent future infections.

However, the researchers note that additional studies are necessary to help determine how effective probiotic yogurt is at preventing yeast infections.

Learn more about preventing yeast infections here.

People should be aware of the following advice when taking medication for yeast infections:

  • Dosage: It is important to take the entire course of medication to clear an infection. For example, with a 7-day suppository, a person should insert suppositories daily for the full 7 days, even if symptoms begin to clear before the 7-day period ends.
  • Birth control: The oils in certain suppositories and creams can interfere with barrier birth control methods. They can weaken the materials in condoms, making them less effective. When using these yeast infection treatments, a person should use a different form of birth control or abstain from sex during the duration of the treatment if they would typically use a condom.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant people should always consult a doctor before using any prescription or nonprescription medication to treat an infection.

Below are answers to some common questions about treating yeast infections.

How quickly do yeast infection treatments work?

Preventive yeast infection treatments have varying time frames, but many come in 30-day supplies. Pill, cream, and suppository yeast infection treatments usually come as 1-, 2-, 3-, 7-, or 14-day treatments.

Which yeast infection treatment is the fastest?

Treatment times can vary from person to person, but anecdotal reports suggest a single dose of fluconazole can be enough to clear up a yeast infection in just a few hours.

Do people need a prescription for these treatments?

Most yeast infection suppositories and preventive probiotics are available as OTC treatments. However, yeast infection pills such as fluconazole are only available through prescription.

Is one yeast infection pill enough?

Depending on the severity of the infection, type of pill, and dosage, a single tablet may be enough to clear a yeast infection. Individuals should always let their doctor guide their treatment and discuss ongoing symptoms with them.

Can I get a yeast infection from sex?

Although penetrative sex cannot directly cause a yeast infection, a person may develop a yeast infection after sex if they engage in oral sex or insert fingers or toys into the vagina.

This is because these activities may introduce bacteria into or around the vagina.

Learn more about yeast infections after sex.

Can a person pass on a yeast infection?

Yeast infections are not STIs. However, it is possible for yeast infections to transmit from one person to another following sexual intercourse.

Females can pass on yeast infections to males, but this is uncommon and may affect just 15% of males.

Do yeast infection pills have side effects?

Pills for yeast infections, such as fluconazole, may have some side effects.

Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, headache, stomach pain, and a rash.

Yeast infections are often mild, and a person can typically treat them using OTC medications. Medications come in different forms and doses, so it is important to follow the instructions on the package.

A person should not self-diagnose a yeast infection, as many of the symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses and conditions.

Once a doctor diagnoses this infection and a person treats it, they should notice symptom improvement.