Although some studies on alternative therapies for yeast infection have been done, well-designed and controlled trials are needed to investigate these therapies before experts can make any recommendations.
- Boric acid. Boric acid — a vaginal insert (suppository) available by prescription — may be an effective alternative to conventional treatment if you have recurrent yeast infections or ongoing (chronic) symptoms that don't respond to treatment. Boric acid may be effective against the less common strains of candida and candida that's become resistant to azole medications. However, boric acid can irritate your skin and it's toxic if accidentally ingested, especially by children.
- Yogurt. Anecdotally, some women report success with lactobacillus-containing yogurt, taken by mouth or applied vaginally. However, this approach remains unproved. Studies that showed yogurt to be effective for reducing vaginal yeast cultures and providing symptom relief were done in a small number of women, with no control groups. Other studies haven't been able to confirm those results.
Before trying any alternative therapy, check with your doctor to weigh the pros and cons in your situation.
Nov. 01, 2012
- Vaginal yeast infections fact sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/vaginal-yeast-infections.cfm. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
- Vaginitis. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq028.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120924T1249146853. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
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- Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59:1. http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2010/STD-Treatment-2010-RR5912.pdf. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
- Sobel JD. Candida vulvovaginitis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
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- Watson C, et al. Comprehensive review of conventional and non-conventional methods of management of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2007;47:262.
- Jurden L, et al. Can probiotics safely prevent recurrent vaginitis? The Journal of Family Practice. 2012;61:357.