Yeast infection treatment depends on whether you have an uncomplicated or a complicated infection.
Uncomplicated yeast infection
For mild to moderate symptoms and infrequent episodes of yeast infections, your doctor might recommend:
- Short-course vaginal therapy. Antifungal medications are available as creams, ointments, tablets and suppositories. An antifungal regimen that lasts one, three or seven days will usually clear a yeast infection. A number of medications have been shown to be effective, including butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat 3), and terconazole (Terazol 3). Some of these are available by prescription only, while others are available over-the-counter. Side effects might include slight burning or irritation during application. You may need to use an alternative form of birth control. Because the suppositories and creams are oil-based, they could potentially weaken latex condoms and diaphragms.
- Single-dose oral medication. Your doctor might prescribe a one-time, single oral dose of the antifungal medication fluconazole (Diflucan). Or, you may take two single doses three days apart to manage severe symptoms.
- Over-the-counter treatment. Over-the-counter antifungal vaginal suppositories and creams are effective for many women, and these are a safe choice during pregnancy. Treatment usually lasts from three to seven days.
Make a follow-up appointment with your doctor if symptoms don't resolve after treatment, or if they return within two months of treatment.
Complicated yeast infection
Treatment for a complicated yeast infection might include:
- Long-course vaginal therapy. A treatment regimen of azole medications for seven to 14 days can successfully clear a yeast infection. Medication is usually vaginal cream, ointment, tablet or suppository.
- Multidose oral medication. Your doctor might prescribe two or three doses of fluconazole to be taken by mouth instead of vaginal therapy. However, this therapy isn't recommended for pregnant women.
- Maintenance plan. For recurrent yeast infections, your doctor might recommend a medication routine to prevent yeast overgrowth and future infections. Maintenance therapy starts after a yeast infection is cleared with treatment. You may need a longer treatment of up to 14 days to clear the yeast infection before beginning maintenance therapy. Therapies may include a regimen of oral fluconazole tablets once a week for six months. Some doctors prescribe clotrimazole as a vaginal suppository used once a week instead of an oral medication.
Your sex partner probably won't need to be treated for a yeast infection. If you have recurrent yeast infections, your doctor might recommend treating your partner if your partner has symptoms of a genital yeast infection (balanitis) or using condoms during intercourse.
Sept. 18, 2015
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