Yeast Infection Myths and Misconceptions

When it comes to dealing with intimate health issues like yeast infections, young women are relying on advice that’s plain wrong – and even harmful.

More than half – 53% – of young women say they don’t know how to deal with a yeast infection, and two out of three women (66%) don’t know it can be cured with an over-the-counter treatment. With all the information out there, finding the right answers can be confusing and overwhelming.

Here are some yeast infection myths and misconceptions regarding treatment and prevention.


In some circles, garlic is revered for its detoxifying qualities. For those that subscribe to garlic’s medicinal use, they believe it can be used to treat yeast infections by inserting it into the vagina. In reality, inserting any foreign object in the vagina may cause further complications or even worsen an infection. There is no scientific proof that garlic can cure a yeast infection, so don’t put yourself at risk.

External Vaginal Itch Creams

A common misconception is that vaginal itch creams can treat yeast infections. Many women who use these products intending to treat a yeast infection soon discover the products’ shortcomings. While they may temporarily relieve the symptoms of your infection, they will not cure it.

Now, let’s clear up some misconceptions about what causes yeast infections.

Having Sex

Vaginal yeast infections are not usually spread by having sex. However, if you have a yeast infection, you should avoid sexual activity until the infection is gone. Sexual intercourse can be painful and increase vaginal burning and inflammation.

Going Swimming

Damp or tight-fitting clothing can create an ideal environment for yeast to overgrow. You won’t get a yeast infection just because you went swimming and it’s not contagious, so you won’t catch it from being in the pool with someone who does. Just make sure you change into clean, dry underwear and clothing when you’re through swimming, working out or doing any strenuous activity.

Using a Laptop

The heat generated from some laptops can cause you to perspire while it rests on your lap and damp areas are ideal environments for the overgrowth of yeast. But it is a yeast infection myth that regularly using a laptop would put you at increased risk for developing a yeast infection – just be sure to keep your vaginal area dry.

What actually causes yeast infections?

A yeast infection (candidiasis) is caused by an overgrowth of yeast that normally lives in the vagina. Here are a few reasons why you may get a yeast infection:

  • Antibiotics — Antibiotics and other drugs can trigger a yeast infection by suppressing some of the “good” bacteria that helps keep the yeast fungus under control. Learn more here, and do not stop taking antibiotics without first asking your doctor.
  • Hormones — Pregnancy, menstruation and estrogen fluctuations can trigger a yeast infection. If you’re pregnant or think you’re pregnant, make sure to speak with your doctor before using any products to treat your symptoms.
  • Diabetes — If your diabetes is not well controlled, you have a greater chance of getting yeast infections. Find out how high blood sugar can lead to a Candida infection.
  • A weakened immune system – Yeast naturally exists in the vagina and a healthy immune system works to keep this yeast balanced. If you have a weakened immune system, you may be susceptible to yeast infections along with other infections.
  • Certain Cancer Treatments – Yeast infections can be a common side effect of some cancer treatments.

Here are some simple things that have been associated with helping prevent yeast infections:

  • Avoid scented hygiene products like bubble bath, sprays, pads, and tampons
  • Change tampons and pads often during your period
  • Avoid tight underwear or clothes made of synthetic fibers
  • Wear cotton underwear and pantyhose with a cotton crotch
  • Change out of wet swimsuits and exercise clothes as soon as you can

If this is your first yeast infection or you have special circumstances like diabetes, pregnancy, or recurrent infections, it’s important for you to talk to your healthcare professional before you decide on a treatment. That way, he or she can guide you regarding your vaginal health, give you a proper diagnosis, and help you choose the most appropriate treatment. If you’re unsure of what to ask or are uncomfortable speaking with your doctor regarding yeast infection concerns, download our Doctor Discussion Guide to help start the conversation.

An Ob-Gyn’s Guide to a Healthy Vagina at the Beach

Beach days aren’t exactly your ob-gyn’s favorite. Sun exposure aside, damp bikini bottoms give way to one of summer’s most unwanted side effects (ugh, yeast infections) and a day of sand and surf can sometimes lead to other pesky problems below the belt.

Fortunately, you don’t have to skip out on going to your favorite sandy spots. You just have to be smarter about planning your seaside trips. We asked two ob-gyns how to enjoy the beach and keep your lady parts healthy and happy (and yep, it’s possible). Consider this your summer beach script, doctor’s orders!

Pack another bikini bottom. It sounds like a hassle, but throwing another pair of bottoms in your beach bag could be the difference between winding up with a pesky yeast infection and not. “Yeast infections are very common in the summer-it is hot, and we sweat all over (particularly in ‘lady’ areas). Sitting around in a wet bathing suit is a major culprit,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University. At the very least, make sure to change into dry, clean shorts post-beach trip.

Ask your doc for a script. Particularly prone to yeast infections? Fortunately, you can prepare. While Monistat is generally available everywhere in the U.S. (and OTC), if you’re a fan of the (oral) prescription medication Diflucan (fluconazole), get an extra pill or two from your gynecologist before you leave on a beach vacation, suggests Dr. Minkin. That way, if you feel the symptoms coming on, you’re prepared. (Related: The 5 Biggest Yeast Infection Myths-Busted)

Pop a probiotic. Daily probiotics for women’s genital health, such as RepHresh Pro-B, work to help keep vaginal bacteria and yeast in check, which can help you avoid infections, says Leah Millheiser, M.D., a clinical assistant professor and director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University Medical Center. Adding a pill to your daily routine can help beef up your body’s “good” bacteria.

Pee more than you usually do. Beach vacations can mean less clothing and more sex. But they can also mean long days in the sand without a restroom in sight. It’s not a good recipe for your vaginal health. “Make sure to urinate frequently while enjoying beach time,” notes Dr. Millheiser. “Many women will hold their urine while out and about on the beach as they have limited access to a bathroom. Holding your urine for prolonged periods of time in the setting of having lots of sex can lead to the buildup of bacteria in the bladder, which can cause a urinary tract infection.”

Drink lots of water. Says Dr. Minkin: “If you get dehydrated, you might be increasing your chances of a urinary tract infection (UTI).” That’s because staying properly hydrated helps your body flush bad bacteria out, including the kind that can lead to UTIs. And while we hate to be the bearers of bad news, sometimes keeping yourself hydrated doesn’t just mean adding water-it also means skipping the boozy beach drinks.

Lather up. Unless you’re wearing a bathing suit with UPF factor, your skin is still technically exposed, so consider a sunscreen geared toward sensitive skin down there, says Dr. Millheiser. (Sunbathing nude? You’ll definitely need sunscreen.) After all, sun exposure will come back to bite you when you’re older. Dr. Minkin notes that many of her patients going through menopause bemoan their years in the sun because they led to dry and tough-to-moisturize skin.

Wash well. Playing in the waves and body surfing is fun. Going home to find sand trapped down there because of it? Not so much. For some ladies, sand can be super irritating, notes Dr. Millheiser. “Make sure to rinse the vulva really well with water at the end of the day,” she says. Just don’t wash with a washcloth-sand is abrasive enough. (FYI, here’s your complete guide to how you should and shouldn’t be cleaning down there.)

Best summer tip for your lady bits

Summer means swimsuits, and with 10,000 lakes, there’s no better place to take a refreshing dip than in Minnesota. Whether you’re poolside, at the lake or at the beach, water can mean mayhem for our lady bits.

Our bodies, and in this case, our vaginas, do a great job of balancing themselves out; however, when you’re lounging in a wet swimsuit, that balance can go out of whack. Chemicals from a pool and bacteria from the ocean and lakes get absorbed into your swimsuit’s fabric. This creates a damp, warm place for budding germs to turn into a urinary tract infection (UTI), a bacterial overgrowth in the vagina known as bacterial vaginosis, or a yeast infection.

All of these infections are treatable, but best of all, easily preventable. How? After jumping out of the lake, change into dry clothes or a dry swimsuit quickly, and wash your swimwear when you get home. Some people are more prone to vaginal infections than others, so be particularly mindful if you:

  • are pregnant
  • have diabetes or a weak immune system
  • take medications or antibiotics

Back from the beach and think you have a down-there issue?
If you’re noticing changes in vaginal discharge or are itching, swelling or sore, you could have a yeast infection. Increased grayish discharge and/or a pungent, fishy odor may be signs of bacterial vaginosis. Some symptoms of a UTI are feeling like you have to pee frequently, and when you do, it burns or your urine appears cloudy.

Talk with your primary care provider or do an online visit if you’re experiencing symptoms, and next time, pack a few extra suits in your beach bag.

PSA: Sex On A Beach Can Actually Harm Your Vagina

There’s one particular scene in the Gilmore Girls that I think forever changed the way I fantasised about sex. Rory’s best friend Lane has just returned from her honeymoon and is distressed. She had sex for the first time with her new husband, Zac, and it was awful. But not in the common, ‘it hurt and was painfully awkward’, way most first times are bad – it’s awful because it was on a beach.

As Lane outlined to Rory all the ways coitus went wrong for her and Zac, I made a silent vow to myself that I would never have beach sex. And so should you, because beach sex is one of the worst kinds of sex you can have if you’re a person with a vagina, according to health experts – and here’s why.

First of all: sand. It gets EVERYWHERE. And when you’re naked and rubbing your body up against another person, you better believe sand gets in places you never want sand to reach. This is particularly bad in instances where your having sex because when sand meets genitals, it acts as an abrasive, causing intense irritation and chafing.

Looks hot, feels shit. Photo: ‘From Here To Eternity’Source:Whimn

Not only this, but sand isn’t the most hygienic of substances. Imagine all the infants you’ve ever known to pee in the ocean and then times it by a hundred because, according to a study from the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, beach sand can contain 100 times the levels of faecal bacteria as seawater.

Speaking to HelloGiggles about the dangers of beach sex, Dr Leah Millheiser, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University said, “You’ve got to use common sense when it comes to where you have sex. Bacteria and viruses are everywhere in our environment. That doesn’t mean every single person who has sex at the pool or on the beach is going to get an infection, but it is possible to get infections from what’s on the sand and what’s in the water. Be smart.”


There’s also the increased risk of UTI, given the fact that the chance of you contracting on goes up when the temperature rises. According to a study published in the journal PLOS One, bacteria thrive in hot, moist environments (like your swimsuit bottoms). Coupled with the aforementioned dirty, dirty sand – it’s practically a recipe for sex disaster.

Romping couple arrested naked on Thailand beach

Romping couple arrested naked on Thailand beach

And so, when you’re lying there on the sand, loving life, looking at your partner and thinking “wow, what a fox, I could just rip their swimmers right off” – maybe don’t. Wait until you’re back in the hotel or airbnb to get down to business. Trust us, your vagina will thank you.

One last must-have? Dr. Calhoun suggests applying bug spray over your underwear (not directly on your vagina) to prevent vulvar bug bites that could happen while you’re nodding off at night.


Rest assured, it’s highly unlikely that your vagina will become sunburned. However, Dr. Calhoun says that your vulva — especially if you’re sunbathing in the nude — can be burned, just like all the other parts of your body. If you’re wearing a string bikini or a bottom that allows the sides of your vaginal area to be exposed, you’re also risking sensitive rashes and uncomfortable peeling. “For all parts of the body, sunblock, protective clothing, and shade are the way to go. Sunburns, or even suntans, increase the risk of both cancer and wrinkles, so use protection,” Dr. Maria I. Rodriguez, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine advises.


When you return home from your beach trip, you might have tan lines, a new necklace crafted by a local, some crazy stories to tell your besties, and probably more sand in your suitcase than you’d care to admit. From bodysurfing and snorkeling, to swimming and lounging on the beach, sand is bound to cling to your wet, sticky body — and it might even venture to other places, too. That’s why a thorough inspection in your post-beach shower is a smart idea, according to Dr. Leah S. Millheiser, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University. “If a woman does have sand within the vaginal canal, it may cause some irritation during penetrative intercourse. Generally, the sand will come out on its own,” she says. “If the sand is in the folds and creases of the vulvar skin, a quick rinse in the shower or a bath should be enough to get rid of it.”

Outdoor Workouts

Since you don’t have a class to run to or a paper that’s due in an hour, you have much more free time to log miles on an outdoor run or sign up for a tough boot-camp class at your local park. But just like you maintain a workout routine, you should also develop a habit for making sure sweat isn’t getting trapped in your private areas. As Dr. Ross explains, where there are sweat glands, hair follicles, and hair, there is sweat — and too much sweat? That’s when a heat rash or bacterial infection can happen. The best way to fight against this is to be selective about your activewear.

“The days of baggy cotton sweats have been replaced with high-tech swag to help your skin breathe, absorb moisture, and prevent you from getting soaked in sweat. To keep it simple, pick fabrics such as nylon, spandex, and polyester that are comfortable, nonabsorbent, and flexible,” Dr. Ross says. “Some materials are even known to be ‘antibacterial, enhance your physical performance and provide attention support.’”

Summer Loving

Between colorful sunsets, fun outdoor dates, and more time to spend lounging around getting to know one another, seasonal romances are a dreamy way to pass those dog days of summer. While falling in love on a boat or a rooftop is definitely an experience you’ll want to talk to your friends about when school is back in session, when you’re enjoying your fling or budding relationship, don’t forget about protection. No matter the time of year, not using condoms or birth control can increase your risk for STIs and unplanned pregnancy.

“Talk to your doctor about one that is right for you. Many modern methods have the added benefit of reducing or even eliminating your periods, which can make lounging in a swimsuit a whole lot more relaxing when you don’t have to worry about changing a tampon. Condoms are unfortunately the only method that will protect against STIs, so make sure to use these if you have a new partner,” Dr. Rodriguez says.

Frequent Travel

Backpacking your way through Europe? Driving cross-country with friends? Airplanes and cars rarely pose an issue with vulvovaginal health, with a few exceptions, according to Dr. Calhoun. If you’re using the soap provided to you by hotels or hostels, she suggests being mindful of the ingredients, just in case your body has a reaction to the formula. You should also be careful to wash your underwear as often as you can to prevent exposure to bacteria.

Dr. Millheiser also says to be thoughtful about your wardrobe choices, especially for a long-haul flight. “Sitting for prolonged periods of time, especially in tight clothing where heat gets trapped, can lead to both vulvar irritation or yeast infections,” she says. To help prevent this, she suggests applying Vaseline ointment to the labia — but not the inside of the vagina — two to three times a day. Last but not least, Dr. Ross notes that staying hydrated while up in the air will keep your vagina happy, too. “During long trips by air or car could mean not emptying your bladder as frequently as you should,” she says. “This can ultimately lead to a urinary tract infection.”

Related: How to Masturbate if You Have a Vagina

Sandy vagina

To have sand in one’s vagina means to be bothered, annoyed, or angry and to moan like a little bitch. The vagina in question is a proverbial vagina; people of either gender can have a sandy vagina


Sandy Vagina can also relate to whining, complaining, crying, malingering, “wussing out”, advocating such rules and regulations that may defend such conduct, having NO balls, lacking in all things manly/testosterone or playing American Football

“I have sand is my vagina” is synonymous with “I’m pissed off”, “I’m annoyed” etc. Often shortened to “I have sand”

Sandy Vagina can also be thought of to mean the same as having a mangina, which is the inverse of Ron Burgandy

NB – Ron Burgandy is a the most amazing man ever, and Ron Jeremy is just a chubby wanker trying to be porn star. I think Ron Jeremy has Sand

When somebody is cranky for a reason that does not seem to be sufficiently bad enough to bitch about, they are said to be a Sandy Vagina

A metaphor for discomfort or anger, referring to the rather uncomfortable feeling of having sand in the vagina


George Bush has a Sandy Vagina

What’s wrong? Have you got a Sandy Vagina or something?

I have Vaginal Sand because Emma wont spread her legs and me soothe her beautiful pink pussy. She wants it, and knows she would love it, but she just wont put out, which really gets Sand all over my Vagina. I want to do her !!

That’s not cool at all. I have sand about that

I nearly got laid yesturday but threw up and passed out instead. I now have a Sandy Vagina

Sarah, don’t be pissed off with me because you have sand in your vagina

Holy shit dude! Get that sand out of your vagina

Queen Itchy Ladylips Amadillo III got dumped yesterday and now she’s got a Sandy Vagina!

Get that sand out of your vagina!


Sandy Vagitosis is a common disorder which only affects men. There is no cure or “cream” to make it go away, but if you try really hard you may not turn into a complete wussbag. It is closely related to Pussyitus, venereal Disease, Sandgina , Mangina, Flangina, Handgina, Land-mine-gina, Gina-G, Itchy Crack, and being Pussy Whipped

The disease is termed because a man with this condition resembles a woman who has gotten sand in her vagina. Typically the disease presents itself after the man displays tendencies to skip out on male bonding activities such as drinking beer or playing sports. Sandy Vagitosis is potentially dangerous as the man begins to lose all respect of his fellow comrades. As the condition worsens he soon begins to feel alone and no longer included in the ritualistic male bonding activities.

Other symptoms include whining about an injury or other pussy-like complaint, caring about your appearance (beyong trying to get laid), doing everything a woman tells you, and having an excess of ladylike emotions such as pity.

In extreme cases, prolongued exposure to a high level of Sandy Vagitosis is known to turn the subject into a metrosexual


Miserable Cunt – a literal translation from Sandy Vagina used in the same context and also as an insulting term for people who are moody, especially womens

Moody Bastard – a general term that can be used when ever somebody wont do something you want

Fanny Rash – Used in the same context as Sandy Vagina it can be an insult or a observation of someone’s mood. It is also a diseased cunt hole

Irratating Pussy – Usually caused by an STD or shaving your pubes

Annoying Twat – Jimmy Carr

Related Terms

Sandy Vagitosis – See above

Pussy Whipped – Exactly what it says on the tin

Thrush – A winged animal, a massive irration, and something to avoid if you can.

Jimmy Carr – Massive Irratating Pussy

Jesii or Jesi – Bill O’Reilly, who is still a large, Sandy Vagina

Claremont_Colleges – The other Colleges include Scripps, the Sandy Vagina capital of the academic world

Sanjaya_Malakar – A Variation of the name Sanjaya Malakar is Sandy-Vagina

Goucher – The President of the school is former champion taxidemist Sandy “Vagina” Un-GAR

Sandy Balls – A great place for the hole family


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Are You Beach Vagina Ready? This Artist Is

After the furore of Protein World’s skull-dragging ‘Are You Beach Body Ready?’ adverts, let us take you to another beach. The beach where women, as part of a performance art project, will run into the waves and show the North Sea their vagina, in an act known as ‘Raising the Skirt’.

Let us explain. Raising the Skirt is an ancient, worldwide tradition, known from Catalonia to Ancient Greece to India. The idea is that if you show yourself to the something natural and hugely powerful, it will calm. In Catalan and Ancient Greece, it’s the sea.

And, explains Raising the Skirt’s call for participants (yes, you can join them!): ‘A flash of the cunt has been known to calm other forces of nature too, in Madras (India) women were known to subdue storms by exposing themselves.’

It adds: ‘In other folklore Women could drive away the devils, evil spirits and warriors. By forming community and embracing the power in their bodies, we aim to follow in the footsteps of our sisters by using a deep placed femininity and somatic drive to reclaim the cunt as a powerful tool in assertion.’

In non-art speak, showing your vagina to something forceful and natural, even if it carries on raining/waving/thundering/whatever, will make you feel more powerful, simply because you’re using your vagina to do something instead of letting it be all passive and done to.

If you’re into that as a concept, it costs £135 for three days, or £75 if you’re on a low income. And it’s also based on a beach in South Tyneside, which, we admit, might be really freezing cold, even when the workshop takes place in mid-summer.

If, instead, you’re wondering who’s organising for loads of women to talk about their vaginas and then run naked into the sea, that’ll be Nicola Canavan. She’s a performance artist who ‘installs layers of symbol through the modification and manipulation of the flesh, and pursues rituals that transcend the body.’

We admit that skinny dipping shouldn’t cost a thing, but that is a very interesting way of phrasing ‘getting your fanny out at the beach’ isn’t it?

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Gogglebox Stars Turn Up To Protest Against Protein World’s Beach Body Ready Advert

Brooklyn Artist Turns Catcalls Into Works Of Art

Girl Pins Sanitary Towels All Over Her Town Because It’s Art Obvs

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

6 Ways Sex on a Beach or in a Pool Can Harm Your Vagina

Just like shower sex, sex on an ocean beach or in a swimming pool is hardly as glamorous IRL as it seems. Yet it’s still portrayed on screen as one of the ultimate summer sex fantasies. (Thanks, porn.)

We get it: It’s hot out, you’re already half naked, and it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to get it on when you’ve got a white sand beach or infinity pool to yourself. (Please make sure you have it to yourself.) As romantic as that sounds, there are unpleasant realities to this kind of summer lovin’. Some may just kill the mood, while others could hang around long after you’re back in your swimsuit. Before you strip down, read up.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Sex Is Better on Vacation

You’ll probably get sand in or near your vagina

This should be obvious to anyone who’s ever been to a beach, but sand gets everywhere. “Sand acts as an abrasive, so if you get it around the genitals, on the vulva, or even in the vagina, it can actually lead to irritation and chafing,” says Leah Millheiser, MD, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University.

If you’re determined to do it beside the ocean, make sure you have a large towel beneath you. Rinse off afterward with fresh water, not seawater. If the sand causes any micro-tears in your vagina, salty ocean water can sting and burn. “While it may be uncomfortable, it’s not a major concern, though,” says Dr. Millheiser. “Women’s bodies are constantly producing vaginal lubricant, which cleans out the vagina—that sand will eventually make its way out.”

Hotel pools are ground zero for germs

Here’s some fun summer info: Nearly one-third of 498 disease outbreaks from recreational water—many of which were GI-related and resulted in approximately 27,000 cases of illness and eight deaths—were associated with hotel pools, hot tubs, and spas, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Bacteria can live in pool water, and we know that if somebody has a GI virus, like diarrhea, and they go swimming, that viral material can get into the pool and spread,” says Dr. Millheiser, even to your vagina.

RELATED: The 6 Best Natural Lubes to Try

Sand is pretty germy, too

Not only do little kids have accidents on the beach, but birds and animals use the sand as their public toilet. And that means beach sand can contain 100 times the levels of fecal bacteria as seawater, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

“You’ve got to use common sense when it comes to where you have sex,” says Dr. Millheiser. “Bacteria and viruses are everywhere in our environment. That doesn’t mean every single person who has sex at the pool or on the beach is going to get an infection, but it is possible to get infections from what’s on the sand and what’s in the water. Be smart.”

Water dries you out down below

“When you have sex in the water, you lose lubrication,” says Dr. Millheiser. “Vaginal lubrication is water, the majority of what you’re in is water, and so when water meets water, that natural lubricant dries up really quickly.”

Chances are you don’t normally pack lube in your beach bag. But if you think you might get it on in a pool, bring a silicone-based lubricant. “A silicone-based lubricant isn’t going to wash off as easily as a water-based lubricant,” she explains. Lube is important, especially when you’re in water, because it’ll make the action feel better and it might prevent tears. “When you get a tear, it’s easier to transmit infections from the water or from one partner to another,” Dr. Millheiser says.

You might set yourself up for a UTI

Urinary tract infections are pretty common all year long. But the frequency with which women get them goes up in the summer, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One. That’s likely because bacteria thrive in hot, moist environments (like your bathing suit bottoms), and there’s a large amount of bacteria your vagina could come in contact with during the summer.

“Women get UTIs simply by the in-out motion of penetrative sex,” says Dr. Millheiser. “What that’s doing is pushing bacteria that surrounds the opening of the urethra into the bladder, and that can lead to a UTI.” Bacteria from a hotel pool could also potentially make its way up into the urinary tract and lead to a urinary tract infection. If you have sex in the pool, “urinate immediately afterward, because if any of the pool water with bacteria did get up to your bladder, you want to try to get it out,” she advises.

RELATED: You’re More Likely to Get an STI During Your Period—Here’s Why

You’re still at risk for pregnancy and STIs

Hard to believe, but some women actually think it’s not possible to conceive if they have sex in water. “I’ve had plenty of patients who got pregnant through having sex in water, thinking that they wouldn’t get pregnant,” says Dr. Millheiser. “When ejaculate enters the vagina, there are a million sperm being sprayed up around the cervix—and it just takes one to get in!”

Speaking of summer sex myths, some women also think that chlorine and hot water can kill sperm, so they don’t need to worry about getting pregnant—or contracting an STI. Dr. Millheiser says that yes, hot water and chlorine could damage sperm. But if a man ejaculates inside your vagina, all it takes is one sperm to make it to the egg. As for STIs, chlorine and heat will not kill the bacteria or viruses that cause these. You may have a vacation mindset, but do not take a vacation from safe sex.

3 common triggers for elevated vaginal pH and why it matters

(BPT) – Many women do not realize the vagina is an ecosystem that requires a balanced environment to remain healthy; and events like menstruation, sex and hormonal changes can throw off that balance.

The result can be odor and discomfort, according to Dr. Lauren Streicher, associate clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University. Many women never have the benefit of a frank, open discussion about vaginal health and the importance of maintaining a healthy pH balance “down there.”

Healthy pH and beneficial lactobacillus are keys to reducing the risk of vaginal issues. pH refers to the vagina’s acidity level. A vaginal pH of 3.5 to 4.5 indicates that the vagina is populated by good bacteria (lactobacilli) without overgrowth of the bad bacteria that can cause odor and irritation. An elevated pH means that the healthy flora of the vagina may struggle to survive, while harmful bacteria thrive.

Women experience many of the triggers for elevated pH on a regular basis:

1. Period — The pH of blood is 7.4, which is much more alkaline than normal vaginal pH (3.5 to 4.5), which can lead to elevated vaginal pH.

2. Sex — Semen has a pH of 7.1 to 8 and can increase vaginal pH.

3. Hormones — Pregnancy, menopause and your normal monthly cycle can cause hormone changes that alter vaginal pH.

As Streicher points out in her blog, When Your Vagina’s in a pHunk, to eliminate vaginal odor and relieve discomfort, women should know that often the cause is unbalanced vaginal pH. RepHresh Vaginal Gel, available without a prescription, is designed to bond to the vaginal walls and provide long-lasting support to maintain healthy vaginal pH and eliminate odor.

By learning how to maintain a healthy pH, women can maintain vaginal health and help avoid any issues that could stem from elevated pH.

Additionally, RepHresh Pro-B contains the strains of probiotics specifically designed to promote vaginal health to balance yeast and bacteria every day. Pro-B contains two clinically documented probiotic lactobacilli specifically optimized for vaginal health as opposed to a probiotic or yogurt that supports immunity or digestion.

Taking control of pH means taking control of the natural vaginal environment, putting an end to unpleasant odor, discomfort and itching.


ALSO READ: Seven ways to be more romantic with your man

  • Nothing can be as uncomfortable and disturbing as an itch down there. A stubborn itch that will not go away.
  • As uncomfortable as it is, the vaginal itch is pretty common among women. The vaginal itch, however, does not mean a serious condition.

It can be as a result of a yeast or bacterial infections, harsh soaps and body washes that react with the delicate skin around the vulva among others.

The best part is that most of the causes of vaginal itching can be easily treated with natural home remedies.

Here are some home remedies to treat that uncomfortable itch:


If you have a vaginal itch, it is advisable to take in a lot of yoghurt. The plain unsweetened flavor is highly recommended. This is because it helps kill the yeast and bad bacteria and also promote the growth of the good bacteria.


It is advisable to chew at least three cloves of garlic daily if you are experiencing an itch. This is because garlic contains antibacterial and as antibiotic properties that can help kill bacteria and yeast.

ALSO READ: Five health benefits of eating avocado

Enjoy a salt water bath

Cleaning your vagina with salty water whenever you feel the itch is advisable. Salt helps control the growth of microbes causing infections. Salt also helps reduce the itch and other related discomforts.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has multiple health benefits including anti-fungal properties. To treat a vaginal yeast infection using coconut oil, be sure to buy pure, organic coconut oil. You can apply the oil directly to the affected area. (Women’s Health)

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5 Tops natural treatments of vaginal itching

Women of all ages experience vaginal itching from time to time. Itching, burning or irritation in a sensitive area such as the vagina and vulva can be very uncomfortable.

1) Cold compress

For instant relief of vaginal itching, use a cold compress. This will help numb the area and reduce itching and inflammation.

Method of preparation

  • Wrap some ice cubes in a clean cloth and tie it together.
  • Put this ice pack on your vagina for a few minutes.
  • Pause for 30 seconds and reapply.
  • Repeat until the itch stops.

You can also rinse the vaginal area with cold water a few times a day.

2)Saltwater bath

Enjoying a saltwater bath can also relieve vaginal itching. Salt will control the growth of microbes causing the infection and, in turn, reduce itching and other discomforts.

Method of preparation

  • Add 1 tablespoon of salt to a glass of water and use it to wash your vagina every time you feel the itch. This will give you instant relief.
  • Otherwise, fill your tub with warm water and add ½ cup of salt. Sit in the water in a squatting position for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day for a few days to get the best results.

Note: Do not use salt remedies if you have tears or open wounds.

3) Garlic

Garlic contains antibacterial and antibiotic properties that can help kill bacteria and yeast. It also improves the immune system and helps the body fight infections.

Method of preparation

  • Dilute a few drops of garlic oil with 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil and apply it on the affected area. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Use this remedy twice a day for a few weeks.
  • Chew 3 cloves of raw garlic a day. Alternatively, you can take garlic supplements after consulting a doctor.

4) Honey

Unpasteurized honey is another effective remedy for stopping itching. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it possible to get rid of any microbial infection that could cause the problem.


  • Apply unpasteurized honey as an ointment to the affected area. Leave it for about 30 minutes, then take a bath with warm water. Repeat at least twice a day until symptoms improve.
  • Also, eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of unpasteurized honey with a glass of lukewarm water twice a day.

5) Cranberry juice

Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice also helps to treat vaginal irritation and itching. Cranberries create an acidic environment that helps inhibit the growth of yeasts and bacteria. In addition, it helps prevent urinary tract infections and other types of bladder infections.


  • Drink about 2 glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice daily until the itch stops.
  • If cranberry juice is not available, you can take cranberry pills twice a day (ask the pharmacy). Consult your doctor for the correct dose.

11 Home Remedies For Vaginal Yeast Infection + Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention Tips Pooja Karkala Hyderabd040-395603080 January 29, 2020

Yeast infection is very common in women, yet it is a discomforting condition that can leave you feeling irritated. If you experience uncomfortable itching and burning sensation in your private parts, accompanied by a smelly discharge, you may have contracted a yeast infection. But fear not, as this infection can be easily curtailed by using some simple ingredients from your kitchen rack.

Yeast infections, caused by the fungus called Candida, are said to affect as many as 75 out of 10 women (1). While the condition predominantly affects women, men can also be affected by it as the infection can be passed on as a sexually transmitted disease. The most commonly known remedies for a yeast infection are antifungal creams and suppositories that are easily found at most drugstores. But at times, even these fail to work. That’s when you can find solace from home remedies.

What Causes Yeast Infections? What Is Candida albicans?

Yeast infections are caused by a type of fungus called Candida. This fungus has about 20 different strains that cause infections in different parts of the body. Candida albicans is the strain that is most commonly responsible for yeast infections, especially vaginal yeast infections (2).

Under the influence of antibiotics, cortisone drugs, and other medications, yeast can overgrow in the intestines and migrate to the vagina. That’s why it’s important to treat vaginal yeast infections both locally and body-wide.

Listed below are some home remedies for yeast infection that can help relieve the symptoms.

Home Remedies For Yeast Infection

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV possesses antifungal properties against Candida (3). It can be used both externally and internally to treat a bad case of yeast infection.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • A glass of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the ACV in the water and drink it up.
  2. You can also soak in a bath of warm water with a cup full of ACV.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

2. Garlic

Garlic exhibits strong antifungal activity against Candida species, making it an excellent and easy home remedy for yeast infection (4), (5).

You Will Need

  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Water

What You Have To Do

Swallow 1-2 garlic cloves with water.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this 1-2 times a day.

Caution: Do not use the garlic paste on sensitive areas, such as the vagina and inner thighs.

3. Boric Acid

Boric acid powder in solution is mild enough to use as an eyewash, and it also kills yeast (antifungal) and viruses (antiviral). It is recommended by doctors when most antifungals fail to cure yeast infection (6).

You Will Need

  • Boric acid powder
  • Gelatin capsules

What You Have To Do

  1. Fill the capsule with as much boric powder as you can and close it.
  2. Place this capsule in the vagina before going to bed.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this for 12-15 days to completely clear out the infection.

Caution: Boric acid in high doses is toxic orally, so it’s best not to ingest these capsules. Also, do not use this home remedy if you are pregnant.

4. Tea Tree Oil

This is yet another favorite amongst naturopaths. Tea tree oil is antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial (7). Along with the honey or warm water, it also soothes the inflamed skin.

You Will Need

  • 3 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the essential oil with the honey and apply this mixture to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
  3. Rinse in the morning with lukewarm water.
  4. You can also soak an organic cotton tampon in two to three drops of tea tree oil diluted in one-third cup of warm water. Insert this into the vagina and leave it in overnight.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this for a few nights before going to bed.

Caution: Tea tree oil is extremely potent. Do a patch test and wait until 24 hours to notice any reaction.

5. Yogurt

A combination of yogurt and honey was found to relieve a few symptoms of yeast infection (8). Another study showed that consuming yogurt could help reduce the spread of Candida fungi (9).

You Will Need

  • Plain yogurt
  • Cotton tampon

What You Have To Do

  1. Dip the tampon in the yogurt and slip it into the vagina. Make sure not to push it in too far.
  2. Leave it in for an hour or two.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this every few hours.

6. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can help in treating fungal infections caused by drug-resistant Candida strains (10). It showed significant antifungal activity against Candida albicans, which is comparable with ketoconazole (11).

You Will Need

Virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Wash and dry the affected area thoroughly. Use a soft cloth so that you do not irritate the inflamed skin any further.
  2. Apply a thin layer of coconut oil over the area and keep it on.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

7. Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt is essentially magnesium sulfate. This chemical salt is capable of killing yeast and treating the infection (12)

You Will Need

  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • Bathtub (full of warm water)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the salts to the warm water in the tub and give it a few swirls to dissolve.
  2. Soak in this water for 10 to 15 minutes.

How Often You Need To Do This

Repeat this 3 times a week.

8. Oil Of Oregano

Oregano oil is one of the most potent oils that can keep the infection from spreading from the anus to the vagina as yeast overgrows in the large intestines. Its phenolic components, namely carvacrol and thymol, exert fungicidal effects on the yeast causing the infection (13).

You Will Need

  • 3 drops of oregano oil
  • A glass of water

What You Have To Do

Add the oil to the glass of water and drink it.

How Often You Need To Do This

Drink this 2 times a day for a week. You can increase the dose to up to 6 drops per glass of water.

Caution: Before using oregano oil for pregnant women and children, please consult your doctor.

9. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel can help soothe irritation and alleviate inflammation in the affected area. It also displays antifungal effects on C.albicans (14).

You Will Need

Fresh aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do

  1. Extract aloe gel from a leaf.
  2. Apply this freshly extracted gel in a thin layer over the affected area.
  3. Let it air-dry.

How Often You Need To Do This

Reapply 2-3 times a day.

10. Peppermint Oil

This is an excellent remedy for oral thrush, also called oral yeast infection. Peppermint oil contains compounds that exhibit therapeutic potential against Candida-related infections (15).

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops peppermint oil
  • 8 oz. of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the oil in the water and swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes. Spit it out.
  2. Rinse your mouth with clean water.
  3. You can also ingest one or two capsules of peppermint oil. Make sure each capsule contains at least 0.2 milliliters of oil. Do this after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Need To Do This

Do this 2 times a day.

11. Green Tea

Green tea contains catechins that strengthen the body’s immune system and help it to fight the yeast infection (16), (17). Drinking green tea will quicken the elimination of the yeast from your body. The topical application of green tea can reduce inflammation and soothe the skin in the affected area (18).

You Will Need

  • Green tea (loose or tea bag)
  • A cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Steep the green tea in hot water for a few minutes and strain.
  2. Drink this tea while it is warm. You can add a dash of honey and/or lemon for flavor.
  3. You can also refrigerate the used tea bag and place it on the affected area for 10-12 minutes.

How Often You Need To Do This

Drink 2-3 cups of this herbal tea in a day.

Let us now take a look at the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection?

Yeast infection is also known as candidiasis. It can occur on any part of the body. It is most commonly seen in the oral parts or genitals. Oral yeast infection, or oral thrush, has the following symptoms:

  • White patches in the mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Pain in the infected part

The signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are as follows:

  • Unbearable itchiness in and around the vagina
  • Swelling, redness, and burning of the affected area
  • White discharge that looks like cottage cheese but has no smell
  • Burning sensation or pain while urinating
  • Pain during sex
  • Soreness

If you wish to keep yeast infections at bay or want to treat an infection that doesn’t seem to abate, make small changes in the way you eat. Eliminating foods that feed yeast from your diet can make a world of difference while trying to fight a bad case of yeast infection.

If you are susceptible to yeast overgrowth, strike off foods rich in refined carbs and sugars from your diet. It is also recommended to stay away from alcohol. Fermented foods that contain natural probiotics can help eliminate yeast. These include kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles – and any homemade fermented vegetable.

These were a few handpicked remedies to clean up an itchy yeast infection. However, if the condition worsens, consult a healthcare provider immediately.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How long do yeast infections last?

When a yeast infection is left untreated, the symptoms do not vanish on their own. They may become worse and cause more complications. Using home remedies or proper antifungals is recommended. Depending on the type of treatment you are using, it may take any time between three to seven days for the infection to clear.

18 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Vaginal yeast infection (thrush): Overview, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Candidiasis, Fungal Diseases, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.
  • Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis, Journal of Prosthodontics, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Effects of Fresh Garlic Extract on Candida albicansBiofilms, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic, Microbes and Infection, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Boric Acid for Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis: The Clinical Evidence, Journal of Women’s Health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • The Comparison of Vaginal Cream of Mixing Yogurt, Honey and Clotrimazole on Symptoms of Vaginal Candidiasis, Global Journal of Health Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Impact of Eating Probiotic Yogurt on Colonization by Candida Species of the Oral and Vaginal Mucosa in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women, Mycopathologia, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • In Vitro Antimicrobial Properties of Coconut Oil on Candida Species in Ibadan, Nigeria, Journal of Medicinal Food, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorhexidine, Coconut Oil, Probiotics, and Ketoconazole on Candida Albicans Isolated in Children With Early Childhood Caries: An In Vitro Study, Scientifica, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Effect of NaCl reduction and replacement on the growth of fungi important to the spoilage of bread, Food Microbiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Anti-fungal activity of Aloe vera: In vitro stud, ResearchGate.
  • Effect of plant oils on Candida albicans, Journal of Microbiology, Immunology, and Infection, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Multiple effects of green tea catechin on the antifungal activity of antimycotics against Candida albicans. The Journal of Amtimicrobial Chemotherapy, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  • Antifungal activity of green tea leaves (Camellia sinensis L.) sampled in different harvest time, Pharmacognosy Magazine.;year=2009;volume=5;issue=20;spage=437;epage=440;aulast=Aladag
  • Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review, Chinese Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

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Pooja Karkala

Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.

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