A yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by Candida sp. fungus. It is treated with antifungals, which can be prescribed as cream, pills or vaginal tablets for insertion.
Symptoms like intense itching, redness and white discharge in the genital area are common findings associated with yeast infections. This can be confirmed by a doctor through assessment and lab tests.
The following outlines some medications that the doctor may prescribe to treat a yeast infection:
Skin cream and vaginal cream
Skin cream, vaginal tablets and oral gel
Skin cream and vaginal tablets
Skin cream, vaginal cream and oral suspension
Skin cream and oral pills
Dosing is indicated by the doctor, and will vary depending on the patient’s symptoms. Although yeast infections are most commonly diagnosed in the genital area, fungal infections can also occur in other areas of the body, like the mouth or skin.
Treatment in men vs. women
Vaginal yeast infections should be treated with an antifungal cream or tablet. These are inserted as deep into the vagina as possible using an applicator. Ideally, these should be used at night, before going to bed. Read more about yeast infection creams that your doctor may prescribe.
Yeast infections in men, also known as balanitis, are treated with topical creams applied externally to the penis.
Generally speaking, vaginal creams and tablets are used internally once per day, while men should apply creams on the full glans and shaft two or three times per day.
Oral medications for yeast infections are the same for both men and women, and are usually used in more severe infection, as these medications will act on a more systemic level. It is possible, however, for oral antifungals to have more side effects than topical antifungals. Learn more about yeast infection treatments and home remedies that your doctor may suggest.
The doctor will usually prescribe a one time dose of fluconazole for yeast infections, however a once-a-month dose may be recommended for a recurrent infections.
Yeast infection during pregnancy
The medications that are considered to be most safe for use during pregnancy are topical clotrimazole and nystatin, as long as they are taken as instructed. To avoid injuring the cervix, pregnant women should avoid using applicators or use them with caution. It is important to highlight that vaginal tablets and creams can be used without applicators.
When completing treatment prescribed by your doctor, it is important to maintain adequate body hygiene. Other considerations include:
- Avoid unprotected sex
- Avoid unnecessary medication use, especially antibiotics
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Opt for greens, fruits and veggies (read more about the candida diet )
- Avoid alcohol, sugary and fatty foods.
Patients should also opt for loose-fitting clothing that is cotton based, to avoid further irritation and moisture in the area. Many patients may also find sitz baths beneficial for relieving symptoms.