I have had an ongoing problem with a vaginal infection for about 7 years now and no matter what doctors give me it will not go away, is there anything else I can do?

Vaginal infections cause inflammation in the vagina and result in itching, discharge, bad odor and irritation. Bacteria are naturally present in the vagina. Certain factors such as medications, hormonal changes, disease or stress can upset the balance of these bacteria, and result in infection. Some women tend to experience recurring vaginal infections, which may develop more than four times in a single year. These recurring infections are usually caused by fungus. This fungus is naturally found in the vagina, but when the pH balance is altered, there is an increased growth of yeast and infection occurs.

There can be various reasons for this overgrowth of yeast. Medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes and AIDS lower the immunity of the body and make the individual more prone to vaginal infections. A healthy immune system is required to regulate and balance the levels of good and bad bacteria. A weak immune system allows harmful bacteria to grow in excess of the good bacteria and results in an infection. Intake of certain medications such as antibiotics is known to aggravate vaginal infections as they affect the body’s immunity. Birth control pills, douches and consumption of excess sugar can also worsen the infection. Other triggers of this condition include crash diets, climate changes, stress and unprotected sexual intercourse.

Since you have been experiencing recurring vaginal infections since a long time now, you need to undergo a medical examination to determine if the infections are being caused by some other underlying medical condition. This must be done at the earliest as recurring vaginal infections must not be ignored or neglected as it can spread to the uterus. A popular natural remedy for the treatment of vaginal infections is to insert a tampon dipped in yogurt inside the vagina. This helps to regain the balance between the organisms in the vagina and reduce further infection. You can do this twice daily until the symptoms start to go away. You can also put a few drops of diluted tea tree oil on a tampon and insert it into the vagina. This works well in alleviating the inflammation. Another remedy that is known to be effective is to place a clove of garlic in a thin piece of gauze. Wrap the gauze around the garlic and roll it so that it takes the shape of a tampon and insert this into the vagina properly. If you have difficulty in doing this, you can apply a little oil to the cloth before inserting it. Do not leave the tampon or gauze in the vagina for more than 5 minutes. This remedy must be done at regular intervals during the day for about a week, until the infection subsides.

answered by G M

Majority of women of the reproductive age suffer from vaginal yeast infection. Stress and use of antibiotics can remove the protective flora in the vagina and allow entry of harmful microorganisms leading to infection. Generally vagina is affected by yeast infection called Candida. Candida infection can result in foul, cheesy discharge, itching, swelling and discomfort. Another microorganism that can affect the vagina is Trichomonas vaginalis. This infection can lead to yellowish discharge, swelling, burning sensation. If diagnosed early, this is not a serious infection unless the person is suffering from compromised immune function like AIDS or cancer.

Certain ways of reducing vaginal infection are:-

  • Slippery elm brings a soothing relief from itching. Uva ursi can be used as a disinfectant to remove the discharge produced during the infection.
  • Consuming yoghurt everyday is helpful as it contains Acidophilus that can kill the harmful bacteria in the body.
  • Douche with 1 to 3 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 quart of water. This can be used once in a day.
  • Take a fresh clove of garlic, wrap it in a gauze and insert it in the vagina.Garlic is helpful as it has anti fungal properties.
  • Avoid the intake of sugary foods as it can aggravate the infection. Avoid cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Prepare tea with 1 teaspoon each of Echinacea root, cramp bark, Oregon grape root, burdock root, and vitex seeds in 1 quart of water.Mix the herbs and water and bring it to boil. Boil for few minutes. Simmer the heat and keep it for 15 minutes. Switch off the flame and allow it to remain for 20 minutes. Strain the herbs and have this about 3 to 4 cups a day.

answered by J M

Drink cranberry juice, it kills all infection. If that doesn't help, try apple juice mixed with cranberry juice. good luck!

answered by J

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