What’s the Best Way To Treat a Yeast Infection Fast?

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Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Yeast infections are no fun – but they do happen to pretty much all women. And while the itching, burning, and white, odorless discharge that comes with it can be frustrating, effective remedies are available to quickly treat and relieve your symptoms.

First off, yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a microscopic yeast called Candida albicans, which normally already lives in the vagina. To manage symptoms, you can start with over-the-counter creams, but you should place a call to your doctor as we may have better prescription options. Uncomplicated yeast infections usually respond to treatment within a couple of days. If your symptoms keep getting worse or last longer than that, call for another appointment.

In my experience, the best treatment comes down to medicated creams or a pill. Studies show that these creams and the oral pill, fluconazole, both work more than 90% of the time.

The upsides of creams?

Creams are available over the counter and have few side effects, whereas the fluconazole single-dose pill may cause upset stomach, headache, and rash. The fluconazole single-dose pill may also take a day or two longer than topical therapy to relieve symptoms.

The upsides of the pill?

Generic fluconazole as a single dose is less expensive than over-the-counter topical antifungals. Also, fungal resistance to fluconazole is not common, so it’s still very effective. And again, patients seem to prefer oral treatment over creams.

Dr O.

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