Let’s talk about yeast infections: the itching, the burning sensation, the smell and then the antibiotics. Getting from a yeast infection to a healthy vagina is a pathetic cycle.
What we put in our body is important what we put in (and on) our vagina. Yeast infections, also known as vaginal candidiasis, affect over 70% of women at least once in a lifetime. I am one of the 40-45% of women who will have a recurring yeast infection in my life. They’re not fun and, if left untreated, can lead to a skin infection (and this time more drugs that are stronger than those used to cure the yeast infection). In other words, treat symptoms early. I was shocked to learn that some women use coconut oil on their vagina to cure a yeast infection.
Don’t get me wrong, coconut oil is a godsend. I am a black woman married to a South Asian American. I understand the importance of coconut oil. When we first met, my wife told me stories about how her aunt soaped her hair with coconut oil and she went to school smelling of coconut oil. When you visit a South Asian grocery store, you can find coconut oil in a little blue bottle just made for your hair. you find Hair care products enriched with coconut oil everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. I mean, the benefits to the hair are plentiful: it can be used as a pre-poo, it encourages hair growth, it reduces frizz, and it can protect it from the sun and lice.
There are other benefits of coconut oil, such as its moisturizing properties for the skin. And coconut oil is also known for its healing properties; One study found that it is reduced Inflammation in the ears of rats. But would you – and should – put it on your vagina?
Well, probably not.
While a 2007 study found coconut oil was effective at killing some types of yeast, the rest of the “evidence” is anecdotal at best. Does that mean it is absolutely impossible? Not necessarily, but in the absence of more specific research, it is best to rely on other means.
Many vagina owners are only trying the DIY route to save on treatment costs. I get pennies, but not at the risk of what happens between your legs getting worse.
If you are concerned about medical treatment, there are other natural remedies you can choose to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with yeast infections. (Tip – it doesn’t include using coconut oil.) Here is a list of five home remedies you can try.
- You can try Boric acid capsules approved by the CDC as a treatment option for vaginal candidiasis for severe yeast infections.
- Corresponding Medical news today, the use of tea tree oil has worked for some. They say, “Vaginal suppositories that contain tea tree oil were made shown used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Some women report relief when they add diluted tea tree oil to a tampon and insert it into the vagina overnight. “Who knew ?!
- Eat some yogurt. Medical journals have long suggested that you can increase the amount of Lactobacillus acidophilus (helpful bacteria) in the body, which then help fight a yeast infection.
- Drink up! No, not rosé or tequila, but plenty water. And then hunt it down with me cranberry. While none of these procedures should be done independently of other treatments (such as suppositories), drinking them can help your vagina heal faster. I tried both (water and cranberry juice) and it worked for me.
The medical jury has yet to decide whether coconut oil can be used to treat fungal infections. Some doctors believe it can be effective while others disagree. In an interview with Byrdieweigh two different doctors. Dr. Gersh, a gynecologist, says, “In other words, it can kill various bacteria, viruses, parasites, and certain types of yeast.” While another, Dr. Gaither, acknowledges, “There is no known corroborative research to suggest that coconut oil is an effective way to treat vaginal yeast infections.” Two different gynecologists, two different medical opinions.
What isn’t complicated about this conversation is this: See your doctor as soon as something feels weird, funky, or itchy as hell. If you prefer a more homeopathic approach, explain or go to your doctor homoeopath. But please do not seek your medical advice from Reddit or TikTok.
The moral of the story: Don’t let your vagina suffer because of advice you found on social media. For now, I’m sticking to using coconut oil on the hair on my head, not below the belt.