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OTC Treatment for Yeast Infection


Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area, or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria.

Symptoms can include:

  • a vaginal discharge that is typically thick, odorless, and whitish-gray in color.
  • The discharge has been described as having a cottage-cheese-like consistency.

Other symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:

  • An intense itching of the vaginal or genital area
  • Irritation and burning
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain or burning during urination

You can treat most vaginal yeast infections with an over-the-counter vaginal cream or suppository. You can buy these nonprescription vaginal creams and suppositories at most large drugstores and supermarkets.

Many yeast infection treatment doses come in one-day, three-day, and seven-day strengths. Many of the over-the-counter vaginal creams and other products you can buy often contain the same ingredients to fight a yeast infection as the medication your doctor might prescribe -- but in less concentrated doses.

Vaginal creams are typically placed inside the vagina with an applicator to kill off the yeast that cause yeast infections. Vaginal creams, sometimes called "antifungal creams," usually come packaged with an applicator that helps you measure the right dose.

Some of the same medications (such as clotrimazole and miconazole) are manufactured in vaginal tablets or suppositories to treat yeast infections. You insert these into the vagina and let them dissolve; some brands call them "ovules" because they're oval-shaped. These products often come packaged with a plastic "inserter" that helps you insert the medication into the vagina.


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