If you've ever had a yeast infection, you've no doubt heard about a yogurt "home remedy" at some point. Many folks claim that eating lots of yogurt can prevent a yeast infection — or even cure one that you already have. But is there any truth to this popular idea?
Let's start with the best yeast infection cures. According to the Office on Women's Health, yeast infections are typically treated with anti-fungal medicine. As you may know, the itching and burning of a yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called candida. So, it makes sense why a fungus-fighting medication — which comes in the form of creams, tablets, ointments, and suppositories — would be appropriate. Although many yeast infection medicines are available over-the-counter in pharmacies, you can also get them straight from your doctor. Remember: Always check with your health practitioner if you're not sure whether you have a yeast infection or another vaginal issue.
But wait, where does the yogurt idea come into play? Apparently, yogurt is thought by many people to treat yeast infections because of the "good" bacteria found in yogurt with live cultures. Some women start eating a serving of yogurt upon finding out that they have a yeast infection, while others actually put yogurt inside their vaginas. But according to the Mayo Clinic, no alternative medicines out there have been proven to treat yeast infections. However, the medical center does say that some complementary or alternative therapies might provide relief when combined with a doctor's care. Of course, talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies — including those related to yogurt. (FYI: It's probably a good idea to keep any and all food away from your private parts, though.)
However, just because yogurt may not improve a current yeast infection doesn't mean that the snack has no positive impact on your future health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, yogurt includes many important nutrients, such as protein and calcium, as well as "good" live bacterial content. Some studies also suggest that yogurt can help boost your immunity, which can help you ward off infections in general. So, combined with expert-approved yeast infection prevention tips — including avoiding douching, changing out of wet clothing right away, and avoiding tight undergarments — yogurt can be a very welcome addition to a healthy lifestyle.
So if you're able to eat yogurt and you like it, feel free to enjoy!