Vaginal yeast infection can lead to itching and irritation down there. Looking for a way to get relief? Vitamin E may help to get rid of vaginal yeast infection.

Vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection mostly caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. Vaginal itching, irritation and abnormal discharge are some of its symptoms. Hormonal changes during different phases of your life can alter the vaginal environment, and in turn encouraging yeast growth. It is typically treated with antifungal medications, but you can also try vitamin E to get rid of vaginal yeast infection. Read on to know how vitamin E may help with yeast infection, and how to use it.

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

A vaginal yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis is a fungal infection that affects the vagina as well as vulva. It is usually caused when there is an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans, says obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Chetna Jain. Candida is naturally present in the vagina in small amounts and is typically kept in balance by bacteria. However, certain factors can disrupt this balance, leading to an overgrowth of the fungus and resulting in a yeast infection.

A woman having doubts about vitamin E for vaginal yeast infection
Antibiotics may cause vaginal yeast infection. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Some common causes of vaginal yeast infection include:

  • Antibiotics can kill beneficial bacteria in the vagina that normally keep Candida in check, allowing it to overgrow.
  • Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause can alter the vaginal environment, making it more conducive to yeast growth.
  • Conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes, can increase the risk of yeast infections.
  • When blood sugar levels get high, they provide an environment perfect for yeast growth.
  • Excessive washing or use of scented hygiene products can disrupt the natural balance of the vaginal flora.
  • Wearing tight-fitting, non-breathable clothes, such as nylon underwear or leggings, can create a warm, moist environment that promotes yeast growth.

What are the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection?

Here are some of its symptoms:

  • Intense itching in and around the vagina.
  • An abnormal vaginal discharge that is typically thick, and white in colour.
  • Discomfort or pain in the vaginal area, especially while peeing or having sex.
  • Redness and swelling

How does vitamin E help in getting rid of vaginal yeast infection?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that plays a key role in supporting immune function and maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes, including those in the vaginal area, says the expert. While vitamin E is not a primary treatment for vaginal yeast infection, it can contribute to overall vaginal health and potentially help in managing symptoms. Here’s how:

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1. Supports immune function

Vitamin E supports immune system function, which is essential for fighting off infections, including yeast infections. A strong immune system can help control Candida overgrowth and reduce the likelihood of recurrent infections.

2. Anti-inflammatory effects

Vitamin E may help reduce inflammation caused by candida albicans, according to a 2020 research published in the Microoragnisms journal. That’s because vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties that can can help alleviate symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling.

3. Moisturising and healing

Vitamin E is known for its moisturising and healing properties. When applied topically, vitamin E oil can help soothe dryness and irritation in the vaginal area, which may be beneficial for women experiencing discomfort due to a yeast infection, says Dr Jain.

4. Antioxidant activity

As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. While the specific impact of antioxidant activity on yeast infections is not well-established, reducing oxidative stress can contribute to overall vaginal health.

Vitamin E supplementation may support overall immune health, but applying vitamin E oil to the external genital area may be more effective. It may help soothe itching and irritation, but make sure to use pure vitamin E oil or products containing vitamin E that are specifically formulated for topical use. Avoid using perfumed or chemical-laden products that may further irritate your skin, says the expert.

Vagina flowering after using vitamin E for vaginal yeast infection.
Make sure to use pure vitamin E oil for vaginal yeast infection. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the side effects of using vitamin E for yeast infection?

There are a few potential side effects or considerations to be aware of while using vitamin E for vaginal yeast infection:

  • You may experience itching, or have a rash at the application site, so perform a patch test before using vitamin E.
  • Vitamin E products may interact with other topical products or medications.
  • Inserting vitamin E oil or other substances into the vagina can disrupt the natural balance of vaginal flora and potentially lead to further infections or complications. Vitamin E should only be used externally on the vulvar area to avoid such risks.

Using vitamin E topically, may help to get some relief, but consider other self-care measures to support vaginal health and reduce the risk of recurrent vaginal yeast infection. Wear cotton underwear, avoid perfumed hygiene products, practice good hygiene, and manage underlying health conditions that may contribute to yeast overgrowth.

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