Vaginal infections can be annoying in the least, and often significantly uncomfortable or even painful due to local irritation. Most vaginal infections are caused by one of several species of Candida. These are commonly called “yeast infections.” They can also be caused by a group of organisms that cause BV – Bacterial vaginosis. None are harmful in otherwise healthy women. In fact, most of these organisms live in healthy balance with other vaginal flora all the time. But when there is imbalance either locally “down there” or in the general health status, these organisms think they’ve got the run of the place! Then they grow out of control leading to annoying or downright uncomfortable symptoms including itchy, irritated, burning vaginas and vulvas (the outside parts down there), frequent urination, and often some type of discharge and sometimes odor.

Below are some of the natural approaches I’ve used for the past 30 years of practice. They can be used safely by most – including pregnant – women.

Women who are experiencing recurrent vaginal infections should see a physician to get appropriate testing. Some diseases including diabetes and HIV can cause repeated vaginal infections. Women with HIV or undergoing cancer therapy please check with your doctor before self-treating with natural medicines or foregoing conventional medication for treatment.

Natural Solutions for Vaginal Infections

Treating common vaginal infections naturally is safe, simple, and generally very effective. The keys to treatment are promoting healthy vaginal flora, avoiding things that trigger infection, treating the infection, and healing sensitive tissue. Pregnant women also can follow the treatments below.

Here’s a healing PATH (Promote/Avoid/Treat/Heal) that you can use:

Promote healthy vaginal flora:

  • Avoid sugary foods which interfere with healthy immune response and feed the infecting bacteria/yeast.
  • Eat active culture unsweetened yogurt, 1/2 cup twice daily, and take a good quality probiotic daily. (If you are vegan or lactose intolerant you can skip the yogurt and just do the probiotic.)
  • Apply 2 tablespoons of live active culture plain yogurt to the insides of the vaginal walls and to the outside surfaces to restore the natural flora of the vagina. Use clean fingers or an applicator (you can purchase one at your local pharmacy) to apply. Vegans can use probiotic capsules in the vagina, but the yogurt works much better – and it’s not really eating it! Repeat twice daily.
  • Take a daily probiotic containing Lactobacillus reuteri and rhamnosus species.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh vegetables, good quality proteins from legumes, fish, poultry and meat, complex whole grains, nuts and seeds.


  • Vaginal infection triggers: This includes anything that might trigger a chemical or allergic reaction, or mechanical irritation. Examples include tampons, bubble bath, douching, perfumed soaps and detergents, condoms, and thongs. Sugar, carbs, and alcohol also aggravate vaginal infections.
  • Excess dampness down there by wearing loose fitting clothing made of natural fibers, and natural fiber breathable underwear.
  • Sex – okay, just until the infection clears up and then for a few extra days – especially receiving oral sex which can change the vaginal pH.


  • Apply 2 tablespoons of live active culture yogurt to the vagina and vulva daily for 3-5 days. To apply inside the vagina use your fingers or carefully use a vaginal applicator OR insert a capsule of probiotic containing Lactobacillus reuteri and rhamnosus species vaginally, daily (push the capsule into the vaginal canal about 2-3 inches; it will dissolve in there; wear a panty liner to protect your clothes).
  • Keep a peri-rinse bottle filled with filtered water, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and 5 drops each of lavender and thyme essential oils near the toilet and rinse down below with it each time you pee to help resolve irritation and cut down on the yeast growth. Shake well before each use.
  • Take 20 mg of zinc orally, daily, especially for recurrent infections, to help boost your immune system.
  • Many herbs have healing properties that can help in the topical treatment of vaginal infections. See the suppository recipe below.

Heal irritated, inflamed tissue with herbs:

Aloe vera gel can be applied liberally to the vulva to heal irritated and inflamed tissue. Make sure it is pure aloe gel without preservatives – the added preservatives, even citric acid, can burn sensitive tissue.

Suppositories prepared with a blend of herbs specific for vaginal yeast infections can provide effective, soothing relief, heal tissue, and have antimicrobial action for the vaginal canal. You can make a large batch yourself easily, and at minimal cost, by following the instructions below. Keep them in the freezer to be defrosted on an as needed basis, or you can purchase a suppository blend from a company such as Vitanica.

Here’s one of my favorite suppository blends for treating vaginal yeast and BV infections. This suppository can also be used safely during pregnancy:

1 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 Tbs calendula oil
1/2 tsp thyme essential oil
1/2 tsp lavender essential oil
1/2 tsp tea tree essential oil
4 Tbs comfrey root powder finely ground
2 Tbs goldenseal root powder

To prepare the suppositories:

  1. Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil together in a saucepan. When melted remove the pan from the burner.
  2. Add the powdered herbs and mix well.
  3. Add all of the herbal oils and blend well.
  4. Stir well and pour into the suppository mold (see below). Refrigerate until firm. Insert vaginally 1 per night for 7 days; repeat if needed.
  5. Always wear a sanitary pad while you sleep with the suppository in place. It will melt and will otherwise stain bedding or undies!
  6. Results are typically seen within several days, however you may treat up to a week and repeat if necessary.

Suppository molds can easily be prepared at home by using aluminum foil that has been folded several times lengthwise, and then widthwise, to form a trough approximately 8 inches in length and 1/2 inch in width. Alternatively, suppository molds can be purchased online. The base of the suppository is a combination of coconut oil and cocoa butter, to which is added the desired combination of medicated oils, powdered herbs, and tinctures. This mixture is then poured into the mold, refrigerated to harden, cut into pieces the size of the patient’s pinky finger, and inserted as needed.

It may take a little extra effort to treat a yeast infection naturally, but you can rest assured that the treatment is safe for you and for baby and overall an eco-friendly solution that you can feel good about.

With love,



    • Hi there. Sorry, I don’t use any specific brand. Usually just have patients pick it up at the local pharmacy; use a medicinal grade product meant for this purpose! ~Aviva

  1. Great info! If you could clarify a few of the Treat points:

    It doesn’t specify whether they can be done concurrently or should be done individually. Should we pick one of the 5 treatment options listed, and then try another if it doesn’t work?

    How much water should I use for the rinse? It gives measurements for all ingredients but the water.

    I’ve heard of using water with a little apple cider vinegar to rinse; is there any downside to this approach?

  2. Hi Aviva,
    I was wondering about candida/thrush treatment while nursing…Unfortunately I had to have AntiB’s during birth and we’ve been dealing with thrush ever since. Mostly my nipples, his mouth, digestive, and diaper area (ocassionally).
    Thanks for all the work you do!

    • Hi Lynsey
      Congrats on your baby! Treatments range from diflucan to botanicals, and also clearing the diet entirely of foods that feed the candida — sugar, grains, etc. In fact, going on a 1 month paleo-type diet, as long as you are careful to get all of your nutrients. Botanically, the essential oils such as oregano, thyme, and tea tree oil, diluted, and applied to affected areas, combined with healing and soothing herbs and oils, can help clear the candida. Probiotics are also important. My book Natural HEalth After Birth has specific recipes. Best, aviva

  3. Hi, Do you have any treatments or thoughts on vaginal irritation and redness in a baby? Do any of the suggestions above work for infants? My daughter is 10 months old and gets red and swollen around her vagina often. We lay off soap usually and just wash with warm water or clean her diaper area with sensitive baby wipes. Could it be the wipes that cause imbalance in a baby? Is it too much to bathe a baby every night? When I had a raging yeast infection a few months ago I used yogurt and it seemed to make it worse, so I tried tea tree oil diluted with water or olive oil. Can I use the same on a baby or will it be too intense?

  4. Hi Dr. Aviv, I was wondering what you your thoughts were on a peri-rinse bottle with half hydrogen peroxide and water to douche the vaginal area. I have been suffering from vaginal irritation and believe that the ph in my vagina is not in balance because of antibiotic treatments I have been on. Do you think a peroxide douche helps?

    • Hi there! I don’t recommend douching at all – as a peri-rinse I would be more likely to recommend appropriate herbs rather than hydrogen peroxide – which is not a skin- healthy choice. Topical application of yogurt and appropriate probiotics used intravaginally and orally can make a huge difference if there is yeast. Sitz baths with herbal soaks are very good for local irritation. Warm wishes! Aviva

  5. Hi Aviva,

    You said that the suppositories could also be bought from vitanica. This company offers a few products, do you know which one would be comparable to the one you gave the recipe for?

  6. hi, you said yogurt was a probiotics. How about Yakult its also a probiotics, it can use as a substitute if dont have yogurt?

    • As far as I know, Yakult is cultured milk. The yogurt that is introduced for vaginal infection must be unflavored, unsweetened plain yogurt that contains live active cultures.

      Yakult should not be used because sugar has been added into it and yeast works on sugar.

  7. Not a comment but a question: i have frequent BV and i love my bath. Living in a hard water area i like to use Badedas – my Doctor does not approve.
    What i would like to know is, is there an alternative? Something with a pH of 3.8 – 4.5?
    My Pharmacist suggested Baby Bath products – is this correct?

  8. Do you know about boric acid safety with breastfeeding? I’d really love to make the suppositories but I would have to gather more ingredients- can the recipe be used as a topical salve for other uses? It has a lot of good stuff in there…I just would hate to gather all the ingredients for just this use.

  9. I’m looking at this PV suppository recipe, and the one in your text book, and they’re different! One with tea tree, one without… Marshmallow in one, comfrey in the other (and also are you saying take 1/4 cup of the herb and then grind it to a fine powder, or grind up the herb till you have 1/4 cup of the powder?). I’ve got all the ingredients in front of me, but I’m not sure how best to proceed. Thanks!

  10. Initially, I had vaginal infection and didn’t know anything about it. So i shrugged it off. But one day, it got really smelly and I found discharge and I thought there might be something wrong with me, so i went to further researched on it.

    I have came across many websites saying yogurt is a remedy for vaginal infection. I have a question that has been stopping me from trying this method. It seems that putting yogurt(unsweetened, live active) into a plastic applicator and freezing it, then inserting into the vaginal is the most common method.
    but I have something that has been stopping me from trying this.. Hence, i need help! 🙁

    If we put frozen yogurt into our vaginal, after it melts, do we wash it off? Or do i not bother about it? Perhaps do i Insert it and ignore it for a few hours, then wash it? I’m not sure if not washing after inserting the vaginal will cause it to rot.. Most sites just talk about inserting the yogurt into the vaginal, but I’m not so sure what comes after that. I’ve read from a comment of another source that the vaginal will clean the yogurt on its own, but I can’t just trust this.

    I’ve tried to seek advice from my mom, but she’s not really helpful.. She is against the inserting of the yogurt and insist that i eat medicine to cure it. She gave me Loratadine and I was quite skeptical about it, so I went to research on it. It says that it has side effects and most females have gotten back vaginal infection while medicating on Loratadine.

    I really need to cure this(It has been quite some time) and I’m in such a dilemma 🙁

    • do not use frozen yogurt please. use the regular kind. insert it at the beginning of a shower and then do a quick rinse of your bottom at the end of the shower. whatever remains inside is fine and will help. wear a pad to catch any “drips.” that simples…

      • Hi Aviva
        I have suffered with recurrent vaginal yeast infections for the last 2 years. They mostly strike just before my period but also at various times during my cycle. I am 46 years old and have been wearing a copper IUD for contraception for the last couple of years too as I have a partner and don’t want to get pregnant . Oral sex, intercourse as well as the wrong diet usually bring on the infection. Could the IUD be making me more prone to get recurrent thrush. And am I safe to use herbal or boric acid suppositories whilst wearing the IUD?

      • I believe the O.P. means the method in which you freeze plain yogurt to make a suppository for easier insertion.

        I’ve read that freezing it is not recommended as it might kill the live cultures in it, which takes away one of the benefits of using it, however the lactic acid in yogurt is a pH which is inhospitable to yeast so it still can help kill yeast. However if you are noticing a foul odor, that’s most likely to be BV not Candida. Candida rarely smells bad. Only application of yogurt with live cultures will help cure BV.

  11. I read on a few posts online that comfrey root is poisonous… Is that true?! I made the suppositories using the recipe you’ve outlive with comfrey root and am using the suppositories now. Please let me know

    • Comfrey root is not “poisonous” — and topical use is entirely safe. It has a chemical in it called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that have been associated with liver damage from ingestion though this appears to be extremely rare. I do not recommend internal use (ie drinking or eating it) more than for short term use — just to be cautious.

  12. Hi! I have been reading on mixing coconut oil with some lavender and TTO to help with vaginal dryness. I have been seeing conflicting reports on the subject of whether or not use of lavender oil for more than a week affects vaginal flora. My question is: Does lavender and other EO’s have a detrimental effect to vaginal flora?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Rita,
      Though it is possible to develop resistant bacteria from use of essential oils, I’ve not heard of any problems with optical lavender oil affecting vaginal flora. However, I usually only recommend it for treating infections as it can be irritating to use EO’s topically over time. Another great option is using a topical vaginal probiotic to help restore and support vaginal flora. And there’s some good info on using rhubarb (estrovera) and also vitex for vaginal dryness. Best of luck! Aviva

  13. I made the suppository blend and took them for seven days to treat my BV. My symptoms disappeared after taking them for two days but it’s been about three days since I’ve been off of them and my BV has returned. I have lots of the suppository blend left, should I continue with it for another seven days or longer? Or should I try something else? Or both? Last question, I refrigerated the leftover suppository blend. Is it still good? Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Sometimes treatment does need to be repeated, and sometimes adding a vaginal probiotic (Klaire makes one called Therbiotic) and an oral probiotic, too, can be helpful.

  14. Hi Aviva 🙂
    What are your thoughts on inserting manuka honey as a suppository to fight yeast, BV, or GBS while pregnant or not?

    Many thanks!

    • haven’t used it clinically. honey is very healing and has some antimicrobial properties. main thing though, is that it’s a sugar and sugar feeds yeast. so not the direction i’d personally go… not sure it would fight GBS either…

  15. Having vaginal infections since two three month.i had done chek ups from doc.n still having medicine..didnt getting any solution..i just want to get rid out from this bloody problem..m irritated by this plz help me..

    • hi janvi
      i’d work with a doctor to make sure there are no other infections and that your blood sugar is normal — underlying problems can make it hard to get rid of infections. probiotics by mouth and also used vaginally help a lot of my patients! good luck!

  16. hello aviva…whitish fluid use to come out of my private part,and there are burning and itching rashes there,and become swollen,i have been suffering for a year now without medication,i am 18 year old

    • hi zaineb
      often whitish fluid is normal. if there is burning and itching it can be one of several types of vaginal infections. information in the article helps to treat this — also your doctor can help figure out what infection it is and prescribe a medication, too.

  17. I made a coconut oil suppository by taking a tampon out of it’s housing and filling it with the coconut oil, then put it in the freezer….inserted it like a tampon at bedtime, very easy.

  18. Hi!

    Thanks for your site its awesome! I just purchased your Natural pregnancy book can’t wait to get it!

    Question about this recipe. I am 12wks pregnant and made a modified version, coconut oil, lavender essential oil and the golden seal powder from capsules. Last night when i inserted it I had very slight cramping immediately afterwards. Today the second time i went to the restroom I noticed a little spotting. My question is of course…is this ok?

    This is my first pregnancy and every little thing makes me worried. Crazy symptoms, no symptoms are all cause for concern lol. I’m trying to not get carried away but still be in touch with my body and baby. I would like to have a natural pregnancy and birth. I was prescribed a medication for BV but would like to use a natural alternative.

    So I guess I’m wondering if I should continue with this or give in to the medication. Maybe the spotting isnt related to the suppository at all? I would really appreciate some feedback. Hopefully sooner than later? 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!

    • Hi Tara,
      While there is no evidence that inserting any of these vaginally in the first trimester can lead to bleeding or miscarriage, or any other problems, it would be wait until any symptoms have subsided to repeat this. Spotting and cramping are incredibly common and do not usually mean there is any problem. It is likely unrelated to the herbs but I’d hold off for the minute. As for the BV medication — if you are having symptoms then it can be appropriate to treat it with a medication OR with the natural approach — it’s a personal decision and no wrong answer! Congrats on your pregnancy! Best, Aviva

  19. I get recurrent bv but lately I haven’t got it.I am not pregnant but for the future I would like to know can you probiotics while trying to conceive or while you pregnant? I saw research on them and it say yes but I want to make sure.

  20. Went to gyno, had an exam, ph was near 7..
    Not much discharge, just frequent urinating and constant burning,
    She gave me metronidazole gel for 5 days. First 2 days wasn’t bad, last 3, I was passing blood in the discharge that came flowing out of me… I phoned in my concerns and all she said was that I was probably having a reaction to something in the gel,, Gee ya think? Then to make matters worse, she tells me I didn’t have BV after all…. So here I sit with a bomb fire between my legs…
    She just ordered another urine culture, to re-check if it could be a UTI. The first one she did showed a bit of blood. I asked if it could have come from the uti, she didn’t know…
    I’m second guessing this doctor big time.
    Why on earth would any doctor jump the gun and order such a harsh antibiotic gel when they didn’t know for sure if BV was the culprit…
    Right now I just need something to soothe the vjj……………….

  21. Hi! Thanks so much for your post. I’ve been trying to kick this yeast infection and I was wondering if sugary foods to avoid includes fruits. I do not eat almost any processed sugar but it is going to be much harder for me to take fruits out of my diet. Thanks for any advice!

  22. Hi ;; Aviva thank you for all the info people really needed ,,some cant see a dr because of cost ,,,, my girl friend has infection down there she went to her Dr cost her almost $500 after taking some pills and test thay did for her ,, do now she has say problem ,,,in first place how the infection start she forgot tampon inside ,,, so her Dr took it out she was good for a week or so but infection back again with horrible smell ,,,,, please tell us what is the best treatment for that if you can please send me an email I would thank you ,,

  23. I would like to say I have not had any kind of vaginal infection in over 20 years and haven’t had an antibiotic in over 13 years, so this is not recurrent, and I don’t want it to be.

  24. Hello there Aviva!
    I’m glad I found your website. I am 10 weeks pregnant and last week they told me I had BV. they prescribed Flagyl but when I went to pick it up at the pharmacy the tech was seemed hesitant to give it to me and showed me all the precautions and possible side effects. I was uneasy after his reaction and started to do some research. everything I found said to not take this medicine until after 12 weeks because of possible miscarriage. of course since I didn’t have any symptoms or pain, I waited to take the meds and did research on natural remedies. so my question to you is, I have been told not to use Lavender oil during your 1st 2 trimesters because they cause contractions. your recipe for the suppositories calls for 1/2 tsp and I know that is such a small amount but can I skip the Lavender, or is it ok to use? Thank you so much for your time!

    • Hi Christina,
      I have never heard this about lavender, have used this recipe for nearly 3 decades, have never seen a problem. and as the expert reviewer on pregnancy herbs for the Botanical Safety Handbook found no evidence to suggest this.
      Improperly treated BV can have some risks in pregnancy so do make sure you’ve eliminated it.
      Best of luck!

  25. Hi there! I’m assuming you use the yogurt OR the suppository approach to treat the infection?

    If opting to use garlic (since I already have a supply in my kitchen), for how many days would you suggest using garlic?

      • Hello Aviva,
        I have a silly question. how do you use the garlic? I am afraid it would get stuck in my private. thank you for your time and understanding

          • Do you crush the garlic or just insert a whole clove? Also, what about garlic capsules? Could you open and empty the powdered contents into a preparation as mentioned in the article and fashion into a suppository? Thank you….desperate times call for desperate measures lol

          • Whole clove! don’t crush it (ouch that would burn!!). Not the capsules — has to be the whole clove…

  26. I’ve been suffering from recurrent yeast infections for a year and a half now. I believe these chronic infections are a result of repeat antibiotic regimens. Now I’m living a healthy life and I’m ready to kick this yeast. When dealing with my doctor, I was given diflucan which gave me a severe allergic reaction of mouth soars and tough sores. Sin I could no longer take the pill, I used the creams. They would clear the infection but come right back. I would always only get an infection after sex. My partner would then get the yeast. He would have scaling and jock itch. It happened 3 times until I got so embarrassed I decided to be celibate. Went celibate for 7 months. During this time I started the candida diet and stayed strict to it. I was also taking nystatin 30 day pills. So since my candida cleanse was almost over and my course of nystatin was almost over. I decided to have sex for the first time in 7 months. …. A couple days later I had a yeast infection. After going 7 months celibate and being celibate, I did not get a single invention. Sex brought the yeast. My question is “Why is sex giving me a yeast infection”. And how did I possibly get an infection while on nystatin?

    • The pH of semen can change the vaginal pH and this can lead to yeast infections. Some yeast infections can be resistant to nystatin…Also, often other vaginal infections are mistreated as yeast. Try restoring natural flora and getting back to that good love life! 🙂

  27. Hi Aviva,
    Could you tell me if your herbal vaginal suppository is safe while breastfeeding? I have a mild case of BV and really don’t want to take Flagyl.

  28. I want to make the suppositorries but don’t have goldenseal root powder. I do have goldenseal root extract. Would it be ok to substitute with the extract? If so, how much should I use ?

  29. I used the powered herbs in it and it feels rough inside after the suppository are u suppose to strain the herb out or is it now ground fine enough

    • If finely powdered no need to strain, but if not so fine, then yes, straining would be a good idea. It should not feel irritating after being inserted…Best, Aviva

  30. your yeast infection, I recommend signing up for my newsletter below.
    Hi Dr. Aviva!
    I’m jane and I suffered from vaginal infection for a month now. I consult with a gynaecologist for the 2 weeks of the infection because I can’t bare the pain anymore. The medicines she prescribed to me were Docycyclin an anti-baterial capsule and Flagystatin vaginal suppository. I drink the capsule twice a day seven day a week and the suppository is inserted for seven nights.
    I’m done with the capsule and there were no discharges on the vagina. I insert the suppository for five days. My problem with the suppository is that I can’t push it and it normally comes out. *(it happened for two nights and the rest were slight leaks on my pad).
    Now I crossed through your blog. I consider using aloe vera gel to fight the itchiness and it does. I applied it last night and I felt that as if cleans away the itchiness and burn. Now I still feel burn but the itchiness is no more.
    On the other hand, I consumed Garlic and I can’t state yet if there were effects because I just did it today. I will try out yogurt if nothing happens.

    I would like to ask if the methods above could help me cure this infection. Or will I stick to one.
    Thanks so much.

  31. Hi Dr. Aviva!
    I’m jane and I suffered from vaginal infection for a month now. I consult with a gynaecologist for the 2 weeks of the infection because I can’t bare the pain anymore. The medicines she prescribed to me were Docycyclin an anti-baterial capsule and Flagystatin vaginal suppository. I drink the capsule twice a day seven day a week and the suppository is inserted for seven nights.
    I’m done with the capsule and there were no discharges on the vagina. I insert the suppository for five days. My problem with the suppository is that I can’t push it and it normally comes out. *(it happened for two nights and the rest were slight leaks on my pad).
    Now I crossed through your blog. I consider using aloe vera gel to fight the itchiness and it does. I applied it last night and I felt that as if cleans away the itchiness and burn. Now I still feel burn but the itchiness is no more.
    On the other hand, I consumed Garlic and I can’t state yet if there were effects because I just did it today. I will try out yogurt if nothing happens.

    I would like to ask if the methods above could help me cure this infection. Or will I stick to one.
    Thanks so much.

  32. Is yougurt safe to be inserted during pregnancy? And, can it be used to prevent yeast infections from coming back??

    • Yes it is but has to be done carefully….use fingers to kind of get it up in there rather than an applicator in pregnancy. And yes, it can be used for prevention.

  33. Hi!

    Thanks for these, these are very helpful.. One question though, for the rinse, can I use white thyme oil?


  34. Can the Boric Acid Suppositories be used while breast feeding? I have used them with great success in the past but I am breast feeding my 8 week old baby and Im also dealing with BV 🙁

  35. Hi Aviva
    Is it okay to apply the yogurt inside the walls of the vagina while trying to get pregnant? Also, is it okay to use Vitanica Yeast Arrest while trying to get pregnant? I have had reoccuring yeast infections and I’m trying to get rid of them. Thank you

  36. Thank you Aviva for this site! I started probiotics vaginally for BV (1 capsule, day one), how long should the course of treatment be?

  37. I am 24wks pregnant and have Candida. I just bought some calendula suppositories (based on vegetable oil) and it says they are not recommended for during pregnancy. However they have no other ingredients. Online I find lots of information advising against taking calendula orally but not as a suppository. So, can I use calendula suppositories during pregnancy is my question. Thanks!!

  38. Hello – I am currently 39+3 weeks pregnant and tested positive for GBS at 36 weeks. Based on my previous pregnancy and labour, which lasted 5 hours from start to finish, my midwives do not believe that I will have time for IV antibiotics during labour, so have recommended a “wait and see” approach when baby is delivered in order to observe and monitor for any signs of GBS infection. I wished to re-test for GBS this week (as I got my results last week) after following a protocol of garlic cloves intravaginally at night for 8 nights, large doses of garlic capsules during the day, and probiotics inserted intravaginally during the day for the past 8 days, but my midwives do not feel that it would be productive to re-test as I will probably not get the results of my culture back before I go into labour. My question is whether the suppository recipe you have would be beneficial during my last few days (or so) of pregnancy in at the very least reducing the colonization, or do you feel the protocol that I had been following will be sufficient in reducing/eradicating the GBS? I have qualms about IV antibiotics anyway as a prophylaxis but as I probably won’t have time for it anyway, it’s a moot point. Just very nervous about the risk of transmitting GBS to my baby at the time of birth. What are your thoughts also about high doses of Manuka honey orally and intravaginally as a complementary protocol to treating GBS naturally?

  39. Hi, I’m 31 or 32 weeks pregnant now an I think I may have BV. A few weeks ago I had a yeast infection but inserted coconut oil at night an it cleared up the itch an discharge. But now I think after I got BV. I do not want to take antibiotics. So will the yogurt be okay to insert this far along? I do not want preterm labor . This is my second child.

    • Hi Sabina,
      There is some risks of preterm labor with untreated BV. You can try a natural approach but the yogurt alone probably won’t be enough — rather a botanical suppository (i.e. found in my book Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health) that contains tea tree oil, thyme essential oil, or other antimicrobial herbs would likely be needed. I’d also use a probiotic with L. rhamnosis and L reuterri — orally and vaginally. Medication may be needed, though — and that’s ok, too! A swab and a look under the microscope by your midwife might tell if you actually do have BV…
      Best wishes with baby!

  40. Hello. I just want to ask about the rinse mix (sea salt, thyme, lavander), can that be used as a regular wash or as a preventive measure, like once a day even without the symptoms of yeast infection?

    • hi yani
      i’d recommend it for treatment or early symptom onset rather than daily use, unless one gets recurrent infections — in which case it would be ok. we want to be careful not to cause resistance to the natural antifungals by overusing them when not needed. a daily oral probiotic with lactobacillus rhamnosus and L reuteri is probably a better bet.

  41. Is there a brand of essential oils that you recommend? I have read that EOs are often adulterated, and I am not sure which brands to trust. Thanks! 🙂

  42. Shalom Dr. Aviva!
    How long do you recommend taking the zinc supplement?

    Also, there are so many different probiotics available that all seem to offer different strains, in differing amounts. Is there a particular group of strains you’d recommend looking for in a pribiotic taken specifically for vaginal health?

    Thanks ever so much for all that you do!

  43. Volume of comments and timing. Most of the comments I get are personal and specific health questions, which I can’t really answer directly with advice, but I do try — so it takes A TON of time. And I do my own social media. Thanks for your patience.

  44. Hi Aviva, I know you get a lot of comments, no pressure to respond! I have been dealing with a constant yeast infection for the last year and a half. I have worked with a Naturopath and Doctor of Chinese Medicine to treat it herbally and naturally, as well as going on an extreme anti-candida diet, using probiotics, daily yogurt and infusions. I’ve tried pretty much everything, including what you suggest, and my naturopaths are running out of ideas. What do you suggest to the person who is doing everything you say and more, and it still won’t go away? It has significantly decreased in response to my efforts but its still itchy on a daily basis. I’m ready for my body to come back into balance!

  45. How long are the suppositories good for in the freezer? I have some from ~18 months ago and was wondering if they would still be good to use. Thank you!

  46. I have been dealing with some kind of yeast infection that started after my period 2 months ago now. I used a boric acid suppository for 6 days with no relief to speak of. Yogurt helped, colloidal silver and tree oil helped, but only temporarily. If I have only external itching, swelling and redness, but nothing bothering me inside the vagina, should the suppositories do the job? Or should I be using something topically?

  47. Can you use whatever kind of probiotic capsual as a suppository? Or does it need to be one that specifies it can be used that way, has or doesn’t have certain ingredients, etc.? Thank you!

  48. Hi my name is patricia i have vaginal infections about 1 year ago almost 2years till now i been given diflucan metrodizol gel and pills you name it all that can be given had a biopsy done came back chronic vaginal inflamation doc can’t explain i wanted to see if youcould help me with some tips i dont have discharge right now just burning and itching and after periods its worse and after sex am taking diflucan right now but doesnt help answere me please i need your help .

  49. Hi Dr. Romm,

    As you well know there are some nasty side effects of using Monistat OTC (vaginal creams and suppositories). Which I’ve only become aware of recently after using the Monistat-1 day suppository myself. It seems to be a chemical burn (or severe allergic reaction? correct me if I’m wrong) after the treatment; some women claiming after 1-6 months they are still not healed. Some side effects are bleeding, sores, pain, pain with urination, and severe inflammation. What, if any, are the steps toward healing from the burns/allergies?

    WIll any of these help heal or relieve….
    Oral aspirin
    vaginal (internal) aloe vera
    water/vinegar douche (1x or repeat)

    Please help all of us! Thank you

  50. Hey I have been having yeast infections I swear nothing it working its like right aftery period I get them help! All STDs test are negative help! And I recently started with the aloe vera it still itches after I remove the gel tho

    • Hi Shya,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team. Thank you for writing and I am so sorry to hear about your yeast infections. They truly are awful. Have you worked wit and anti-candida diet and or an elimination diet? Here is a great article that Dr. Romm wrote specifically on the elimination diet. I hope this helps and please stay tuned for future information and courses on how to live candida free!

      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  51. Hi Dr. Aviva
    I am 16 weeks pregnant and have been treated for the last 7 weeks with antiboitics … BV at 9 weeks that gave me a yeast infection treated with a cream, then with a pill.. And now the BV came back I don’t like antibiotics when I’m not pregnant let alone now… The owner of my local herb store recommended Vitancia v fresh vaginal support, but he said that before buying it he wanted me to check with my OB-GYN, I will do that but do you think that is pregnancy safe? He said that it won’t cause a yeast infection & then to start on a vaginal support probiotic named Ulrimate flora vaginal support… If there is anything else you can think of to help treat this I would gladly take advice… I don’t want to keep pumping these drugs into my system & ultimately to my baby.. I appreciate your help!

    • Hi Lynne,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team. Thank you so much for writing and please know that Dr. Aviva values your questions. Unfortunately she can’t address every question and she can do much better justice to health questions in an appointment…

      Her NEW! Integrative TeleWellness Consultations may be a great option for you if you’d like to discuss your health and wellness concerns with an expert in Integrative and Functional Medicine for women and children, and you don’t have this option in your community, or if are unable to come to see her in NYC when my practice opens in late autumn (2015).

      Although she cannot diagnose you, order labs or prescriptions, or treat you without an initial in person appointment, she can provide a thorough discussion of your current health-related questions and concerns, including reviewing your health history and laboratory results, helping you to make sense of how you might bring an Integrative, Functional Wellness approach into your health and wellness goals.
      Based on your conversation and information you might provide ahead of time, Dr. Aviva can offer a set of Integrative/Functional Medicine suggestions that you can discuss with your local doctors to see whether those would fit into your current health plan.

      If you would like more information, or to schedule an appointment, please go here:

      If you would like to join her practice in the autumn, please check back on her website in late autumn for booking information.

      With warmest wishes,
      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  52. Hi Aviva!
    For the suppository recipe, where will I find comfrey?! I want to use the leaves. I live in Atlanta and have trouble finding comfrey.


    • Hi Amy,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team. You can order comfrey from Mountain Rose Herbs or, if there is a local herb shop in your area, they will more than likely carry comfrey as well. I hope this helps!

      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  53. Hi … Like your site… Good info… My problem is that i have lyme disease.. Grrrrrr. My biggest problem this year is yeast infection… Any suggestions on what to do… Kinda recurring … :(…. Peeing alot…help…

    • Hi Cheryl,

      This is Megan from Dr. Aviva’s team Thank you for you note and Dr. Aviva welcomes you!! I am sorry to hear about your yeast infections and the Lyme. Just incase you have not seen it, I wanted to point you to an article that Aviva wrote specifically on Lyme disease. I hope this is helpful for you!

      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  54. Hi Dr. Romm, good info! I was trying to find information on treatments for fungal overgrowth when pregnant. Discovered from organic acids – D-arabitol. I was trying to find out if something like olive leaf tea is ok/safe to drink while pregnant. Is this addressed in any of your books?


    • Hi Eve,
      I don’t recommend olive leaf in pregnancy just because there is no safety data on it that I’m aware of, and for some reason, we don’t seem to have addressed it in The Botanical Safety Handbook (a book I contributed to on herbal safety). That doesn’t mean it’s not safe, just that the evidence isn’t there. I’d avoid it in the first trimester, and not take it daily otherwise, but in later pregnancy short term use, for example, for a few days for a viral infection, might be ok. Best to address fungal overgrowth in pregnancy with dietary changes and a probiotic, then resume most herbs and supplements after baby is born. Warmly. aviva

  55. I had read somewhere that fenugreek is helpful with restoring the vaginal biome….what do you think Dr. Romm? Would drinking fenugreek tea be helpful for BV?

  56. Hi Dr. Aviva,

    I have battled BV for months. I was given a course of tinidazole in August, which I finished. So returned a few weeks later after my menses. I had a “rescue” regimen of clindamycin cream x7 days, so I completed the course and followed with diflucan x2 doses. Another menses came and left and symptoms returned. I had metro gel as a maintenance, so I decided to dose myself at bedtime. I did this for two nights and my symptoms amplified, plus in addition to the discomfort, I developed a foul odor. The last dose Of metro gel I had was a Sunday night and I saw my gyne on the following Tuesday. She did a wet prep, which was completely negative. She also did a UA which showed leuks and trace hematuria. Not impressed, she just gave me a steroid cream for the external irritation. I didn’t use it bc I was scared of it actually being a yeast infection still And steroids are yeast hay day. I was just wondering if the wet prep results could have been skewed due to the metro gel less than 48hrs prior. My insurance expired 10/1 and will not re activate until 10/25 due to a job change. I called back, explained my situation, and they decided to treat with macrobid to cover uti. I am thinking of just taking it and using otc miconazole to cover yeast. My urine is cloudy, I am itchy and raw and red, I have foul odor, and it burns to void. I can even look down there with a mirror and see whitish-clear thick stickiness, but I do not have copious amounts of discharge. I am also doing all the lifestyle modifications such as cotton undies, coconut oil lube, and actually abstinence bc my hubby and I have not been together in over 3 weeks. Not fun, but idk what else to do. I have changed my diet to be very limited in carbs and sugars. How does this sound?

  57. I have bv and I heard organic pure coconut oil can be used to treat it. I don’t have an applicator so can I just use a syringe to get it there?

    • Probably not the best idea; you can get an applicator at the pharmacy — even if you have to empty something else out of it – or make the coconut oil into suppositories and apply that way….

    • Hello,

      You can buy cocoa butter at most health food stores! It is usually in near the oils and fats….

      Megan- Dr. Aviva Romm Nutritionist

  58. Thank you for such a detailed post about BV. I have one question. Can we use curd instead of yogurt for application in vagina? I think there is some difference between curd and yogurt. I cannot find any active culture yogurt in market. However probiotic curd is available here.
    Please recommend.
    Thank you.

  59. You say in your article above: “Women who are experiencing recurrent vaginal infections should see a physician to get appropriate testing.” But what is the appropriate testing? When I express worry to my family practice doc about my recurring BV, Ureaplasma & yeast infections (yes, all three) — she sends me to an OB. And the OB give me anti-fungals & anti-biotics (again) for these things… none of them go away, I have all three again, just a week after treatment — and she (the OB) just wants to give me those same treatments again. She has no suggestion when I mentioned that it’s odd I have these infections all the time. So what, specifically, is the ‘appropriate testing’ that i should ask a doc to do for me?
    Thanks so much,

    • Hi Natalie, If you are having recurrent infections, you’re not getting to the cause of the infection — usually gut dysbiosis leading to vaginal dysbiosis — which means taking the right probiotic and also considering using it both orally and vaginally. Sometimes you might have to use the antibiotic if you’re pregnant, but outside of that, getting to the root cause is really important. RePhresh is an example of an over the counter probiotic specifically designed to have the strains needed for vaginal health. You might also want to see a functional medicine or integrative MD or ND who specializes in Gyne. If you’re pregnant, it has to be someone who is very pregnancy knowledgable. Here’s how to come see me in NYC:

  60. Can curd could be applied instead yogurt ? In india we get curd only its hard to find yougurt ! We made curd at home so can this curd could be applied to vagina ??

    • Hi Imran,

      This is Megan from Aviva’s team. Best to stick to yogurt.

      Warm wishes,
      Megan- Aviva Romm’s Executive Assistant and Online Nutrition Expert

  61. This is by far the best post I have read on natural remedies for vaginak infections – thank you! I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and suffering from a mystery inflammation/irritation down there. I was initially told it was mild thrush, however with thrush medication it got worse. A swab came back negative for thrush, and showed no bacterial growth except for Ureaplasma. My symptoms are sore/red vulva and vagina and now I’m noticing a light whitish liquid discharge that is constantly there. I have started oral probiotics and also live yoghurt applied topically – is there anything else I can do? I’m very worried that whatever it is that I have will send me into labour and affect my baby.

  62. Hi Aviva,
    I am wondering if you can recommend something to insert vaginally that could be used daily or a few times a week to keep vaginal flora healthy for someone(me) who is pregnant and on antibiotics?

    Thank you!

  63. Hello Aviva,
    Thank you for all of your women centered education. Your heart is visible in all I see you do!

    I’m positive for Gardenerella bacteria and rather than treat with abx, I’m going to give your recommendation a try. Red Thyme oil vs White Thyme oil? Can I use either or us one type better than the other? I could only find red thyme and it smells super potent…I didn’t purchase because it smelled like it would seriously burn! I got nervous.

    I have dried comfrey root. Can I just grind that up for the comfrey root powder?

    I’m so hopeful that this works…

  64. Hello Aviva , great articles on here and info on how to treat vaginal infections . Here’s my question for you . I was diagnosed with BV last March immediately after getting married and starting to have sex . The gyne gave me Flagyl gel to initially treat , 2 weeks later I developed yeast infection then more BV and Yeast infections . After multiple gyne appointments and no sex for months I gave up on medication route . I tested negative for STDs and diabetes . I tried lots of natural things but nothing helped , I took oral probiotics but it didn’t seem to help . I think what’s going on is BV episodes I get after having sex . My hubby’s sperm seems to be the trigger . Condoms are not something we enjoy using . I switched lube to Organic Glyde . And the only thing I’ve found that works for me is Boric Acid Suppositories . They clear up odor or discharge I get usually within a day . I’ve been using them 2-3 times a week now to keep everything in check but lately I’ve noticed more and more irritation while using them . I see from previous comments that your not a fan of using them . Are there adverse affects from using them long term to prevent BV? I might want to get pregnant soon so I’m open to trying safer methods to prevent BV. I’ve never used yogurt vaginally , it doesn’t do anything orally to rebalance my ph it seems. Do you just insert yogurt in shower and let it run out or put in at night and let it sit over night ? Thanks for your time ????

    • Hi Bethany!
      I am the nurse practitioner in Dr Romm’s practice, and I often hop in to answer comments and questions since Dr Romm doesn’t always have time to get to them all!
      The yogurt would need to stay put for a while, so inserting at bedtime would be preferable!
      We’re glad that you found the article helpful!
      Best of luck to you,
      ~amanda, APRN

  65. Hello,
    I have a question about vaginal dysfunction. I’m 25, never been pregnant but I have had surgery on my hip due to car accident. After the accident I started noticing weird dark spots near my vagina and had intense itching and irritation In that region. I know I was given a cathether but I had the nurse take it out immediately after i gained consciousness. I have dryness during sex which never happened before and tears in the skin. I went to gynecologist but she said she didn’t know anything! Plz help. I got checked for std and don’t have anything. The skin is just feels like inflamed with cuts.

    • Have you been checked for lichen sclerosis? It’s a possibility, too. Good luck – I hope you’re able to get the answers you need!

  66. Hi,

    I have had bacterial vaginosis for 4 and ahalf years. I tried so many things, from antibiotivs to plants to diet…but nothing worked. Have you heard of anyone else that had chronic infection such as mine? And do you have an idea of how I can heal/treat it?


    • Hi Charli, I have worked with women with peristent, long-term vagintiis. Sometimes it is an assumed but inaccurate diagnosis of a particular orgnism, and sometimes there is a significant imbalance of vaginal flora leading to a particular bacterial overgrowth. A more holistic approach to healing the gut and rebalancing vaginal flora can make a tremendous difference. Probiotics are sometimes needed vaginally and orally, along with a complete gut healing plan such as in my 28 Day Gut Reset.

  67. So much information THANK YOU. I had strep throat and the doctor gave amoxicillin 500MG one capsule twice a day for ten days. That cause yeast. I am not a happy camper from my head ( throat ) to my bottom. Your site answers so many questions and gave me ways to fight naturally. Home remedies that I have now I tried one and it worked.

    God Bless You

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