Female Genital Problems
A vaginal infection may clear up without treatment in 2 or 3 days.
- If you could be pregnant, do a home pregnancy test. Any pregnant woman with abnormal vaginal symptoms should talk with her doctor about her symptoms before considering using any home treatment measures or nonprescription medicines. For more information, see the topic Reference Pregnancy-Related Problems.
- Avoid sex so that irritated vaginal tissues can heal.
- Do not scratch the vaginal area. Relieve itching with a cold water compress or cool baths. Warm baths may also relieve pain and itching.
- Make sure that the cause of your symptoms is not a forgotten tampon or other foreign object. For more information, see Reference how to remove an object in the vagina.
- Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing. Stay away from nylon and synthetics, because they hold heat and moisture close to the skin, which makes it easier for an infection to start. You may want to remove pajama bottoms or underwear when you sleep.
- Do not douche unless your doctor tells you to.
- If you have gone through Reference menopause Opens New Window, try using a vaginal lubricant, such as Astroglide, to reduce irritation caused by having sex.
Vaginal yeast infections
If you have symptoms of a Reference vaginal yeast infection Opens New Window and have been diagnosed and treated by your doctor for this condition in the past, you may want to try using a nonprescription medicine, such as tioconazole (for example, Vagistat), clotrimazole (for example, Gyne-Lotrimin), or miconazole (for example, Monistat) to treat your symptoms.
If your symptoms do not improve with home treatment, contact your doctor. Vaginal symptoms that may be related to another type of vaginal infection or a cervical infection need to be evaluated.
Women who take the blood-thinning medicine warfarin (Coumadin) and use a nonprescription vaginal yeast-fighting medicine, such as Monistat, may have increased bruising and abnormal bleeding. Consult with your doctor before using a yeast-fighting medicine if you take warfarin.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Reference Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- Symptoms of a vaginal infection develop.
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding develops
- A fever develops.
- You have moderate to severe Reference pain Opens New Window.
- Your symptoms become more severe or frequent.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 31, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine