Yeast infections are uncomfortable and bothersome. The itching and burning can be enough to drive you insane. If you aren’t sure what’s going on, or it’s your first time having a yeast infection, it can be even more confusing. If you go to the doctor, will they prescribe antibiotics? Do antibiotics even treat a yeast infection?
The truth is you have a few options for yeast infection treatments and your doctor can help you figure out which one is best for you. It just might take a bit of a conversation with them to figure out what’s going to work. Knowing your options before you go in can help make that conversation more productive. So let’s talk about what you should know about antibiotics and yeast infections.
Do Antibiotics Treat A Yeast Infection?
In short, no. Antibiotics are not going to treat a yeast infection. Antibiotics are meant to kill bacteria, which is helpful for bacterial infections. However, a yeast infection is not a bacaterial infection, it’s a fungal infection. You won’t be able to use antibiotics to treat it.
In fact, many women find that antibiotic treatments often cause yeast infections in the first place. Antibiotics just aren’t meant to handle this kind of infection. Don’t be surprised that your doctor won’t bring them up. You may be used to getting antibiotics from them when you visit, but you won’t be talking about those this time around.
Your doctor isn’t forgetting about what you commonly use when you’re sick. They’re just treating the illness at hand appropriately. Sometimes it can feel a bit confusing for patients to hear about new medication names and types. If you have questions make sure you bring those up before you leave your appointment. Your doctor just wants to help.
Related: How To Prevent Yeast Infections
What Are My Prescription Yeast Infection Treatment Options?
There are 2 main options you’re going to hear about from your doctor. Oral treatments or topical treatments. Which one is best for you is really up to you and your doctor. Oral treatments take a little longer to work but are sometimes more effective, especially for a yeast infection that seems to be lingering.
Topical options are also great, but some women hate how messy they are. For topical treatment options, you’ll have to use an applicator to insert a cream or suppository into your vagina. They tend to give more direct relief from the burning and itching, but you will have to use them over a longer course of time.
Typically you can use an oral medication like Diflucan as long as your doctor says it is ok for you. You may only have to take one tablet, or there could be a longer course prescribed depending on your individual needs. Often times prescription topical treatments are used for 7 days in a row.
Are OTC Yeast Infection Treatments Effective?
Yes. If you have had a yeast infection before and don’t want to head to see your doctor, you can definitely use an OTC option. Brands like Monistat are trustworthy and effective. They’re very similar to a topical prescription option and could be more affordable depending on things like health insurance coverage.
Related: How To Get Rid of A Yeast Infection: Top 10 Tips
Yeast infections are definitely one of the most annoying parts of being a woman. If you ever feel like you don’t understand your symptoms (or it’s your first yeast infection) give your doctor a call. Talk with them about your concerns and choose a treatment option together.
The good news is yeast infections are often easily cleared up. Once you get the right treatment going, you’ll be back to your regular self in no time.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.