Yeast infections are most commonly caused by the fungus candida albicans and lead to vaginal irritation, an increase in discharge, and/or severe itchiness of the vagina and vulva. Symptoms can also include a burning sensation during sexual intercourse or urination, redness or swelling of the vulva, and a vaginal rash or pain.
Very prevalent, nearly 75% of women will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime and many will experience more than one. Yeast infections can become a chronic problem.
Fortunately, over-the-counter vaginal creams or suppositories will clear up most yeast infections within seven days. Women who get yeast infections regularly (four or more infections in a year) or who have an infection caused by less common fungi may require a prescription. And nowadays there are options to access yeast infection treatments online, without leaving home at all. That’s the focus of this guide.
So which treatment is best for yeast infections in 2021? We thoroughly explored the options and will provide all the details below. For those in a hurry, here is a summary of our top pick.
Our recommendations for best yeast infection treatment online:
Hers gives women a convenient, hassle-free and cost-effective way to access OTC yeast infection treatment.
Get yeast infection treatment quickly and easily from Hers, which offers a convenient, subscription-based service that brings Miconazole to your doorstep.
Hers: Editors' Choice for OTC Treatment
Hers offers miconazole, which does not require a prescription. You can look for treatments at your local pharmacy or drugstore if you need immediate relief, but Hers makes it quick and easy to get yeast infection treatment from the convenience of home, without any trips to the pharmacy. The experience is seamless, fast, and discreet. You can create an account and place your order online in just a few minutes. Hers’ 3-day yeast infection treatment will be at your door in a matter of days.
Hers also offers $39 telemedicine consultations with a primary care doctor, during which you can discuss your infection and seek prescription treatment if needed.
In general, based on thorough testing, we are very impressed by Hers. We recommend Hers for women who have had previous yeast infections or have a chronic problem and want to have their yeast infection treatment on hand.
At a very affordable price, Wisp offers virtual medical consultation and access to prescription yeast infection treatment.
With Wisp, you can get your prescription yeast infection treatment within 24 hours from ordering. Wisp’s attention to quick prescription access brings great convenience.
Wisp: Best for Prescription Treatment Access
Wisp is an impressive telemedicine provider that offers fast and convenient access to a good prescription treatment for yeast infections. Based on testing, we recommend Wisp for those who are in need of immediate treatment (within 24 hours) but prefer ordering from home and not seeing a doctor in person. Wisp’s prescription offering is fluconazole.
Wisp really wins for those in a hurry because it can deliver a certain amount of your prescription yeast infection treatment directly to your doorstep within 24 hours if necessary, while sending the rest of it to your local pharmacy for pickup. This convenience and rapid-response capability set Wisp apart. Its consultations are also not as expensive as some other competitors.
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Most yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter creams, ointments, or suppositories, though some infections may require prescription medication.
Yeast infections can be tricky to self-diagnose. If you suspect you’re dealing with your first yeast infection, it’s best to consult a physician to confirm it. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with a yeast infection in the past, you’ll likely recognize the symptoms and be able to treat the infection on your own.
Start with over-the-counter yeast infection treatments. If you don’t experience relief within seven days, consult a doctor as you may require a prescription.
The vast majority of yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter vaginal creams, tablets or suppositories that prevent the growth of the yeast that causes infection. The following are all azole antifungals and should cure yeast infections as well as reduce vaginal itching, burning, and discharge in most patients within seven days:
- Miconazole nitrate (brand names include Monistat and Micatin) comes as a vaginal cream or vaginal tablet.
- Clotrimazole (brand names include Lotrimin and Mycelex) comes as a vaginal cream or vaginal tablet.
- Tioconazole (Vagistat-1) comes as a vaginal cream.
If you are still experiencing vaginal discomfort or other symptoms seven days after starting an over-the-counter treatment, you should discuss your condition with a physician.
The most common prescription yeast infection treatment is fluconazole (Diflucan). Typically this is administered as a one-time, single oral dose, but more severe cases may require two single doses, three days apart.
Fluconazole works by killing or preventing the growth of fungus and yeast. However, it doesn’t just target your vaginal region. It kills fungus and yeast throughout your body, so you may have minor side effects, such as an upset stomach or headaches, for a short time afterward.
You shouldn’t take fluconazole to treat yeast infections if you’re pregnant, because it may cause miscarriage or birth defects. Fluconazole can also interact with warfarin, a blood thinner. These are a couple of the reasons why fluconazole requires a prescription; by consulting with a physician, it will become clear whether the treatment is right for you.
Since yeast infections often clear up with over-the-counter treatments, most drugstores, pharmacies and online healthcare providers offer treatment options. Make sure to review the “active ingredients” list on the box before you purchase. While yeast infection treatments are prevalent, there are also many products intended to treat the symptoms, but not the underlying infection.
For example, Vagisil - a well-known feminine care product - relieves itch, but isn’t an antifungal treatment. This means that it can help with your yeast infection symptoms, like pain and itching, but will not cure the infection itself. The active ingredient in Vagisil and its competitors is benzocaine, which is a topical, local anesthetic that dulls nerve endings.
Look for “azole” as part of the active ingredient list in the product you choose, in order to ensure you’re treating your yeast infection and not just its symptoms.
Online yeast infection treatment options
A rapidly growing number of Americans are seeking telemedicine services, opting for the online route to access medicine and medical consultation for a variety of reasons. If you’re looking to find your yeast infection treatment online, you have several great options.
First, you’ll need to decide whether you’re looking for an over-the-counter treatment or if you need a prescription.
If you need an over-the-counter miconazole cream quickly, or on an ongoing basis, we recommend Hers as the best online option.
If you’re not sure what you need, or you think prescription fluconazole is the better choice for you, you’ll need to speak with a healthcare professional. In this case, we recommend you opt for Wisp.
In addition to Hers and Wisp, there are other telemedicine providers that offer online consultations with a physician or nurse practitioner who can recommend a treatment plan and/or write you a prescription. Some will send your prescription to your local pharmacy where you can pick it up in person. Others will ship the medication directly to you. Some accept insurance, which means your cost will vary depending on your plan, while others have a set price.
We’ve compared many of your options for treating your yeast infection in the chart below.
|Company||What you get||Cost (with fees)||Where treatment is sent||Accepts Insurance|
|Hers||Two 3-day Miconazole treatment courses||$25 total||You||No|
|Wisp||Virtual doctor visit + Fluconazole||$30-65 total||You or a local pharmacy||No|
|PlushCare||Virtual doctor visit + Fluconazole||$99 visit + medication cost||Local pharmacy||Yes|
|Alpha||Virtual doctor visit + prescription medication||$30 visit + medication||Local pharmacy||Yes|
|VirtuWell||Virtual doctor visit + prescription medication||$49 visit + medication||Local pharmacy||Yes|
|PushHealth||Virtual doctor visit + prescription medication||Varies||Local pharmacy||Yes|
|SmartDocMD||Virtual doctor visit + prescription medication||$30 visit + medication||Local pharmacy||Yes|
|CallonDoc||Virtual doctor visit + prescription medication||$40 visit + medication||Local pharmacy||Only for prescription|
Local pharmacy or drugstore
If you have a yeast infection and need immediate relief, the quickest solution is to head to the pharmacy section of your local grocery or drugstore. They’ll have a variety of creams that you can try
The most common, name-brand yeast infection treatment is Monistat 1, 3, or 7 - the numbers indicate how many days you’ll need to apply the treatment. Keep in mind, even with one- or three-day treatments, it could take up to seven days to see results.
If you’re hoping to avoid the expense of a name-brand, you can look for generic competitors. Just ensure the primary active ingredient is an azole antifungal and you can be confident you’re treating your yeast infection.
If you’ve never had one before, you should consult with a healthcare professional to confirm that you have a yeast infection.
It’s unclear what causes yeast infections and, unfortunately, most women will experience at least one in their lifetime. For many, yeast infections become a chronic issue. If you’ve had a yeast infection in the past, you’ll likely know if you’ve got another one.
Yeast infections are most common in women experiencing a monthly period. It’s uncommon for premenstrual girls to get a yeast infection and they are also less prevalent in post-menopausal women.
If you get a regular period and are experiencing the following symptoms, chances are you could have a yeast infection:
- Pain while urinating
- Pain during sex
- Itching and soreness around the vulva and vaginal opening
- Red, swollen or sore vaginal tissue
- Vaginal discharge that is watery, white and clumpy (though this is not always present)
Although self-diagnosis and treatment is encouraged for women with chronic yeast infections, you should consult a physician if you are pregnant or taking oral antibiotics or drugs that suppress the immune system. You should also refrain from using tampons, douches and spermicides while you are treating your yeast infection.
Make sure to read all warnings and directions before administering any medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter.
Yeast infections are very common because your vagina naturally contains bacteria and yeast. The good bacteria (lactobacillus acidophilus) typically keeps the yeast (candida albicans) in check, preventing too much yeast from growing. However, there are a variety of reasons this relationship might become unbalanced.
External factors like antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes, a compromised immune system, or an increase in estrogen levels due to birth control or hormone therapy can all result in an overgrowth of candida and, ultimately, a yeast infection.
Regardless of the reason, when too much yeast grows you’ve got an infection. Yeast infection treatments work by simply stopping the growth of the yeast. Once fungal growth is back to its normal level, your body’s natural bacteria will kick in and resume control of your vaginal yeast levels.
While some yeast infection treatments (such as fluconazole) are oral, meaning you take a pill or liquid by mouth, we’ll focus on how to apply topical azole cream.
Most over-the-counter yeast infection treatments come as a cream-filled applicator similar to a tampon. You should insert the applicator into your vagina, push the “plunger” until all the medication is out of the device, then remove the applicator and dispose of it in the garbage.
This should be done prior to bedtime, which will help prevent leakage. Depending on the medication you choose, you’ll be administering the cream once daily for one, three, or seven days in a row.
Always thoroughly read the directions that come with any over-the-counter or prescription medication.
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