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The itching, irritation, and burning symptoms of a yeast infection can be very uncomfortable. However, there are many over-the-counter (OTC) treatments that effectively treat yeast infections, allowing you to skip the trip to the doctor’s office.

This article rounds up 7 of the best OTC products to help manage a yeast infection.

A yeast infection is a common condition caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. Yeast infections can affect any part of the body, but they often occur in the vagina.

A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge, and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva — the tissues at the vaginal opening.

Also called vaginal candidiasis, vaginal yeast infections affect up to 75 percent of people with a vagina at some point in their lifetime.

Vaginas typically have a balance of good bacteria and yeast. Usually, the good bacteria keep the balance in check. Under some conditions, the balance can be disrupted, allowing the yeast to grow out of control.

Overgrowth of the yeast can result from:

  • antibiotic use
  • pregnancy
  • unmanaged diabetes
  • an impaired immune system
  • taking oral contraceptives or undergoing hormone therapy that increases estrogen levels

A vaginal yeast infection causes symptoms like:

  • vaginal itching
  • inflammation and swelling around the vagina
  • pain during sex
  • soreness
  • redness
  • rash
  • white or gray clumpy discharge with a cottage cheese-like appearance

Prescription and OTC medications both treat vaginal yeast infections. If this is your first time experiencing a yeast infection, it’s best to talk with your doctor for an official diagnosis.

However, if you’re familiar with the symptoms, you’ll likely be able to pick up an OTC medication to treat the yeast infection.

Talk with your doctor to assess your symptoms and treatment needs if:

  • your symptoms don’t go away after finishing treatment
  • the infection comes back within 2 months
  • you have four or more yeast infections within 12 months

Prescription yeast infection medications can include oral pills, creams, ointments, or gels. Diflucan (fluconazole) is an oral medication usually prescribed as one dose. For a severe yeast infection, your doctor may recommend a longer prescription course.

Other available OTC or prescription medications include:

  • butoconazole (Gynazole)
  • clotrimazole (Lotrimin)
  • miconazole (Monistat)
  • terconazole (Zazole)

Be sure to always finish the entire treatment course, even if your symptoms resolve before completing the medication.

Most OTC treatments are either topical creams and gels or oral medications. Although they all have the common goal of alleviating symptoms, they tend to work differently.

Yeast infection pills

Yeast infection pills typically require a prescription. The most common oral medication is fluconazole (Diflucan), which is a one-dose pill that effectively treats fungal infections. It damages the cell wall of the fungus that creates the infection, making it harder for the bacteria to multiply.

Yeast infection creams and gels

Creams and gels like Monistat and Vagisil usually work to relieve uncomfortable symptoms like burning and itching. They often go inside the vagina to kill the yeast causing the infection. Some creams and gels come with applicators that help you measure the right dosage.

Yeast infection probiotics

You can take probiotics to reduce the risk of a yeast infection, but they can also improve symptoms if you already have one. The healthy bacteria in the probiotic works to balance out the pH level of the vagina.

There are many factors to consider when choosing an OTC vaginal yeast infection treatment. To compile the list of services below, we considered a variety of factors, including:

  • length of treatment
  • customer reviews
  • type of medication
  • price

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Best for prevention

Uqora Promote

  • Price: $$$
  • Type of treatment: probiotic

Maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria helps prevent yeast infections. The Uqora vaginal probiotic supplement is specifically designed to maintain the good bacteria in your vagina. Directions say to take one pill daily.

Each bottle comes with a 1-month supply of 30 capsules.

Learn more about Uqora here.

Best for quick relief

Monistat 1 Combination Pack

  • Price: $$
  • Type of treatment: cream

The one-dose Monistat vaginal insert comes with a prefilled applicator containing an egg-shaped suppository, sometimes called an ovule. Monistat 1 is a maximum-strength dose of miconazole nitrate to relieve the symptoms of a yeast infection with just one dose.

The company claims that Monistat 1 “relieves yeast infection symptoms four times faster than the leading prescription pill.”

Best cream to relieve symptoms

Vagisil Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Creme

  • Price: $
  • Type of treatment: cream

While this product won’t treat a yeast infection, Vagisil Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Creme is a cream that helps relieve itching, burning, and skin irritation, common yeast infection symptoms.

In addition to the active medication ingredients (20 percent benzocaine and 3 percent resorcinol), it also contains aloe and vitamins A, D, and E to help soothe skin.

This product also helps block increased odor from vaginal discharge during an infection.

Vagisil also makes a product with prebiotics, which can help restore a healthy balance of bacteria.

Best combination pack

Monistat 3 Combination Pack

  • Price: $$
  • Type of treatment: cream

The Monistat 3-day treatment comes with three prefilled cream applicators and anti-itch cream for external use. A pack like this can make it easy to treat the infection and get relief from external itching.

The applicators are filled with 200 milligrams (mg) of 4 percent miconazole nitrate, and the anti-itch cream includes 2 percent miconazole nitrate.

Best natural treatment

Love Wellness The Killer

  • Price: $$
  • Type of treatment: vaginal suppository

Boric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid with antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. It can be used to treat yeast infections. The Killer from Love Wellness is a suppository filled with boric acid.

You can take this product for up to 14 days to balance bacteria and yeast. The Killer can also be helpful against bacterial vaginosis.

Best during pregnancy

Monistat 7

  • Price: $$
  • Type of treatment: cream

Monistat 7 has only 100 mg of miconazole nitrate in each dose. It comes with cream and seven disposable applicators.

Talk with your doctor before using any medications while pregnant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only topical 7-day therapies are recommended for treating yeast infections during pregnancy.

Best for people with a penis

Lotrimin for Jock Itch

  • Price: $
  • Type of treatment: cream

A yeast infection can happen anywhere on the body. People with a penis can apply an antifungal cream to the affected areas without applicators.

Lotrimin Jock Itch contains 1 percent clotrimazole to kill the fungus causing the infection. It relieves the itching, burning, and chafing symptoms of jock itch.

How fast do yeast infection treatments work?

Yeast infection treatments are usually sold in 1-, 3-, 7-, and 14-day treatments. Preventive probiotics often have 30 capsules per bottle.

When should I see a doctor?

If you’ve never had a yeast infection, you should see a doctor for a proper diagnosis before you try any OTC treatments.

You should also talk with a doctor if you don’t notice any improvement in your symptoms within 7 to 14 days. In this case, you may need a prescription-strength treatment, or you could have a different infection.

Are there any side effects or safety concerns for yeast infection treatments?

Most pills and topical creams come with their fair share of side effects, though they’re not super common. Some side effects include:

  • burning
  • stinging
  • irritation
  • redness
  • pimple-like bumps
  • tenderness
  • flaking of the skin

If you’re pregnant, you should see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment since some OTC antifungal creams may cause birth defects.

If you notice any side effects, stop taking the OTC treatment and see a doctor.

Are yeast infections contagious?

Yeast infections aren’t considered to be sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but they can be passed to a partner if you have sex without a barrier method.

It’s also possible for a baby to get a fungal diaper rash at birth if the mother has a yeast infection. However, you won’t “catch” a yeast infection from sharing a shower or exchanging saliva with someone.

Yeast infections are common, which makes access to effective treatment important. OTC products can be just as effective as prescription medications for treating yeast infections.

If you experience frequent yeast infections or if your symptoms don’t resolve after completing the full treatment, talk with your doctor.


Ashley Braun, MPH, RD, is a health and wellness writer based in Michigan. Her work helps people understand what affects their health so they can make informed choices to take back the control in their health and wellness journey.