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The itching, irritation, and burning symptoms of a yeast infection are uncomfortable. Many over-the-counter (OTC) treatments effectively treat vaginal yeast infection and can save you a trip to the doctor’s office.

This article rounds up seven 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.

A healthy vagina has a balance of good bacteria and yeast. Usually, the good bacteria keep the balance in check. Still, under some conditions, the balance can be disrupted, allowing the yeast to grow out of control.

Overgrowth of yeast can result from:

  • antibiotic use, which causes an imbalance in natural vaginal flora
  • 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-colored clumpy discharge with a cottage cheese-like appearance

Prescription and OTC medications both easily 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 the 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:

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

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

There are a lot of 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

Best for prevention

Uqora Promote

Price: $25.50 with a subscription, $30 for a one-time purchase

Maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria helps prevent yeast infections from happening. 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.

Best for quick relief

Monistat 1 Combination Pack

Price: $15–$17, depending on where you purchase

The one-dose Monistat vaginal insert comes with a pre-filled 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

Vagisil Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Creme

Price: $4–7, depending on the strength and size of the product

Vagisil Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Creme is a fast-acting 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 blocks increased odor from vaginal discharge during an infection.

A Vagisil product with prebiotics, which can help restore a healthy balance of bacteria, is available as well.

Best combination pack

Monistat 3 Combination Pack

Price: $13–$15, depending on where you purchase

The Monistat 3-day treatment comes with three prefilled cream applicators and an 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: $19.99 for 14 vaginal suppositories

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

The product can be taken for up to 14 days to balance bacteria and yeast. The Killer can also be used to treat bacterial vaginosis.

Best during pregnancy

Monistat 7

Price: $14–$17, depending on where you purchase

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: $8–$10, depending on the size and where you purchase

A yeast infection can happen anywhere on the body. For people with a penis, antifungal cream can be easily applied 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.

Yeast infections are common, which makes access to effective treatment important. OTC products are 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.