Gyno Myth: Yogurt on a Tampon for Yeast Infections

by Lauren Streicher, MD

 

I’m a big fan of yogurt and eat Greek yogurt with blueberries, sliced almonds and a dash of honey almost every day for breakfast. But yogurt on a tampon to prevent or cure a yeast infection? This comes up time and again in women’s magazines, on the Web and on TV. Hate to say it, but no! Never! Don’t do it!

Yes, lactobacilli are good for your vagina, but the strain of lactobacilli in yogurt is not the same strain of lactobacilli that populates a healthy vagina. Multiple studies have shown that putting yogurt in the vagina does not work. (Some studies have even shown that there are yogurts that claim to contain lactobacilli and may not have them at all.) For those women who say, “It worked for me!” guess what? Self diagnosis of a vaginal yeast infection is more often incorrect than correct. One study even showed that women were correct in their self-diagnosis of yeast infection only 34% of the time and 15% of the time; there was no infection at all (no doubt, these are often the situations in which believers have found yogurt on a tampon to work). Also keep in mind that the most likely culprit of an abnormal discharge is bacterial vaginosis, a common but lesser known kind of infection with similar symptoms to a yeast infection that has nothing to do with yeast.

So if you have that awful, itchy feeling, a cottage cheese discharge and you are fairly certain a yeast infection is the cause, by all means try one of the over the counter antifungal medications intended to treat yeast infections. If you want to keep the right balance of lactobacilli in your vagina, try an oral probiotic such as Pro-B that has the correct strains of lactobacilli that might help prevent a yeast infection, but won’t do anything to cure it once it’s there. But with bacterial vaginosis and other infections or issues that may be stirring up trouble, you just may have to bite the bullet and make a trip to the gynecologist to see what’s up down there because soaking a tampon in yogurt and putting it in your vagina is nothing more than a waste of a perfectly good yogurt.

7Originally published2014 doctoroz.com