Q. I have infrequent vaginal yeast infections, but I don’t like to use creams like Monistat. They were once prescribed by doctors and now are available over the counter, but I prefer a more natural approach.

I heard about douching with plain yogurt. I was a little squeamish at first, but have tried it and it works fairly effectively.

Is this a legitimate natural remedy? How does the medical community see it? And should I worry about recurrences?

A. Women have been telling each other about this yeast infection remedy for decades. But the only study we’ve seen had women eat yogurt instead of douching with it (Annals of Internal Medicine, March 1, 1992). The dose was one cup daily of yogurt with live Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures, such as Colombo brand. Women eating yogurt were three times less likely to develop a recurring infection.

Many doctors recoil at the thought of a yogurt douche, but none can object to women eating yogurt. Just check the label to make sure it contains live culture, and you should reduce your chance of another infection.

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