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Avoid Harsh Soaps and Feminine Hygiene Products

Let your body clean itself.

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Not only can the alcohol and other chemicals in these products cause irritation, but they could alter the pH balance of the vagina, allowing yeast to flourish.

Routine douching isn't a good idea if you don't have vaginal symptoms. However, for women with yeast-infection symptoms, a mild vinegar douche can help restore the vagina's normal pH (which is about 4.5). Douching with yogurt that contains live lactobacillus or acidophilus bacteria may help restore the friendly microorganisms lost during infection or as a result of antibiotic use. For the best douche results, follow these easy steps:

  1. Prepare the douche solution as outlined above.
  2. Make sure the container, tube, and irrigation nozzle are very clean. If not, clean them with a good antiseptic solution.
  3. Lie in the tub with a folded towel under your buttocks and with your legs parted. Suspend the container 12 to 18 inches above your hips.
  4. Insert the nozzle into your vagina with a gentle rotating motion until it encounters resistance (two to four inches).
  5. Allow the solution to flow in slowly. Use your fingers to close the vaginal lips until a little pressure builds up inside. This allows the solution to reach the entire internal surface. An effective douche should take ten minutes or so.
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