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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

5 Myths You Probably Still Believe About Your Vagina

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% from Her Campus.

The vagina can seem like a ~mysterious~ beast, but that’s only because there’s SO much wrong information out there. We get it: it can be difficult to talk about “down there” but it’s important, and in our book, there is no such thing as too much information. We partnered with MONISTAT® and its educational campaign, It’s Time for TMI, to debunk some common myths about vaginas and yeast infections.

1. Yeast infections can’t be cured without a prescription

They can be! According to a MONISTAT® survey of 1,000 young women, 66 percent don’t know that yeast infections can be cured with an OTC treatment. If you’re experiencing the tell-tale signs of a yeast infection (vaginal itching, discharge and discomfort) you should see a healthcare professional. He or she will be able to give you a proper diagnosis. Once you’ve been diagnosed, ask your healthcare professional about MONISTAT®. It’s the #1 Doctor Recommended OTC yeast infection treatment—and it starts curing right at the source of the infection.

Almost all other vaginal infections do require prescriptions treatment, but fortunately with yeast infections, the cure can be found at your drug store. MONISTAT® is an antifungal (super important in curing yeast infections) and is prescription strength. In fact, MONISTAT® was formerly available only by a prescription!

2. Having too much sex can cause a yeast infection

While 81 percent of women believe sex is a primary cause of yeast infections, thankfully, this too is a myth!! There are many reasons women can get yeast infections, but sex is not one of them. While having sex can sometimes result in vaginal irritation, sex alone does not cause yeast infections. Yeast infections happen when the vagina’s natural balance of bacteria is disrupted. Infections can be triggered by things like your period, antibiotics and birth control, as well as just being sick! If you think you have a yeast infection, be sure to see a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. If you’ve been diagnosed previously with a yeast infection and recognize the symptoms, your yeast infection can be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal product like MONISTAT®. MONISTAT® products come in a variety of treatment dosages and systems (MONISTAT® 1, 3 and 7) and are designed to help women confidently address their vaginal health needs on their terms. Regardless of which dose you choose (1, 3, or 7 day), you should experience some symptom relief after 3 days, and complete relief in 7 days.

3. Yeast infections are a type of STD

This is totally not true. Yeast infections are incredibly common and you don’t need to be sexually active to get one. Three out of four women will get one in their lifetime, and while they can be unpleasant, they really are no big deal and are easily treatable. So while condoms are a great way to prevent STDs and pregnancy, they will not protect against yeast infections. We’ve included tips to help prevent yeast infections below.

4. If you have vaginal itching and discharge, you definitely have a yeast infection

It very well might be a yeast infection, but itching and discharge can be symptoms for several vaginal infections or STDs like bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, for instance. This is why it’s so important to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and to discuss your treatment options. Even if you’re pre-med, trust us—your doctor knows best! Once you’ve been diagnosed, treating the yeast infection can be easy thanks to OTC treatment options like those from MONISTAT®. MONISTAT® also offers an easy-to-use Vaginal Health Test that can help determine if your symptoms may require a visit to your doctor if you are unsure. 

5. Eating a lot of yogurt will treat a yeast infection

We wish! Sorry, but there are no home remedies that will treat a yeast infection. Only antifungal treatments that are applied directly into the vagina at the source of the infection (available OTC or prescription) or taken orally (available only as a prescription in the US) can cure an infection! That said, there are some good ways to practice good vaginal health to help reduce your risk of getting a yeast infection.

  • Keep the genital area cool and dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose clothing.
  • Change out of damp clothes or bathing suits ASAP.
  • Always wipe front to back.
  • Change pads, tampons and liners often.
  • And definitely avoid scented bath products in the vaginal area, including scented body wash. 

While talking about vaginal health isn’t always comfortable, we encourage you to get a proper diagnosis and then get treatment! Remember, you are certainly not the first to get a yeast infection, and it can happen to any of us. They’re easily treatable without a prescription and there’s no need to panic or be embarrassed! Visit ItsTimeforTMI.com to educate yourself about yeast infections and learn how to cure them. 

Katie was the former Senior Associate Editor of Her Campus. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2015, where she studied Writing Seminars, psychology, and women's studies. Prior to joining the full-time staff, Katie was a national contributing writer and Health Editor for HC. In addition to her work with Her Campus, Katie interned at Cleveland Magazine, EMILY's List, and the National Partnership for Women & Families. Katie is also an alumna of Kappa Alpha Theta. In her spare time, Katie enjoys writing poetry, hanging out with cats, eating vegan cupcakes, and advocating for women's rights.