Why Does Monistat Burn and Other Information About Yeast Infections
Does It Burn When You Use Monistat?
An increase in burning, itching, and irritation is a side effect that many women experience when using Monistat, though the intensity varies woman to woman and some say using the ovule formulation decreases those side effects.
In my opinion, I believe it's possible to manage yeast infections without using over-the-counter medication. This way, you might be able to avoid the pain of side effects altogether.
This article will clarify common misconceptions and demystify yeast infections and their causes. I'll also talk about some natural ways to prevent yeast infections.
Why Does Monistat Cause Burning?
As mentioned, burning doesn't need to be a part of your healing process. Sure, there are varying degrees of discomfort, ranging from slightly uncomfortable to oh-my-God my hoo-hoo is on fire! However, no matter the degree of discomfort you're experiencing, you might be able to totally avoid it once you understand what a yeast infection is and how you can heal it.
Remember that you should always seek a doctor's advice if you're having vaginal itching and discomfort for the first time, or if you've never had a yeast infection diagnosed by a medical professional before. This is so you can be properly diagnosed since there are other conditions that are similar to a yeast infection but require different kinds of treatment.1
So why does Monistat burn? There are a couple of explanations for the discomfort/burning feeling you may be experiencing from your Monistat treatment:
- A common side effect. Burning, itching, and irritation is a common side effect to this medication, and the amount of pain or irritation people feel varies widely, from none, to almost none, to some, to intense burning.
- An allergic reaction. A small percentage of woman are allergic to one of the active ingredients in Monistat, miconazole. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, itching/swelling, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.2 If you think you're suffering from an allergic reaction, you should consult a doctor immediately who can prescribe or recommend a cream.
- An irritation. Another possible reason for your burning or discomfort down there is that it could be an irritation. Monistat may just be reacting with your already sensitive skin.
Either way, should Monistat burn? Well, that depends. According to Monistat's website, some women will experience a mild increase in vaginal burning, itching, irritation, or even stomach cramps when using Monistat.2 These side effects vary greatly from person to person, with some women having almost no reaction and others having great discomfort.
Regardless, these side effects are not abnormal and them alone are not cause for alarm. However, if the pain is severe, then you should see a doctor to see about other types of treatment. Likewise, if your yeast infection does not go away after seven days, you should see a doctor since you may be having another kind of infection.
Types of Monistat
How Fast Does It Work?
Ovule or ointment
Use one dose in one day
Ovule, vaginal suppositories, pre-filled cream applicators,
Use one dose a day for three days
Tube + applicators
Use one dose a day for seven days
Yeast Infection: Explanation and Causes
A yeast infection (also called Candida, thrush, candidiasis, Candida Albicans, or Candida Tropicalis) is basically an imbalance in your body between the yeast and good bacteria. A healthy person has a good balance of yeast and good bacteria in their body. As soon as either goes off balance (when there’s too much of one relative to the other), your body reacts.3
Basically: If there's too much yeast, you have a yeast infection. If there's too much bacteria, you have a bacterial infection. Here are some reasons you might be having a yeast infection:
- Using antibiotics? Why are we prone to yeast infections after using antibiotics? Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in your body—both the good and bad. Since they kill the bad bacteria, they also skew the ratio between the good bacteria and the yeast heavily toward the yeast. This increases the odds of a yeast infection.
- Pregnant? High estrogen levels (which can also be caused by hormone therapy, the menstrual cycle, and a high-dose birth control pill use) can encourage excess growth of yeast.
- Diabetic or eating a diet high in sugar? High blood sugar can provide a welcome environment for the growth of yeast.
Also, being overweight, stressed out, lacking sleep, having an impaired immune system, and using corticosteroids (such as prednisone) can also increase your chances of getting a yeast infection.4
While there are a few different kinds of yeast infections (systemic, skin, vaginal, penile, and oral), they all stem from the same problem: a yeast to good bacteria ratio that is off. The varying yeast infections' primary difference is where the infection is located. So, if you think you have a systemic yeast infection, focus on regaining that balance sooner rather than later — either through medical treatment, natural methods, or a combination of both.
Did I Get My Yeast Infection From My Partner?
It's possible that you've contracted your yeast infection from your partner. In turn, it's also possible for you to pass on the infection to your partner. This applies to both men and women. Your partner may have an infection and not know it—you can definitely get it through sexual contact.
- Start treatment at the same time. If both you and your partner seem to have symptoms of a yeast infection, you should both start treating it at the same time. Otherwise the yeast infection can keep going back and forth between each other.
- Avoid sexual activity. While you are both treating the infection, it would probably also be a good idea to avoid sexual contact until the symptoms are gone.
- Simultaneous diet changes. Also, since you and your partner may be passing the infection back and forth, you should both consider trying the diet change and yeast treatment (described below) at the same time.
Also, remember that just because yeast infections can spread through sexual contact, a yeast infection is not exclusive to sexual transmission. Anyone can get them—even children and infants since it stems from an imbalance between the yeast and good bacteria. The infections occur typically where there is moisture. On a child or infant, this is typically the mouth or diaper area.
Why Would a Yeast Infection Come Back?
Sometimes yeast infections come back because of a variety of reasons — it could be a symptom of an underlying condition (like diabetes), because of persistent lifestyle habits, or another reason.
You should see a doctor if your symptoms return within two months.6 If you've had more than four yeast infections within a year, you should see a doctor for treatment that might include other kinds of prescription medication since it may be that the yeast infection is not limited to your nether regions and could be a systemic (and more serious) infection where a more thorough solution may be required.
Looking for healing and preventative measures? I strongly recommend a change in your diet as a good place to start. Read below for some diet pointers.
How to Prevent a Yeast Infection
Anything you can do to keep your genital area dry and clean will help prevent a yeast infection.6 This includes:
- Wearing loose pants and cotton underwear
- Avoiding wearing damp underclothes (like swimming suits or hanging out in gym clothing)
- Avoiding scented feminine products and douching
Lifestyle habits like making sure you get enough sleep, maintain low levels of stress, and keep your diet in check can also help you keep you from getting a yeast infection.
Below I talk more about diet changes that are positive both for your health and for reducing the chance you'll get a yeast infection.
Yeast-Infection Prevention Diet
Because a yeast infection means you have too much yeast in your body compared to the good bacteria, the best and more permanent way to treat it is to bring back that balance by starving the yeast and introducing more good bacteria into your body.
Yeast feeds on sugars. So, by reducing your sugar consumption you will help kill off the excess yeast. Of course even if you aren't trying to get rid of a yeast infection it's always a good idea to minimize the sugars in your diet.
Here are things you should add to your diet to help promote good bacteria (and overall good health):
- live yogurt cultures (or take Acidophilus) — though scientific studies have not proven that eating yogurt reduces the chance of or treats yeast infections, many women swear by it
- protein rich foods
- whey protein
- raw garlic
- nuts and seeds
- rice and oat brans
- plenty of water
- fresh vegetables
On the other hand, here are things you should remove temporarily or avoid in your diet:
- all sodas
- foods containing white flour
- alcohol (especially beer) — drinking alcohol causes your blood sugar to fluctuate in an undesirable way
- antacids (because they inhibit the hydrochloric acid that may help keep yeast growth in check)
What Are Good Monistat Alternatives?
Although you can keep using the creams along with the diet change to speed up the recovery, I would recommend that you go for a more permanent, natural solution instead of the creams.
I tend to prefer more "natural" methods where I can use them. That said, Monistat works for many women — remember to check with your doctor if it's your first time experiencing what you think is a vaginal yeast infection to make sure you get the appropriate treatment.
In the long run, it's always best to find a solution that will correct the problem instead of just temporarily treating it. Changing your diet is a great way to start, and hopefully it will help restore balance in your body.
I hope this article helped you understand your yeast infection more and hopefully this helps minimize the pain in the healing process.
Here's to your health! :)
- "Monistat: Frequently Asked Questions." 2017. Monistat.com. Accessed April 6, 2017.
- "Drugs and Medications: Monistat 1 (Tioconazole) Vaginal." (n.d.) WebMD. Accessed April 6, 2017.
- "Vaginal Yeast Infections - Topic Overview." (n.d.) WebMD. Accessed April 6, 2017.
- "Vaginal Yeast Infections - Cause." (n.d.) WebMD. Accessed April 6, 2017.
- Steckelberg, James M, MD. "Male Yeast Infection: How Can I Tell If I Have One?" August 22, 2015. Mayo Clinic. Accessed April 6, 2017.
- Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD. "10 Ways to Prevent Yeast Infections." January 27, 2017. WebMD. Accessed April 6, 2017.
Have you ever had an experience with Monistat or similar OTC creams that burned?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.