Good news – ESSENCE’s “Ask An OB-GYN” series is back to bring you very public answers to some of your most private questions. When sexual and vaginal health concerns arise, renowned Obstetrics and Gynecology physician Dr. Tosha Rogers wants to ensure you have the answers you need to feel at ease. If you have a sexual health concern or question you want to swing her way, we’ve got you covered.  Email with “Ask An OB-GYN” in the subject line and ask away!

Q: What are your thoughts on natural remedies being used to treat yeast infections? For instance, I’ve read that a tampon dipped in Greek yogurt can help rid you of the yeast. Similarly, I’ve heard adding apple cider vinegar to a bath can restore vaginal PH as well. Can these tricks actually work?

A: I get this question all the time. It makes me sad, angry and itchy all at the same time. Yeast is a fungal infection. Yeast eats sugar. So when your blood sugar is highest, that’s when yeast will rear its ugly head. The best thing you can do to avoid a yeast infection is to keep your blood sugar low. You do that by avoiding sugars, carbs, and processed foods and by drinking plenty of water. I discourage all of my patients from ever putting anything other than a tampon, finger or penis into the vagina. Please, no yogurt soaked tampons, no coconut oil, no garlic cloves, etc.

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Not only do these so-called “natural remedies” not work, but they could also potentially create a whole new set of problems. As far as apple cider vinegar – yes, it absolutely works to rid the body of excess candida (yeast), but not from a bath. Stop pickling your vagina. It’s doesn’t deserve it!! I recommend a shot a day of ACV per day or 2 capsules if you can tolerate the taste. NEVER IN BATH WATER.

Dr. Tosha Rogers