Probiotics are beneficial bacteria used for the prevention and treatment of yeast infections. You can take probiotics in the form of foods or supplements. Yeast overgrowth may appear in or outside of the body, such as in the mouth, vagina, or under flaps of skin. Symptoms of a yeast infection include vaginal discharge, pus, odor, diarrhea and white tongue or white spots in the mouth. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about taking probiotics for your yeast infection.
Include probiotic foods in your diet. Probiotic foods include yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, buttermilk and soy milk. Some food companies add friendly bacteria to their products, such as nutrition bars, cereals and fruit juices. Buy food products that contain live active cultures, usually labeled as such on the product’s packaging.
Consume prebiotic foods. Prebiotic foods might not contain healthy bacteria, but they do help probiotic foods work. Some of the prebiotic foods are honey, garlic, barley, flax, legumes, wheat and bananas. The Mayo Clinic suggests taking 3 to 8 grams of prebiotic foods a day, although there are not any specific guidelines established for the daily intake of prebiotics.
Take a probiotic supplement in the form of a capsule or tablet, available over the counter. The University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, recommends taking a probiotic capsule or tablet that contains 1 to 2 billion live cultures each day until the yeast infection clears up.
Alternatively, take probiotics in powder form. Combine ¼ tsp. of probiotic power and 8 oz. of water in a glass. Stir to mix and use as a mouthwash for thrush, an oral yeast infection.
Insert a probiotic capsule into the vagina once a day to treat vaginal yeast infections. Some women find relief of discomfort using capsules in the vagina, but Penn State University Children's Hospital says this method requires more study to prove its effectiveness for treating vaginal infections.
Avoid eating sugary foods while you take probiotics, at least until your yeast infection clears up. Yeast feed on sugar, and sugar can cause yeast overgrowth.
Probiotics might cause side effects such as gas and diarrhea. These symptoms should go away with continued use. People with weak immune systems might not tolerate probiotics well.
Always talk to your doctor before using probiotics. A yeast infection could be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as a sexually transmitted disease.