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What Is Miconazole Vaginal Cream?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Feb 24, 2024
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Miconazole vaginal cream is used to treat vaginal yeast infections. This medication typically comes with an applicator that allows the cream to be introduced directly into the vagina. Side effects are rare but may include a temporary itching or burning sensation at the site of application. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction may occur, even if this medication has been successfully used in the past.

A vaginal yeast infection is caused by a fungus known as Candida. Symptoms often include vaginal itching, burning, or pain during intercourse. Miconazole has proven to be quite effective for the treatment of yeast infections and is available both over the counter and with a prescription. The over-the-counter preparation provides good results for most women.

The most common method of delivery for miconazole vaginal cream is through the use of an applicator, which is similar to the type used for tampons. Depending on the strength of the medication, this cream may be used for one, three, or seven days, and it is normally applied once per day. In most cases, users are told to apply the cream at night just before bed, as physical activity may prevent the cream from remaining in the vaginal canal.

Women who have frequent yeast infections can purchase miconazole at most pharmacies without needing a prescription. If the symptoms have not been diagnosed by a medical professional as a vaginal yeast infection, the patient should not attempt to self-medicate. Other medical conditions may mimic the symptoms of a yeast infection, so an accurate diagnosis is very important.

The majority of women who use miconazole vaginal cream to treat a yeast infection will not experience any negative side effects. In some cases, there may be a temporary increase in burning or itching when applying this medication, although this typically lasts for only a few moments. Very rarely, a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction may occur, even if the cream has been used in the past without any problems. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the lips, tongue, or face. If these symptoms develop, emergency medical assistance is required, as death can occur within a matter of minutes without proper medical care.

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Discussion Comments
By ElizaBennett — On Jan 13, 2012

@MrsWinslow - The thing is that it's kind of a delicate ecosystem down there. The treatment by itself is not dangerous, but if your problem is not yeast but, say, bacterial vaginosis, treating for yeast can put you further away from feeling better by killing off "good" flora as well as yeast.

There are always a variety of different microorganisms - including yeast - in your vagina. When they get out of balance, the result is an infection. For instance, taking antibiotics for some other condition can bring on a yeast infection by killing off both "good" and "bad" bacteria and making room for yeast to grow.

I guess my point is that if you treat for something that is not really the cause of your condition, you can make your condition worse by causing further damage to your own personal ecosystem! It sounds like you are pretty familiar with your own body, though, and in your case you might be able to tell if a particular event was not yeast but something new.

By MrsWinslow — On Jan 12, 2012

Why do they tell you not to diagnose yourself? Aren't the symptoms pretty clear of a yeast infection? I get one every year or two and always treat myself. It clears right up and I move on with my life.

It sounds like a pretty safe treatment, especially since it's sold over the counter. So what's the danger in diagnosing and treating yourself?

As someone who's undergoing infertility treatment, I already spend enough time at the doctor's office, thank you very much!

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