Vaginal yeast infection is a highly prevalent infection among women that causes many complications, including preterm labour, urinary tract infection, and reduced quality of life. This type of fungus, commonly called yeast, is associated with discomfort in s3xual disorders, dryness and pain.

Recently, this infection has increased dramatically in terms of severity and incidence mainly due to the increase in cases of immunodeficiency, such as AIDS, cancer and cancer treatment.

One of the drugs which have been taken into consideration to treat vaginal yeast infection, in the recent years, is clotrimazole that is administered as suppository.

However, recent studies have shown that this over-the-counter antifungal to treat vaginal yeast infections like Candida albicans have lost their effectiveness.

Despite their high cost, the infection keeps coming back, year after year. This lack of effective treatment is causing high demand for new antifungal drugs that are more effective and less toxicity.

But Iranian scientists have found a mixture of either ginger with clotrimazole or yogurt and honey with clotrimazole more effective and as such may be more useful than the clotrimazole to treat vaginal candidiasis.

In a new study, researchers at the Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences compared the clinical effect of ginger cream along with clotrimazole with vaginal clotrimazole alone.

Ginger has been used for the treatment of various diseases. Previous tests on it had shown that it contains a protein that can be used against numerous fungi.

This double-blind clinical trial was conducted on married women aged between 25 and 35 years with vaginal candidiasis that were referred to the Gynaecology Clinic of Hajar Hospital in 2015. They were divided randomly into two groups of 33 and 34 people.

Ginger-clotrimazole vaginal cream one per cent and clotrimazole vaginal cream one per cent were administered to groups one and two, respectively, once a day for seven days and therapeutic effects and symptoms were evaluated on readmission.

Factors such as pregnancy, menstruation, and certain diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, use of Intrauterine Device for birth control and having more than one s3xual partner that may predispose to women to this fungal infection were excused in the participants.

The study in the 2017 edition of the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research indicated that recurrence in clotrimazole group was 48.5 per cent and in ginger-clotrimazole group 51.2 per cent during a month follow-up.

They found that although itching, burning, and cheesy secretions in ginger and clotrimazole group was lower than those in clotrimazole group, the difference was statistically significant only in cheesy secretions.

They concluded: “This cream, as an herbal and natural medicine, may be a good alternative for people who cannot use azoles.”

Previously, researchers suggested that the therapeutic effects of vaginal cream, yogurt and honey is not only similar with clotrimazole vaginal cream but is more effective in relieving some symptoms of vaginal candidiasis.

In a randomised, triple blind clinical trial involved 70 non-pregnant women infected with vaginal candidiasis, the researchers found signs and symptoms of vaginal candidiasis reduced significantly using a vaginal cream containing yogurt and honey.

For the study, a group was treated with vaginal cream mixed of yogurt and honey and the other with clotrimazole vaginal cream. Clinical and laboratory signs and symptoms of the fungal infection were monitored over the period of test.

The researchers indicated that more than 75 per cent of the yogurt and honey group recovered from itches in seven days compared to 66 per cent in clotrimazole group.

They reasoned that yogurt and honey mixture prevents colonisation of Candida species, adding, “the combination of honey with yogurt causes a synergistic effect of honey against candidiasis.”

Reporting in 2015 edition of the Global Journal of Health Sciences, they declared: “administration of honey in combination with yogurt has desired effect in the treatment of vaginal candidiasis. And cause the reduction and recovery from vaginal candidiasis

“Also, it is more economical in terms of costs and it does not have the synthetic drugs side effects. Therefore, their use in combination with topical formulations for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis would be useful.”

Laboratory and clinical results of honey has indicated it inhibits the growth of various fungi such as Candida. Also, yogurt and probiotics are commonly used by women when they are infected with vaginal infection.