Monistat 1 Review: The Best Anti-Yeast Cream?

Monistat 1 Review: The Best Anti-Yeast Cream?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to yeast infection treatment.

Monistat 1 is a topical cream used to treat vaginal yeast infections. The brand claims that it “relieves yeast infection symptoms 4x faster than the leading Rx pill,” and it's supposed to relieve symptoms within one day.

But does Monistat 1 contain research-backed ingredients for treating yeast infections, or are these just marketing claims? Does it have any questionable additive ingredients? Does Monistat 1 cause side effects? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of this product?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Monistat 1 based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not the product is likely to be effective.

We'll feature unsponsored customer reviews, discuss side effects and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Monistat 1 for the best price.

We'll also share a video from a pharmacist showing how to properly use Monistat 1.

Ingredient Analysis

Monistat 1 ingredients

The ingredients in Monistat 1 are shown above.

Tioconazole is an antifungal, and is the only active ingredient in this product. It's included at a dose of 300 milligrams (mg) and a concentration of 6.5%.

A medical review published in the Drugs journal found that tioconazole is more effective for treating vaginal yeast infections than other commonly-used antifungals.

A 1986 clinical trial analyzed whether tioconazole at the same concentration as in Monistat 1 could successfully treat vaginal yeast infection. 86% of patients using tioconazole were symptom-free after one single treatment.

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a preservative ingredient that's clinically shown to cause tumors in animals, as we documented in our Meaningful Beauty review article on another skincare product containing this ingredient.

Overall, we consider Monistat 1 highly likely to be effective for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections, however, we don't currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of BHA.

Real People Try Monistat 1

A YouTube creator named “All Day With The Alis” reviewed Monistat 1 in a video with over 200,000 views, where she claims the product caused pain: 

A YouTube creator named Justine reviewed Monistat 1 in a video with over 200,000 views:

Does Monistat 1 Cause Side Effects?

Monistat 1 may cause side effects, which is unsurprising given that it’s a drug product applied to sensitive lining inside of the vagina, in an already-irritated area.

The product’s manual contains no reference to potential side effects, but a clinical trial on the use of tioconazole cream for the use of vaginal infections noted a side effect rate of 5%. A sensation of burning was the documented side effect.

This trial used a tioconazole concentration of only 2%, which is significantly less than the concentration in Monistat 1 of 6.5%. This suggests that the risk of side effects for users of Monistat 1 may be higher than 5%.

There are a number of reports online from patients who experienced significant burning and irritation after using Monistat 1. Most of the negative reviews of the product that we’ve encountered were due to the burning side effect.

Overall, we consider Monistat 1 somewhat likely to cause side effects, and we hope that the brand funds a clinical trial to determine the exact likelihood of side effects.

How to Use Monistat 1

A pharmacist named Adrianna Shardey has a video showing patients how to properly use the intra-vaginal device:

How Long Does Monistat 1 Stay Inside You?

Given that Monistat 1 comes with a pre-filled applicator, customers are often curious about how long the treatment actually stays in the body.

The applicator itself should be removed from the body immediately after use and is not meant to stay inside the vagina. The cream, or active treatment, stays inside the body and is absorbed.

There is no reference on the product manual to Monistat 1 cream exiting the vagina or being discharged.

It’s important that patients using Monistat do not use tampons or other vaginal products.

Where to Get the Best Price

Monistat 1 is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase at the time of updating this article:

CVS: $23.49 (plus shipping, link)

Target: $16.99 (plus shipping, link)

Walmart: $16.97 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $15.39 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Monistat 1 is currently 20%+ cheaper at Amazon than other retailers.

Our Clean Anti-Yeast Picks

There are natural compounds that have been studied in clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of yeast infections.

Clairvee by Bonafide is our top probiotic supplement pick for vaginal health.

Oral supplementation with Lactobacillus probiotics improved the ratio of healthy-to-unhealthy bacteria in the vagina in a clinical trial published in the Nutrients journal.

Momentous Vitamin D3 is our top vitamin D3 supplement.

A 2023 medical review described vitamin D3 as having "a significant inhibitory effect on Candida growth and biofilm formation," and "demonstrated antifungal and antibiofilm properties."

Momentous' supplement contains a relatively high vitamin D dose per serving (5,000 IU), making it more cost-efficient, but it may not need to be used daily.

AZO Boric Acid Suppository is our top vaginal suppository pick.

medical review published in the Journal of Women’s Health concluded that “boric acid is a safe, alternative, economic option for women with recurrent and chronic symptoms of vaginitis when conventional treatment fails.”

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients we consider to be unhealthy.

Real Customers Review Monistat 1

Amazon is a better resource for unbiased customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Monistat 1 has been reviewed over 4,500 times on Amazon, and currently has an average review rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Desi Owens” who gives the product a 5/5 star rating, and claims that it's effective and side-effect-free:

I had a moderate yeast infection that I wanted gone right away, so I decided to try this product..Roughly 6.5 hours to work magic…Took a shower and now writing this review because baby it’s gone gone. No itch , no burn.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Monika Yazbek” who gives the product a 1/5 star rating, and claims it caused irritation:

“I am one of those idiots sitting here scrolling through the reviews wishing that I read them before using this demon. Everything everyone describes IS TRUE. It’s HELL!!!!! I applied this demon at 12am before bed i was a little uncomfortable in my sleep with itch and kept sleeping up until 4am I couldn’t hold it anymore! I was dying."

Monistat 1 currently has an average review rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars on Google.

Pros and Cons of Monistat 1

Here are the pros and cons of Monistat 1 in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Research-backed active ingredient
  • Should relieve yeast infection symptoms in one day
  • Unlikely to cause side effects
  • Affordable
  • Positive customer reviews on Amazon
  • Convenient

Cons:

  • Contains BHA
  • Some online customers complain of a burning sensation
  • Active ingredient is clinically shown to cause burning sensation in some individuals
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Monistat 1 contains an active ingredient that's clinically shown to be effective for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections.

The fact that this is a topical treatment, rather than a systemic treatment, suggests that it may carry less risks.

The active ingredient in Monistat 1 has been shown in some clinical trials to cause irritation and burning, but this appears to occur less than 10% of the time. In otherwise healthy individuals, we consider Monistat 1 unlikely to cause side effects.

We don't currently recommend this product because it contains an inactive ingredient that was shown to cause tumors in animal studies.

The cream stays in the vagina and gets absorbed into the body. There are no reports or warnings of leakage in the product manual at the time of updating this article.

In this article we featured a video from a pharmacist showing how to use Monistat 1 properly.

Amazon currently has the best price on Monistat 1 by a significant margin when factoring in shipping fees.