Vaginal Yeast Infections
Information About Vaginal Yeast Infections
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
The fungus known as Candida albicans is the cause of vaginal yeast infections. Yeast is a normal component of the human body, particularly on the skin and in the vagina. Because the vagina is acidic, the yeast does not grow out of control; however, if the acid content is reduced, the yeast can grow unchecked and result in a vaginal yeast infection.
There are many triggers that can lead to yeast infections. Your period can change the acidity in the vagina, as can diabetes, douching, pregnancy, certain antibiotics, steroids, and birth control pills. In addition, if the environment of the vagina is wet or irritated, it can stimulate the growth of yeast.
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?
For the most part, yeast infections do not lead to worse complications; however, they can be fairly bothersome. Here are some of the symptoms of a yeast infection:
1. Burning or itching in or around the vagina
2. A discharge that is white in color and may resemble cottage cheese
3. Discomfort when having sex
4. Inflammation of the vulva
75% of all women will get a yeast infection at one point or another in their lives. 50% of all women will have multiple infections during their lives. In the event that you get symptoms of a yeast infection, you should see a physician to ensure that a yeast infection is actually present.
What are the treatments of yeast infections?
Typically, yeast infections will be treated with a medication that is inserted into the vagina. The medication could be in cream form that you put inside your vagina using an applicator designed for that purpose, or it could be in suppository form, which you would put into your vagina and let it dissolve on its own. There are also some creams that you can apply to your vulva to eliminate itching. Sometimes, you might be prescribed a pill to take instead.
Does my physician need to be notified of every yeast infection?
It is necessary for you to visit a physician when you experience yeast infection symptoms the first time. This is because you need to verify that it is actually a yeast infection and not something else that could be more severe. Yeast infection symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of other ailments like certain sexually transmitted infections. If you try to treat yourself because you think you have a yeast infection but you actually have another kind of infection, you could actually worsen your condition.
In the event that you have experienced many repeat infections, you may want to speak to your physician about over-the-counter remedies that you can get without speaking to him or her first.
Are there preventive measures I can take?
There are several lifestyle changes you can make to help you keep from getting yeast infections. These are:
1. Wear clothes that are loose-fitting and made out of natural materials.
2. Only wear cotton underwear
3. Only wear pantyhose or tights once in a while
4. Following your bath or shower, blow dry your genital region using the low setting on your hair dryer
5. When you wipe yourself, do so from front to back so that the bacteria that belong in your rectum do not get into your vagina.
6. After swimming, change out of your suit immediately
7. Avoid douching or using any feminine products that are scented
8. Do not use anything but white toilet paper. Colored or scented toilet paper can change the amount of acidity in the vagina.
Should my partner be tested?
Even though it does not happen very often, a yeast infection can be transmitted to a partner through sexual contact. If your partner begins to experience yeast infection symptoms, he should speak to a physician.