A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge, and extreme itchiness of the vagina and the vulva — the cells at the vaginal opening.
Also called vaginal candidiasis, vaginal yeast disease affects up to 3 out of 4 girls at some point in their lifetimes. Many women experience at least two episodes.
A vaginal yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. However, there’s a higher risk of vaginal yeast infection at the time of first regular intercourse.
There is also some evidence that infections could be linked to mouth to genital contact (oral-genital gender ).
Drugs can effectively cure vaginal yeast infections. If you have recurrent yeast infections — four or even more in a year — you will require a longer treatment program and a maintenance plan.
Yeast infection symptoms may vary from mild to moderate and comprise:
- Itching and irritation from the vagina and vulva
- A burning feeling, especially during intercourse or while urinating
- Redness and swelling of the vulva
- Vaginal pain and soreness
- Vaginal rash
- Watery vaginal discharge
Complicated yeast infection:
You May Have a complicated yeast infection if:
- You have acute signs and symptoms, such as extensive redness, itching, and swelling which leads to tears, cracks, or blisters
- You’ve got four or even more yeast infections within a year
- Your infection is Brought on by a less typical Kind of fungus
- You are pregnant
- You’ve uncontrolled diabetes
- Your immune system is weakened because of specific medicines or conditions like HIV disease
When to see a Physician:
Make an appointment with your physician if:
- Here is the first time you’ve had yeast infection symptoms
- You are not sure whether you have a yeast infection
- Your symptoms aren’t relieved after healing with over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories
- You develop other symptoms
The ringworm Candida Albicans is responsible for many vaginal yeast infections.
Your vagina naturally includes a balanced mix of yeast, such as candida, and bacteria. Certain bacteria (lactobacillus) act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast.
But that equilibrium could be disrupted. An overgrowth of candida or penetration of the uterus into deeper vaginal cell layers causes the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.
Yeast infection overgrowth can result from:
- Antibiotic Usage, which causes an imbalance in natural vaginal flora
- An impaired immune system
- Taking oral contraceptives or hormone therapy that boost estrogen levels
Yeast infections caused by other types of candida fungus can be more difficult to treat and generally need more aggressive therapies.
Some important factors that increase your risk of developing a yeast infection include:
Antibiotic use. Yeast infections are common in women who take antibiotics.
Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which kill a range of bacteria, also kill healthy bacteria in your vagina, resulting in the overgrowth of yeast infections.
Increased estrogen levels. Yeast infections are more prevalent in women with high estrogen levels — such as pregnant women or girls taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills or estrogen hormone therapy.
Uncontrolled diabetes. Women with poorly controlled blood glucose are at greater risk of yeast infections than women with well-controlled blood glucose.
Impaired immune system. Women with reduced immunity — for example from corticosteroid treatment or HIV infection — are more likely to have yeast infections.
To lower your risk of vaginal yeast infections, wear underwear that has a cotton crotch and does not fit too closely.
It may Also Help prevent:
- Douching, which removes some of the normal bacteria in the anus that protect you from infection
- Scented feminine products, such as bubble bath, pads, and tampons
- Hot baths and very hot baths
- Unnecessary antibiotic use, such as for colds or other viral illnesses
- Staying in wet clothing, like swimsuits and exercise attire, for long Amounts of Time
- Tight-fitting pantyhose
To diagnose a yeast infection, your Physician may:
Ask questions about your medical history. This might consist of collecting information about previous vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
Perform a pelvic exam. Your doctor examines your external genitals for symptoms of infection. Next, your doctor puts an instrument (speculum) into your vagina to hold the vaginal walls available to examine the cervix and vagina — the lower, narrower part of your uterus.
Evaluation vaginal secretions. Your doctor may send a sample of vaginal fluid for testing to determine the kind of disorder causing the yeast infection.
Assessing the fungus can help your physician prescribe a more effective treatment for recurrent yeast infections.
Treatment for yeast infections depends upon the seriousness and frequency of your ailments.
For mild to moderate symptoms and rare episodes, your Physician might recommend:
Short-course vaginal therapy. Taking antifungal medication three to seven times will usually clear a yeast infection.
Antifungal medications — which are available as creams, ointments, tablets, and suppositories — include miconazole (Monistat 3) and terconazole.
Some of the medications can be found over-the-counter and many others from prescription only.
Single-dose oral medication. Your doctor may prescribe a one-time, single oral dose of fluconazole (Diflucan). Oral medication isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant.
To manage more severe symptoms, you may take two doses three times apart.
See your physician again if treatment does not solve your symptoms or if your symptoms return in just two months.
If your symptoms are severe, or you have frequent yeast infections, your Physician might recommend:
Long-course vaginal therapy. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medicine taken every day for up to two weeks, followed by once a week for six months.
Multidose oral medication. Your doctor might prescribe a couple of doses of antifungal medication to be taken by mouth instead of vaginal treatment.
However, this treatment is not suggested for pregnant ladies.
Azole-resistant therapy. Your physician may recommend malic acid, a capsule inserted into your anus.
This medication may be deadly if taken orally and can be used simply to treat candida fungus that is immune to the typical antifungal agents.
No alternative medicine therapies have been proved to cure vaginal yeast infections.
Some complementary and alternative therapies may provide some relief when coupled with your doctor’s care.
Talk to your physician about what alternative remedies for vaginal yeast infection may be safe for you.
Preparing for your appointment:
If you’ve been treated for yeast infection in the past, your physician may not have to visit you personally and may prescribe a remedy over the phone.
Otherwise, you are very likely to see a family medicine doctor or gynecologist.
What you can do:
- Make a list of any symptoms you have had and for a long time.
- Write down crucial information, including other health conditions along with any drugs, vitamins, or nutritional supplements you’re taking.
- Avoid using tampons or douching before your appointment.
- Make a list of questions to ask your physician.
Questions to ask your doctor or physician:
- Can I need to take medication?
- Are there any special instructions for taking the medicine?
- Are there any over-the-counter products that can treat my condition?
- What can I do if my symptoms return after treatment?
- How do I prevent yeast infections?
During your appointment, do not be afraid to ask different questions as they occur to you.
Things to expect from the doctor:
Your doctor is likely to ask you several queries, such as:
- What vaginal symptoms do you have?
- Can you observe a strong vaginal odor?
- Have you tried over-the-counter products to care for your situation?
- Perhaps you have recently taken antibiotics?
- Are you sexually active?
- Are you pregnant?
- Can you douche or use feminine hygiene spray?
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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