Yeast Infection: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Yeast infections are quite common among women around the world no matter what race they belong to. Even though a yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease, it is stilltypically contracted during or after sexual intercourse. Getting rid of a yeast infection is very easy and usually, the infection can be gone in about three to four days after treatment.

What Is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by yeast which is a type of fungus, and it is also referred to as yeast vaginitis, candidal vaginitis or candidal vulvovaginitis. Almost one hundred percent of vaginal yeast infections are caused by the species that is known as the candida albicans, while other types of candida can infect other types of yeast infections. In fact, there are approximately 20%-50% of women that have candida in their vaginas. When the balance of yeast and bacteria is disturbed, which then allows the yeast to overgrow, these women will suffer yeast infection. The yeast can be spread during sexual contact, but a vaginal yeast infection is not considered a sexually-transmitted disease because a yeast infection can also occur when a woman is abstinent or pregnant.

What Are the Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection?

There are many symptoms that can help you realize that you may have a vaginal yeast infection. Here are some to look for:

  • Itching/irritation at the opening of the vagina
  • A burning sensation
  • Redness of the vagina
  • Swelling of the vagina
  • Pain and soreness of the vagina
  • A thick and white odorless discharge

It is also possible for your vaginal yeast infection to get a little bit worsened over time when left untreated. Here are some of the conditions that you should pay specially attention to:

  • Extensive tearing that looks like it could lead to open wounds on the vagina.
  • You have recurrent yeast infection, like over four times in one year.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You have uncontrolled diabetes.
  • You have lower immunity after a HIV outbreak.

When to See a Doctor

It is time to go and see your doctor as soon as possible if:

  • You seem to have some yeast infection in the first time.
  • You are not sure if it is a vaginal yeast infection or not.
  • Your symptoms do not go away after trying self-treatments or OTC drugs.

What Causes Vaginal Yeast Infection?

Candida is a completely naturally occurring microorganism in the vaginal area. However, if there is a disruption in your immunity system, then the candida cannot work properly, leading to an overgrowth of the yeast, creating a vaginal yeast infection.

Luckily, these types of yeast infections are completely treatable. If you are experiencing several yeast infections a year, then you may have a different type of candida present, and a doctor will run a lab to know which one is present in your vagina.

If you are experiencing an outbreak in yeast growth, it could be caused by any of the following reasons:

  • Certain antibiotics which lower good bacteria in vagina
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes left uncontrolled
  • Weak immune system
  • Douches
  • Eating unhealthily
  • Experiencing hormone imbalance because of the menstrual cycle
  • Stress
  • Poor sleeping habits

How to Get Rid of a Vaginal Yeast Infection

1.  Medications for Vaginal Infections 

For Simple Yeast Infection

  • Short-course vaginal therapyThis is just a one-time application to be applied to your vaginal area once a day for one to three days. You can use a class of OTC drugs that are called the azoles, which include butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat 3) and terconazole (Terazol 3). You may experience a burning or itchingsensation while using them.
  • Single-dose oral medication. You may be prescribed a one-time antifungal medication called fluconazole (Diflucan) to take for a few days.

Always make a follow-up appointment if your yeast infection gets worse after taking these medications.

For Complicated Yeast Infection

  • ŸLong-course vaginal therapyA long-term vaginal cream, ointment, tablet or suppository of an azole drug can be applied to your vaginal area for 7 to 14 days for the complicated yeast infection.
  • ŸMulti dose oral medication. You may be given oral medication for up to three doses of fluconazole instead of the vaginal therapy. However, if you are pregnant, don't use it.
  • ŸMaintenance planIf you are experiencing recurrent yeast infection, your doctor will give you some tips on how to control the yeast infection and what you should do to prevent them in the future. Usually, the doctor will ask you to take fluconazole tablets or use clotrimazole suppository or tablet once a week for 6 months.

2.  Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection

There are many things that you can do to help relieve the yeast infection when you have it and prevent it from happening again.

  • ŸYogurt. Eatyogurt that contains a natural and friendly bacteria called lactobacillus acidophilus to help fight the bad candidiasis. Taking some acidophilus supplements also helps.
  • ŸWatch what you wear. Begin to watch out the types of panties that you wear daily. Make sure that your vagina has room to breathe by avoiding tight-fitting pants.
  • ŸNonprescription vaginal creams. Use over the counter vaginal creams if you already have a yeast infection.

Watch the video below to know how to prevent yeast infection in the first place:

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