Yeast infections are a common illness. In fact, three out of four women will have a yeast infection at least once in their life. Symptoms of a yeast infection include itching and burning in the vaginal area and a burning sensation during urinating.
The yeast that causes a yeast infection is known as Candida. This yeast is actually found in healthy vaginas as well as other parts of the body. Your vagina usually has numerous healthy bacteria and yeast living in it. The bacteria helps keep the yeast under control by keeping the area acidic which prevents the overgrowth of yeast. When there is an imbalance, it can cause the yeast to overgrow. Imbalances can be caused by medications (antibiotics especially), a weakened immune system, hormonal changes, and some medications.
Symptoms of a yeast infection Exposed
Usually, yeast and bacteria will not cause a yeast infection. It only causes complications when they overgrow. There are multiple types of yeasts that cause infection. 90% of yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans. The other 10% of infections are caused by Candida glabrata and can be more difficult to treat.
Some women may be more at risk of a yeast infection compare to others. These include those are have increased estrogen levels (usually due to pregnancy or birth control pills), have diabetes, are taking medications like steroids and antibiotics, have poor toilet habits (such as wiping from back to the front), have weakened immune systems (cancer, HIV/AIDS), or are using contraceptive spermicides, IUDs, sponges, and diaphragms.
Symptoms of a yeast infection normally include vaginal itching, burning, or swelling, pain or discomfort in the vagina during sex, a burning feeling while urinating, and unusual vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese.
It’s important to note that your symptoms can be misleading because there are many other illness and conditions that cause similar symptoms. Some of them could be significantly more serious than a yeast infection.
1 in 20 women experience recurring yeast infections. This means that they had at least four infections within the past year. If you are experiencing yeast infections this often, it’s vital that you consult a doctor to see why you are experiencing such frequent yeast infections.
If you are experiencing additional symptoms such as a fever, coloured and foul-smelling vaginal discharge, or pelvic pain, you should consult your doctor. If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, under the age of 12, or have diabetes, it is also recommended to see your doctor because your yeast infection could lead to complications.
Your doctor will diagnose your yeast infection by asking about your symptoms and taking a look at your vagina. Your doctor may even take a sample of your vaginal discharge. This sample will then be looked at under a microscope to check for yeast growth.
In many cases, people think they have a yeast infection, but actually have something else. Many sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs and STIs) have similar symptoms but can cause more complications and even infertility if not treated promptly.
Your doctor may prescribe you with vaginal products or oral tablets that are both equally effective. You may also find some effective non-prescription products at your local drug store. Most medications are 80-90% effective. Medications with higher doses may result in a shorter recovery time.
Side effects of the medication can include vaginal itching, burning, irritation, and abdominal pain and cramps.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of a yeast infection, be sure you consult your doctor. Your doctor will be able to confirm that your symptoms are not those of another illness or condition, such as a sexually transmitted disease.
Vaginal yeast infection – What is it and how is it treated?