This article discusses the symptoms and related health problems of yeast infection. It also discusses the causes and treatments available for this health problem. Finally, it mentions the importance of having requisite information about this condition relative to the problem’s prevention and treatment.
What is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
Vaginal Yeast infections are quite common among women. Studies show that over 70 per cent of women report having it in their lifetime. It is sometimes also called Thrush. Medically it is known as Candidiasis. Most times it is easily cleared up with the right information and medication.
The top three signs of having yeast infection are
- itching, burning and painful sensation during urination,
- and a thick, white, odourless, cheese-like vaginal discharge. Other symptoms of this condition are redness and swelling of the vagina and the vulva (the outer part of the female genitals).
- Pain during sex is also a common symptom.
The symptoms of yeast infections are similar to other more serious conditions including urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bacterial vaginosis (overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina).
What causes Yeast Infection?
The scientific term for yeast infection is Candidiasis. This name derives from the fungus Candida that causes this condition. Fungi (plural for fungus) thrive in dark and moist areas such as the vaginal area of women. In the vaginal area of the body there is a healthy balance of fungi and bacteria. The hormone estrogen assists bacteria (lactobacilli) to grow. These bacteria kill harmful organisms in the vagina and keep the female body healthy. Whenever something happens that upsets this delicate balance, a fungus called Candida can grow out of control causing a yeast infection. Here are the familiar reasons one could get a yeast infection.
Taking antibiotics can kill off many of the good bacteria that live in your body (including the vagina). This can cause an imbalance that can make the fungus Candida to grow out of control.
Vaginal sprays and creams:
Using these products can change the balance in your vagina.
Improperly controlled diabetes can cause increase in sugar in the mucus membranes (moist linings) of the vagina. This can create favourable conditions for yeast to grow.
HIV or any other immune system disorder causes the yeast to grow uncontrollably.
A yeast infection is not usually considered as an STI, it can be passed from person to person through sexual contact.
What are the treatments for Yeast Infection?
Antifungal creams, ointments and suppositories (containing miconazole or clotrimazole) are the most common ways to treat yeast infections. These can take 1 to 7 days for full effect. The doctor may also prescribe a single-dose pill with fluconazole (an antifungal medicine). It is, however, important to consult a doctor first prior to applying any of the available remedies to avoid complications, contraindications and further harm.