Vaginal Yeast Infection and its Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment Methods

Vaginal Yeast Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

This is an infection commonly caused by the fungus Candida albicans and seen in most of the women at some time in their lifetime. The Candida genus of yeast is a naturally occurring microorganism lives in the vaginal area in small numbers without causing any symptoms.  Women generally in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are likely to have the yeast infection.

What causes or How do you get vaginal yeast infections?

Normally, a healthy vagina has many different bacteria and a small number of yeast cells. The most common bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus check the growth of yeast and other organisms and help them to keep in control. If there is an imbalance of these organisms, yeast can overgrow in number causing the yeast infection symptoms.

The imbalance resulting in overgrowth of yeast may happen due to taking antibiotics, high estrogen levels caused by pregnancy or hormone therapy, stress, lack of sleep.

Yeast Infection Symptoms are

Pain During Sex
White discharge in the vaginal area.

Yeast infection can be spread through sexual contact but generally not considered as a sexually transmitted disease because it can also be seen in women who are not sexually active. However, some men will develop certain yeast infection symptoms like skin irritation and rash on the penis after having sexual intercourse with an infected partner. Using condoms and dental dams may help prevent the passing of yeast infections through vaginal, oral or anal sex.

 Women could be at higher risk of the yeast infection if

You are pregnant
You have diabetes and blood sugar is not between the ideal range
You are obese
You use vaginal sprays
You are taking certain medicines or antibiotics such as amoxicillin or steroid medicines
You are taking contraceptive sponges, diaphragms with spermicide
You have poorly functioning immune system such as from HIV

Diagnosis of yeast infection

The treatment for yeast infection symptoms is simple depending on the severity but it is better to consult a doctor or nurse if you think you are having an infection. Your doctor will do a pelvic exam to examine for swelling and discharge. Diagnosis is done by examining a sample of discharge directly under a microscope to identify yeast organisms. Your doctor examines your vagina and its surrounding area to look for any external signs of infection. As per your doctor’s physical identification, he/she will then take a vaginal culture and send to the lab for test’s confirmation.

Treatment for yeast infection symptoms

Use antifungal medicine which usually available in the form of creams, tablets, ointments or suppository for inserting into the vagina. You can apply treatment at once in one dose or apply them for up to seven days according to the brand you choose.

Effective methods to prevent a yeast infection

The following are some preventive methods of vaginal yeast infection and helps reduce yeast infection symptoms

You should not douche as it may remove bacteria from your vagina that protects you from this infection
Stop using scented feminine products including bubble bath, pads, and tampons
Do not wear tight underwear, pants or jeans
Often keep changing your pads, tampons and panty liners
Prevent hot tubs and hot baths
Always wipe from front to back
Change swimsuits and workout clothes as immediately as possible
Eat yogurt or take supplements rich in lactobacillus

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