Details about Yeast Infection (Vaginal) – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that creates irritation, discharge, and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva, the tissues at the vaginal opening. Also known as vaginal candidiasis, vaginal yeast infection influences up to three out of four women at some point in their lifetimes. Many women feel at least two episodes. A vaginal yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. But, there is a growing risk of a vaginal yeast infection at the time of first daily sexual activity. There is also some proof that infections may be linked to mouth to genital contact. Medicines can effectively treat vaginal yeast infections. If you have recurrent vaginal yeast infections four or more within a year, you may require a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan for vaginal yeast infection.

Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms

Vaginal Yeast infection symptoms can range from nominal to moderate and include:

1) Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva
2) A burning sensation, particularly during intercourse or while urinating
3) Redness and swelling of the vulva
4) Vaginal pain and soreness
5) Vaginal rash
6) Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance
7) Watery vaginal discharge

Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infection

The fungus candida Albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections causes. The vagina typically contains a balanced mix of yeast, involving candida and bacteria. Certain bacteria act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast infections. But that balance can be disrupted. An excess of candida or penetration of the fungus into deeper vaginal cell layers causes of vaginal yeast infection. Overgrowth of the yeast can output from:

1) Antibiotic use, which creates an imbalance in natural vaginal flora
2) Pregnancy
3) Uncontrolled Diabetes disease
4) An impaired immune system
5) Taking oral contraceptives or hormone therapy that maximize estrogen levels

Candida albicans is the most popular type of fungus to cause of vaginal yeast infections. Yeast infections created by other types of candida fungus can be more complex to treat and typically need more-aggressive therapies.

Vaginal Yeast Infection Diagnosis

For the diagnosis of vaginal yeast infection, the doctor may suggest the following

1) Medical history: This might involve collecting information about past vaginal infections or sexually transmitted infections.
2) Do a pelvic test: The doctor tests the external genitals for signs of infection. Next, the doctor inserts an instrument into the vagina to stay the vaginal walls open to examining the vagina and cervix, the lower, narrower part of the uterus.
3) Test vaginal secretions: The doctor may forward a sample of vaginal fluid for testing to understand the type of fungus, making the yeast infection. Identifying the fungus can assist the doctor in prescribing a more effective treatment for recurrent yeast infections.

Treatment of Vaginal Yeast Infection

Treatment of vaginal yeast infections based on the severity and frequency of the infections. For nominal to moderate symptoms and infrequent episodes, the doctor might suggest:

1) Short course vaginal therapy: Taking an antifungal medicine for three to seven days will typically clear a yeast infection. Antifungal drugs are available as creams, ointments, tablets. Some of these medicines are available over-the-counter and others by prescription only.
2) Single-dose oral medicine: The doctor might prescribe a one-time, single oral dose of medicine. Oral medicine is not suggested if you are pregnant. To control more-serious symptoms, you might take two single doses three days apart.

Consult the doctor again if the treatment of vaginal yeast infection does not resolve the symptoms or if the symptoms come back within two months.

Vaginal Yeast Infection Prevention

To minimize the chance of vaginal yeast infections, use underwear that has a cotton crotch to prevent vaginal yeast infection, and does not fit too tightly. It might also assist in avoiding:

1) Tight-fitting pantyhose
2) Douching, which eliminates some of the healthy bacteria in the vagina that prevent you from infection
3) Scented feminine products, including bubble bath, pads, and tampons
4) Hot tubs and scorching baths
5) Unnecessary antibiotic use, like for colds or other viral infections
6) Staying in wet clothes, like swimsuits and workout attire, for extended periods

Updated: January 20, 2020 — 4:55 pm

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