An overview of candidiasis and how to treat it effectively in no time.
A vaginal yeast infection is a fungus that causes irritation, discharge, and severe itching in the vagina and vulva, the tissues at the vaginal opening. Vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, affects up to three out of every four women at some point in their lives. Many women have two or more episodes.
Below you can read all about candida infections, including what they are, how to spot one as well as recommended treatments. And when to see a doctor for preventing further pain.
A genital yeast infection is a fungal infection that produces inflammation, discharge, and severe itching in the vagina and vulva, the tissues that line the vaginal entrance. Vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, affects up to three out of every four women at some point in their lives. At least two episodes are common in many women.
A yeast infection in the vaginal canal is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. However, around the time of the first regular sexual activity, there is a higher chance of vaginal yeast infection. Infections may also be associated with mouth-to-genital contact, according to some studies (oral-genital sex).
Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida albicans. Your vaginal environment contains a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria, including candida. Yeast overgrowth is prevented by certain bacteria (lactobacillus). However, this equilibrium can be upset. The signs and symptoms of a yeast infection are caused by candida overgrowth or penetration of the fungus into deeper vaginal cell layers.
Antibiotic usage can produce an imbalance in natural vaginal flora, as well as pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, a weakened immune system, and the use of oral contraceptives or hormone therapies that raise estrogen levels.
The most prevalent form of fungus that causes yeast infections is Candida albicans. Other kinds of candida fungus can produce yeast infections that are more difficult to treat and require more aggressive treatments.
Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva, a burning sensation, especially during intercourse or while urinating, redness and swelling of the vulva, vaginal pain and soreness. But also vaginal rash, thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance, and watery vaginal discharge are all symptoms of yeast infection.
Because many people who have yeast infections (including babies and children) have never had sex, they aren’t classified as sexually transmitted infections (STI). However, yeast infections can be passed from one person to the next in a variety of ways.
If you’re wondering whether you can pass your yeast infection on to a partner through sex, the quick answer is yes. It’s possible to spread a yeast infection from one spouse to the other if both partners are female, but more research is needed to determine how frequent this is. Through sexual contact, a person with a penile yeast infection can spread his infection to a female partner.
Thrush is a term for a Candida overgrowth in the mouth. Thrush can be caught during oral sex with someone who has a yeast infection in their vaginal or penile area.
The severity and frequency of your yeast infections will determine how you should treat them.
A short-course vaginal therapy, in which you take an antifungal medication for three to seven days to clear a yeast infection, or a single-dose oral medication, in which a doctor prescribes a one-time, single oral dose of fluconazole, may be recommended by your doctor for mild to moderate symptoms and infrequent episodes. If you’re pregnant, oral medicine isn’t advised. Take two single doses three days apart to moderate more severe symptoms.
Some recommended medications include:
- Canesten Gyno. Cream for internal and external use. Terminates the vaginal fungus and thus quickly relieves itching. Contains the antifungal component clotrimazole.
- Diflucan. Used to treat fungal infections that can affect any part of the body, including the mouth, throat, esophagus, lungs, bladder, genital area, and blood.
- Vagistat. This three-day therapy heals most vaginal yeast infections and eliminates the itching and irritation that the condition causes on the outside. A main component is Vagistat is miconazole.
- Monistat. This drug includes an ovule insert with the highest over-the-counter strength dose, as well as an external itch cream for symptom alleviation. Also here miconazole is the major ingredient.
Simple yeast infections can usually be treated at home, but if your symptoms persist after less than two months, you should see your doctor.
If self-care doesn’t relieve the symptoms, see your doctor if you have a yeast infection or if it’s the first time you’ve had one, you’re pregnant, or you’ve had four or more infections in a year, which could indicate another medical condition.
A vaginal yeast infection may be treated with medicine prescribed by your doctor. A 14-day cream or suppository vaginal therapy may be administered for severe yeast infections or complicated situations.