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Vaginal Yeast Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention



vaginal-yeast-infection-symptoms-causes-treatment-prevention

Vaginal yeast infection is a common female infection caused by fundus Candida. It is an inflammation and infection of the vagina. About three out of four women are being affected. Vaginal yeast infection involves itchy vaginal discharge which can be irritating and uncomfortable. Some home remedies and over-the-counter drugs can be used to treat this vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infection is also known as yeast vanigitis or candidiasis. It is mainly caused by Candida albicans. Generally, this yeast infection is found in conducive environment where they reproduce easily.  It is not considered as sexually transmitted infection (STI) because you can get it without sexual intercourse, however, it can be contacted sexually.



What are the Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms?


The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection get more severe with times, although they all present the same symptoms. However, the signs and symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are a lot like STI, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candidiasis symptoms.  If you notice these symptoms, you might like have vaginal yeast infection:

vaginal-yeast-infection-symptoms-causes-treatment-prevention
Thick (or watery sometimes) vaginal discharge with whitish or grey coloration. It can be in small or large quantities. It looks more like small cottage cheese. Note that the vaginal discharge may be odorless.
Sore in the vagina area
Itching
Burning sensation
Swelling and redness of the vagina and vulva
Painful sexual intercourse, bathing or menstruation
Slight bleeding
Painful urination

What are the causes of vaginal yeast infection?

Yeast infections are found developing moist area which is favorable for their reproduction. Apart from the vagina, other part of the body they affect include armpits, ear, fingernails, toenails, digestive tract, anal area, nose region, mouth, and naval (belly button). Naturally, Candida genus of yeast is present in the vaginal area. Lactobacillus bacteria help in controlling its growth. In a case of imbalance system, the bacteria work is affected and yeast overgrowth is observed. This results in different symptoms of vaginal yeast infection.
Candida albicans is the common cause of yeast infection and it can be easily treated. Other types of Candida may be difficult to control when they cause yeast infection.
The following causes of system imbalance can cause yeast overgrowth:
        Weak immune system

        Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy and menstrual cycle

        Poor nutrition – eating a lot of sugary foods

        Use of vaginal spray    

        Douching

        Stress

        Diabetes

        Antibiotics – antibiotics reduce the quantity of good bacteria like lactobacillus

        Lack of sleep and obesity 

Vaginal Yeast Infection Diagnosis

Vaginal yeast infection is easy to diagnose. Doctor will ask you some questions like- if you have had sexually transmitted disease and/or yeast infection before, your eating habit, and so on.
He or she will examine your vagina to check for some signs. He or she may take vaginal culture for lab confirmation. Test is most done when the vaginal yeast infection refuse to go or in case of severe recurrence. 

Vaginal Yeast Infection Treatment

Treatment is given base on the severity of the yeast infection. For simple yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe anti-fungal medications like Monistat and Terazol . You might also be given anti fungal cream or ointment.

Ensure you do not stop taking the medication as soon as the symptoms stop, try to complete your dose. You might need to take the drug for 3 to 7days.
In case of complicated infection by certain types of Candida, simple treatment may not work out. Complicated yeast infection mostly occurs:
When you have yeast infection recurrence in more than 4 times in a year
Uncontrollable diabetes
Immunosuppressed condition like in HIV /AIDS
During pregnancy
The possible treatment for complicated yeast infection includes:
Regular treatment with antifungal medicine for up to 6 months may be prescribed.
2 to 3 doses of Diflucan can be prescribed (do not use if you are pregnant). During pregnancy, vaginal cream or suppositories containing clotrimazole or miconazole can be used.
Long duration of tropical antifungal medication- two weeks treatment with cream, tablet or suppository treatment may be recommended.
You may be advised to use condom during sex or your doctor may treat your sexual partner

Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection

Before visiting your doctor, you may try this popular home remedies.
Yogurt- drink or eat plenty yogurt. Alternatively, you can insert tropically into your vagina.
Apple cider vinegar- it helps in balancing pH level.
Tea tree oil cream – it helps to kill different yeast, fungi and parasites. You can mix it with coconut oil and apply tropically outside the vagina
Other home remedies include garlic and boric acid which also help in treating yeast infection.

How to Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections?

Most of the times, women do not know the cause of their vaginal yeast infection. Some people develop it after taking certain antibiotics.  Just try to observe your body system and identify the cause. However, here are some common prevention methods that avoid bacteria growth in the vagina area:

Boost your immune system with probiotics and balanced diet- eat balanced diet with adequate vegetables, healthy fat, and probiotics. Probiotics helps to fight infection especially yeast infection. People with immunosuppressed condition are prone to yeast infections mainly because of the weak immune system. Good diet will increase your white blood cells which perform a protective function from infections. Take antioxidant supplements like vitamin C. It helps in boosting of the immune system as well.

Control your sugar intake- high level of blood sugar favors the growth of candida yeast. This is why people with diabetes are more prone to vaginal yeast infection. Reduce your intake of snacks, processed foods, alcohol and grains. Control your cravings for snacks and sugary product.

Avoid allergies- the use of products that cause allergic reactions like deodorant pads or tampons, soaps, douches and spermicidal jelly can result in imbalance in the good bacteria system in the vaginal. Use natural products like coconut oil.  Chemical products like dye and fragrance can cause irritation to the vagina.

Eat fermented food- fermented products like kefir or yogurt contain probiotic micro flora which helps in intestine protection and improved immune system. It fights yeast infection and protect the good bacteria that fight these yeasts.

Avoid douching- douching eradicates the good bacteria which is necessary for healthy vagina away. When these good bacteria are absent, you get exposed to infections. Although, most women like to douche after their menstruation to feel more clean or after having sex, but it only worsen the situation.

Wear underwear with natural fiber such as silk, cotton, and linen. Wear clean cloth and avoid wet cloth or underwear. Do not wear tight pant, leggings or tights. Cotton underwear and cotton crotch panty holes are advisable. Wearing a silk or nylon made pant causes heat and thus sweats in the vagina, this add to genital area irritation.

Also avoid scented bubble baths, as it kills the good bacteria present in the vagina. Avoid the use of sprays, perfume and fragrances in the genital area.

Reduce hot tube bath. Avoid having a very hot bath

Change your swimming pant and swim suits as soon as possible

Wear clean cloth and avoid wet cloth or underwear. Ensure your genital area is clean and dry but note that using soap will worsen the case. Wash your vagina with clean water only.

Be careful about the medications you take as some of them are not friendly with these good vaginal bacteria

Use more pad than tampons for your menstruation

Change your cloth after exercise. Wash the sweats away and sundry before wearing again. It helps you stay healthy and clean.

Men should avoid unprotected sex with an infected partner. Some men may develop rashes and itching in their penis after sexual contact with a lady that has vaginal yeast infection.
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