Vaginal yeast infections, or candidiasis, are very common. About 75% of all women are likely to get at least one during their lifetime, with 45% having two or more. Because they are so common, every woman should understand some information about these infections. Below are a few of the most common questions women have when they visit their gynecologists.
Questions About Yeast Infections, Answered
What causes them?
A healthy vagina contains Lactobacillus bacteria and the Candida fungus (yeast). They are perfectly balanced, so the helpful bacteria keep the yeast at a healthy level. If the amount of the bacteria is reduced, they can no longer keep the yeast growth in check, which results in a yeast infection. This reduction in bacteria can be triggered by taking antibiotics, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, a hormonal imbalance, a weak immune system, or a diet high in sugary foods.
What are some common symptoms?
Symptoms tend to worsen over time when the infection is left untreated. The most common symptoms include vaginal itching, swelling, soreness, redness, and a rash. Women may experience a burning pain during urination or sex. Vaginal discharge is common, which may look like cottage cheese or be a watery white-gray color.
Are there ways to remedy them at home?
Treatment should always be left to a gynecologist, especially if it is your first infection. They should monitor its treatment and determine whether your symptoms indicate another health issue that requires another treatment. They may prescribe antifungal medication such as fluconazole, terconazole, or clotrimazole. These may be taken as creams, ointments, tablets, or suppositories.
How can they be prevented?
Some habits can help keep the ideal balance of bacteria and yeast in your vagina. Breathable underwear, such as cotton, will keep you dry, so there is no extra moisture to fuel yeast growth. Avoid scented feminine products, do not douche, and change feminine hygiene products frequently when on your period.
If you suspect you have a yeast infection, you'll be healthier and more comfortable if you get treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Joseph Hazan at Advanced OB-GYN Services is a board-certified gynecologist who offers professional and comfortable care to every patient. They have two convenient OB-GYN clinics in St. Peters and Bridgetown, MO. Learn more about their services on their website and call (636) 928-1800 to schedule an appointment.
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