How to Identify and Treat a Vaginal Yeast Infection

November 12, 2012

How to Identify and Treat a Vaginal Yeast Infection

A vaginal yeast infection can easily be confused with or misdiagnosed as other conditions such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. The problems often cause symptoms similar to those caused by a vaginal yeast infection. In order to be able to correctly identify your condition and seek the appropriate treatment, educate yourself by learning about the causes, symptoms and available treatments. A vaginal yeast infection is a common infection, which although irritating is not usually serious and are easy to treat. The infection is a fungus caused by an excessive amount of yeast cells growing in the vagina. A healthy vagina will contain many types of healthy bacteria and a small amount of yeast cells. One of the healthy bacteria is called Lactobacillis acidophilus and plays an important role in controlling the other organisms such as the yeast cells. If the balance of these bacteria and organisms is disrupted for some reason, then a yeast infection can occur. This imbalance can be caused by a number of things including taking antibiotics or other health problems like HIV or diabetes. It can also occur when the oestrogen levels in the body increase such as during pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy. The main symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are an itchy or sore vagina. There also may be a burning pain when you urinate or have sex. In some women a thick, odourless, white discharge may appear with a similar appearance as cottage cheese. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection most commonly appear in the week before your menstrual period. As I said earlier, these are all common symptoms of many conditions, not only a vaginal yeast infection. In order to properly diagnose the problem, make an appointment with your doctor who may want to perform a vaginal exam, especially if you are pregnant.

If you have previously had a vaginal yeast infection, recognise the symptoms and are not pregnant, you may chose to treat yourself from home. Medicines to treat a vaginal yeast infection are available without prescription so if you are sure as to your condition, you do not necessarily need a doctor to confirm the diagnosis. If symptoms are mild, it is possible that they will clear up on their own after a couple of days. If you do require medicine, then there are antifungal creams, vaginally inserted suppositories or orally taken antifungal tables all available.

If you decide to use the antifungal cream to treat a vaginal yeast infection, them during the time you are using it do not rely on condoms or the diaphragm for birth control. These devices are often made out of latex, which can be weakened by the oil found in some of the creams. It is common for vaginal yeast infections to return, but if you are experiencing them more than 4 times in one year, visit your doctor who may want to test you for other conditions which may be causing the infection such as diabetes. Pregnant women should not take any medicines without consulting their doctor first.

There are a number of actions that women can take in order to try to prevent a vaginal yeast infection. The genital area should be kept as dry as possible and allowed to breathe to reduce the spreading of the yeast cells. Wearing cotton underwear rather than nylon is often beneficial and avoid wearing very tight fitting pants. Also don’t stay in a wet swimsuit for too long and avoid feminine sprays, scented toilet paper and deodorant tampons.

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