Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes and Symptoms

November 12, 2012

Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes and Symptoms

Healthy vaginas contain many strains of bacteria and a certain number of yeast cells, usually of the strain Candida albicans. But when a woman is sick with an illness such as diabetes or HIV, the yeast cells reproduce wildly. Yeast cells can also reproduce wildly if a woman is taking hormone therapy, taking antibiotics (which can kill the bacteria that help kill Candida albicans), while menstruating or during pregnancy, when the woman’s hormonal levels rise and fall wildly. This causes a vaginal yeast infection. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are nearly identical to a kidney infection, bladder infection, urinary tract infection, bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted diseases. Women who have never had such infections before need to go to a doctor or gynecologist in order to discover what type of infection they are suffering from. This will help them get the appropriate treatment. A simple painless swab test will accurately diagnose a vaginal yeast infection. Symptoms Vaginal yeast infections cause incredibly painful symptoms that can disrupt sleep and occasionally cause despondency or panic. These symptoms include:

  • Burning sensation when urinating that is so painful tears can be produced

  • Pain during vaginal sex

  • Extreme itching of the vagina

  • Feeling of soreness in the vagina

  • Red or dark pink rash on or inside of the vagina

  • Vagina produces a discharge similar in appearance to water or to cottage cheese. Not all women with a vaginal yeast infection will produce this discharge.

Sometimes a vaginal yeast infection clears up on its own, but usually a woman needs treatment with anti-fungal pills, creams or suppositories. Anti-fungal drugs will kill Candida albicans.

During Treatment There are many things a woman can do while taking medications to help ease the pain and itchiness. These include:

  • Drinking more water to dilute the urine and reduce the burning sensation

  • Drinking cranberry juice

  • Wear underwear only made of cotton

  • Stop wearing tight-fitting clothes like panty hose or a girdle

  • Avoid using scented tampons, scented toilet paper, feminine wipes or douches

  • Take lukewarm baths, but not very hot baths

  • Avoid swimming but if that can’t be helped, remove the wet swimsuit as soon as possible.

Avoid sex until healed, even if your sex drive is still intact. This usually happens about two weeks after first starting the medication. Even when using condoms, there is still a chance of transmitting the yeast infection to the man’s penis and scrotum. Will the Infection Come Back? It’s common for women to have recurring bouts of vaginal yeast infections. Cleaning the genitals regularly, using condoms during sex and drinking plenty of fluids can help reduce a woman’s chances of getting the infection again. Obese women tend to have more bouts of recurring yeast infections than women with a healthy body weight, so weight loss may help prevent recurring yeast infections. Let your doctor know if you have scratched your vaginal skin open or if it becomes dry and slits open. You may need to take medication in order to prevent a secondary infection.

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