Yeast Infection Symptoms and Candida albicans

November 12, 2012

Yeast Infection Symptoms and Candida albicans

Yeast infections are quite common especially amongst women often due to hormonal changes or excessive use of antibiotics. Yeast is actually a fungus and a common yeast found as natural flora on humans is Candida albicans. It is commonly found on skin and moist areas such as in the mouth and vaginal areas. Excessive amounts of Candida albicans brings about yeast infection symptoms. A vaginal yeast infection usually produces a whitish cottage cheese like discharge that produces a sweet odor and intense itching.

When the vaginal area becomes overrun with fungus this generates inflammation which is called vaginitis. Most women experience this some time in lives and some are constantly plagued by it. There are many causes that include: bacterial infections such as gonorrhea, protozoan infections such as trichomonas and yeast infections. The most common vaginal yeast infection that causes vaginitis is called Candida which produces typical yeast infection symptoms . Yeast infection symptoms are not just isolated to the vaginal area but are usually associated with the vulva as well. The vulva is the external genitalia of the female that includes the labia (lips), clitoris and vaginal entry way (vestibule). Inflammation of the vulva is called vulvitis and since inflammation of the vagina and vulva often go hand in hand this is called vulvovaginitis.

Vaginal infections can occur when the normal flora and fauna become out of balance. Bacteria and yeast live side by side in balance maintaining a healthy state. If for some reason, the balance is destroyed infection can set in. If you take antibiotics that kill off certain bacteria for some kind of infection you have, that leaves the yeast behind and left unchecked. The yeast don’t have to compete for space or food anymore so they proliferate and take over. Another way to get a yeast infection is by taking the birth control pill. This changes the hormone balance and provides an environment that yeast love so they proliferate under these conditions and take over. Other conditions that can cause yeast infections include chemotherapy, steroids, diabetes, pregnancy, douches and hygiene sprays. A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease and thought to be indigenous to the individual that developed it. Yeast infections do occur in men and yeast infections can become systemic.

The most common yeast infection symptoms include: itching of the vaginal and/or vulvar area, possible burning, general tenderness or soreness in the area, pain during sex, pain during urination, and a vaginal discharge. Initially a discharge may not be present but when it is appears it will be whitish and curdy with a pleasant sweet odor not unlike when baking bread.

If you have yeast infection symptoms for the first time, you need to go to your healthcare provider and get it properly diagnosed. He/she will do a gynecological exam to determine what you have. You want to make sure you don’t have a bacterial or protozoan infection which calls for different treatments. A antifungal cream is usually prescribed and needs to be applied for 10 days or until the infection is gone. Placing a little of this antifungal cream on the outside will relieve itching in the vulvar area which can be very uncomfortable especially in public.

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