Talking about your vagina can be very uncomfortable. Most topics related to it are still considered taboo! If you have a question, you are probably not alone.
Yeast infections are a tricky thing. They are itchy, uncomfortable and can get in the way of a good day.
Let’s start with a basic question:

What is a yeast infection?

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an imbalance in your PH levels that results in an outgrowth of yeast cells. All females have a very delicate natural balance of several microorganisms living down there. Sometimes that balance is disrupted causing a fungus called Candida, to overgrow which can lead to Vulvovaginal Candidiasis, what we know as a yeast infection.

What causes the imbalance?

The imbalance in your system can be caused by poor eating habits, lack of sleep, stress, using Spanx or tights, weak immune system, tight underwear made out of nylon, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes or the usage of antibiotics.

 Is a Yeast infection a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)?

A yeast infection can be sexually transmitted if your partner (men or women) is experiencing it at the time of intercourse. However, it is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI) because women who are not sexually active can contract them too. And like we said before, a yeast infection is caused by an imbalance in your system that can be triggered by one or several factors.

Do I have to go to the doctor?

No. Most yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter medication; however, you have to be sure that what you have is a yeast infection. There are several conditions out there that can produce symptoms similar to those experienced by a yeast infection; therefore, if you are not sure, talk to your doctor before starting any medication.

Pinterest has a lot of homemade remedies; can I try those?

We dug into Pinterest and found interesting homemade recipes like adding tree oil to a tampon, applying yogurt on the affected area, spreading a soaking a cotton pad with ginger tea around the vulva, or even inserting garlic cloves like a tampon. Even though you may be compelled to try those remedies, there is not enough research and data to support their effectiveness. Your best bet is to talk to your doctor, to make sure everything is okay.

Bottom line, yeast infections are very common and can be cured. Three out of four women will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime. Don’t be afraid to voice your questions so we can continue to open up the conversation about women’s health!

Women’s Health Care Research is currently seeking volunteers 18 years or older that are experiencing common yeast infection symptoms like vaginal itching, burning or irritation to test a possible new treatment option. To learn more, click the button below.

For more general information about yeast infections, I suggest the following links: