A typical, healthy vagina contains certain levels of bacteria and some yeast (candida). A vaginal yeast infection is an infection of the vagina, and 3 out of 4 women will get a yeast infection at some point in their life. It is a part of being a woman that can be frustrating. In some cases, they can reoccur and be challenging to cure. Although it is common for women to get a yeast infection, knowing more about them can help reduce your chances.
- What Causes Yeast Infections?
Your vagina has small amounts of the microscopic fungus called candida. A yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of the candida fungus. Uncontrolled diabetes, pregnancy, antibiotics, and oral contraceptives are a few factors that can cause the overgrowth to occur.
- What are the Symptoms of a Yeast Infection?
Extreme itchiness in and around the vagina is the most common symptom, but other symptoms experienced are:
- Swelling of the vagina and vulva along with burning and redness
- Pain when urinating
- Pain with sex
- Odorless and thick vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese
How Are Yeast Infections Treated?
Yeast infections are treated with antifungal medication. These can come in creams, tablets, ointments, or suppositories you insert into your vagina. These can be found in over the counter treatments or by prescription from your doctor.
You should visit your doctor if you have reoccurring yeast infections or need to make sure it is an actual yeast infection.
- Can Yeast Infections Be Sexually Transmitted?
Yeast infections are not classified as sexually transmitted infections because you can get them without having sex. However, it is possible to pass it to your partner through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If you have a yeast infection and you remain sexually active during treatment, you should protect yourself and partner.
- How Do I Prevent Yeast Infections?
You can reduce your chances of developing a yeast infection by doing the following:
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear and pantyhose and change out of wet underwear
- Avoid douching which removes the good bacteria in the vagina
- Limit unnecessary antibiotic use
- Avoid hot tubs and super-hot baths
- Do not use scented feminine products
Clinical research is helping to provide more effective treatments for reoccurring yeast infections. To hear more about our upcoming enrolling studies on reoccurring yeast infections, you can reach our staff at (858) 505-8672.