Vaginal yeast infections are an annoyance most women have faced at least once in their lives. If you have four or more per year, technically, you are classified as having recurring yeast infections. A yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, intense itchiness, and discharge of the tissues at the vaginal opening. Medications can effectively treat most yeast infections. However, if they are recurrent, a more extended treatment course and maintenance plan may be needed.
Causes for Yeast Infections
Candida is a naturally occurring yeast in our bodies. Yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of it. The vaginal bacteria typically prevent the fungus from overgrowing. Removal of too much of the bacteria from antibiotics or douching can result in an imbalance. Candida also thrives in a wet environment, so lack of regular hygiene or a constant damp environment can cause them as well.
Reasons they Reoccur
Possible reasons yeast infections reoccur are:
- Initial Infection Wasn’t Completely Treated- Yeast infection didn’t respond to the initial course of treatment.
- Transmitting Infection Back and Forth– Candida infections can occur over other areas of the skin and mouth and spread via skin-to-skin contact.
- Sexual Activity– Yeast infections are not an STD, but it is possible to pass a yeast infection back and forth between partners.
- Humidity and Moisture– Constantly sweating or wearing damp clothing can promote yeast infections.
- Drug-Resistant Yeast Strains– Rare strains of yeast are resistant to some conventional treatments.
- A Different Infection– STDs, bacterial vaginosis, and some skin infections mimic the symptoms of yeast infections.
Talk to your doctor if you are having the symptoms of a yeast infection. They can make an accurate diagnosis to properly treat it. Make sure to follow their directions and finish completing the recommended course of treatment. If you are diagnosed and are sexually active, ensure your partner gets tested too, to avoid passing it back and forth.
Many over the counter medications can cure most yeast infections. If yours is reoccurring, talk with your doctor as there are also many prescribed effective treatments as well. Washing any clothing with a little bleach or vinegar that comes in contact with the infection can help minimize the spread as well.
Despite the extensive list of therapies available for vaginal yeast infections. More work needs to be done with regards to long-term solutions for recurring infections. There are lots of new options evolving through clinical trials, but women suffering from recurring yeast infections are needed to help determine their effectiveness.
To learn more about our currently enrolling recurring yeast infection study being conducted at Women’s Healthcare Research Corp, call (858) 505-8672, or click here.