Vaginal Yeast Infections- Causes and Symptoms

We usually categorise diseases into two types. One is communicable and other is non communicable. A communicable disease is that type which can get easily transmitted from one person to another through airborne viruses or bacteria, and also through blood. These diseases are often contagious and infectious. One of the most serious and contagious condition are transmitted via sexual intercourse.

Sexually transmitted diseases are infectious diseases which may spread from one person to another through sexual intimacy. Sexual contact includes not only vaginal and anal sex, but also kissing and oral genital contact. STD’s can affect people of all ages. But, nowadays sexually transmitted diseases are common among teenagers. If STD (sexually transmitted disease) remains untreated, then it may cause fertility problem and even cause death in case of HIV/Aids. The person can get STD after having skin contact with an infected area. There are more chances to develop sexually transmitted diseases if you are indulged in sex at a young age. Having lots of sex partners may enhance the chance of getting infected by sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia, HIV, HPV, syphilis, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis are some common sexually transmitted diseases.

Vaginal Yeast Infections

Women are more prone to STDs. Some of the most commonly experienced symptoms that can hamper your daily life include:

  • Strong vaginal odour
  • Vaginal itching or irritation
  • White, greenish or yellow vaginal discharge
  • Pain while urinating
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful periods
  • Abdominal pain

These symptoms can occur due to infestation of various micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungal agents. One of the most reported infection in women is induced by the fungal agent known as yeast. A yeast infection is also called Candidiasis which is a common female condition. Candida of yeast is a micro organism which naturally occurs in the vaginal area.

What is yeast infection?

Many woman get vaginal yeast infection caused by yeast overgrowth at some point of time. This type of vaginal infection is very common in woman. Yeast infections can occur at any place on the body. It occurs in the mouth, feet and genitals. When yeast develops in vagina, it causes inflammation of the vagina. When fungi are expelled from the body, out of control itchiness, burning and redness is caused which is extremely uncomfortable. In some women a thick, white, odourless discharge also appears.

Causes of yeast infection

The common type of fungus named Candida albicans is often found in vagina in small numbers. Mostly, it does not cause any infection or symptoms and is caused by Candida albicans. Yeast infections are treatable. A lab test can be done which determines the type of candida causing infection. Overgrowth of yeast occurs due to imbalance of:

  • Antibiotics
  • Having weak immunity
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Imbalance of menstrual cycle
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

Symptom of vaginal yeast infection

There are some common symptoms of vaginal yeast infection. The more time you take to treat the infection, the more severe the symptoms become. Some frequently occurring symptoms which could be mild or severe are:

  • Burning, redness and swelling of vagina
  • Pain during sexual act
  • Whitish, grey and thick vaginal discharge
  • Soreness
  • Pain during urination
  • Small or large amount of vaginal discharge having bad smell
  • Rashes on vagina

The most common symptom is itching in and around the vagina. A yeast infection does not transmit through sexual contact. Some men get symptoms like itching and rash on their penis after having sex with the infected partner.
Due to yeast infections in vagina, some women often face vaginal problems and feel shy to share and discuss.

Couple in love

Some common vaginal problems:

  • Noticing a weird bump on the private part could be embarrassing. Ingrown hair or sebaceous cyst can also occur. In this case, try to apply over the counter hydrocortisone cream.
  • Finding foul smell coming from the bikini line could be due to infections like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis.
  • Random bleeding could be due to hormonal imbalance, infection pregnancy or polyp on your cervix. Persistent bleeds after sex could be due to STDs, consult your doctor and have tests for gonorrhoea and Chlamydia.
  • Feeling a little numb below belt line could be due to infection or by physical activities like cycling.
  • Vaginal dryness often occurs in older women. Dryness can also persist after pregnancy or by taking medications like antidepressants.
  • If a woman feels deep vaginal pain during sex or any other time, it could be due to endometriosis or ovarian cyst. A pelvic exam or ultrasound would be needed to treat the problem.
  • Itchy feeling on vagina is a common sign of vaginal yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. If the treatment doesn’t help, then this could be due to any skin reaction caused by soap, feminine wash or detergent.

How to treat yeast infection?

For treating yeast infection, the doctor will first perform a pelvic exam which could show:

  • Dry and white spots on vaginal wall
  • Swelling and redness of vulva skin in vagina or cervix
  • Cracks may appear in skin of vulva

Vaginal discharge is also examined using microscope which is called wet mount and KOH test. One can treat herself at home if the symptoms are mild. Basically ointments, creams and vaginal tablets are prescribed by doctors.

Common medicines for treating vaginal yeast infection are:

  • Miconazole
  • Clotrimazole
  • Tioconazole
  • Butoconazole

Tips to be kept in mind before taking these medicines:

  • Follow the instructions on the pack and read it carefully
  • Do not stop its consumption in the middle if symptoms seem better
  • Consult a doctor to understand the course of the medicine

How to cure yeast infection?

  • Always keep your genital area clean and dry. Bath with lukewarm water and avoid hot water as this may make symptoms worse
  • When you are on antibiotics, consume more of live culture with yogurt or take Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Always use condoms while having sex to prevent infections
  • Do not use fragrance sprays or powder in genital part
  • Make use of pads instead of tampons which are good in absorbing medicines
  • Try to keep blood sugar levels in control if you are a diabetic patient
  • Always eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Maintain a healthy balanced diet full of proteins and vitamins. A proper diet always helps to prevent infections.
  • If you are feeling itchy in and around vagina, try to avoid rubbing as this may worsen the condition

A yeast infection can cause horrible itching on the vagina. It is also responsible for making sexual intercourse painful. These infections keep coming back, if one does not take proper care of vagina. Genital area should be properly cleaned every day. One must consult a doctor as he may prescribe some ointments and creams to remove unwanted itching and redness. Try to maintain balanced diet and use prescriptive medicines to fight against vaginal yeast infection and live a better life.

Also Read: 12 Risk Factors For Breast Cancer You Should Know

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Steve Marc

Steve Marc is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.
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