Whether or not you have ever had a yeast infection, it is likely that you at the very least know what they are. As something that many women deal with often, the ‘rumor mill’ surrounding this infection has certainly run wild. In this post, we want to answer all of the questions you have regarding yeast infections, including whether or not it is necessary to see your doctor when you suspect you have one. Continue reading below to learn more.
What is a Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection is a condition in the vagina that irritates it, causing extreme itching on the vulva (the outer area of the vagina) as well as a cottage-cheese-like discharge. This condition is caused by the overgrowth of yeast(Candida albicans) in the vagina. When a vagina is healthy, there is a good balance of both bacteria and this yeast. However, when the pH of the vagina is off, or when a woman goes through hormonal changes, the yeast can multiply causing an unhealthy imbalance.
Plain and simple, yeast infections are extremely common. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 75 percent of women will experience at least one of these infections in their adult life. Depending on how severe the symptoms are, there are several ways this condition can be treated. For mild cases, over-the-counter medication can be effective, however, it is always best to consult with a doctor in order to ensure you have a proper diagnosis and a reliable treatment.
What Causes Yeast Infections?
There are many different things that can cause a yeast infection. Most commonly, medications like antibiotics, birth control pills, corticosteroids, and hormone therapy drugs are the cause of the overgrowth of yeast. Overweight women also have a high risk of developing yeast infections, as do women who are pregnant, menstruating or living with uncontrolled diabetes. Yeast infections can also be caused by an exposure to the candida fungus during sex.
Symptoms of Yeast Infections
The symptoms of a yeast infection can vary greatly. Some of the most common symptoms, however, are as follows:
- Irritation and itching vulva
- Burning while urinating
- Burning during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the vagina
- Swelling of the vagina
- Odor-free white clumpy discharge
In severe yeast infection cases, there can be more serious symptoms. These can be tearing or swelling of the vulva, colored or odored discharge, or multiple infections a year.
Preventing Yeast Infections
The best possible way to reduce the chance of you getting a yeast infection is to have good genital hygiene. You can do this in a number of ways which include:
- Keeping your vaginal area clean by using a mild, unscented soap and water to clean it.
- After you use the toilet, be sure to wipe from back to front, preventing bacteria or yeast from being spread.
- Wear cotton underwear that allows for your vaginal area to ‘breathe’.
- Change tampons and pads often when menstruating
- Don’t wear wet swimsuits for a long period of time
- Do not use vaginal douches or scented tampons as they will change the normal balance of the organisms in your vagina.
Contact Neuman GYN Today
As we mentioned previously, visiting your doctor isn’t imperative when you have a yeast infection, but it certainly is the best plan of action. If you have a yeast infection and you want to the opinion or help of your local Ponte Vedra Beach GYN, contact our office today. At Neuman GYN, we can give you a proper diagnosis and help you recover quickly. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our kind and caring staff.