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Do I Have a Yeast Infection

What is a Vaginal Yeast Infection

Vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by a yeast, known as candida. This fungus lives in your body naturally and may be present in your mouth, throat, vagina, and even on your skin. When you are in good health, it normally does not cause any problems. However, when the environment of your vagina changes, candida can overgrow and cause a yeast infection.

Symptoms of yeast infection

With a yeast infection, you will probably notice vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, pain during sexual intercourse or pain while urinating. Many of these cases are mild but severe vaginal yeast infections can cause redness and swelling in the vagina.

What are the possible causes of it?

Most people already have candida living in their vagina as a part of the normal flora, hence if there are any changes in the body that causes an imbalance, this can lead to a yeast infection. Although other types of bacteria in your body that will also work to keep a balance, this may change over time.

There could be a few reasons why you may have developed a yeast infection, such as the following common causes:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Compromised immune system
  • Oral contraceptives or any hormone therapy that increases your estrogen levels
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse — Although it is more likely to develop a yeast infection due to changes in your own body, it is possible to get a yeast infection from your sexual partner. If you have a yeast infection, you and your partner may both want to get tested and treated.

How is yeast infection diagnosed?

If you notice any of the symptoms of a yeast infection, you should seek medical care promptly. A pelvic examination may be performed in order to look for any common signs of a yeast infection and a small sample of any vaginal discharge may be taken to be sent for testing for candida.

Your doctor will also discuss your treatment options, with most common treatment being an antifungal medication. These medications are available without a prescription and may be available as a cream, tablet, ointment, or suppository, depending on your preference.

Always check with your doctor which option is the best for you and let doctor will help you to recommend the most suitable medication.

How can I prevent yeast infections?

Most women will develop yeast infections throughout their lifetime but there are some preventative steps that you can take. Wearing cotton underwear that does not hold in heat or moisture and opting for a good fit that is not overly tight is recommended. Avoid douching, which can actually increase your chances of developing a yeast infection.

You may also wish to take probiotics or consider incorporating yogurt or fermented foods to your daily diet which may help you to maintain a healthy balance of vaginal flora. Alternatively, you can consume probiotic supplements that contains lactobacillus acidophilus as a preventative measure.

Yeast infections can be serious, but they are fairly simply to diagnose and treat in most cases. If you notice any of the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, it is always recommended to seek a doctor promptly for treatment.

References

  1. Freimoser, F. M., Rueda-Mejia, M. P., Tilocca, B., & Migheli, Q. (2019). Biocontrol yeasts: mechanisms and applications. World journal of microbiology & biotechnology35(10), 154. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11274-019-2728-4
  2. Ruchala, J., Kurylenko, O. O., Dmytruk, K. V., & Sibirny, A. A. (2020). Construction of advanced producers of first- and second-generation ethanol in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and selected species of non-conventional yeasts (Scheffersomyces stipitis, Ogataea polymorpha). Journal of industrial microbiology & biotechnology47(1), 109–132. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10295-019-02242-x

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