A healthy vagina contains bacteria and some yeast cells but when the balance of bacteria and yeast changes, the yeast can multiply. A vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidiasis is a common condition caused by yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida. Candida lives inside the body without causing any problem to the host. This can be in the mouth, vagina, throat, and skin. Vaginal candidiasis is also commonly called “vulvovaginal candidiasis” or “candida vaginitis.”
A vaginal yeast infection causes intense itching, swelling and irritation. Treatment can relieve symptoms within a few days. In more severe cases, it may take up to two weeks. It is not considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Sexual contact can spread it, and women who are not sexually active can also get them. With a history of a yeast infection, you are likely to get another one.
What are the symptoms of Vaginal Candidiasis?
Common set of symptoms with vaginal yeast infection include:
- Vaginal itch
- Vulval swelling
- Burning during urination or sex
- Pain during sex
- Appearance of thin and watery, or thick and white cottage cheese. Usually, the length of time your yeast infection is left untreated has a direct impact on how severe the symptoms may become.
What causes Vaginal Candidiasis?
The fungus Candida is a natural micro-organism in the vaginal area. Its growth is kept in check by the Lactobacillus bacterium. However, if there is an imbalance in your system, this bacterium won’t work effectively leading to an overgrowth of yeast that causes the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections. Factors that increase the risk of a yeast infection include;
- Use of antibiotics that decrease the amount of Lactobacillus in the vagina
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Weak immune system
- Lots of sugary foods
- Hormonal imbalance
- Lack of sleep
Diagnosis of vaginal yeast infection
Through medical history: This includes when there you’ve had yeast infections before. You may also be asked if you’ve ever had an STI.
Pelvic exam: To examine the vaginal walls and cervix to view the surrounding area for external signs of infection.
Laboratory tests: To examine some cells in the vagina for the presence of yeast.
For simple yeast infections, a one-to-three-day regiment of an antifungal cream, ointment, tablet or suppository is used. Common medications include: butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, terconazole and fluconazole
For Complicated infections when the woman have had more than four yeast infections in a year. Possible treatments include 14 day use of antifungal cream, ointment, tablet, or suppository vaginal treatment. If the infection is recurring, treatment of sexual partner is also important and protection during sex.
Prevention of Vaginal Yeast infection
- Eat balanced diet.
- Eat yogurt or supplements with lactobacillus.
- Use cotton underwears made of cotton.
- Wash underwear in hot water.
- Replace feminine products frequently.
- Avoid tight pants and tights.
- Avoid excessive use of feminine products.