Yeast Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention & All You Need To Know: Naturally, there’s an amount of yeast that lives in the human body and also on the skin. But when this yeast grows out of control, it causes an infection called a yeast infection. This normally affects the gentiles.

Yeast infections are common in women, according to the ‘Office on Women’s Health, it’s estimated that three (3) out of five (5) women once in their lifetime will get a yeast infection. This can happen to anyone at any point in time, but there are certain factors that make it more likely to occur.

While vaginal yeast infections are most common in women, it’s possible for men to be infected too. When a woman is infected by yeast, it is termed a vaginal yeast infection and in men, it’s referred to as a penile yeast infection.

Although it could be transmitted sexually, a vaginal yeast infection or penile yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted infection because you don’t necessarily have to have sex to be infected. All infections including yeast infections are treatable.

Yeast infections share similar symptoms as some common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In this article, we take you through the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and all you need to know about yeast infection.

What Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection?

As stated earlier, most healthy vaginas have yeast, but when the healthy yeast that lives in the vagina grows out of control it leads to an infection. Yeast Infection is medically called ‘candidiasis’, this is because it’s usually caused by a type of yeast called ‘Candida’.

Vaginal yeast infection as the name implies affects the tissues at the opening of the vagina (vulva). This condition can cause inflammation, itchiness, and a thick, white discharge from the vagina and can be very irritating and uncomfortable.

What Are The Causes Of Yeast Infections?

According to Newton’s 3rd law of motion, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is to say that, every ailment has a causative agent.

A vaginal yeast infection happens when the healthy yeast in the vagina grows out of control. According to scientists, when the pH levels in the vagina go off balance, the healthy yeast can grow too much and lead to an infection. Below are some factors that can lead to yeast infection.

Hormones: Changes during the menstrual circle, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause can change the balance in your vagina.

Antibiotics: These drugs can kill many good bacteria in your vagina hence creating a suitable environment in the vagina for yeast growth.

Diabetes: A diabetic patient risks having vaginal yeast infections if the diabetes is not well-controlled. (The increase in sugar can create a place for yeast to grow).

Sex: Yeast infection isn’t a sexually transmitted infection but it can be transmitted through sexual contact.

Weak immune system. A weak immune system might cause uncontrolled yeast growth in the vagina.

Vaginal sprays and ointments: The use of these products can change the balance in your vagina hence aiding yeast growth

What Are The Symptoms Of Yeast Infections?

As various diseases have their own unique symptoms, all infections equally have their symptoms, and that of yeast infection ranges from mild to moderate. These symptoms depend on the duration of the infection in the vagina. Below are some of the symptoms of yeast infections.

  • Vaginal rash
  • Vaginal pain and soreness
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva
  • Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva
  • Burning sensation, especially during sex or while urinating

A yeast-infected person might also have a vaginal discharge. It could be;

  • Watery
  • Thick, white, and odorless
  • Thick, yellowish, and odorless

Can I Get A Yeast Infection From Having Sex?

As stated earlier, Yeast Infection is not regarded as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), therefore sex is not considered a direct cause of a yeast infection.

However, having unprotected sex with a yeast-infected person can lead to transmission, therefore it’s advisable to avoid sexual activity until you are treated since sexual intercourse might be painful and increase vaginal burning and inflammation.

How Do You Treat Yeast Infections?

Treating yeast infections basically means getting rid of the suitable environment for yeast growth. To get rid of it, experts profess the use of antifungal drugs. These drugs can be purchased by prescription at medical shops (drug stores).

This drug might be used externally or internally and might be a ‘single application’, ‘3-day application’, or a ‘weeklong application’. Despite being effective, others prefer treating a yeast infection with natural or home remedies. Some of these remedies include.

Probiotics: Probiotics restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body.
Coconut oil: You can apply the oil directly to the affected area.
Garlic: Whiles some insert it into their vagina, doctors recommend that it’s equally effective when added to foods instead.

Boric acid: Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic used for treating yeast infections resistant to other remedies. But If you’re pregnant, it’s not advisable to use it.
Immune boosters: A strong immune booster gives the immune system the strength to fight yeast infections.

Many home remedies are safe, however, pregnant women, people with a recurrent yeast infection, and people who are unsure of the symptoms should rather see a specialist.

What Does A Vaginal Yeast Infection Look Like?

When a woman has a yeast infection, there will be a change in the vagina’s environment. Changes like redness, swelling, or itching of the vulva (the lips of the vagina). Also, there will be thick, whitish discharge and in some cases, pain or burning sensation when urinating or during sexual intercourse.

When To See A Doctor For Yeast Infections

Yeast infections can be treated at home, but symptoms of some sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases have similar symptoms to that of yeast infection. For this reason, it’s prudent to see a doctor when;

  • You’re not sure whether you have a yeast infection
  • This is the first time you’ve had yeast infection symptoms
  • After the home remedies, your symptoms aren’t relieved
  • You develop other symptoms
  • If you have frequent yeast infections in a year

Duration Of Yeast Infection?

The duration of yeast infection mostly depends on the medication an individual uses and how strong the immune system is. Mild yeast infections often clear up in just a few days, but more severe infections can last up to two weeks.

Are Some Women More At Risk For Yeast Infections?

Some women are at more risk of getting infected than others, this is because items used by women differ from one to another. The below-mentioned items speed up the rate of yeast infection. Therefore when a woman stays away from them, the rate of getting a yeast infection is low.

  • Avoid scented hygiene products like sprays and pads
  • Change pads often during your period
  • Avoid tight underwear or clothes
  • Wear cotton underwear
  • Change exercise clothes as soon as you can
  • Taking an antifungal medication sometimes for three to seven days

Candida And Vaginal Yeast Infections

Candida, according to scientists is the fungi responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. The vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria that prevents the overgrowth of the yeast.

When this balance is disrupted due to the reasons earlier mentioned, vaginal yeast infection is bound to happen. The overgrowth of candida in the vagina causes the signs and symptoms of yeast infection.


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