Developing a yeast infection is a deeply personal matter. In many cases, patients hope their yeast infection clears on its own.
If you think you have a yeast infection, we’ll discuss the symptoms and treatment options available. There’s no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed of developing a yeast infection. In fact, they’re extremely common. With basic treatment, it will likely clear up on its own, and there are additional options beyond that if necessary.
A yeast infection is typically caused by a fungal infection. It can cause irritation, discharge, and intense itchiness. Also known medically as vaginal candidiasis, yeast infections affect 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lifetimes. Many women experience two or more instances. They’re a common problem, but with treatment, they can resolve swiftly.
Yeast Infection Symptoms: Signs to Look Out For
Yeast infection symptoms are usually mild to moderate in intensity. The first symptom is itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva area. There may be a burning sensation, especially while urinating or during intercourse. Additionally, there may be redness, swelling, pain, soreness, or a rash. Patients also experience vaginal discharge. Discharge may be thick, white, and odor-free, or in some cases, watery.
When symptoms are especially severe, a yeast infection may be deemed complicated. Moreover, if you have four or more infections a year, this is also a sign of further complications.
Complicated yeast infections also occur from unusual types of fungus, if you’re pregnant, or if you have uncontrolled diabetes. If your immune system has been compromised by medications or conditions, a complicated yeast infection may also develop.
Yeast Infection Treatment: What to Do If You Have One
The first option for yeast infection treatment is typically an antifungal cream or suppository. There are over-the-counter options that treat most yeast infections without needing a doctor’s appointment. These target the fungus that most commonly causes yeast infections in women (candida albicans.)
You should make an appointment to see a doctor if this is your first yeast infection (or if you’re unsure). If symptoms aren’t relieved by over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories, or if you develop other symptoms, see a doctor. They can prescribe more powerful antifungal treatments and make other recommendations.
They may also recommend replenishing your friendly bacteria cultures by eating yogurt or taking lactobacillus acidophilus supplements. Another common recommendation is wearing clothes that allow your body to breathe and stay cool. Keeping things airy and dry can prevent a yeast infection from coming back. In conjunction with over-the-counter treatments, these methods treat most yeast infections.
What Causes a Yeast Infection?
The fungus candida albicans cause most yeast infections. The vagina naturally contains a complex ecosystem of microscopic organisms, including candida and bacteria. These are typically balanced to prevent overgrowth of any one type. Many of these, like lactobacillus, help promote healthy pH and contribute to your overall vaginal health.
This complex ecosystem can lead to yeast infections when imbalances and disruptions occur. They can be caused by antibiotic use, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, an impaired immune system, or increased estrogen levels. Even a small disruption can lead to candida albicans or another fungus species overrunning their competition.
Treat a Yeast Infection with Help from BASS Medical
Yeast infections happen all the time to a majority of women. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, as it’s not a reflection of hygiene or general cleanliness. Best of all, there are plenty of over-the-counter options for treatment before a doctor’s appointment is necessary.
If your yeast infection is getting complicated, and over-the-counter options don’t seem to work, you aren’t out of options. BASS Medical’s female urology specialists are here to help diagnose and treat yeast infections. They’ll do everything they can to make patients comfortable. They’re knowledgable and professional, but most of all, they’re compassionate to your needs as a woman.