Yeast infection is quite common among women. Though it is not a serious problem but it is quite disconcerting. According to an estimate every woman faces this infection at one or other point of her life. Yeast is a type of fungus and the yeast infections are caused by spurt in the growth of fungus called Candida Albicans.
Basically, a small amount of yeast and a big number of bacteria live in a healthy vagina but when due to some external factors this balance gets disturbed and the vaginal yeast begins to grow rapidly then it causes problems and is known as vaginitis or vaginal yeast infection.
Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection
Symptoms of vaginal yeast infection include uncontrollable vaginal itching, pain, burning sensation and pain while urinating when urine comes in contact with the irritated skin and during and/or after sex. Some women also pass thick and cottage cheese like discharge which is odorless. The skin around vagina becomes red and irritated. Mostly, these symptoms become prominent a week before menstrual periods.
Causes of Vaginal yeast infection
Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida Albicans (C.ALbicans). Factors that can trigger growth of this yeast include diabetes especially uncontrolled blood sugar levels, prolonged use of antibiotics due to certain health conditions.
Hormonal fluctuations especially problems with high levels of estrogen in body like when taking hormone replacement therapy, during pregnancy, using high-potency birth control pills or during the follicular phase of menses. Sometimes obesity, use of steroids and weak immune system can also cause vaginal yeast infection.
Treatments Associated with Yeast Infection
The treatment for yeast infection depends upon the severity of the infection. The treatment for mild to moderate infection is different from severe infection.
Treatment for Mild to Moderate Infection
The doctor either does a pelvic examination to check the inflammation or may use a swab to take fluid sample from vagina for a microscopic test. Then he/she will determine whether the infection is mild to moderate or severe in nature since the medication varies for them.
Treatment for mild to moderate infection includes:
Vaginal Therapy for short- duration
Generally, mild to moderate infection is treated with topical application. The doctor prescribes anti-fungal creams, suppository or ointment for one to three days.
Sometimes, the doctors also prescribe a single – dose oral medicine for vaginal yeast infection.
Treatment for Severe Infection
Vaginal therapy for Long Duration
For a complicated infection, the vaginal treatment is long term and includes a suppository, ointment or antifungal cream to be used for 7 to 14 days.
Instead of one dose medication, the oral medication for severe infection consists of multi-dose treatment.
For those who suffer from recurrent vaginal yeast infection (four times a year or within two months of medication) the doctors prescribe maintenance or precautionary medication too.
Maintenance medication is given after treating the infection with drugs. It either includes topical medication like some ointment or antifungal cream or vaginal suppository or includes oral medication to be taken once a week for some weeks.
Generally, the partner of the woman is not asked for treatment but if the woman suffers from recurrent yeast infection than the doctor may ask the partner for treatment and to use barrier method during sex.
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