What is a yeast infection?
Vaginal candidiasis is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Yeast are tiny organisms that normally live in small amount on the skin and inside the vagina. The acidic environment of the vagina helps prevent the growth of yeast. If the vagina becomes less acidic, too many yeast can grow and can cause a vaginal infection.
How common are fungal infections in the form of yeast?
Fungal infections are so common that 3 of 4 women will have during her lifetime. Half of women have more than one infection during their lifetime.
How do I know if I have a yeast infection?
Fungal infections in the form of yeast can be very uncomfortable, but usually not serious. Symptoms include the following:
- Itching and burning in the vagina and around the vulva (the skin around the vagina).
- White vaginal discharge that may be similar to the color of cheese curd ("cottage").
- Pain during sex.
- Swelling of the vulva.
If you have symptoms of a yeast infection, it is likely that your doctor may want to talk to you about your symptoms and examine to ensure that the cause is a yeast infection.
What is the cause of yeast infection?
The acid balance of the vagina may change over the period (menstruation), pregnancy, diabetes, douche products, some antibiotics, birth control pills and corticosteroids. Moisture and irritation of the vagina also seem to stimulate the growth of yeast.
Should I see my doctor every time I have a yeast infection?
Be sure to check with your doctor the first time you have symptoms of a yeast infection. It is very important to make sure you have a yeast infection not something more serious. Symptoms of a yeast infection are also symptoms of other infections, including some sexually transmitted infections. Treat yourself for a yeast infection when in fact they have another type of infection may make the problem much more.
If you often been diagnosed with yeast infection, consult your doctor about what medicine you can buy without a prescription to relieve symptoms and treat the infection.
Does my sexual partner also needs treatment?
Although rare, you can pass a yeast infection to your partner through sex. If your partner starts to develop symptoms of a yeast infection, consult a doctor about treatment options.