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Yeast Infection FAQ

Yeast Infections – Frequent Questions and Answers

Introduction

Most women do not need to be introduced to the concept of vaginal yeast infections.  Most women will experience at least one vaginal infection in their lifetime.  And although all women are familiar with this problem there is a lot they do not know about it.  Here are some frequently asked questions and up to date answers to help be a guide.

What is This Type of Infection?

Yeast is normally present in the vagina and vulva – the entrance to the vagina.  Yeast is a fungus.  But when this yeast grows beyond its normal limits it presents a problem and a vaginal infection ensues.

Signs and Symptoms

The area of the vagina will become itchy and painful.  There may also be pain, especially during sex, and a swelling and redness of the area.  The most significant symptom is the white, odorless, cottage cheese type of discharge that becomes present.  All these symptoms may occur or just a few.  At the same time the severity will vary.

Diagnosis

Because several types of sexually transmitted diseases can mimic yeast infections it is best to see a medical professional about your symptoms.  Although the type of discharge of yeast (white, odorless and resembling cottage cheese) is characteristic of only yeast infections medical confirmation is best obtained.  A vaginal examination will be done.  At the same time a sample of the vaginal discharge to be examined under a microscopic will be obtained.  The microscopic results will yield the final diagnosis.

Risks That Result in an Infection

There are a variety of situations that can contribute to obtaining this type of infection.  Things as simple as a lack of sleep, stress and illness can be factors.  Chronic diseases such as diabetes, suppression of the immune system and the use of certain medications can be factors.  Some of these medications are birth control pills, antibiotics and steroids.

Treatments

Medications developed for this type of infections are considered antifungals.  They come is a variety of preparations such as creams, ointments, tablets and suppositories.  Some courses of treatment last from one to three days.  They can be obtained over the counter while others are available only by prescription. If you go the over the counter route first consult a medical professional if this is your first vaginal infection, you are pregnant, or if these infections are becoming a chronic problem.

Sexual Considerations

These types of vaginal infections are not considered as being sexually transmitted diseases. It is rare to obtain a yeast infection from having sexual intercourse.  Some men do obtain a rash from engaging in sex with a woman having an active infection.  If the male partner does experience a rash he should seek medical treatment.

Prevention

There are some simple changes of life styles that can help prevent a vaginal yeast infection.  The avoidance of scented personal hygiene products, wearing cotton underwear, refrain from douching and avoiding hot tubs are just of a few of the suggestions.

Recurrent Infections

Those with chronic medical problems diabetes or whose immune systems have been impaired are more likely to suffer from recurrent infections.  For these patients a combination of medication or the long term use of them will be helpful.  But these women definitely should be under the care of a physician.