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An Overview on Yeast Infection & Candida
Vaginitis is described as an inflammation of the vagina and may be caused by several different irritants. One of which, and one of the most common, is yeast. Medically speaking vaginal infections caused by yeast are also known as candidiasis. Although it can be spread through sexual contact, it is not considered a sexually transmitted disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Vaginal yeast is easy to diagnosis as the symptoms are very apparent and upfront. A few include a burning sensation while urinating, vaginal pain and soreness, itching, burning and the presence of an abnormal, thick exudates emerging from the vagina.
When and Why to see a Doctor
As there are several reasons for a vaginal discharge it is best, if this is a new event in a person’s life, to seek the services of a medical professional. The discharge of yeast has a unique and distinctive cottage cheese appearance. After this initial diagnosis it would be easy to recognize any future recurrent episodes..
Cause of the Infection
The organism that produces the infection has been identified as Fungus Candida. Candida has a normal and natural presence in the vagina along with other “good” bacteria. As long as these two remain balanced your vagina remains healthy. But if the bacterium – lactobacillus – is suppressed it causes over growth of the yeast and this disruption results in candidiasis, a yeast infection.
The body remains well as long as it stays “in balance”. So anything that disrupts this can cause some type of incident. For Example:
- Antibiotics, taken for any type of infection, even a throat infection, will also unbalance the vaginal balance.
- Frequent douching or irritating vaginal lubricants is another irritant that unbalances the system.
- Diseases and conditions, especially pregnancy, diabetes, imbalance of the auto immune system can also be to blame for the over growth of yeast.
- Sexual relationship during the period of an infection can also be a cause.
- The indiscriminate and frequent use of antibiotics will kill all bacteria even those that perform a positive role in our bodies.
- An imbalance of estrogen levels, caused by pregnancy or the use of hormonal products, such as birth control bills, can also be a culprit.
- Diabetic woman who’s blood sugar in not correctly controlled will find themselves having frequent vaginal problems.
- There are several diseases that affect the immune system and these will be more likely to suffer an imbalance of their vaginal pH.
To Make a Diagnosis
Several procedures may be performed to correctly diagnosis a yeast infection. A scraping of the vagina during a pelvic exam will be submitted to the lab for positive diagnosis.
Complicated vs. Uncomplicated Vaginal Infection
Uncomplicated infections are those that are mild and infrequent which will require short term therapy of one to three days. This will be treated with an antifungal agent. These medications come in a variety of formulations, creams, gels and tablets.
A complicated infection is of a more severe nature. Everything found in a uncomplicated episode is present and magnified. The painful feeling and itching may even proceed to open sores. This will not be a one time or infrequent episode, but rather they will be present four or more times per year. Treatment will be more intense and stronger lasting for a week, maybe two weeks. This patient may even require long term medication.