What is a yeast infection?

yeast infections... what are they?

Well, a healthy vagina contains good bacteria and yeast but when there is an overgrowth of yeast it can cause an infection. Yeast infections can be irritating and uncomfortable so it is very important to know what the symptoms are, to get the proper treatment.

What causes yeast infections?

Yeast infections are caused when there is too much of the healthy yeast that normally lives in your vagina. Doctors refer to this medically as “candiasis” because of the type of yeast in our bodies called “candida”. When the normal balance of bacteria and yeast in our vaginas is disrupted, yeast cells can multiply causing intense and painful symptoms such as itching, swelling and irritation. Changes to your vaginal environment can disrupt the chemistry and balance of the bacteria and yeast such as …

  • Menstrual cycle
  • Antibiotics
  • Hormones
  • Douches and vaginal sprays
  • Sex

symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection

Yeast infections often cause multiple symptoms, such as:

  • Vaginal itching or soreness
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain or discomfort when urinating
  • Abnormal smell or looking discharge – thick, clumpy discharge

How to prevent yeast infections

A vaginal yeast infection is nothing to be embarrassed about. Women of all ages can get them, its likely you’ll get at least one in your lifetime. Planned Parenthood explains a few ways to avoid yeast infections:

  • Wear cotton underwear. Yeast thrives in damp environments, so wearing cotton underwear can help absorb the moisture and keep yeast infections at bay.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wipe from front to back to prevent any bacteria from your anus going to your vagina.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing. Wearing airy and loose fitting clothing helps stay cool and dry.
  • Avoid perfumes and sprays, scented period products and vaginal douches. The vagina is a very delicate place, it is self cleaning so when anything foreign is altering the vaginal environment it can disrupt the healthy bacteria and yeast.

how do you treat a yeast infection?

Most yeast infections can be treated easily in a few days with anti-fungal medicine. You can purchase medications supplements over the counter at a drugstore without a prescription. Make sure you follow the directions on the label to ensure the yeast infection does go away completely. Doctors can also prescribe an oral pill to rid your body of the yeast infection.

It is important to not engage in oral or vaginal sex, or put anything in your vagina until you have finished your course of treatment and the infection goes away. Anything in the vagina during this time can cause more irritation and make it harder to heal.

Learn the difference between yeast infections and urinary tract infections. Educate yourself on your body!

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