Also known as candidiasis, yeast infections are fungal infections that mainly occur in warm and moist areas of the body, such as the vagina, mouth, and gastrointestinal tract. Though yeast infections are common, there are several things that you can do to prevent them. Read on to know more about the causes, prevention, and treatment for yeast infections.
What is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
A woman's healthy vagina contains some yeast cells and bacteria that are perfectly balanced. When this balance changes, the yeast cells can multiply and cause irritation, itching, and swelling. This condition is known as a vaginal yeast infection or candidiasis.
Vaginal yeast infections can happen to any woman, whether they are sexually active or not. They are not sexually transmitted infections (STI) or sexually transmitted diseases (STD). However, having sexual contact can spread it. Note that, after getting the first infection, you are more likely to get another.
What is the Main Cause of Yeast Infection?
The Candida fungus, which is the fungus that naturally exists in the vaginal area, and the Lactobacillus bacteria must remain in perfect balance to prevent candidiasis. If they are not balanced, they lead to an overgrowth of yeast, which causes yeast infection symptoms to occur. These symptoms include:
- Vaginal itching
- Pain during sex
- Swelling around the vagina
- A rash
- Burning sensation during sex or urination
- Whitish-gray and clumpy discharge that looks like cottage cheese
It is vital to seek medical attention as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. If left untreated, the symptoms will become severe. Several things cause the imbalance of bacteria and fungus in the body.
Some of the common causes include:
- Lack of sleep
- A weak immune system
- Poor eating habits. Especially eating a lot of sugary foods
- Antibiotics which decreases the amount of Lactobacillus or good bacteria in the vagina
- Hormonal imbalance
- Uncontrolled diabetes
Most yeast infections are treatable and are caused by Candida albicans, which is a type of yeast. A different version of Candida causes recurring yeast infections. Your doctor will have to order some lab tests to know the type of Candida you have.
The treatment of candidiasis can help relieve its symptoms within a few days. In cases of severe yeast infections, it can take up to 2 weeks.
Yeast Infections in Women
Did you know that 75% of women are likely to have at least one vaginal yeast infection in a lifetime, and around 45% can have two or more infections? Yeast infections are more prevalent in women than in men because of various risk factors.
It is crucial to treat vaginal yeast infection immediately to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms and reduce its chances of spreading in the body. If you have more than four yeast infections in a year, you should see a doctor and avoid DIY treatment methods.
Yeast Infections vs. UTI
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is yet another common infection in women. It is also possible to have both yeast infection and a UTI at the same time. However, they are different conditions.
UTIs are bacterial infections that only affect the urinary system. This system includes the kidneys, urethra, and bladder. They are caused by STI's, failure to urinate regularly, and sex. The symptoms of UTIs are also different from those of a yeast infection and may include some blood in the urine.
This infection can also cause frequent urination and abdominal and pelvic pain. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to severe health complications, especially in the kidney.
Yeast Infections in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a common risk factor. It causes hormonal imbalance, and this is the leading cause of yeast infections. Yeast infection during pregnancy is also not treated the same way because a pregnant woman cannot take oral antifungal medication due to possible birth defects.
During pregnancy, doctors prescribe topical antifungals. It is vital to see your doctor and get the right diagnosis and treatment during pregnancy to prevent passing on the infection to your baby during delivery, leading to oral thrush and diaper rash in your baby.
Yeast Infections vs. BV
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women between 15 to 44 years. It is mainly caused by bacterial imbalances from sex and douching. Unlike yeast infection, BV is not a fungal infection and can have a strong, fish-like odor.
Because some of BV's symptoms include burning, discharge, and itching, you can mistake it for a yeast infection. However, untreated BV can cause long-term complications such as premature delivery, if the infection occurs during pregnancy, and a higher risk of getting STIs and infertility.
Unlike yeast infections, which some home remedies can treat, you will need prescription antibiotics to clear up BV.
Yeast Infection and Periods
Having a yeast infection and your periods at the same time is not uncommon and is very uncomfortable. They are most likely to occur immediately before the periods because of the fluctuations in hormones which causes imbalance.
If you notice any white to yellow discharge and the other symptoms of a yeast infection before your periods, you should get treatment immediately. Early treatment can clear up the infection before your periods start.
Yeast Infection Test
If you suspect that you have a yeast infection, you should get the correct diagnosis from your doctor, especially if it is your first time experiencing it. Your doctor will conduct a pelvic exam and check for swelling, redness, and any visible discharge.
Your doctor will also ask you about other symptoms you are experiencing and, if need be, order a vaginal fluid test. They will collect a sample of the discharge with a cotton swab and send it to the lab. Once your doctor determines the infection, they will prescribe the correct treatment.
How is a Yeast Infection Diagnosed?
To correctly diagnose a yeast infection, your doctor will ask you about your medical history. This includes a history of STIs and previous yeast infections. They will then proceed to do a pelvic exam to examine the cervix, vaginal walls, and the surrounding areas for signs of infection.
Your doctor can also collect some cells from your vagina and send them to the lab for examination. This is common in people who have a recurring yeast infection.
What are the Risks of Not Treating or Treating a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
When left untreated, vaginal yeast infections will worsen and cause a skin infection in the areas around the vagina. The vagina wall and surrounding areas can also become cracked and have open wounds because of constant itching.
Untreated infections also cause oral thrush, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems. It is vital to get the proper treatment for yeast infection to prevent re-infection.
Can BINTO help Yeast Infections be Prevented?
Yes, It would be best if you also used BINTO probiotics because they are effective on a majority of yeast infection strains.
- Taking lactobacillus supplements that are apart of BINTO's probiotic.
There are also several lifestyle changes and habits that you can adopt to prevent yeast infections. Some of the habits to adopt include:
- Wearing underwear made from natural fibers like silk and cotton
- Eating yogurt
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Avoid douching
- Washing underwear in hot water
- Avoid wearing tights, tight pants, leggings, or pantyhose
- Pee immediately after sex
- Maintain good vaginal hygiene
- Avoid using scented pads or tampons
- Not sitting around in wet underwear and bathing suits
- Avoid sitting in hot tubs frequently
Though yeast infections are common, they are also preventable and treatable. Recognize your risk factors to prevent infections. BINTO probiotics provide effective supplement packs. If you have issues with a yeast infection, schedule a consultation and we will put together a supplement pack just for you.