An overgrowth of Candida may lead to anal yeast infection in women. Here are some important facts you should know about anal yeast infection, including its causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Fact #1: Candida naturally lives in the body
Candida, a type of fungi, causes anal yeast infection (Perianal Candidiasis). It normally lives in the body, particularly on the skin’s surface, in the digestive tract, and the vagina. When Candida multiplies uncontrollably in the anus, anal yeast infection may set in.
It’s important to note that yeast infections can happen anywhere in the body when there’s an overgrowth of the Candida yeast, which thrives in warm, moist places. A woman can also develop yeast infections in her mouth (oral thrush), throat, breast, and vagina.
Please note that even though yeast infections can occur in the genital areas, it’s not considered a sexually-transmitted disease. This is because a lot of factors can cause Candida overgrowth.
These factors include wearing tight-fitting clothes, antibiotic use, stress, and conditions like pregnancy and diabetes. However, anal yeast infection can spread through sex, so doctors encourage patients to refrain from engaging in sexual activities.
Fact #2: The most common symptom of anal yeast infection is pruritus ani
In most cases, a person with anal yeast infection first notices intense anal itching, also called pruritus ani. The itching sensation is sometimes so intense the person feels a strong urge to scratch their anus. Often, this makes them feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.
The other symptoms of anal yeast infection in women are:
- Burning sensation
- Irritated skin
- Damaged skin because of intense scratching
- Pain, soreness, or bleeding in the affected area
- Occasional discharge from the anus
Fact #3: Anal yeast infection is rarely severe in healthy people
To effectively treat anal yeast infection in women, the doctor will look into the cause. For example, if antibiotic use is triggering the infection, the doctor may stop or change the medication.
But, generally, yeast infections do not pose any serious threat to healthy people. In their report, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) stated that because Candida is normally present in healthy people, “treatment is very rarely needed.”
However, since anal yeast infection causes severe itching and other discomforts, the doctor may still give you medications. In most cases, OTC anti-fungal creams like clotrimazole and miconazole are enough to clear the infection within a week. The doctor may also prescribe you corticosteroid cream or ointment to treat the accompanying itching and inflammation.
Remember: it’s crucial to strictly follow the doctor’s orders. If they ask you to apply the cream for 7 days, you must continue the application even after you notice that your symptoms improve after just 2 or 3 days.
Fact #4: Natural remedies may help treat anal yeast infection
While we still need more evidence to prove their effectiveness, a growing number of studies acknowledge the potential of taking probiotics against yeast infections.
A recent laboratory study, for instance, revealed that probiotics containing specific kinds of bacteria could “inhibit the growth of Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis,” two of the most common causes of yeast infections. Moreover, some scientists found evidence that taking probiotics can increase the effectiveness of anti-fungal treatments.
Besides probiotics, investigators also found out that coconut oil can prevent the overgrowth of Candida albicans. However, its anti-fungal properties are still weaker compared to the traditional over-the-counter anti-fungal medications.
Fact #5: You can reduce your risk of anal yeast infections
Performing the following home remedies can reduce the risk of anal yeast infection in women:
- Avoid using scented and harsh feminine products as they can cause irritation and make the anal skin more vulnerable to infection.
- Change out of sweaty or wet clothes after working out or swimming.
- Wear cotton, breathable underwear.
- Maintain a healthy diet, which is low in refined sugar and carbohydrates
Although anal yeast infection in women cause discomfort, most cases don’t pose a serious threat. Your doctor can give you OTC anti-fungal creams to resolve your symptoms within a few days.
Learn more about Yeast Infections here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.