A vaginal yeast infection is a common fungal infection experienced by most women. There are different signs to know if you have a yeast infection. Although treatable, a yeast infection can still cause discomfort; this is why getting yourself checked is one of the best options.
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
Bacteria and yeast naturally grow in your vagina. However, due to certain factors, yeast (Candida) overgrowth might occur, resulting in a vaginal yeast infection or vulvovaginal candidiasis.
Signs and symptoms
The signs to know if you have yeast infection vary depending on the severity of the infection.
A vaginal yeast infection may start as mild to moderate, then become moderate to complicated.
Signs and symptoms of a mild to moderate vaginal yeast infection include:
- Intense itchiness and irritation around and inside the vulva and vagina.
- Inflammation and redness of the vulva and vagina.
- A burning sensation that is worse during intercourse or while urinating.
- Soreness, redness, and the appearance of rashes in the vagina.
- Watery or thick, white, and odorless vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese.
You might have a complicated yeast infection if you have the following symptoms:
- The usual symptoms of a complicated yeast infection are more severe, like extreme itching, irritation, and swelling of the vagina. Itching might lead to cuts, tears, and painful sores.
- You have recurrent vaginal yeast infections in a year, most likely about 4 to 5 times.
When to visit your doctor
Even though vaginal yeast infection is a common infection experienced by girls and women at least once in their lifetime, it still needs to be addressed.
That is why it is very important to undergo an OB-Gyne checkup regularly, even if it’s just a simple itch.
If you suspect that you have a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor immediately if:
- It is your first time to experience certain symptoms related to yeast infections or if you’ve noticed new and unusual symptoms.
- Over-the-counter antifungal medications, and other remedies, are ineffective in treating your symptoms.
- The symptoms you’re experiencing are so severe that they’re affecting your daily routine.
Here are the factors that might increase your risk of having vaginal yeast infection:
- Antibiotics. Women who are taking broad-spectrum antibiotics are more likely to have vaginal yeast infection, since these drugs can kill healthy bacteria in the vagina.
- Hormonal imbalance and High-estrogen level. Pregnant women, women taking birth control pills, and those who are undergoing estrogen hormone therapy are more likely to develop a vaginal yeast infection. High-estrogen levels can result in yeast overgrowth in the vagina.
- Uncontrolled diabetes. Women with consistently high blood sugar levels can have vaginal yeast overgrowth compared to those who have their diabetes under control.
- Poor immunity. Women with weak immune systems are at greater risk for experiencing a vaginal yeast infection.
Tips for vaginal care
Since poor hygiene is a common factor that triggers a vaginal yeast infection, here are some tips you can follow for a better vaginal care routine.
- Wash regularly and encourage your partner to do the same.
- Use warm or lukewarm water and mild feminine wash when washing your vagina.
- Pat dry your vagina using a clean towel or a soft, white tissue.
- Wear cotton or silk underwear instead of nylon and acetate. Also, avoid wearing thongs, panty girdles, and nylon pantyhose.
- Avoid vaginal douching, since the vagina cleans itself using its natural discharge.
- Use mild soap when washing new or old undergarments and wash them thoroughly.
- Replace menstrual pads and tampons regularly.
- Avoid scratching your vulva.
- Change wet swimsuits or sweaty workout clothes after use.
- Wipe from front to back after every toilet break.
- Use protection, like a condom when having sexual intercourse.
These vaginal care tips are useful in keeping your vagina healthy, fresh, and safe from infection.
If you are currently experiencing a vaginal yeast infection, it is best to have it treated immediately to avoid any complications. You can also try out these tips like these can help ease your symptoms.
75% of girls and women can develop a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lifetime.
So every woman must be aware of the signs of vaginal yeast infection. Treating vaginal yeast infection as soon as it becomes apparent will prevent it from getting worse and will also prevent future complications.
Treating your vaginal yeast infection will be most effective with the right guidance from a health professional.
Learn more about Yeast Infection, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.