A vaginal yeast infection is a very common disorder which is estimated to affect 75% of the world’s female population at least once in their lifetime. Since the infection deals with the vaginal area, however, many people do not feel comfortable talking about it. This can lead to a vast misunderstanding as to what yeast infections are and what causes them.
Many different things can cause a yeast infection. One of the most common culprits is hormones, which can change the PH balance of your vagina. This is typical during pregnancy, but may also occur while breastfeeding, taking birth control, or going through menopause. Douching or antibiotics can also be responsible.
Although a yeast infection is NOT a sexually transmitted disease, it can be passed from one person to the other during intercourse if protection is not used.
People who have a compromised immune system (such as those who are HIV positive) or who suffer from diabetes are more likely to get yeast infections than the general population. A yeast infection can also occur as a secondary infection after being ill. Usually, this is due to a combination of antibiotic usage and the immune system.
The following are symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, which are not to be confused with other forms of yeast infections:
- Itching or burning in the vaginal area
- Swelling of the vaginal area
- Pain or discomfort during intercourse
- Discharge that is thick and white (but does not smell) or watery in appearance
- Pain, burning, or discomfort while urinating
- Rash around the vulva, upper thighs, or buttocks
The most common course of treatment prescribed by doctors to treat yeast infections is antifungal medications. These can come in the form of a cream, vaginal suppository, or ointment. There are over-the-counter options which work well for some women.
We at New River Women’s Health have years of experience in women’s health. If you have symptoms of a yeast infection or simply would like more information about their prevention and treatment, contact us for an appointment at (540) 605-7566.