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A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes itching and discharge which can lead to severe discomfort. Also called vaginal candidiasis, yeast infections will affect 3 out of 4 women at some point during their lifetime.
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?
Yeast infection symptoms may be mild or severe. Severe symptoms usually occur with recurring or complicated yeast infections. If you experience any of the following, you may have a yeast infection: Vaginal itching
- Vaginal irritation
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Vaginal discharge that’s thick, has a whitish color, and no odor
- Swelling and redness in the vulva
- Pain or burning during intercourse
Why do I have a yeast infection?
Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, which includes candida and bacteria. Certain bacteria will prevent an overgrowth of yeast. Sometimes this balance can be disrupted and an overgrowth of candida will present signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.
Underlying health issues and certain medications can cause higher levels of yeast. These include:
- Taking antibiotics which can destroy healthy bacteria in your vagina
- Having poorly managed diabetes
- Being pregnant
- Having a compromised immune system
- Taking birth control pills that contain estrogen
- Undergoing hormone therapy that increases estrogen levels
Your doctor at The Women's Specialists of Fayette will determine the cause of your infection and recommend the right treatment for you.
How are mild yeast infections treated?
Mild yeast infections are usually treated with an antifungal prescription medicine. Such medications may be oral, or in ointment or cream form. You doctor may even recommend using an over-the-counter antifungal suppository or other product if you are pregnant. Such medications usually clear up yeast infections within a week.
If after one week of using medication you are still having symptoms, should see your doctor at The Women's Specialists of Fayette for a follow-up visit.
How are recurring or complicated yeast infections treated?
If you suffer with extreme or frequent infections, your doctor may prescribe a vaginal product, such as a cream or suppository that contains azole. These can take up to two weeks to clear up infections.
Other treatment options include fluconazole oral medication and maintenance therapy to reduce the risk of recurring yeast infections.
How can I prevent yeast infections?
The following can help you in reducing your risks of developing a yeast infection:
- Avoid wearing tight underwear and pants
- Choose cotton underclothing, which is more breathable than other materials
- Don’t leave damp or wet clothes on
- Only take antibiotics for bacterial infections
If you need treatment for a yeast infection, please contact The Women's Specialists of Fayette to schedule an appointment.
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The Women’s Specialists of Fayette, Fayetteville Georgia