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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

Vaginal Yeast Infection

  • Published on August 12, 2022
Vaginal Yeast Infection

vaginal yeast infection is a common condition among women. It affects a lot of women at some point in their lives – as many as 75 out of 100 women will experience it at least once.

vaginal yeast infection can occur when the balance of bacteria and yeast cells in your vagina changes. In such conditions, the yeast cells multiply, causing intense itching, swelling and other unpleasant symptoms.

Vaginal yeast infections are not considered an STI or sexually transmitted infection. You can get vaginal yeast infections regardless of whether or not you have sexual contact.

Furthermore, though yeast infections are likely to happen to anyone, it’s always best to be mindful of the things that can make them more commonplace. Most people don’t experience any major issues and find relief rather quickly.

Symptoms of vaginal yeast infections

The most common vaginal yeast infection symptoms are:

  1. Itchiness, burning, and irritation in the vagina and vulva.
  2. Swelling of the vagina and vulva.
  3. Rash in the vaginal area.
  4. Difficulty in peeing (usually accompanied by pain and burning).
  5. Discharge of a thick, white watery substance through the vagina.
  6. The appearance of tiny cuts and cracks in the skin of the vulva.
  7. Experiencing pain during sex.

When to see a doctor?

Sometimes, vaginal yeast infection symptoms are similar to those of sexually transmitted infections. So if you notice any of the symptoms, you should consider visiting a doctor.

You should also visit a medical professional in the following cases:

  1. If you’re experiencing vaginal yeast infection symptoms for the first time.
  2. If you’re unsure of your condition. You can get an accurate diagnosis and avail further treatment.
  3. If over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams aren’t helping you with your condition.
  4. If you start seeing other symptoms emerging in addition to the symptoms mentioned above.

Causes of vaginal yeast infections

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a type of fungus that exists in your body called Candida.

Candida normally resides on the skin, inside the body and in the mouth, throat, gut and vagina. Under normal circumstances, it doesn’t cause any problem.

However, when yeast is out of balance with the body’s ecosystem, this Candida can grow rapidly and lead to a vaginal yeast infection.

Here are the several factors that can lead to vaginal yeast infections:

  1. Taking antibiotics for an infection, for instance, a urinary tract infection (UTI), can kill the good bacteria in the body and the vagina. These good bacteria usually control yeast levels by keeping them in check. The lack of these beneficial bacterial strains can throw off the balance and lead to a vaginal yeast infection.
  2. Pregnancy and the use of hormonal birth control can cause hormonal changes and affect your vaginal microbiome. Your hormones can be all over the place during pregnancy. This might disrupt the balance and lead to an increase in Candida in your vagina.
  3. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, sugar in your mucus plugs may cause yeast to grow and lead to infections.
  4. HIV and other immune system disorders can facilitate the growth of the yeast and can lead to health ramifications.
  5. Using vaginal sprays can lead to an imbalance of the pH in your vagina.
  6. Yeast infections can also be passed from person to person through sexual contact.

Risk factors of vaginal yeast infections

Several factors can increase the risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection. These include:

Antibiotic use

Many women get yeast infections after taking broad-spectrum antibiotics. This is because broad-spectrum antibiotics kill all the healthy bacteria in your vagina and lead to the overgrowth of yeast.

Uncontrolled diabetes

Women with high blood sugar are more likely to develop yeast infections than women with a healthy level of blood sugar.

Increased estrogen levels

Yeast infections occur more commonly in women with high estrogen levels. These could include pregnant women and women on hormonal birth control or therapy.

Impaired immune system

Women undergoing corticosteroid therapy or HIV are more likely to get yeast infections.

Prevention of vaginal yeast infections

You can often safeguard yourself against vaginal yeast infections by making some healthy changes in your lifestyle. These changes can consist of:

  1. Choosing underwear with a cotton crotch that does not fit tightly.
  2. Avoiding douching. While it may seem like a good idea to clean the vagina, it can actually kill some of the normal bacteria therein that protect you from infection.
  3. Avoiding the use of any scented feminine products, including bubble baths, tampons and pads.
  4. Staying out of hot water and using lukewarm water in your bath.
  5. Only taking antibiotics when necessary.
  6. Always changing into dry clothes as soon as possible after you’re done swimming or exercising.

Conclusion

Yeast infections are very common. In fact, 3 out of 4 women experience a vaginal yeast infection at some time in their life.

Symptoms include burning, itching and swelling of the vagina. Sometimes there can be a discharge of a thick white watery substance through the vagina.

Recognizing the symptoms and getting prompt and proper treatment can help reduce symptoms within a few days. In addition, knowing what factors lead to the infection, such as too much antibiotic use and uncontrolled diabetes, can help decrease your chances of getting a vaginal yeast infection in the future.

To learn more regarding vaginal yeast infections or avail of the best treatment for the same, visit Birla Fertility and IVF or book an appointment with Dr___.

FAQs

How do you get Candida vulvovaginitis?

Candida vulvovaginitis (or a vaginal yeast infection) occurs when there is an imbalance of a fungus called Candida in your body. Reasons for the imbalance can be uncontrolled diabetes, use of too many antibiotics, an impaired immune system, etc.

Pregnancy and the use of hormonal birth control can also lead to a vaginal yeast infection.

Can Candida vulvovaginitis be cured?

Yes, Candida vulvovaginitis can be cured with proper treatment and care.

What are the key symptoms of Candidiasis?

Following are some of the symptoms of Candidiasis:

  • Itchiness, burning, and irritation in the vagina and vulva.
  • Swelling of the vagina and vulva.
  • Rash in the vaginal area
  • Difficulty in peeing (usually accompanied by pain and burning).
  • Discharge of a thick white watery substance through the vagina.

Can poor hygiene cause a yeast infection?

Yes, a lack of regular hygiene practices can lead to yeast infections.

Written by:
Dr Puja Singh

Dr Puja Singh

Dr. Puja Singh has been a senior resident at the Hindu Rao Hospital and NDMC Medical College, New Delhi and has been previously attached with Nova IVF Clinic, Ahmedabad in fertility services. She completed her post-graduation in Obs & Gynae from Hindu Rao Hospital & NDMC Medical College, New Delhi. She completed her FNB training in reproductive medicine.She has done fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery from AMASI. Her main area of interest is reproductive medicine. She has done her MBBS & Internship at Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Hospital, Raipur. She is dexterous and precise in surgical treatment procedures. 

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