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Vaginal Yeast Infections: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Oct 27, 2023

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Causes Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

Symptoms Of Vaginal Yeast Infections

Risk factors Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

Diagnosis Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

Treatment Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

Prevention Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections


Vaginal yeast infections are fungal infections that cause intense itching, discharge, and irritation of the vulva and the tissues around the vaginal entrance.

Up to three out of every four women experience a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives. It is also known as vaginal candidiasis. Many women endure at least two episodes.

Vaginal yeast infections are not classified as sexually transmitted diseases. On the other hand, a vaginal yeast infection is more likely to develop during the first few months of frequent sexual activity. Additional investigation suggests that mouth-to-genital contact, or oral-genital sex, may be associated with infections.

Effective treatment for vaginal yeast infections is possible with medication. In a year, if you experience four or more recurrent yeast infections, you could require a lengthier course of therapy and a maintenance plan.

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Causes Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

The fungus candida albicans is the cause of most vaginal yeast infections.

In your vagina, a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria already exists, including candida. Lactobacillus bacteria function to prevent yeast from proliferating excessively.

This equilibrium could be disturbed, though. A yeast infection appears as symptoms and indicators when there is an overgrowth of candida or when the fungus penetrates deeper layers of the vaginal cell.

Overgrowth of yeast can result from:

  • Antibiotic usage disturbs the balance of the normal vaginal flora.
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Weakened immunity
  • Using oral contraceptives or hormone therapy that increases oestrogen levels
  • Candida albicans is the most common type of fungus that causes infections in the yeast. How to treat yeast infections brought on by different kinds of candida fungus may be more challenging and generally need more aggressive therapies.

Also Read: Genital Warts: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Symptoms Of Vaginal Yeast Infections

The mild to moderate symptoms of a yeast infection include the following:

  • Vulva and vaginal inflammation
  • Itching,
  • A burning sensation, especially during intercourse or urination
  • The redness and swelling of the Vulva
  • Vaginal pain and discomfort
  • Thick, creamy, odourless vaginal discharge that mimics cottage cheese
  • Moist vaginal discharge

Also Read: Placenta Accreta: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

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Risk factors Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

The subsequent factors increase your risk of developing a yeast infection:

  • Antibiotic use: Yeast infections are more common in women who use antibiotics. Yeast overgrowth is encouraged by antibiotics with broad-range activity since they kill both good and bad bacteria in your vagina.
  • Increased oestrogen levels: Yeast infections are more common in women with higher oestrogen levels, such as those who are pregnant, use high-dose oestrogen birth control pills, or are undergoing oestrogen hormone therapy.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes: Women with poorly regulated blood sugar are more likely to get yeast infections than women with well-controlled blood sugar.
  • Weakened immune system: The prevalence of yeast infections is higher in women with weakened immune systems, such as those brought on by corticosteroid treatment or HIV treatment.

Also Read: Uterus Didelphys(Double Uterus): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Diagnosis Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

If your physician believes you have a yeast infection, they may:

  • Ask to see your previous medical records: This method can be used to learn about prior vaginal infections or STDs.
  • Perform a pelvic exam: Your doctor examines your external genitalia to check for infections. Subsequently, your physician will introduce a speculum, an instrument that maintains the vaginal walls open, into your vagina to examine the cervix, the smaller, lower part of your uterus.
  • Examine the vaginal secretions: To determine the type of fungus responsible for the yeast infection, your physician may request testing on a vaginal fluid sample. If the fungus is identified, your doctor might be able to treat your recurrent yeast infections more successfully.

Also Read: Bacterial Vaginosis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Complications, Prevention, Diagnosis And Treatment

Treatment Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

Depending on the severity and frequency of your yeast infections, your doctor will recommend a course of treatment.

If you have mild to moderate symptoms and sporadic occurrences, your doctor might recommend the following:

  • Short-term vaginal care: Usually, an antifungal medication must be used for three to seven days to cure a yeast infection. The antifungal medications terconazole and miconazole (Monistat 3) are available as suppositories, pills, ointments, and creams. Some of these medications can be acquired without a prescription, while others just a single oral dosage. Fluconazole may be prescribed by your doctor as a single oral dose. Taking oral medicine when pregnant is not suggested. For more severe symptoms, you may take two single doses separated by three days.
    • If you often experience yeast infections if your symptoms are severe, your doctor may suggest the following:
  • Prolonged vaginal therapy: Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication to be taken once a week for six months, after taking it once a day for two weeks.
  • Oral medicine in multiple doses: Your doctor may prescribe two or three oral doses of an antifungal medication in place of vaginal therapy. Despite this, it is not recommended that pregnant women receive this therapy.
  • Azole-resistant therapy: Your doctor may suggest a vaginally implanted tablet called boric acid. The only purpose of this prescription is to treat candida fungus that is resistant to regular antifungal drugs; using this medication orally involves a risk of death.

Also Read: Urinary Tract Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Prevention Of  Vaginal Yeast Infections

To reduce the risk of vaginal yeast infections, wear loose-fitting trousers with a cotton crotch.

  • Tight-fitting underwear
  • Some of the beneficial bacteria that prevent infection in the vagina are destroyed by douching.
  • Perfumed products for women, like bubble baths, pads, and tampons
  • Extremely heated pools and hot springs
  • Consuming unnecessary medications to treat colds or viral infections
  • Wearing swimwear and fitness equipment that has been wet for a long time

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