Vaginal Yeast Infection: Symptom, Treatment, Home Remedy

Overview

A vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidal vulvovaginitis, is a fungal infection which caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. It can cause irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva.

A vaginal yeast infection isn’t considered a sexually transmitted infection.

It is very common in women. It is the second most common cause of vaginal inflammation after bacterial vaginosis. Women at all ages can get vaginal yeast infections, while vaginal yeast infections are rare before puberty and after menopause. According to the data, about 75% of all women have at least one in her lifetime, and 40%-45% will have multiple cases.

Causes & Risk Factors

The fungus candida albicans causes most vaginal yeast infections and can be treated easily.

Generally, there is a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria in vagina. Certain bacteria (lactobacillus) can prevent the overgrowth of yeast. But sometimes this balance may be disrupted and lead to vaginal yeast infections.

The causes of the overgrowth of yeast may mainly include:

  • Antibiotic: It can cause an imbalance in natural vaginal flora which decreases the amount of lactobacillus.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes.
  • A weak immune system.
  • Taking oral contraceptives or hormone therapy that increase estrogen levels.
  • Douches and vaginal sprays: These products can cause an imbalance in vaginal flora.
  • Sex: Though a yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, it can be passed from person to person through sexual contact.
  • Poor eating habits, such as eating a lot of sugary foods.
  • Stress.
  • Lack of sleep.

Symptoms

The common symptoms of vaginal yeast infections are generally as follows:

  • Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva.
  • A burning sensation, especially during intercourse or while urinating.
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva.
  • Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge, usually with a cottage cheese appearance.
  • Watery vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal pain and soreness.
  • Vaginal rash.

Diagnosis

Vaginal yeast infections are easy to diagnose. Doctors usually ask about the medical history, including history of vaginal yeast infections and a STI. Then they will have a pelvic exam. They will take a sample of the discharge from the vagina and send it to a lab for examination.

Treatment

Treatment for vaginal yeast infections depends on the severity and frequency of the infections.

For mild to moderate symptoms and infrequent cases, doctors may recommend: use a one-to-three–day regimen of an antifungal cream, ointment, tablet, or suppository, including butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, terconazole and fluconazole.

Your condition may be complicated if you have symptoms as follows:

  • Severe redness, swelling, and itching which causes sores in the vaginal tissue.
  • Having more than four infections in a year.
  • Having uncontrolled diabetes or a weak immune system from medication.
  • HIV-positive.

For patients with complicated infections, doctors may recommend:

  • 14-day cream, ointment, tablet, or suppository vaginal treatment.
  • Long-term prescription of fluconazole taken once a week for six weeks.
  • Long-term use of a topical antifungal medication.
  • Boric acid, a capsule inserted into the vagina. (But remember that this can be fatal if taken orally. And it is only used to treat candida fungus that is resistant to the usual antifungal agents.)

If patients are pregnant, it’s safe to use creams or suppositories. But they cannot use the fluconazole orally.

If your infection is recurring, doctors may need see if your sexual partner has a vaginal yeast infection. If your sexual partner has a vaginal yeast infection, both of you should be treated together and remember to use condoms during sex.

Home Remedies

Some tips can prevent vaginal yeast infections and relieve the symptoms effectively.

  1. Avoid wearing tight-fitting pantyhose.
  2. Avoid douching frequently.
  3. Avoid using scented feminine products, including bubble bath, pads and tampons.
  4. Avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.
  5. Avoid staying in wet clothes for long periods of time, such as swimsuits and workout attire.
  6. Avoid sitting in hot tubs or taking frequent hot baths.
  7. Use coconut oil, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar and garlic.
  8. Eating a well-balanced diet.
  9. Eating yogurt or taking supplements with lactobacillus.
  10. Wearing cotton underwear.
  11. Washing underwear in hot water.
  12. Replacing feminine products frequently.

Please consult your doctors for your treatment.

Keywords: vaginal yeast infection; candidal vulvovaginitis.

Related Posts:

What is Chronic Yeast Infection?

What are the Symptoms of Skin Yeast Infection?

Causes of Yeast Infection in Pregnant Women

What Causes My Recurring Yeast Infections?

What are Causes of Vaginal Discharge?

What is the Alternative Treatment for Yeast Infections?

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.