Yeast Infection: Help, Support and Overcome
Yeast Infection Overview
Yeast is a kind of fungus and is scientifically known as Candida. This fungus is responsible for Candida albicans or vaginitis. The yeast is usually found on areas of the human skin where there is moisture such as vagina, intestinal tract and mouth. At least 20 to 50 percent of women show the presence of this yeast in the vaginal area. Vaginitis is the inflammation of vagina. Yeast infection is very common among women who are HIV positive. About 75 percent of women suffer from this condition once in their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infections can be irritating and bothersome. It is not a serious condition and can be treated easily. Some people attempt self-treatment when they know the symptoms of the disease. However, it is better to consult a doctor and follow his/her advice.
Help and Support for Yeast Infection
Some people, and even infants, can suffer from a condition where candida infects their mouth. The condition is known as thrush. When the yeast is found growing in excessive rates in the vaginal area, it is known as monilial vaginitis. The overgrowth of yeast is caused due to various reasons such as recent use of antibiotics or wearing clothes that trap moisture or heat. Other reasons include obesity, pregnancy, multiple sclerosis or diabetes. Women with some kind of injury in the inner vagina (for example, post-chemotherapy) can contract the disease easily and women with reduced immunity develop this infection more quickly. The use of perfumed vaginal sprays and douches increase the risk of the disease.
The most common symptoms of yeast infection are soreness, burning, pain during urination and intercourse, and vaginal discharge. People suffering from vulvitis may have pain in the vaginal area apart from these symptoms. The doctor identifies yeast infection when there is a cheesy white discharge on the vaginal walls. In order to confirm the infection, the doctor may use the specimen scraped from the area. After microscopic analysis and culture in the laboratory, the doctor may establish the infection.
Overcome Yeast Infection
Yeast infection can be treated with many antifungal medications. They have to be applied topically inside and around the vagina. Some medications have to be taken orally. If the infection is due to the presence of mixed microbes, a combination or treatments is required. The creams used for topical application include butaconazole, clotrimazole, terconazole and miconazole. Some people get cured by using some over-the-counter medications. But, other kinds of infections caused by chlamydia or bacterial vaginosis may also cause similar symptoms.
Antifungal medications available in the form of tablets are nystatin, clotrimazole, terconazole and miconazole. Fluconazole is also one of the oral medications for yeast infection. Oral medications may be responsible for side effects such as nausea, headache and pain in the abdomen. Oral medications are not recommended for use during pregnancy.
Other than the itching and irritation, yeast infection can also cause some kind of embarrassment. These symptoms can be controlled to a certain extent by using some home remedies. Some popular home remedies include the use of tea tree oil cream, boric acid or garlic vaginal suppositories and vinegar douches. If these do not help, it is better to seek medical help.
Some of the simple ways to prevent yeast infection are to avoid douching, stop using scented sanitary pads, tampons, feminine hygiene sprays, bubble bath etc. Always try to wear loose fitting clothes and use cotton underwear. Avoid tight underwear, wet clothes and hot tubs or hot baths.