Vaginal Yeast Infection Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

yeast infection
Published on Jan 24, 2023

Overview of vaginal yeast infections

Vagina yeast infection, also referred to as vaginal thrush or Vaginal Candidiasis is a fungal infection that affects the vagina, causing irritation and itching on affected areas. Vaginal yeast infection is very common among females in Nigeria and is the second most typical source of vaginitis. Candida fungus is a type of fungi more specifically, yeast that exists naturally in the mouth, digestive tracts as well as the vagina walls. Usually, presence of yeast does not trigger a reaction. However, when candida heads out of balance in the vaginal area it results in a vaginal yeast infection.

What causes Vaginal Yeast Infections to happen?

A loss of the natural pH in the vagina can result in multiplication of yeast infections. This can due to a number of reasons including:

  1. Antibiotic use causes the floral balance to be thrown off, leading to a yeast infection.
  2. During pregnancy, as well as while making use of hormonal birth control, increase in estrogen levels may disrupt the equilibrium of Candida albicans in the vagina.
  3. Uncontrolled diabetes where the sugar level present in urine influences the vagina environment. 
  4. Having a weakened body immune system. If you have an illness, like HIV or AIDS, your medications can reduce your body's immune system.

What are the symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection?

There are a number of telltale signs of a vaginal yeast infection. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Itchiness in the vaginal area and vulva.
  2. A thick, white genital discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese.
  3. Soreness as well as swelling of the vaginal canal and vulva.
  4. Because of friable skin in the area, small cuts or small cracks in the skin of the vulva.
  5.  A burning sensation when you pee.
  6. In some cases, an additional symptom of a vaginal yeast infection can be discomfort throughout sex.

How is vaginal yeast infection diagnosed?

The symptoms of vaginal yeast infections are similar to other conditions, therefore it is important to proceed to a healthcare laboratory to run specific tests to identify a vaginal yeast infection. The combination of your signs and the example of the discharge will tell your healthcare company what kind of yeast infection you help with and also have identified the best method to treat the infection. 

Diagnosis of vaginal yeast infections can be done by:

  1. Self Diagnosis: While being largely unreliable and sometimes inaccurate, women presenting with symptoms such as vulva itching or discharges can 
  2. Laboratory Diagnosis: The laboratory diagnosis of vaginal infection or thrush is used to identify the presence of candida strains. It can be done using different of methods including:
    1. Microscopy: A sample of the vaginal discharge is examined under a microscope to look for the characteristic budding yeasts and hyphae of Candida albicans.
    2. Culture: A sample of the vaginal discharge is placed on a culture medium to allow the growth of any Candida present. The culture can then be examined to confirm the presence of C. albicans and identify the specific strain.
    3. PCR: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a laboratory technique that amplifies specific DNA sequences, allowing for the detection of small amounts of Candida DNA.
    4. Rapid diagnostic test: These are commercial tests that are widely available, they are done with a sample of vaginal discharge and give results in 10-15 minutes.

How can vaginal yeast infection be treated?

When thinking of treatment for a vaginal yeast infection, it is important to know that there are various kinds of yeast. Depending on the severity of the infection, different treatment options can be employed to treat candiditis.

Oral Antifungal Medications can be used to fight the overgrowth of yeast in the body. These are administered orally and used as advised by the doctor.

Topical medications are also used in the treatment of vaginal yeast infections. Application is externally on the affected area. Topical drugs may consist of boric acid, nystatin, clotrimazole, or miconazole.

It is necessary to constantly follow your provider's guidelines when making use of these medicines to ensure that the infection is completely resolved and also doesn't return.

The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are similar to other conditions. You can consult with our doctor for more on the condition and management and treatment of the condition.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What causes vaginal yeast infection?

The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. Other causes include damp or moist clothing, uncontrolled diabetes, weakened immune system, and long term use of broad spectrum antibiotics that could eliminate healthy bacteria in the vagina.

How can I prevent vaginal yeast infections?

You typically can prevent vaginal yeast infections by making a couple of lifestyle modifications. These changes can consist of not douching a habit that could eliminate microbes responsible for fungi regulation. 

Additionally, avoiding the use of womanly deodorants, antiperspirant(aromatic) pads or tampons. 

Also ensure to transform out of damp clothing, especially bathing suits, as quickly as you can. 

Utilize water-based sexual lubes.

If you have diabetes, it is imperative to keep your blood sugar level as close to typical as feasible. Regulating your diabetes can help avoid vaginal yeast infections.

Can I utilize over-the-counter therapy for a Vaginal Yeast Infection?

In some cases you can deal with a vaginal yeast infection with over-the-counter medications. You might want to prevent this if you aren't totally certain that it's a yeast infection. It is usually best to talk to your doctor and see to it you are getting the right therapy for the problem.

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