At some point in life, most women experience a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infection in women is like other vaginal diseases and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Vaginal yeast infection in women is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge, and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva — the tissues at the vaginal opening.
Also called vaginal candidiasis, vaginal yeast infection in women affects up to 3 out of 4 women.
Yes, most healthy vaginas have yeast. But sometimes the yeast grows too much and leads to an infection. Yeast infections in women can be very irritating and uncomfortable.
A vaginal yeast infection in women is actually a type of vaginitis, a condition where the vagina is swollen, painful, and creates a discharge. There are several types of vaginitis—each with similar symptoms—but vaginal yeast infections are one of the most common.
Causes of Yeast Infection In Women
For most vaginal yeast infections in women, the fungus Candida Albicans is responsible.
A vagina normally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Certain bacteria like lactobacillus act to forestall an overgrowth of yeast.
But this balance can be disturbed. An overgrowth of candida or penetration of the growth of fungus into more profound vaginal cell layers causes the signs and symptoms of yeast infection in women.
Overgrowth of the yeast can result from:
- When you take an antibiotic medication that’s treating an infection of any type—a urinary tract infection (UTI) is one example. While treating this infection, good bacteria in the vagina is killed. This good bacteria was responsible for keeping the yeast in check. Without it, the balance is thrown off, leading to a yeast infection in women.
- During pregnancy and while using hormonal contraceptives (birth control). Your hormones can be all over the charts during pregnancy. This change in your hormones can disrupt the balance of candida in the vagina.
- If you have diabetes. When you have diabetes, there is too much sugar in your urine and the vagina is impacted by this surplus of sugar.
- Having a weakened immune system. If you have a disease, like HIV or AIDS, your medications can suppress your immune system.
Candida albicans is the most common kind of fungus to cause yeast infections in women. Yeast infections brought about by different kinds of candida fungus can be hard to treat, and generally need more progressive yeast infection treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of a Vaginal Yeast Infection in Women?
Vaginal yeast infection symptoms commonly include:
- Itching in the vaginal area and around the vulva (the opening of the vagina)
- Burning in the vaginal area
- Swelling of the vulva
- White or grey vaginal discharge that may be thick (sometimes described as looking like cottage cheese) but does not have a bad smell
- Greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge that's also similar to cottage cheese and smells like yeast or bread
- Burning during urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Vulvar rash
Most vaginal yeast infections do not produce a strong vaginal odour. Fishy vaginal odours are more common with bacterial vaginosis, a type of bacterial infection of the vagina.
Severe yeast infections in women may also cause redness and tears or cracks in the wall of the vagina.
Can Yeast Infection in Women Affect Their Sexual Health?
Vaginal Yeast Infection can cause abnormal vaginal discharge, discomfort during urination, and itching and burning in the vaginal area. And these symptoms may also make it uncomfortable to have sex.
Yeast infection in women can hamper their sexual health. Having intercourse with a yeast infection can carry risks even if you are not showing symptoms. Sexual activity could prolong the infection, allowing symptoms to return. These symptoms may be worse than they were before.
Sexual activity can also transmit the infection from you to your partner. Having sex with a yeast infection can affect your sexual health as it can be very painful and extremely uncomfortable. If your labia or vulva are swollen, you may find skin-to-skin contact to be too rough. Friction may even rub the skin raw.
Penetration can aggravate inflamed tissue, as well as increase itching and irritation. And inserting anything into the vagina — whether it’s a sex toy, finger, or tongue — can introduce new bacteria. This may make your infection more severe harming your sexual health.
When you get aroused, your vagina may begin to self-lubricate. This can add more moisture to an already moist environment, making itching and discharge more pronounced.
Also Read: Female Sexual Dysfunction: Know The Treatments
Yeast Infection Treatment
If you are looking to get rid of your current yeast infection, your first course of action will likely be an over-the-counter (OTC) medication.
- Antifungal Cream or Suppository
OTC medications for yeast infections in women usually come in the form of a cream, ointment, or suppository. They are available at most drug stores or grocery stores.
Some medications only require a one-day treatment. Others may need to be used for three to seven days. Follow the instructions on the packaging and do not stop using the medication early even if your symptoms are gone.
These OTC medications are generally effective for women who have mild infections and do not get yeast infections often.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that originates from the leaves of the tea tree. The oil is used for its capacity to kill fungus, bacteria and viruses.
Some research shows that inserting a suppository with tea tree oil into the vagina may help treat yeast infection in women.
Garlic is a notable herb that is used not only as an ingredient in the food but can also be used due to its antimicrobic and antifungal properties as a cream for the yeast infection treatment.
This remedy is asily available at home. You can make a paste out of garlic and apply it directly to the affected area. Additionally, consuming raw garlic is very advantageous for your overall health.
Apple cider vinegar is another effective home solution for yeast infections in women. Vinegar is known for its many health benefits and medical uses. You can dilute the apple cider vinegar with water before applying. For vaginal yeast infections treatment, apple cider vinegar showers are suggested.
For this, you can add half of a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bathtub and you can soak for around 20 minutes. There is also vinegar douching, which aims to flush out all the terrible bacteria from the vagina. Nonetheless, with vinegar douching, the chance of reoccurrence of yeast infection is greater.
Try not to diagnose yourself with a yeast infection. Visit your doctor to confirm the infection regardless of whether you intend to use at-home remedies. In some cases, other infections can be confused with yeast infections. Therefore, it can be dangerous. Ensure you are using the right yeast infection treatment.
If your infection does not get better even after using yeast infection treatments at home or OTC medications, consult your doctor. You may require prescription medication.
Tags: Cleaning yeast infection discharge, How to prevent yeast infection from coming back, How to prevent yeast infections naturally
John Mattew is a passionate writer with a professional degree in Creative Writing. He specializes in the Sexual Health category for Cheap Medicine Shop and spends most of the time discussing the research studies with his colleagues. He is a very organised individual and makes sure to inculcate discipline in whatever he does. Fitness and sports are two topics, John can talk about day in and day out.