Yeast Infection

A yeast infection, also known as Candidiasis, is caused by the organism Candida albicans. Candida is normally present in the body, and only becomes a problem when there is an overgrowth. Antibiotic use is know to cause yeast infections. Recurrent yeast infections can sometimes be a result of conditions such as diabetes or AIDS.

Symptoms of a yeast infection

Symptoms include a thick, white, odorless discharge often described as resembling cottage cheese. Itching of the vulva and vaginal area may also be present as well as redness and irritation. Painful intercourse may also be a symptom.

Diagnosis of yeast infections

If you have never had a yeast infection, please consult your health care provider before attempting any treatment as there are other conditions that may be mistaken for a yeast infection. Your doctor will diagnose a yeast infection by reviewing your symptoms. She may also perform a pelvic exam, observing for white patches on your cervix and vaginal wall. She may remove some of the discharge to observe under a microscope.

Treatment for yeast infections

There are many over the counter medications available to treat yeast infections now, including Monistat and Gyne-Lotrimin. These are available in a vaginal cream or suppository. Length of treatment varies. Diflucan is another option. Diflucan is an oral medication that is only available through prescription at this time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to help you decide which treatment option is right for you. It is advised to restrain from sexual intercourse until treatment is completed. It is important to take all medication until treatment is completed to avoid recurrences of infection.

Prevention of yeast infections

There are some actions you can take to avoid yeast infections. Use proper hygiene, always remembering to wipe from front to back. Avoid frequent douching. Avoid wearing tight underwear or tight pants. Wear white cotton underwear instead of nylon. Yeast likes warm moist places and wearing lose white undergarments can help minimize this. Eating yogurt with live cultures has also been suggested to be helpful in preventing yeast infections.

If you experience frequent yeast infections, please consult your doctor.