Learn more about yeast infections and how to care for this women’s health issue
Yeast infections are very common. An estimated 3 out of 4 women will experience one at some point in their lifetime. This type of infection occurs in the vaginal area, where it is moist and dark – the perfect environment for fungal yeast to grow. Also known as candidiasis, these infections can be very uncomfortable, but are usually easy to treat.
What causes a yeast infection?
Yeast, known as candida, lives all throughout our bodies and is harmless in small quantities. However, when infection or stress weakens our bodies, this yeast can multiply, and too much of it can cause the symptoms of a yeast infection. You are at a higher risk of developing this type of infection if you have a weakened immune system, diabetes, are pregnant or are taking certain medications such as birth control pills or antibiotics.
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?
Common symptoms of this type of infection include:
- Itching in the genital area.
- Redness and/or rash.
- Burning sensation.
- Unusual discharge.
- Discomfort during intercourse.
What are my treatment options?
You can cure most vaginal yeast infections with over-the-counter medications. Most pharmacies sell topical creams, which will relieve the itching, or vaginal suppositories, which treat the infection. There are also oral tablets that will treat the problem systemically.
When should I see a doctor?
If this is your first time experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Many sexually transmitted diseases share similar symptoms to a vaginal yeast infection. Therefore, it is important to be properly tested to ensure that your symptoms aren’t the result of a more serious problem. It is also important to follow up with a doctor if your initial course of treatment hasn’t worked or if your yeast infection has returned within a two-month period.
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from a yeast infection or if your symptoms are severe or recurrent, visit your local urgent care clinic for a proper diagnosis and to receive the right treatment.
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