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Vaginal Yeast Infections

What Is a Yeast Infection / Vaginal Candidiasis

A yeast infection is a very common vaginal infection, also called vaginal candidiasis, and most women will usually have at least one such infection in their lifetime. It is caused by a fungus and can present with a lot of discomfort, itchiness in the vagina and the vulva. Vaginal thrush is a very common yeast infection.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Yeast Infections or Thrush

  • Vagina and vulva irritation
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, which usually is white and odor-free
  • Itching and burning sensation
  • Swelling and redness of the vulva
  • Vaginal pain, particularly during intercourse

Yeast Infection Causes

Yeast infections are usually caused by a fungus called Candida albicans, which naturally forms part of the balanced flora of the vagina along with other microorganisms. Candida can overgrow after the disruption of this balance and cause the yeast infection. Some of the risk factors related to this overgrowth include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Use of Antibiotics
  • Uncontrolled diabetes.
  • After menopause

Yeast Infection or Thrush Diagnosis

Yeast infection diagnosis is usually based on the recognition of the typical symptoms. Additionally, your doctor might perform some of the following:

  • Pelvic exam. Which includes the direct visualization of your vulva and vagina through the use of a speculum in order to look after signs of infection.
  • Vaginal secretion test. A sample of the vaginal fluid is sent to the laboratory to confirm the fungus presence and to determine the type of fungus causing the infection.

Yeast Infection Treatment / Treatment for Thrush

Usually, treating vaginal yeast infection is a simple process. Most women only need an antifungal prescription to solve the problem. Some of the indications are:

  • Intravaginal medication. Using an intravaginal antifungal cream (clotrimazole) for a period of 3-7 days, usually, resolves the yeast infection.
  • Oral medication. Oral medication is usually reserved if vaginal treatment is ineffective. Oral medication can be prescribed as a single dose (fluconazole) or a short-course treatment, usually for 3-7 days (miconazole).

In case you don’t show any improvement after the previous treatment or have a recurrent yeast infection, your doctor might prescribe you some stronger antifungal medication for a longer time and will also look after the underlying cause of your recurrent condition.

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