Recurrent Yeast Infection

Candidiasis

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So you wake up one more and realize that your vagina is itchy, you scratch thinking it will go away but it only gets worse.  But you have things to do so you get dressed and go about your day.  When you go to the bathroom and pull your pants down you notice that you have a white almost cottage cheesy looking discharge.  What could it be?  If you are wise you to the doctor, if you are like most people you first try to cure thyself.

Yeast infections are also known as Candida vulvovaginits.  They are probably the number one reason that women go to their gynecologist.  The fungus most likely responsible for this yeast is called Candida albicans, but there are others that can.  Some people can have a yeast infection once and never again itch down there and others will get them over and over again.

Most yeast infections will affect 75% of women in their reproductive years. So when you look at your friends, then think four out of five of them have at one time or another had a yeast infection.

There are many causes for a yeast infection

  • If you are a diabetic you will be more prone to a yeast infection, they like the sugary environment.
  • Taking antibiotics disturbs the natural balance in your vagina and the yeast will take over, so it is wise to expect it and mabye eat yogurt  or some form of lactobacillus to combat it.
  • Taking Birth Control pills can in some women create a higher incidence of yeast infections.  It has to do with the high levels of estrogen.
  • Being Pregnant can also lend to an increase in yeast infections, all due the drastic changes of the hormones in your body.
  • Some forms of contraceptive devices can cause the vagina to be irritated and thus ripe for yeast to grow.  These include, sponges, IUD’s, diaphragms.
  • Certain Illnesses and diseases like Aids, HIV, cancer, and immune system that are not functioning correctly.
  • You do not have to be sexually active to get a yeast infection but more women will have one that is sexually active than not.

Signs and Symptoms

  • White cottage cheese discharge
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Feels swollen down there
  • Discomfort if having sex

Diagnosing

  • If it is obvious and you had them before then treat it over the counter
  • If you treat it and it gets worse, see your doctor
  • If it is new and seems scarey and you are worried see your doctor.

When seeing your doctor, do not douche and clean up so well it is hard for him to find the yeast.  He will need to take a sample and look at it under the microscope.

Treating over the counter
Use an antifungual like Miconazole or Clotrimazole
They will relieve the symptoms and kill the yeast

Cautions

  • Antifungals should not be used with anti coagulants such as coumadin, warfarin or plavix as they will increase the bleeding and bruising.
  • Its best to not have sex until medication is done.
  • Do not use tampons
  • Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant before using anything

Prevention

  • Wear breathable panties like cotton
  • Do not wear something so tight air can not flow down there
  • Panty hose and such should not be worn for long periods of time and daily
  • Dry yourself well before you dress
  • Do not use fragrant or scented tampons or sprays
  • Try not to douche, our bodies are wonderful made to take care of themselves
  • Reduce your sugar intake

Recurrent yeast infections are a bit tougher to treat than the occasional one.  It is best to try and prevent them before they start and if you just keep having them then see your doctor there is stronger prescriptions that can help.

Recurrent yeast infections can be an embarrassing problem but with your doctors help and changes in your life style and habits you can conquer it.  Be honest and open with your doctor and get back onto the road to good vaginal health.

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Filed under: Women's Issues

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