Signs and Symptoms of Yeast Infection in Women
What are the signs and symptoms of yeast infection in women? If you know the answer, you know how to fight it!
It is estimated that 75% of female population experiences the symptoms of candidiasis or ´´thrush´´ at least once in a lifetime. Many women encounter and fight the recidive infection, and 10% suffer from recurrent candidiasis, widely known as candida yeast infection or ´´thrush´´(more than three infections in a one-year period). If you belong to this population, you should learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of this unpleasant disease.
Candida albicans is naturally present in healthy conditions in the vaginal and intestinal flora. Its development isn't required by intercourse between partners. Yet, although not necessarily, the transfer of the fungal infection between partners is possible, so treatment of both partners is recommended (to avoid the so called: ping-pong effect – continually ''giving back'' the disease).
What causes yeast infection in women?
It's very important to know what causes candida infection before you start treatment. The fungus Candida albicans is normally present on skin, vagina, mouth and rectum. The vaginal ecosystem includes the presence of a small amount in the birth canal of a healthy organism. The acidity level and other present microorganisms in the birth canal keep the number of fungi in terms of tolerance. Once the balance of the flora in the birth canal is disturbed and the number of protective lactobacilli reduces, favourable conditions appear for excessive multiplication of funghi and yeast, and for the development of a fungal infection.
Possible causes of candida infection
The occurrence of candida infection is especially oft in some circumstances:
- in the second half of menstrual cycle, a few days before or after menstruation because the occurrence of candidiasis is affected by the running of hormones,
- in pregnancy because the dramatic change in hormone levels increases the level of sugar in the body,
- during the use of oral contraceptives because contraceptives can influence the metabolisation of sugar in female organism,
- after an antibiotic therapy; antibiotics also kill protective bacteria, such as lactobacilli, which changes the vaginal ecosystem and allows excessive fungi multiplication; after corticosteroid therapy,
- if a person has a weakened immune system or has suffered chronicle stress or, after a disease, while the organism is still fighting some primary infection,
- as a consequence of uncontrolled diabetes because the increased level of sugar can have an impact on the increase of sugar levels in the slime and urin,
- after intercourse.
What are the signs and symptoms of yeast infection in women?
Candida yeast infection is relatively harmless (it can become a real problem sometimes), but it's quite an unpleasant condition for a woman, characterized by:
- intensive and unpleasant itching, sometimes expanded to the area of rectum,
- possible, but not necessary, white slime (slimy discharge), frequently thick and cheesy,
- the slimy discharge is odourless, but it can smell a bit like yeast or have a sweet smell,
- the feel of squibbing and burning, especially during urination,
- frequent urination,
- redness and swelling, occurrence of cracks (lesions) on the inflamed mucous membrane,
- soreness around the female and male organs,
- possible pain, usually during intercourse.
The symptoms of a fungal infection are usually equal at all women, but exceptions are possible. For example, you can have an intensive slimy discharge with a little bit of flush and swelling, while another woman can have no discharge at all and a very unpleasant and painful swelling with cracks.
Treatment of yeast infection in women
There is a series of oral medicines for treatment of fungal infections of the exterior part of female organ and birth canal, vaginal creams, gels and tablets with antifungal effects. For most of these you'll need a prescription from your doctor (for those used orally always), but there are many free sale means available in pharmacies. Many women who had candidiasis usually suffer from the the same problem again during lifetime and frequently choose self-treatment.
Consult your doctor if:
- this is the first time you notice these symptoms,
- you are pregnant or breast-feeding (some forms of treatment aren't adequate for your condition)
- you use means to prevent pregnancy (some antifungal means can influence the reduction of contraceptive effectiveness)
- you have a frequent and persistent candidiasis (chronicle fungal infection can indicate diabetes or some other diseases or expansion of fungus to other organs, therefore, it is important to contact your doctor in order to detect the cause of this condition and determine adequate treatment),
- you notice that the infection is resistent to your usual antifungal therapy (the medical report on vaginal culture will help in reaching the diagnosis and the best therapy for a non typical fungal infection).
The decision on self-treatment can be made only by those women who were previously diagnosed with a fungal infection by their doctor! You can´t treat candida if you are not sure about the causes, symptoms and treatment of candidiasis.
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Female yeast infection can be exhausting and very unpleasant if not treated properly. The signs and symptoms of yeast infection in women are so unpleasant that you can't ignore them even if you wanted to. Therefore, understanding what a yest infection is and learning about the best candida treatments can help you enormously. Going to the doctor is a must, but so is self-treatment, especially candida treatment based on a specialized diet.