Yeast Infection Causes – You Must Know
Many women during the course of their lives suffer from a yeast infection sometime or the other, regardless of age.
More than anything else, a yeast infection is extremely irritating. And because it happens in the genitals, it is something which can be embarrassing to talk about, sometimes even to the doctor. While it is more common in women, yeast infections occasionally occur in men, too and can be treated.
What is yeast infection and why do women get them?
Yeast infection is an infection which occurs in the vaginal area. It is caused by a fungus, usually candida albicans which normally lives in the body in damp areas but is kept under control. However, sometimes during fluctuating hormone levels, a course of antibiotics, oral contraceptives women may be more prone to this flaring up into a full blown thrush infection.
Some women may also react to detergents, fabric softeners, feminine hygiene products like douches and sprays, contraceptive foams and jellies or creams which cause an overgrowth of the fungus. There are some sanitary napkins and tampons which may cause a reaction, particularly if left on for the long time. Innerwear made of synthetic materials is also conducive to keeping the skin around the genitals damp for long periods of time.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Among the first symptoms of a thrush infection is itching. If you itch it causes soreness, because the skin is extremely delicate and this will cause burning during urination. It can also result in painful sex. It may also result in excessive discharge which may be relatively odorless, but will have the appearance of cottage cheese.
Normally a gynecologist should be able to diagnose a yeast infection through microscopic examination. You can also buy a home testing kit via which you will have to do a blood test, send the sample and get a report this will test the level of antibodies in the blood.
Usually treatment of thrush is not complicated. There are pessaries or vaginal tablets which have to inserted high into the vagina (you get a device to help you put them in more often than not), or there may be creams or lotions that you have to apply.
These are all basically anti-fungals like butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, nystatin, tioconazole and terconazole. Occasionally a doctor may prescribe vaginal tablets along with a cream or ointment and sometimes oral medication may also be given, specially if there is a recurring problem. If you are constantly bothered with thrush, then you should try out some alternative remedies.
There are rarely complications in thrush infections. However, if it keeps on recurring it may be a symptom of other diseases like diabetes, leukemia or even AIDs. If you get systemic candidiasis the disease can enter the blood stream and can even be life threatening.
Occasionally bacterial vaginosis may present with similar symptoms as a yeast infection and it needs to be properly diagnosed so it can be treated. If you also have fever, abdominal pain, nausea and other symptoms, it may be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease, kidney infections or appendicitis which will require hospitalization.