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Yeast Infection

Vaginal yeast infection


Vaginal yeast infection is an infection of the vagina, most commonly due to the fungus Candida albicans. Yeast is a fungus scientifically referred to as Candida. The specific type of fungus most commonly responsible for vaginitis is Candida albicans. Yeast is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina. In fact, it is estimated that between 20%-50% of healthy women normally carry yeast in the vaginal area.


Cause Of Yeast Infection


Vaginal yeast infections occur when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria, or when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area. In the normal situation, protective bacteria are eradicated by immunosuppressive drugs or by antibiotics (taken to treat arespiratory, urinary tract, or other types of infection), the yeast can multiply, invade tissues, and cause irritation of the lining of the vagina (vaginitis).

Vaginal yeast infections can also happen as a result of injury to the inner vagina. Some women with suppressed immune systems (for example, those taking cortisone-related medications such as prednisone) develop vaginal yeast infections more frequently than women with normal immunity.

Other conditions that may predispose women to developing vaginal yeast infections as following;

  1. Diabetes mellitus
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Taking oral contraceptives.
  4. The use of douches or perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays may also increase a woman's risk of developing a yeast infection.

A vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection (STD), since Candida may be present in the normal vagina, and the condition does occur in celibate women. However, it is possible for men to develop symptoms of skin irritation of the penis from a yeast infection after sexual intercourse with an infected partner.


Symptoms Of Vaginal Yeast Infection


Vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis cause symptoms that are nonspecific, which means that aside from the yeast infection, other conditions can cause the identical symptoms. The most common symptom of a vaginal infection is itching in the vaginal and/or vulvar area. Other symptoms of yeast infection and vulvitis include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge - Ranges from a slightly watery, white discharge to a thick, white, chunky discharge (like cottage cheese)
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Painful urination
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva
  • Vaginal and labial itching, burning

Diagnosed Of Yeast Infection


Vaginal yeast infection is suggested when a cheesy white discharge is noted over the walls of the vagina, but the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are nonspecific and may be a result of other conditions. To firmly establish the diagnosis and to rule out any other causes of the symptoms, your doctor may take a specimen scraped from the affected area for microscopic analysis or for culture in the laboratory. Identification of yeast under a microscope, when possible, is the least expensive and most rapid and accurate way to establish the diagnosis.

A pelvic examination will be done. It may show swelling (inflammation) of the skin of the vulva, in the vagina, and on the cervix. The health care provider may find dry, white plaques on the vaginal wall.

A small amount of the vaginal discharge is examined using a microscope (called a wet mount and KOH test). It will show Candida. Sometimes, a culture is taken when the infection does not improve with treatment or comes back many times. Your doctor may also choose to do tests to find other causes of your symptoms.

Treatment Of Yeast Infection

Yeast infection may be treated with antifungal medications that are applied topically in and around the vagina, or some doctor use antifungal medications taken by mouth. For some mixed infections with more than one microbe can require combinations of treatments.


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