What you need to know about vaginal yeast infection

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Dr. Maxwell Adeyemi –

Dr. Maxwell Adeyemi

Candidiasis is an infection caused by yeast, a type of fungus called candida. Candida albicans is a microscopic organism that lives on the skin continuously. This organism can be found on our skin, in our mouth, in our gastrointestinal tract, penis and in the vaginal canal.

Candidiasis that affects the mouth is also known as thrush and these appear as white patches on the tongue, throat and other areas of the mouth. Other signs and symptoms of thrush include pain and difficulty swallowing.

If it happens in the vaginal area, it is called vaginal yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis. Yeast can multiply excessively when the environment in an area of ​​the body favors fungal growth, producing pain and irritation. Candidiasis can cause skin problems on the outer surface of the skin as well as on the vagina, penis, and mouth.

Candidiasis can negatively affect blood circulation as well as internal organs like the liver and spleen. Skin, oral and vaginal infections are the most common problems. Although these infections can be bothersome, they are not life threatening.

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

Vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, is a common fungal infection that causes severe discharge, inflammation, and itching in the vagina and the tissues that line the vaginal entrance. A yeast infection in the vaginal canal is not a sexually transmitted infection. However, regular sexual activity can increase the risk of vaginal yeast infection. This infection can also be associated with oral sex.

When the body’s immune system cannot fight candida infections, it can cause a lot of problems, but when this yeast is balanced with the body, there are no problems. Yeast multiplies rapidly and leads to yeast infection when the immune system is disturbed.

causes

Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida albicans. The vaginal environment consists of a healthy balance of bacteria and yeast, including candida. This is necessary because some good bacteria like lactobacilli help prevent yeast overgrowth. When this balance is disturbed, candida yeast thrives and this fungal infection can penetrate deeper into the vaginal cell walls, leading to the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.

Candida is not contagious because the yeast is already present and living in the body. A number of factors can contribute to yeast overgrowth. The most common causes of candida overgrowth are:

The use of antibiotics to treat infections such as a urinary tract infection (UTI). When treating infections such as UTIs, the beneficial bacteria that maintain the yeast balance in the vaginal canal are also eliminated when treating an infection.

Pregnancy causes an increase in the level of estrogen, thereby increasing the risk of yeast infections due to hormonal fluctuations.

The use of contraceptives or contraceptives can also cause fluctuations in hormones. These hormonal changes upset the balance of candida growth in the vaginal canal, hence an increase in yeast infection.

Uncontrolled diabetes leads to the growth of yeast infection because poorly controlled blood sugar leads to the presence of excess sugar in the urine. Hence, increased candida yeast growth in the vaginal environment.

An immune system weakened by steroids or anti-cancer drugs can allow yeast to thrive. Candida albicans or thrush (mouth infections) is more common in patients with cancer or AIDS.

Obesity is a factor that promotes yeast growth. Yeast thrives in moist regions and areas where skin comes into contact with skin. Overweight people have more folds in the skin. They also tend to sweat more, creating a moist environment for candida albicans to grow.

Hot weather, poor hygiene and tight clothing are all risk factors as they promote the perfect environment for increased yeast infection.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a yeast infection can range from mild to severe. These include:

• Vaginal pain and soreness.

• Skin rashes on the vagina.

• Watery vaginal discharge.

• A well-defined patch of red, itchy skin that leaks fluid frequently. The liquid is a thick, white, lumpy substance with little or no odor. Around the edge of the rash, scabs and pus may appear. The groin, the folds of the buttocks, between the breasts, the toes or fingers, and the navel are all common places to find it.

• Burning sensation during urination.

• Pain or discomfort during sex.

• Small cuts or cracks in the skin of the vulva due to dry skin in the area.

Redness and swelling of the vulva. Yeast infections in the penis are rare, although they can cause redness, swelling, and pain at the tip of the penis.

Effect on fertility

Vaginal health is vital for fertility and personal well-being. Although yeast infections do not cause infertility, a vaginal infection and an altered vaginal environment can have a significant impact on a woman’s ability to conceive.

Vaginal candidiasis creates a thick watery discharge in the vagina which blocks the passage of sperm and prevents sperm from swimming further and entering the cervix.

This yeast infection makes the vaginal environment very acidic and sperm cannot survive in such an environment. Even when the woman is ovulating, the acidic environment destroys the sperm, thus delaying pregnancy.

Inflammation and burning sensations in the vaginal area also make it difficult for women to have sex. During sexual activity, women experience pain due to the symptoms associated with vaginal candidiasis. All of these symptoms create a reluctance towards sexual activity, which reduces the chances of getting pregnant.

Processing

There are many distinct forms of yeast when it comes to treating a vaginal yeast infection. Depending on the type of yeast infection, your doctor can discuss several treatment options with you.

A vaginal yeast infection is usually treated with an antifungal medication. This type of medication is used to treat yeast overgrowth in the body and comes in two forms: oral and topical.

Topical treatments are creams applied to the infected area while oral medications are taken orally.

Prevention

• After using the toilet, be sure to wipe back and forth as the rectal area is full of yeast.

• Avoid using soap around the vaginal area as it kills the good bacteria in the vaginal environment while having no effect on yeast.

• Sterilize or discard the underwear used during your last infection; if you must keep them, boil them or iron them before use.

• Wear loose cotton underwear.

• Avoid wearing tight pants or tights.

• Change your contraceptive pill if a recurring infection is observed.

• Change wet clothes, especially bathing suits, as soon as possible and make sure the pubic area is dry.

• Be sure to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible if you have diabetes, as diabetes management can help prevent vaginal yeast infections.

Contact Dr. Maxwell at 363-1908 or 757-5411.