Most females experience this kind of infection at least once it their lives. Candida albicans are commonly found in the body, particularly in the mouth, the digestive system, on the skin and the genital area. Usually, this fungus does not cause any symptoms or disease. However, there are occasions when Candida albicans overgrowth occurs and this usually results to an infection. The common causes of yeast infection in men in women include the following:
- The regular intake of antibiotics for the treatment of other infections without knowing that these antibiotics can disturb the normal balance of germs within the genitalia thus reduces the amount of protective bacteria and increasing the amount of yeast.
- Uncontrolled diabetes
Yeast infection is not considered as a sexually transmitted disease. Male yeast infection symptoms may occur when a male individual perform sexual activities with a female partner that is affected by yeast infection. In men, this may present symptoms, such as rashes on the penis and itching on and within the penile area. Frequent vaginal yeast infection can indicate health problems but vaginal discharges and infections may also be mistaken for yeast infection.
- Presence of abnormal vaginal discharge that may appear watery, thick or chunky
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Painful urination
- Swelling and redness of the vulva
- Vaginal itching and burning sensation
Exams and Tests
For vaginal yeast infection, conducting a yeast infection test is necessary to determine the cause of the problem. Pelvic examination is usually carried out to see if there is swelling and redness in the vagina, on the vulvar skin and on the cervix. Physicians will check if there are dry, white spots present on the vaginal walls, and if cracks on the vulvar skin exist. A sample of the vaginal discharge will also be examined under a microscope. A culture may also be taken in case treatments cannot help improve the condition or if the infection is recurrent.
Prior to the administration of medications, your physician will first provide you information on how the condition should be dealt with. The medications used for the treatment of the condition may include creams and suppositories. You can also start with home treatments if:
- The symptoms of the condition are mild and you are not experiencing pelvic pain or fever
- If you have already experienced the same condition in the past
- If you are not pregnant
- If you are sure that it is not a sexually transmitted disease
You can start taking medications such as clotrimazole, Miconazole, Butoconazole and Tioconazole to manage the symptoms of the condition. However, make sure to read the label and use it as directed. It is not wise to stop taking medications just because the symptoms are relieved. Take note that these medications for vaginal yeast infection should be consumed for 3 to 7 days. Your physician may also prescribe fluconazole for the treatment of the condition, but this pill can only be taken once.
In case the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are severe or the condition is recurrent, you might be advised to consume medications up to 14 days. The use of clotrimazole vaginal suppository or intake of fluconazole once a week may also be recommended in order to prevent any new infections. To prevent and treat the condition, there are preventive measures that you need to adopt. These often include the following:
- Keep the genital area dry and clean at all times. Avoid using soap and rinse the area with water alone. Sitting on lukewarm water can also help alleviate the symptoms of the condition.
- Avoid douching. Most women feel that it is cleaner if they opt for a douche, especially after a period or an intercourse. However, take note that this may worsen yeast infection discharge as it removes the healthy bacteria from the vaginal lining that protects it from infection.
- Take lactobacillus acidophilus supplements or eat yogurt that contain live cultures to prevent infection.
- Do not engage in unprotected sexual activities to prevent contracting or transmitting infection.
- Avoid the use of feminine hygiene fragrances, sprays or powders.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting shorts or pants to prevent irritation.
- Wear cotton underwear and avoid the ones made of nylon or silk, as these materials are non-absorbent and can restrict the flow of air within the genital area, thus increasing sweat and triggers irritation.
- Use pads and avoid using tampons.
- Keep the levels of your blood sugar under control, especially if you are suffering from diabetes.
Recurrent or chronic vaginal yeast infection may occur if the infection is left untreated or if it is due to an underlying medical problem. It is also necessary to consult your physician for conditions that could lead to an infection, such as diabetes. Secondary infection may also occur. In case you are experiencing recurrent infections or if any type of medications cannot relieve the condition, this could be an early symptom of HIV.
Make sure to consult your health care provider in case:
- This is your first time experiencing the condition
- You are unsure if you are afflicted with vaginal yeast infection
- The symptoms will not go away after consuming OTC oral or topical medications
- The symptoms are worsening
- Other symptoms are present
Avoid excessive and persistent moisture within the genital area to prevent yeast infection symptoms in women. You can do this by wearing a pantyhose or underwear with cotton crotches. It is also necessary to avoid wearing exercise clothing or bathing suits for an extended period and make sure to wash them immediately after use.