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About Yeast infection
A vaginal yeast infection is a very common infection that causes irritation, itchiness, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
The vagina contains a balance of bacteria and Candida, a fungus. When this balance is disrupted, the Candida may grow unchecked, and eventually, infect the area. Common symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:
- Burning pain, especially during intercourse or urination
- Thick, white vaginal discharge with the consistency of cottage cheese
- Redness and swelling
The chemical imbalance that causes a yeast infection may be due to several factors. Common causes of yeast infections include:
- Antibiotic medication: Antibiotics can kill healthy bacteria in the vagina that keep Candida in check. This imbalance can lead to an overgrowth of Candida and a yeast infection.
- Birth control: Birth control that increases estrogen levels can cause an overgrowth of Candida. This can lead to a yeast infection.
- Pregnancy: Hormones change a lot during pregnancy. These fluctuations can cause an imbalance of bacteria to Candida flora, leading to an overgrowth of fungus.
- Diabetes: The surplus of sugar in your body as a result of diabetes can stimulate Candida growth. If diabetes is untreated or is not controlled, it can lead to a fungal infection.
- Weakened immune system: An impaired immune system can stifle your body’s ability to keep the Candida fungus in check. An overgrowth of Candida can lead to a vaginal yeast infection.
Yeast infections are very common. Nearly 1 million American women are treated for yeast infections every year, and 3 out of 4 women will experience a yeast infection at some point in their lifetime. A yeast infection sometimes requires medical attention for appropriate treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, talk to your doctor.
The exact treatment for a yeast infection will depend on the severity of the infection, as well as how often you experience them. Below are common treatment options for yeast infections. During your appointment, talk to your provider about the treatment plan that’s best for you.