Also known as candidiasis, vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection usually characterized by intense vagina and vulva itchiness and cottage cheese-like discharge. Reports estimate that it affects around 70 percent of women at least once in life.
OTC medications can help relieve the symptoms of yeast infection and treat it. However, if you get recurrent infections like four or more in a year, the Health Advisory Clinic recommends that you get checked for other vaginal infections by a licensed gynecologist.
Is Vaginal Yeast Infection an STI?
Medical health experts don’t classify vaginal yeast infections as a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). However, there’s a risk of getting candidiasis if you engage in sexual activity with a person already suffering from the infection.
You may also get a Yeast infection if you receive oral sex from a person suffering from Thrush, a Yeast infection of the mouth. Finally, it is also possible to get candidiasis if you share sex toys with an infected person.
Symptoms of Yeast Infection
The symptoms of yeast infection become clear when there is an imbalance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina. A healthy vaginal flora consists of yeast cells and bacteria in balanced proportions.
If anything changes this balance, the yeast cells may multiply, causing irritation, swelling, and intense irritation. Some of the most notable symptoms you’ll likely see include;
- Burning sensation during sex or when urinating
- Vaginal itching
- Pain when having sex
- Cottage-cheese like or watery discharge
How to Treat Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are not generally dangerous, and a mild one should heal on its own—probably within two to three days. You should see a doctor if the symptoms persist for more than four days. You may also need to book an appointment with your doctor if;
- You aren’t sure whether you’re dealing with a yeast infection.
- You develop other symptoms other than the typical yeast infection symptoms.
It is important to note that these symptoms may not mean indicate yeast infections every day. Therefore, when you visit a medical facility, your physician will review the symptoms and recommend the best yeast infection treatment based on how severe your condition is.
For a simple yeast infection, the doctor will recommend and prescribe the use of suppository cream, antifungal cream, tablet, or ointment for around one to three days. Other most effective medications that can be used to treat simple yeast infections include;
- Miconazole (Monistat)
- Butoconazole (Gynazole)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
- Terconazole (Terazole)
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin)
For most people, these medications help suppress the symptoms in only a few days. However, if the infection was severe, the recovery process may extend to around 14 days.
You’ll need a couple of follow up visits to the doctor to check if the medication worked. The follow-up visits may also be necessary if the symptoms appear again after two months.
Best Yeast Infection Treatment for Complicated Infections
There are also instances where your doctor will recommend a personalized treatment plan. A personalized treatment plan may be necessary if;
- You get over four yeast infections in one year.
- You are pregnant.
- You are HIV positive.
- The redness, swelling, and itching are so severe that they tear in your vaginal tissue or becomes sores.
- Your immune system is weakened due to medication, or you have uncontrolled diabetes.
- The infection is caused by another Candida instead of the normal Candida albicans.
The most effective treatment options for complicated yeast infection that your clinician will prescribe may include;
- A long-term fluconazole prescription, which you take once per week for six weeks. Alternatively, the clinician may also prescribe an extended use of topical antifungal ointment.
- A two-week cream, tablet, suppository, or ointment vaginal treatment.
- Either two or even three doses of fluconazole.
If the infection still recurs, the doctor may recommend yeast infection screening for your partner. Note that yeast infection is also known to affect men though to a small scale.
To prevent further infections, be sure to use protective measures like condoms. Here are a few more tips to avoid recurrent yeast infections;
- Do not share sex toys. To be safe, ensure you and your partner goes for yeast infection screening.
- Avoid tight-fitting pantyhose.
- Avoid very hot baths and hot tubs.
- Don’t stay in damp or wet clothes, for example, workout clothes and swimsuits.
- Don’t douche the vagina. You should keep the vaginal flora clean but do not douche it as this would get rid of the beneficial bacteria leading to an influx of yeast cells.
- It is also recommendable that you don’t use scented products such as tampons, bubble baths, and sanitary pads.
You can also treat yeast infection from home using plain yogurt, which you can consume orally or insert in the vagina. However, if you’re not sure about what to do, don’t risk having the infection progress.
Visit the nearest health facility immediately for help. Call us today for a complete yeast infection diagnosis and treatment.