Vaginal Yeast Infection: What Women Should Know

February 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Yeast Infection

Candida albicans is widely present in the human body, but in relatively small amounts. In fact, some areas of the body have this fungal organism without the individual even knowing it since some women (or men) may not exhibit symptoms of yeast infection, especially when its number is not large enough to cause even the slightest infection.

The vagina, more specifically, is a unique environment that allows these candida fungi to survive and grow. Recurring yeast infections that are, at first, thought to be mere simple yeast infections could actually be a sign of a sexually-transmitted disease or an underlying serious condition that needs to be more aggressively treated.

It should be noted that while candida is not a kind of sexually-transmitted disease since it is present in a perfectly healthy vagina, it is likely for men to have it after having sexual contact with a partner who has a yeast infection. In fact, studies show that carriers of candida albicans experience few or no symptoms at all.

The presence of vaginal yeast infection is characterized by painful body rashes, itching and swelling in and around the vulva, painful sexual intercourse, vaginal odor and thick discharge, and painful burning urination, among others. These general yeast infection symptoms may not necessarily be similarly experienced by all women having yeast vaginal infection.

However, there are yeast infection symptoms that would indicate a more serious condition than yeast infection. Pelvic pain or a feverish feeling, for instance, would indicate that a woman should get professional medical care.

Relief can be provided by pills and creams where medication of such can last for a week or more, depending on the gravity of the condition. Some may need a doctor’s prescription, while others are easily bought over-the-counter.

Yeast infections, particularly in the vagina, can be prevented by keeping the genital areas clean and dry. Cotton crotches in the underwear or pantyhose would also help, as well as the wearing of soft loose pants or slacks. Bathing suits and gym clothing should not be worn wet or moist for long periods and should be washed every after use. Since yeasts feed on sugar and carbohydrates, lesser intake of food rich in sugar should be avoided such as sodas, candies, and fruit juices.

Vaginal infections are very treatable. However, it should not be ignored nor should it simply be self-medicated since it could lead to an even worse problem such as when the severity of the infection cannot be accurately determined by the patient. For example, use of antibiotic could eliminate the good bacteria and could further add to an already severe condition.

The most accurate way of determining whether or not one has yeast infection is by undergoing a microscopic analysis or culturing where the doctor takes a sample specimen from the infected surface of the walls of the vagina. This process is a fast and accurate diagnosis. This course of action is also advised during women’s first encounter of yeast infection so that she could get the proper diagnosis.