Every woman has some amount of yeast cells in her vagina. When these yeast cells grow to an above normal rate then the woman suffers from vaginal yeast infection. These infections are usually not very serious and are very easy to treat. They are also very common in many women and should not something to worry you if you find yourself with one.
The vagina has many bacteria and a considerable amount of yeast cells for it to be considered healthy or normal. Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most common bacteria in the vagina. These bacteria helps to keep all other bacteria at normal levels. If something happens to alter the balance of this bacteria yeast tends to grow more than it should causing a yeast infections. Simple things like taking an antibiotic for another ailment can cause an imbalance in the bacteria and result in a yeast infection.
Vaginal yeast infection can also occur during pregnancy due to the high amount of progesterone hormone in the woman. It can also be caused by injuries in the inner part of the vagina caused by treatment methods like chemotherapy. Women whose immunity is lower than normal are at a higher risk of getting a yeast infection than those who have normal immunity. Other conditions associated with these infections are diabetes oral contraceptives and the use of perfumed vaginal sprays.
The bacteria that causes this infection is called Candida albicans. It is not a sexually transmitted disease although men may experience skin irritation around the penis when they have sex with an infected woman. A vaginal yeast infection cause you to feel itchiness in your vagina or feel like the vagina is swollen or soreness. It can also cause pain during urination and during sex. This may or may not be accompanied with a yellow cheesy like discharge that has an odor. Most women experience these symptoms about a week before their menstrual cycle. The itching and odor could get really uncomfortable for many people.
Vaginal yeast infection is diagnosed when a doctor takes some specimen from the infected area and takes it to the lab where a culture test is done or the yeast bacteria are identified under a microscope. Using a microscope is the most commonly used method and the less expensive of the two. You should note that symptoms are not specific and may be caused by a different problem and not a yeast infection. You should consult your doctor for testing before taking any form of medication.
Vaginal yeast infection is treated by applying antifungal medication or creams around the vagina and inside the vagina. Tablet medication to be taken by mouth is also available and maybe prescribed. Sometimes it is required that the patient combine of treatment is used when the infection has more than one microbe involved causing a mixed infection.
Some women prefer to use over the counter prescription. If these prescriptions do not work the women should visit a doctor as the problem could be something more serious like Chlamydia, gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis. If the infection occurs four times a year or more the patient should also visit a doctor for further testing.