Vaginal yeast infection is most common type of infection seen in as many as 3 out of 4 women during their lifetime. It is primarily an infection of the vagina, caused by excessive growth of yeast in the vagina. It is a type of fungal infection, a yeast infection, caused mostly by the fungus Candida albicans. In General, the Lactobacillus bacteria prevents overgrowth of the yeast, though if yeast becomes exceedingly more in number, the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection will be seen. Vaginal thrush (or vulvovaginal candidiasis) is also another type of vaginal yeast infection seen in women than can particularly interfere with her sexual activities
In general yeast live in a balanced number in vagina. The bacteria Lactobacillus (a useful bacteria) is responsible for preventing overgrowth of yeast and other bacteria. Yet if yeast tend to overgrow beyond the control, it will result in itching, redness and burning sensation leading to vaginal infections.
This infection is mostly triggered in women taking antibiotics that used to treat another pathogenic infection. Antibiotics change the normal balance that is being maintained by Lactobacillus resulting in excessive growth of yeast which leads to candidiasis. It is also very common in women who have reached puberty and therefore produce reproductive hormones, particularly oestrogen. Hormones like these intensify the spread of Candida at inner vaginal wall lining thereby leading to vaginal yeast infection.
The symptoms of this infection include Itching, burning, Rashes or irritation in the vagina or vulva, a tissue surrounding the vagina. A thick odourless white discharge that looks like cottage cheese or a watery discharge is seen as a result of this infection. Sometimes during intercourse and urination significant Pain is observed
A pelvic examination is suggested to inspect signs of infection. A sample of vaginal discharge is sent to a laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. Swelling and redness of the skin of the vulva in the vagina and on the cervix, confirm the infection
It is suggested that women who are pregnant or with frequent attack of infection should visit a doctor
Candida infection cannot be cured completely, while taking preventive measures will stop spreading the infection. Women who are susceptible to the infection are advised to Wear undergarments made from cotton or natural fibers. It is advised to Wear loose fitting pants or skirts and also avoiding tight underwear and pantyhose.
Treatment of the vaginal yeast infection depends on whether it is complicated or uncomplicated. Uncomplicated yeast infection is treated with a short course vaginal therapy or with oral treatment. By using Over The Counter, OTC drugs which belong to chemical classes like azoles have been proven to clear up 80 to 90% of yeast infections. Drugs like clotrimazole, fluconazole, butoconazole, miconazole and terconazole are used as a part of treatment for at least one to 2 weeks. Women who have particularly itchy infection are advised a soothing cream like Terconazole cream.
A complicated yeast infection can be treated by the use of long course vaginal therapy or multi dose oral formulations. These include treatment with a vaginal cream, ointment, tablet, or suppository for approximately 7 to 14 days. Sometimes, two to three doses of oral fluconazole may be recommended instead of direct vaginal therapy. Maintenance medications if necessary are prescribed after the main treatment has finished which include treatment with oral fluconazole for 6 months or weekly treatment with vaginal clotrimazole.
If the patient’s sexual partner has yeast symptoms, they might want to consider treatment, too. The use of condoms is often recommended.