Prevalence of Yeast Infections
Candidiasis is the medical term for vaginal yeast infections. This is a condition which females commonly experience. Unfortunately, Candidiasis occurs in men as well. The fungus Candida is responsible for causing yeast infection symptoms and is associated with intense swelling, irritation and itching. Studies have indicated that 3 in every 4 women will be afflicted with a yeast infection at some point during their lifetime. Additionally, once a woman gets a yeast infection, she is more prone to getting another one, at some point. Yeast infections are also seen in the mouth. These instances are commonly called “oral thrush”.
The infection can be sexually transmitted. However, vaginal yeast infections are not generally considered to be sexually transmitted infections. Depending on the severity of the infections, it is relatively simple to treat.
Vaginal Yeast Infection Causes
The vaginal area is home to the naturally occurring microorganism known as Candida, which is a genus of the yeast family. The Lactobacillus bacteria play the vital role of keeping its growth in check. However, these bacteria will not effectively function if your system has an imbalance. This results in an overgrowth of yeast and causes the presence of vaginal yeast infection symptoms.
Candida albicans is the cause of most yeast infections. This specific strand of yeast can be very easily treated. If you are experiencing problems using conventional treatments to get rid of a yeast infection or you are having recurring yeast infections, a different type of Candida could be responsible for that. Your doctor can use a lab test to determine the type of Candida you are afflicted with.
The imbalance that causes the overgrowth of yeast could result from:
• Antibiotics (they lessen the amount of good bacteria (lactobacillus) in the vagina
• Weak immune system
• Poor eating habits
• Uncontrolled diabetes
• Lack of sleep
• Hormonal imbalance near your menstrual cycle
Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms
• Mild to severe vaginal itching
• Pain when urine makes contact with irritated skin
• Red and irritated skin around the labia
• Odorless, white, clumpy and thick vaginal discharge
• Vaginal pain during intercourse
In the video below, a naturopath describes the main defining symptoms of a typical yeast infection.
It is more likely for symptoms of vaginal yeast infections to take place during the week prior to a menstrual cycle.
Other conditions like a STI (sexually transmitted infection) or bacterial vaginosis have similar symptoms. Also, sometimes a urinary tract infection has symptoms resembling a yeast infection. Redness and itchiness of the vulva could also result from a reaction to douches, spermicidal jelly, bath oils, soap and other vaginal products. If you do not know how to identify your symptoms or know what they mean, you should consult with your doctor for a precise diagnosis.
Typically, vaginal yeast infections clear up on their own during the menstrual period, with no need for treatment. The vaginal pH is elevated by menstrual blood, which causes a decrease in the number of yeast cells. This is because they cannot thrive at that pH level.
There are considerable differences between recurrent infections which seriously impact a woman’s life, and easily treatable, occasional yeast infections. It can be difficult to prevent or cure recurring yeast infections. As such, women with this condition should be assessed for other causes, so the actual source of the yeast infection can be reversed or treated.