A vaginal yeast infection is an infection of the vagina that causes intense itching, irritation and burning of the vulva, the area around the vagina, with a typically thick and white discharge that looks like cottage cheese and does not have a bad smell.
It is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida.
Some other symptoms are; redness, and swelling of the vagina and the vulva, pain when urinating, pain during sexual intercourse and soreness.
Women and girls of all ages can get vaginal yeast infections. Almost half of women have two or more infections. Yeast infections are easy to treat, but it is important to see your doctor if you think you have an infection.
Yeast infection symptoms are similar to other vaginal infections and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
THE MOST AFFECTED GROUP
Some women are more at risk for yeast infections. Yes, your risk for yeast infections is higher if you are pregnant, using a type of hormonal birth control that has higher doses of estrogen, diabetic and your blood sugar is not under control, you douche or use vaginal sprays, if you recently took antibiotics medicines, or have a weakened immune system.
Your vagina may have small amounts of yeast at any given time without causing any symptoms. But when too much yeast grows, you can get an infection.
SEX AND YEAST INFECTIONS
A yeast infection is not considered an STI, because you can get a yeast infection without having sex. But you can get a yeast infection from your sexual partner.
Condoms and dental dams may help prevent getting or passing yeast infections through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Avoiding intercourse when a woman has symptoms of a yeast infection is the best way to prevent spreading of the infection.
Using treatment when you do not actually have a yeast infection can cause your body to become resistant to the yeast infection medicine.
This can make actual yeast infections harder to treat in the future. If your partner is a man, the risk of infection is low. Men who haven't been circumcised are at higher risk.
INFECTION, PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING
During pregnancy, it's safe to treat a yeast infection with vaginal creams or suppositories. Do not take the oral tablet to treat a yeast infection during pregnancy.
It may cause birth defects.
Yeast infections can happen on your nipples or in your breast, commonly called "thrush" from breastfeeding. Yeast thrives on milk and moisture.
PREVENTION OF YEAST INFECTION
The following steps can be taken to lower your risk of getting yeast infections; do not douche. Douching removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. change tampons, pads, and panty liners often, do not wear tight underwear, pantyhose, pants, or jeans. These can increase body heat and moisture in your genital area.
Wear underwear with a cotton crotch, change out of wet swimsuits and workout clothes as soon as you can. After using the bathroom, always wipe from front to back.