Managing The Symptoms Of Yeast Infections

Managing The Symptoms Of Yeast Infections

Roughly 75% of American women will have at least one yeast infection in her lifetime, and 40%-45% will have multiple cases. Put simply, a yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of the candida fungus that naturally exists in your vagina. Yeast infections are generally characterized by vaginal itching, pain during sexual intercourse, and a thick vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese in appearance. Fortunately, if you’re struggling to treat recurring yeast infections, there are a number of safe, reliable treatment options that can offer you relief from discomfort and restore healthy fungus levels in your reproductive organs.

Short Term Solutions

The first stop to treating a yeast infection is receiving the correct diagnosis from a medical professional. Although there are many telltale signs to indicate what it might be, it’s always best to obtain confirmation from your doctor. Taking an antifungal medication for three to seven days will usually clear a yeast infection. Yeast infections are commonly mistaken for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, as both conditions can produce discharge with a foul-odor. However, like chlamydia, yeast infections are usually highly treatable, even in patients that develop recurring yeast infections due to pregnancy, hormonal changes, or low immunity. These include creams, ointments, tablets and suppositories which are inserted directly into the vagina. Some doctors will prescribe a single-dose of fluconazole (Diflucan) to treat yeast infections, although this option isn’t recommended for women who are pregnant, as they could be passed to the developing baby.

Long Term Solutions

Women who are pregnant, taking birth controls, or have problems with their immune system are most likely to develop recurring yeast infections, some even having a yeast infection more than once a month. To treat recurring yeast infections, VeeFresh recommends taking boric acid as a preventative measure that safely restores healthy candida levels. You can also incorporate plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt into your diet to restore healthy bacteria levels in your vagina and gut. During a yeast infection, wearing cotton underwear often helps offer relief from pain and discomfort as your body gradually rids of the infection. Finally, it is also important to shower regularly and use a body wash for sensitive skin to clean the external skin around your vagina.

Link Between Yeast Infections and Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are a bacterial infection of the bladder or kidneys characterized by a burning pain when urinating. Although yeast infections and UTIs are very different, the two conditions are known to occur at the same time. In fact, many patients develop a yeast infection from the antibiotics they are prescribed to treat a UTI, because antibiotics can disrupt the healthy probiotics your vaginal and digestive system need to flourish. Taking a probiotic while taking antibiotics can help maintain healthy bacterial levels and lower the chance of repeat infection as your body adjusts to a change in medication. Drinking cranberry juice or taking a cranberry supplement helps ease pain from a UTI as you wait for the antibiotics to take effect. To reduce the chance of developing a UTI, always pee after sexual intercourse and wipe toilet paper from front to back to reduce the possibility of infecting your vagina with bacteria.

What About Bacterial Vaginosis?

Another infection commonly mistaken for a yeast infection is bacterial vaginosis:  a bacterial infection that occurs when the different kinds of healthy bacteria in your vagina get out of balance and grow too much. Bacterial vaginosis, or BV, also causes unusual vaginal discharge, but while yeast infections are associated with white discharge that looks like cottage cheese, BV discharge is typically thin and gray or yellow. Above all, the main symptom of BV is a fishy odor, often more noticeable after sex. BV is common and easily treated with antibiotics, either orally or as a cream-gel that you apply directly to the vagina. It’s important to take the antibiotics for the recommended timeframe and not stop when your symptoms subside, as this increases the likelihood that BV will re-occur.

Yeast infections are an unfortunate reality for many women, but they are highly treatable and even preventable with the right regimen. Building a routine around preventative vaginal healthcare can help set you on the right track and offset the chance of developing a vaginal infections, including UTIs, yeast infections, and BV. If symptoms do not subside with OTC treatment, always consult your doctor to make sure that you get an accurate diagnosis for your reproductive system.