Although not dangerous, vaginal yeast infections--also known as yeast vaginitis or vaginal candidiasis--can cause much grief and frustration for women. A direct effect of yeast infections is burning and itching of the vulva. Luckily, treatment for the infection is easily accessible. Once diagnosed by a doctor, women can cure the burning with medicine from the local pharmacy and feel relief within days.
What is it?
Candidiasis, more commonly known as a yeast infection, is caused due by the overgrowth of candida albicans, or a yeast within our bodies. Yeast is found in moist areas of the body such as the mouth as well as the vagina. The overproduction of yeast causes an infection which leads to pain and discomfort. Factors such as stress, pregnancy and oral contraceptives can trigger the overgrowth of yeast. Many antibiotics eliminate the healthy yeast in the body and allow new yeast to take over, resulting in a yeast infection.
Burning and itching of the vulva are the most common symptoms of a yeast infection. Along with the pain and discomfort, it sometimes hurts to urinate and have sexual intercourse. The vulva becomes inflamed, causing redness and swelling. Discharge of an odorless, white, curd-like fluid is also common and should not be alarming.
Symptoms of a yeast infection may seem obvious, but there are many other infections and diseases that have similar effects. Symptoms are similar to bacterial vaginosis, more commonly known as a bacterial infection, or trichomoniasis, which is a sexually transmitted disease. All three illnesses are treated differently; therefore it is important to be examined by a doctor before beginning treatment.
Vaginal yeast infections are mainly treated with creams and gels inserted in the vagina. Once a doctor has made a diagnosis she will provide a prescription. Treatments are also sold over the counter at drugstores and pharmacies. The number of applications varies from one to three days. Woman weary of vaginal gels and creams can be prescribed an oral medication called fluconazole, which treats the infection with just one dose.
Recurring yeast infections can be symptomatic of underlying diseases. According to WebMD, woman with more than four yeast infections a year may be showing signs of diabetes or an immunity disorder such as the HIV virus.
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