This article discusses more about what causes a vaginal yeast infection for women who are wondering what causes them during or after menstruation.
KAMPALA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — If you are interested in knowing more about your health during or after menstruation, you are likely to ask ‘What causes a vaginal yeast infection’. In this article, we provide more details.
- Antifungal medications can treat vaginal yeast infections, so you shouldn’t have to suffer with itching, burning, or pain.
- In women who can’t tolerate oral medications, these drugs are often taken orally in a cream or capsule, or orally in a liquid solution.
- Yeast infections usually last between 7 to 14 days, but they can sometimes last up to 7 days or even a few weeks.
- To prevent recurrent yeast infections, your doctor may prescribe treatment for your medications, such as sulfonamide antifungals and tolbutamide.
- Also check out: Can oral sex cause mouth sores?
You could have an infection in your vagina that’s causing your yeast to flourish and multiply. Many people have no idea that there could be anything wrong with their vaginal yeast because they don’t experience symptoms, but it could be affecting your sex life or health.
This could be because you’re not having sex often enough or you’re not taking enough care.
Treatment for vaginal yeast infection can be difficult, and symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed as other, more serious issues. But the good news is that if you can identify and treat the underlying cause of your symptoms, you can usually get rid of your yeast infection completely.
This is especially true if you’re married, you’re not having sex often enough, and you’re not getting enough probiotic foods (which you should be eating a lot of).
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
Yeast is a type of bacteria that can cause disease. You can have a regular vaginal yeast infection, and having yeast all over your vagina can cause a yeast infection.
You also can have a yeast infection in your vagina or rectum, although that’s more common in women who are menstruating. You can also get a yeast infection in the eyes, ears, and mouth.
Yeast infections can also happen if you have a lowered immune system, or if you’re taking certain medicines (such as antibiotics) or smoking. The yeast won’t cause you any symptoms if you have bacterial vaginosis (BV) or thrush (yeast that doesn’t smell).
The vaginal yeast in those cases, however, can cause itching, burning, and a sticky, white discharge.
Other symptoms may include an abnormal vaginal discharge (like a vaginal smudge), pain in your vagina or rectum, or any vaginal infections that don’t go away with treatment.
The medical community considers BV to be a normal vaginal condition caused by the vaginal bacteria that live in the vagina, but it can cause discomfort.
There is also a less common type of yeast infection known as Candida yeast, which you can get from foods (such as fruit and vegetables) and from a weakened immune system.
In these cases, you might not experience any symptoms until the yeast grows out of control and causes fungal infections in other parts of your body. You can also have fungal infections in the skin or mouth.
How do I get a yeast infection?
Yeast infections in the vagina can be due to vaginal bacteria, but the way yeast cells work is that they multiply and spread throughout your body. This is why you can get vaginal yeast infections from many foods and infections that occur in other parts of your body.
Symptoms of a yeast infection
In women, the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections may include itching, burning, and a sticky, white discharge. Other symptoms may include an abnormal vaginal discharge (like a vaginal smudge), pain in your vagina or rectum, or any vaginal infections that don’t go away with treatment.
You might also experience itching, discharge in the eyes, ears, or mouth, and vaginal pain if the infection spreads to the skin or mouth.
How does the vagina get yeast infections?
Yeast normally grows in your vagina, but if the vaginal bacteria that lives there isn’t present, you can get yeast infections. This is why many people get yeast infections after having sex or when they’re pregnant.
Yeast exists in all bodies but is most common in the vagina, where the vagina has more areas where the vagina can be opened to allow more food to enter and the vagina gets more bacteria from a healthy diet.
If you have a weakened immune system, or if you take certain medicines (such as antibiotics), or if you smoke, you may be more vulnerable to getting yeast infections. It is also possible to get an infection if you have low levels of a certain type of protective enzyme.
How are they different from bacterial vaginosis?
If you have bacterial vaginosis, you might not experience any symptoms because the bacteria that live in the vagina are usually very small and not very aggressive.
In addition, because bacteria tend to get a foothold in the vagina, they can stay there for longer periods of time and go dormant.
As time passes, if the bacteria aren’t being killed by your vagina, they could grow out of control, which could lead to yeast infections.
C. Diff or Clostridioides Difficile is much more aggressive than BV, causing much more damage and inflammation. BV can also grow out of control, but you can treat it with antifungal medications. For C. Diff, you need to be treated with antifungal medication.
How can I treat a yeast infection?
Antifungal medications can treat vaginal yeast infections, so you shouldn’t have to suffer with itching, burning, or pain. In women who can’t tolerate oral medications, these drugs are often taken orally in a cream or capsule, or orally in a liquid solution.
If you are prescribed oral medication, you will likely need to take it twice a day for several weeks. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Infections caused by yeast can be treated with the following antifungal medications:
- BV (non-bacterial vaginosis): the bacteria in your vagina are not growing and aren’t causing any symptoms.
- Nosethetic/Vaginal Vagin Dryness: yeast infections that are caused by the presence of vaginal dryness and inflammation.
- Yoheglutide: a type of anti-fungal medication that works by destroying yeast cells.
- Monifungulin: a type of anti-fungal medication that works by destroying fungal cells.
You may also need: HIV medicine. If you have HIV or AIDS, your doctor will usually prescribe a vaginal antifungal to treat your infection.
Yeast infection treatments that can prevent you from getting a yeast infection in the future, including:
To prevent recurrent yeast infections, your doctor may prescribe treatment for your medications, such as sulfonamide antifungals and tolbutamide. In women taking a sulfonamide antifungal medication, you should use a form of birth control while taking it.
This is especially important if you take certain antifungal medicines as part of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic treatment.
You may also need to stop taking anti-fungal medications if you have had one, or if you have taken one recently, you experience symptoms of a yeast infection.
Lifestyle changes can also help prevent a yeast infection. Women should avoid douching and using certain douches or tampons. In addition, you should avoid douching or using other feminine hygiene products that contain products that can act as erasers.
You should also avoid hot tubs or saunas, and wear comfortable clothing that has been approved for swimming. Avoid loose-fitting clothing that may come into contact with the areas of your skin that are moist from sweating.
Nutritional deficiencies can also cause a yeast infection. Your healthy diet can include a wide variety of foods. To make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, ask your doctor or your dietitian to recommend a nutrition guide that fits your nutritional needs.
80-90% of women who get a yeast infection are treated by a doctor, either at a clinic or in a hospital. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antifungals, or other medications to treat your infection.
Sometimes, home remedies are effective, and in these cases, the primary treatment is to change the practice of the yeast, rather than using antibiotics or other drugs.
If you need specific medication, you may have to discuss the side effects, the potential for allergic reactions, and how often the medication is needed with your doctor.
Possible side effects of yeast infection medicines include:
- Yeast infection-like symptoms
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
- Short-term fever and diarrhoea
- Severe birth defects
Always discuss with your doctor any side effects that occur with any medications you’re taking. Always discuss any adverse reactions you may experience with your doctor.
If you have any concerns about taking a yeast infection medicine, talk with your doctor about how to minimize the risk.
If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about the use of the medicines you take for yeast infections and about how the medications may affect your breastfed baby.
Talk to your doctor before you give birth about the best way to take your yeast infection medicine, especially if you are breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant.
If your child is younger than 2 years old, don’t give your child medicines for yeast infections.
Consider alternative treatments
Also, consider using alternative treatments to treat your yeast infection and other sexually transmitted infections. You may be able to find relief from these home remedies or other natural treatments.
Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure if natural treatments are safe for you or your child.
Yeast infections usually last between 7 to 14 days, but they can sometimes last up to 7 days or even a few weeks. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics if the condition is severe.