The Most Common Form of Vaginitis

A vaginal yeast infections occurs when an overgrowth of yeast is present in the vagina. Because yeast thrives in moist, warm environments, the folds of the vagina make the perfect breeding ground for a yeast infestation.

Some people are unaware that the vagina is actually most vulnerable to this form of vaginitis when a woman is pregnant. During this time there are many changes going on in the vaginal area including increases of sugar levels.

This section will cover the most common symptoms, causes, treatment and other helpful information pertaining to vaginal yeast infections. Remember, the best prevention of yeast infection is to be knowledgeable and aware of changes going on in your body. If you think you may have an infection, it's always recommended to go to a medical professional right away for a check up.

Vaginal Symptoms - Vaginal Causes - Vaginal Treatment - Additional Information

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Symptoms

Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:

  • Itching and burning in the vagina, clitoris or vulva
  • Swelling of the vagina, clitoris or vulva
  • Thick, white discharge that resembles cottage cheese
  • Pain and discomfort during urination or sexual intercourse

Causes

There are a number of factors that can contribute to the overgrowth of yeast in the vagina that can lead to a bothersome infection. Wearing clothing that is too tight and that doesn't allow the skin to breathe is the most common. Synthetic materials trap moisture against the skin, which encourages the yeast to reproduce.

Fluctuating hormone levels can upset the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina, which would inhibit the growth of yeast under normal conditions. This is why pregnant women and women taking oral contraceptives are prone to have yeast infections, compared to other women. Douching can upset the pH balance (or acidity level) in the vagina, which can encourage an overgrowth of yeast, too.

Treatment

Although they can be downright dreadful for those that suffer from them, vaginal yeast infections are fairly easy to treat at home. There are a number of anti-fungal creams and ointments on the market today that can be applied topically to the vagina or inserted via applicators or other methods. Users typically experience relief within the first few applications of the anti-fungal creams, but it may take up to two weeks to cure the infection completely.

Helpful Information

If you are experiencing recurring yeast infections, you should discuss them with your doctor. Although yeast infections are a condition themselves, they can also be a symptom of an underlying, more serious illness such as diabetes. If you have never experienced a yeast infection before, but think you may have one, it is always prudent to have your doctor confirm your diagnosis. While yeast infections do produce some very specific symptoms, they can mimic the symptoms of other conditions not related to yeast, such as urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases. You can't effectively treat a condition by any method until you are certain that you have it.