If you are a woman and experiences an irritation of your vagina with the feeling of itchiness and burning sensation around it, you might have a yeast infection. This is a condition that is very common in women, affecting about 75 of the female population. The infection is caused by a fungal infection with Candida Albicans as the most common source of the infection. The vaginal flora normally fosters the growth of small amounts of yeast, but when there are too much yeasts around it, infection takes place. While a minor yeast infection is common among women, it can cause irritating and bothersome symptoms. Some infection is usually self remitting and goes away while major infection will require treatment.
Yeast infection can occur in both men and women
While the most common yeast infection occurs in the genital and affecting mostly the female population, it can also affect men. Yeast infection of the genitals in men occurs among those who are uncircumcised. An Oral yeast infection called thrust can also affect both genders, especially those who are suffering from sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, infants, the elderly, those undergoing a chemotherapy and the presence of a weak autoimmune system. Diabetics and people taking antibiotics and of steroid medication are likely to be susceptible to the infection as well. A thrush is a form of a yeast infection that can progress to affect the bloodstream, resulting in more serious complications.
Causes of yeast infection
There are many known causes why yeast infection occurs. A woman's genital area usually has healthy bacteria that keep it protected against infection. However, hormonal changes can alter the state of the bacteria and may cause them to thrive in numbers that are more than the normal. When they do, this throws off the environmental balance in the vaginal area. While the normal pH balance of the genitals is acidic, physiological changes can cause the acidity to drop from its normal level, thereby allowing yeasts to thrive and multiply to cause the infection. Wearing a tight underwear can also change the pH level of the genitals, especially when they are made from synthetic fabric that does not allow a better air circulation that harbors yeasts to grow.
The acidity level of the vaginal flora can also change upon using scented sprays, douches and bubble bath. Birth control pills and a heavy period can also alter the normal pH balance due to hormonal changes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels among diabetics can also cause the infection as well as conditions that makes a person prone to have a weak immune system. The taking of antibiotics can kill the healthy bacteria, hence, the person becomes prone to infection. Prolonged use of steroid can also increase the risk of yeast infection even when taken in lower doses.
Symptoms of yeast infection
The symptoms of a yeast infection can be bothersome even on mild infections. Yeast infection on the genitals results in the symptoms of pain during urination, itchiness, burning sensation, redness, inflammation or swelling around the vagina, thick discharge, rash and soreness. Males often experience rashes, redness and burning feeling at the penile tip. The infection can also cause white spots to appear inside the mouth and on the tongue, redness and a feeling of discomfort in the mouth. Some may experience difficulty in swallowing as well as a sore throat. The corners of the mouth may also crack.
Diagnosing yeast infection
Most of the yeast infections are mild and do not warrant a visit to a doctor. However, whenever you feel that the infection is becoming worse and does not go away after a few days, you probably need to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis. Some individuals manifest their yeast infection that is accompanied by abdominal pain, fever and a foul smelling discharge. It is best to have your regular check-up to get a complete assessment of your condition as there could be the presence of other medical conditions and complications that you should be concerned about. A doctor may collect a sample of your vaginal discharge and run some lab tests to get a more accurate diagnosis. A yeast culture may also be the process of diagnosing your condition where the doctor can identify what bacterial infection may be causing your symptoms. It is possible that you may have trichomoniasis which is a bacterial vaginosis that requires a different form of treatment.
Home Remedies for yeast infection
Aside from the traditional medications prescribed to overcome the symptoms of a yeast infection, there are natural remedies available from home that you can use for its treatment.
- Keep yourself dry. A moist condition encourages the growth of bacteria in your genitals. It is best to wear breathable underwear. Change your bathing suit immediately after swimming for a long time.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, non-fat dairy products, yogurt and whole grains as part of a healthy diet. These food groups will help fight infections effectively.
- Avoid cleansing the genitals with soap with harmful chemicals and feminine hygiene products that can make the infection worse.
- If the infection is causing a painful intercourse, you might consider avoiding the activity until your infection disappears.
- Sit in warm water in a bath tub to ease the discomfort of a painful and swollen genital.
- Use a damp, cold cloth on the irritated area for comfort.
These home remedies may just not be enough to help you treat the more serious yeast infection. Seeing your doctor is the best option to secure a better home management option to help treat your condition.
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