A vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is a common fungal infection causing irritation, discharge and severe itching in the vagina and the vulva, the tissues at the vaginal opening.
A healthy vagina has bacteria and some yeast cells. But when the balance of bacteria and yeast changes, the yeast cells multiply and cause infection. Although vaginal yeast infection isn’t considered as a sexually transmitted infection, there’s a high risk of vaginal yeast infection at the time of first regular sexual activity.
Medications can successfully treat vaginal yeast infections. If you have recurrent yeast infections, like four or more within a year, you are required to go for a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan.
Common Symptoms of vaginal yeast infection
Yeast infection symptoms may vary range from mild to moderate and include:
- Itchiness and irritation in the vagina and vulva
- A burning sensation, particularly during urination or at the time of intercourse. Redness and swelling of the vulva
- Vaginal rash
- Vaginal soreness and pain
- Watery vaginal discharge
- White, smell free, thick vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance
Symptoms of complicated yeast infection
If left untreated, vaginal yeast infection can worsen and cause more severe symptoms. Here are the symptoms of complicated or advanced vaginal yeast infection-
- When you have severe signs and symptoms, like extensive redness, swelling and itching that leads to cracks, tears or sores
- When you have four or more yeast infections in a year
- When your infection is due to a less typical type of fungus
- When you’re pregnant
- When you have uncontrolled diabetes
- When your immune system is weakened due to certain medications or conditions like HIV infection
Causes of vaginal yeast infection
Factors that can cause vaginal yeast infection are:
- Medicines or antibiotics that disturb the good bacteria present in the vagina
- Weakened immunity of the body
- Hormonal imbalance or fluctuation in the body
- Insufficient or poor sleep
- stress and unhealthy eating habits that include excess sugar and salt
- Excess consumption of caffeine can disturb the normal pH of your vagina and can even cause dehydration. Both these factors can make you more susceptible to catching a vaginal fungal infection.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol also have dehydrating effects on the body and make you prone to catching a vaginal infection.
- Diabetic people have more sugar in the body. This sugar gives a favorable environment for the yeast to overgrow in the vagina.
- Refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white bread increase your body sugar level thus making you more prone to developing a yeast infection.
You should keep a check on these factors in order to remain safe from a fungal infection.
Home remedies that can help a vaginal yeast infection
There are certain home remedies that help in curing the mild symptoms of vaginal yeast infection:
- Tea tree oil– Use 3-5 drops of tea tree oil in some coconut oil to prevent disturbing the vaginal pH. Dab a cotton tampon in this mixture of oil and use it in the vagina. Keep in mind to regularly change the tampon. Or you can simply apply the oil with the help of cotton and throw it away.
- Increase the intake of probiotics- Have more probiotic products such as yogurt, kefir, tempeh. You can get some probiotic supplements prescribed by a doctor.
- Warm coconut oil– You can apply lukewarm coconut oil to ease out the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections. coconut oil has a deeply soothing effect on the skin.
- Garlic in your regular diet– Garlic has really wonderful effects in getting fast relief from fungal infections in the vagina. Make garlic an integral part of your regular diet.
These are the most common and effective home remedies that effective help in getting relief from vaginal yeast infection.
The Bottom Line
The tip- Self-medication is not the right choice to deal with a vaginal yeast infection. Self-medication can increase your chances of side-effects or allergic reactions. Thus, make a wise choice and consult a specialist doctor.
You should not take the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection casually. You should consult the best gynecologist as soon as the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection start arising. The doctor will prescribe you medication along with some intimate wash. Complete the course of medication and also do no miss out on your follow up.