Yeast is a fungus which is found almost everywhere. Scientifically it is known as Candida. In human body, it is kept under control by immune system but once the balance is disturbed, the yeast multiplies causing different body infections. It may cause problems with skin, mouth and even vagina in women causing vaginitis.
A healthy vagina contains bacteria and yeast but in any case if the balance gets disturbed; it causes Vaginal Yeast Infection also known as Candadiasis. More than 90% of such infections are caused by the Candida albicans, a specific strain, while other species contribute in making other reactions. In the case of vaginal yeast infection the yeast cells multiply immensely causing swelling, itching and irritation. Trichomoniasis can also contribute in causing vaginitis. It is caused by a parasite. These infections are common among women affecting 75% of them at any point in life.
Causes of Infection
These infections are mainly caused in women with age ranging from 15 to 44. Various factors contribute in disturbing the balance of bacteria causing vaginitis. Some of these factors include:
- Using antibiotics (it decreases the Lactobacillus which is good bacteria)
- Imbalanced hormone system
- Eating unhealthy food rich in sugar
- Impaired immune system
- Unprotected sex
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Stress and poor sleep
- Corticosteroid medicines
Sometimes more than one cause contributes in causing vaginitis. One may also get it through use of products to which one is allergic or sensitive for example vaginal sprays, soaps and spermicides etc.
The symptoms of yeast infections range from mild to moderate depending on its type and severity. As a usual practice women are prone to antibiotic uptake, including broad and short spectrum antibiotics. Such broad-spectrum antibiotics kill beneficial lactobacillus bacteria along with other range of harmful strains. Reduced lactobacillus in vagina changes pH, leading to irritation and swelling in tissues at the vaginal opening (vulva).
In severe conditions, the outgrowth of yeast causes white or gray vaginal discharge with bad odor. It causes vagina and vulva to become itchy which causes person a feeling of burning in vagina and around vulva. Vaginal rash causes pain and soreness in vagina. It also contributes to redness of the vulva leading to watery vaginal discharge which has no smell.
Some other symptoms which show the risk of developing a yeast infection include increased estrogen levels. Women who take high dose estrogen birth control pills or estrogen hormone therapy and also the pregnant women are at greater risk of developing Vaginal Yeast Infections.
Trichomoniasis may show up with symptoms causing burning during urination and white to yellow discharge having bad smell that may be frothy. The discharge often contains WBCs with acidic pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. Vaginal yeast infections are not considered in a category of sexually transmitted infections but it may result in spreading fungus.
Diagnosis of Vaginal Yeast Infections
Seeking medical examination is necessary for diagnosis of yeast infections although these are simple to diagnose. The diagnosis includes pelvic examination in which the vagina walls and cervix are examined for presence of infection. Some external symptoms like rashes and redness of vulva may also indicate the condition making further treatment easier.
For confirmation Vaginal Culture Test is done in laboratory. In this test growing cells are collected from vagina by swabbing the inside of vaginal tract to identify microorganisms present in it. The cultures are grown and observed for their growth rate and growth pattern. In lab analysis, these Vitro Culture Tests for yeast growth provide controlled and accurate results.
Treatment and Prevention of Yeast Infections
The Vaginal Yeast Infections may result to serious problems like miscarriage or tubal infertility so diagnosis and its radical treatment is mandatory. After proper physical examination and getting vaginal culture reports the doctors suggest treatment accordingly. Each yeast infection is different, so the accuracy and understanding of the diagnosis determines respective treatment and recovery from infection.
With time the symptoms relieve but care must be taken in future in case of any indication or if any symptom appears again. Once a woman gets such infection she gets more prone to it and it is possibility to get it again in future.
Yeast infections are treated with an anti-fungal cream or suppository. As an alternate, yeast infections can also be treated with oral anti-fungal medicines. Seek medical help and proper diagnosis must be done before any treatment to avoid complications. In case if it is something other than a yeast infection, it can prove fatal.
Do figure out the reason behind vaginitis. Adopt healthy lifestyle and omit using products that cause damage to skin or cause any inflammation. During treatment, it is necessary to avoid sex or in other case use condoms. Ensure that both partners get treatment to avoid spread of fungus.
Vaginitis and trichomoniasis treatment is necessary to reduce risk of getting HIV and another sexually transmitted disease. In case of pregnancy, such yeast infections increase risk of preterm labor and preterm birth.
Prevention is a best cure, to help prevent vaginitis do not douche or use vaginal sprays, wear soft clothes and those which do not hold heat and moisture for long time. Avoiding the medically prescribed medicine, natural remedies also play an important role in healing the infection. Consult doctor before going for it especially along other medication to avoid side effects or any complication. These include coconut oil, garlic, boric acid, vaginal suppositories and taking plain yogurt orally or by inserting it into vagina. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus, which will restore the beneficial bacteria strains. Complete the entire course in case of anti-fungal medicines.
All remedies and treatment will show positive results when hygiene is kept as priority. Ensure cleanliness by washing hands before applying any cream and avoid use of irritants. Follow the treatment closely to get free of Viral Yeast Infections in time.