Recurring yeast infections are caused by a fungus likewise called as Candida. The most common fungus which causes vaginitis is the Candida Albicans. It might be a surprise for some to hear that yeast does thrive in the vagina and in other parts of the body that has moisture.
In fact, approximately 20-50% of women have vaginal yeast infection. However, yeast infections occur when the colonies or quantity of yeast is greater than that of the bacteria. There are actually several factors which hasten and facilitate the development of yeast infections in the vagina.
Specifically, a female who is immunosuppressed is prone to have recurring yeast infections.
Particularly, individuals who are taking immunosuppressant drugs and antibiotics lose the protective bacteria in the vagina.
For this reason, the yeast colonies increase and cause several signs and symptoms of yeast infection which include vaginitis (due to vaginal irritation), pain during intercourse or urination, soreness and burning sensation.
However, these symptoms are nonspecific and might be caused by another underlying condition. For others, vaginal discharge might be present but it is usually odorless and has a thick, whitish appearance similar to that of cottage cheese.
Other factors which actually predispose a woman to develop recurring yeast infections also include certain medical conditions such as diabetes and pregnancy.
For women who are taking corticosteroids and immunosuppressant drugs such as Prednisone, the chances of having a yeast infection is higher than those who have normal immunity.
Those who are undergoing chemotherapy and taking contraceptives are also most likely to develop the condition. Some women frequently douche and use vaginal sprays. These activities, however, could encourage the development of more yeast in the vagina.
A yeast infection is not medically declared as a sexually transmitted disease since yeast occurs normally in the vagina. Even celibate women may have this condition even without having any sexual intercourse.
Although this condition is more common to women, some men may experience the same symptoms after engaging in a sexual act with an infected partner.
The diagnosis of recurrent yeast infections in women is actually nonspecific. Nevertheless, a cheesy discharge in the walls of the vagina highly suggests yeast infection. In order to confirm this, one should seek for the expertise of a gynecologist.
In order to establish the diagnosis, a physician usually scrapes a sample from the vaginal wall and the specimen is sent to the laboratory for culture analysis under a microscope. This method is, by far, the most practical way in the diagnosis of a yeast infection.
Since the culprit is a fungus, the treatment options involve the administration of antifungal creams and tablets. Antifungal creams such as Miconazole, Clotrimazole and Terconazole are evenly applied in the vaginal walls and around it.
Some women utilize over-the-counter medications in alleviating the symptoms of recurring yeast infections. One must, however, note that other infections have the same manifestations as yeast infections. If one is in doubt, it would be best to see the doctor for proper assessment and evaluation.