Health

WHY DO I KEEP GETTING YEAST INFECTIONS?

iMEDHealth

The answer to this question and more is right here!

Women are all too familiar with the term ‘yeast infection’. Up to 75% of women are affected by this infection at some point in their lifetime. If it hasn’t crossed your path then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Yes, yeast infection affects men too, but not that often.

Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by an organism known as candida albicans. It’s a type of fungus. Sounds pretty gross huh? Is it fair to question your personal hygiene if you’ve encountered the notorious candida? Not really. While inadequate sanitation may be a contributing factor, fungi thrive in moist, covered and concealed environments.

In fact, candida species resides in about 20-50% of healthy women without causing any signs or symptoms. It shares the environment with vaginal bacteria. When the balance between yeast and bacteria is disturbed, it results in the overgrowth of candida and manifests as a yeast infection.

So now you know how that fungus got there. It is not uncommon to mistake a yeast infection for an STD (sexually transmitted disease), but research shows that it affects sexually inactive women as well.

How do I know it’s a yeast infection?

Great question! Being a woman, here is some basic info you should know for the next time you encounter this condition. Symptoms include:

  • A thick, whitish gray vaginal discharge which is typically odorless. (If the discharge is smelly and has a distinct odor, it’ most likely a bacterial infection)

  • Intense itching

  • Irritation

  • Burning sensation

  • Pain or burning during urination or sexual intercourse

  • Soreness or swelling of the vagina or vulva

A sign that deserves separate mention is yeast infection bumps. They are open sores that may occur on the skin around the genital area, around the mouth and other parts of the body. It’s important to give your doctor your complete history so your skin bumps aren’t mistaken for something else.  

Why me?

Well, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Besides the fact that there is an increase in the quantity of yeast relative to that of bacteria, here are some other factors that can increase the risk of developing a yeast infection:

  • Compromised immune system (like after chemotherapy or taking steroids)

  • Diabetes

  • Pregnancy

  • Taking oral contraceptives

How can I treat it?

It can be embarrassing to discuss your symptoms with your doctor, (for the fear of being judged) if nothing else! But if you don’t feel comfortable, you can contact an online doctor and engage in a live online session on the phone. Get prescription yeast infection medicine delivered at your doorstep too! How convenient is that!

If you’ve been having recurrent yeast infections, then you’re probably a pro at diagnosing it yourself by now. Thankfully, there are some quick and easy ways to treat your yeast infection at home using a couple of common ingredients you can easily find in your pantry.

Home remedies for yeast infection:

  • Apple cider vinegar. Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bath and soak in it for about 20 minutes. Research suggests that the acidic nature of the vinegar will eliminate harmful microorganisms.

 

  • Tea tree oil. Among the many benefits of this essential oil, it has the ability to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi as well. Tea tree oil suppositories help treat vaginal infections and also maintain the normal vaginal flora.

 

  • Coconut oil. Studies show that coconut oil has antifungal properties and local application of pure, organic coconut oil is effective against c.albicans.

 

  • Greek yogurt. A research published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy shows that Greek yogurt acts as a probiotic (because it contains live bacteria) against candida albicans. It helps restore the balance between the fungi and bacteria.

 

Hope these home remedies work for you. Natural products are usually the safest route to take. However, if you find they’re not helping at all, then contact your doctor. Fungal infections escalate rapidly, so don’t delay it!

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