Yeast infections affect more than 70 per cent of all women in the United States. Studies have shown that these women experience Candida infection at least once in their lifetime. Learning how to treat this common medical problem could help you live a happier life and protect yourself as well as your partner.
When you experience itching in your genital area, combined with a yeast-like smell in your vaginal discharge, you may be experiencing a yeast infection.
However, the symptoms of yeast can be similar to those of other genital diseases. Should you have any doubt as to whether you have an infection caused by yeast or a sexually transmitted infection, it is advisable that you check with a doctor to make sure using home remedies will actually work.
Some Common Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms:
- Itching in the vaginal area, including the vulva
- Creamier and thicker vaginal discharge with a yeast-like smell
- Swollen vulva
- A burning sensation in the vagina area, especially when urinating
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Once you have identified a yeast infection, it is time to take action. The sooner you treat it, the easier it is to control this condition.
Medical Treatment Of Yeast Infection
It is recommended that the first time you experience what looks like a yeast infection, you see a healthcare provider. This is to make a certain diagnosis – and that will in turn ensure you receive appropriate care for the particular problem you’re expereincing. Once you are certain what’s going on, you can begin treatment with over-the-counter medications if you want. Or, you can try home remedies….
However, pregnant women should see a doctor before they decide whether to take over-the-counter medications, or to use home remedies, since some of the medications may have side effects on their babies.
Women who have a weak immune system and experience recurrent vaginal yeast infections, or whose infections do not clear up after treatment, should definitely see a healthcare provider for further diagnosis and other treatment options.
If your body does not respond to the over-the-counter medications after you have taken them for a while, then you may need to adopt a tougher regime – which means not just taking medication but potentially also changing diet and lifestyle. When you have 4 or more episodes of yeast infections per year, the condition is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and this may be a case for lifestyle changes.
Antifungal Drugs – the Antithesis Of Home Remedies
Antifungal drugs are often prescribed to treat Candida infections. There are two types of antifungal drugs: vaginal agents and oral agents. The choice of oral or vaginal dosage forms really depends on the severity of your condition. The antifungal drugs will inhibit the ability of the fungus to multiply within your body, thereby preventing a Candida overgrowth from happening.
If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the drugs, you should consult your doctor for appropriate alternatives. Women who have recurrent vaginal yeast problems may need maintenance treatments, which should be taken periodically to prevent the fungus recurring in the future. Note: taking prescription drugs repeatedly may well produce resistance to the antifungal agents in the medication, and in such cases you may want to consider the kind of lifestyle changes outlined in Yeast Infection No More (see side panel for details).
Some vaginal creams and suppositories may cause an itchy and burning feeling in the vagina area. Some other side effects include inflammation, irritation, contact dermatitis and pain during urination and sexual intercourse.
Home Remedies For Yeast Infection
In addition to medications, you could use certain types of food to treat Candida albicans infections. One such food is yogurt. Yogurt contains many healthy ingredients that could help bring the body back into balance, including Acidophilus, a bacteria able to limit the growth of many types of harmful micro-organism, including the yeast fungus.
However, since yogurt has milk content, many people cannot take it because they are allergic to milk. An alternative for those people is to take Acidophilus tablets.
In addition to the above treatment methods, you should wear only cotton fabric since cotton will absorb heat and moisture.
Taking medications may not be enough if you want to keep the yeast infection at bay. You need to change your lifestyle altogether.
Stay away from sugary foods since the yeast feeds on sugar in your body. The more sugar you take, the stronger the yeast fungus will become. You also need to exercise regularly. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise will not only keep the yeast at bay, but also other diseases as well.
You can see a review of the best treatments and home remedies in Linda Allen’s book. But whatever treatment route you try, it is important to get timely treatment to avoid any unwanted consequences associated with the condition.
These infections affect both men and women, and could be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Therefore, you should not have unprotected sex with your partner unless both of you are clear of all signs of infection. And please remember that pain during intercourse has other causes besides yeast infections.