What are Yeast Infections:
Vaginal yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are a common female condition. Yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida. This fungus is associated with intense itching, swelling, and irritation.
What Causes Vaginal Yeast Infections?
The Candida genus of yeast is a naturally occurring microorganism in the vaginal area. Its growth is kept in check by the lactobacillus bacteria. However, these bacteria can’t work effectively if there is an imbalance in your system. This leads to an overgrowth of yeast, which causes the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections to be present.
Most yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans — a specific strand of yeast. These yeast infections are easily treatable. If you’re having recurring yeast infections or problems getting rid of a yeast infection with conventional treatment, then a different version of Candida might be the culprit. A lab test can let your doctor know which type of Candida you have.
The imbalance that allows the overgrowth of yeast to happen can be due to:
- antibiotics (they lower the amount of lactobacillus, or good bacteria, in the vagina)
- uncontrolled diabetes
- weak immune system
- poor eating habits, including a lot of sugary foods
- hormonal imbalance near your menstrual cycle
- lack of sleep
The Symptoms of a Vaginal Yeast Infection:
Vaginal yeast infections have a common set of symptoms. Usually the length of time your yeast infection is left untreated can have a direct impact on how severe your symptoms are.
Frequent symptoms include:
- large or small amounts of vaginal discharge, often whitish gray and thick (although there are also times the discharge can be watery)
- pain during sex