Yeast Infections: Cure and Prevention
What is a yeast infection exactly?
Unfortunately, yeast infections are extremely common. When you think of the word “infection,” do you picture bacteria? When you think of “yeast…” Actually, we don’t want to know what you picture, but you should be picturing yeast cells. Your vagina has natural bacteria and a small amount of yeast cells already. When those natural yeast cells grow too quickly, it causes a yeast infection.
What causes the cells to grow like this? When the number of bacteria and yeast become imbalanced. HIV infections, diabetes, antibiotics, a new sexual partner, hormone shifts, either during pregnancy or not, or other health problems all have the ability to cause this imbalance, but the most common cause is by a fungus known as Candida Albicans.
What are the symptoms?
- Does your vagina itch, or feel irritated? That is a sign.
- If you have swelling or redness at the entrance.
- Burning during urination or sex is a huge sign.
- Discharge that is white. This can be watery or chunky. It depends. Make sure to pay attention.
Are some women more at risk of getting yeast infections than others?
- Are you pregnant? The risks are now higher.
- Are you a diabetic? Do you regulate and control your blood sugar properly
- Sometimes your birth control can put you at higher risk. Contact your doctor to be sure.
- Are you douching? You might want to take that out of your routine. We recommend using Coconut Oil instead.
- Are you taking Antibiotic medication? Some are known to increase the risks as well. Contact your doctor to be sure.
I think I may have a yeast infection. What should I do?
If you are not sure if it is a yeast infection, see a doctor as soon as possible. You may think you have a yeast infection, but it could be more serious or nothing at all. It is safer to speak with an expert.
Some leave their infections alone and claim it will go away on its own. How do they tolerate the itching, burning, and overall discomfort? The answer to that question is unknown.
If you don’t want to wait it out, which is understandable, here are two at-home remedies:
- Add two cups of vinegar to a warm bath and soak for fifteen minutes. Repeat this process a few times. Be sure to thoroughly dry off afterwards.
- Apply plain, organic yogurt directly into your vagina once or twice per day. This is not a proven method, but many say it works.
Another way is that you can always try over-the-counter medications if you do not wish to see a doctor. Ask friends, family or just do research about which medications that work the best.
How is a yeast infection diagnosed?
A vaginal yeast infection is diagnosed by a pelvic exam or taking a sample of the discharge and examining it under a microscope.
How do I prevent getting a yeast infection?
- Stop douching because it removes some of the natural bacteria in your vagina that protects you from infection.
- Stop using scented feminine products, such as pads, and tampons, but also bubble bath, vaginal spray, etc. Why? Because they contain harmful chemicals that should not be near your sensitive area.
- Wear cotton underwear. It helps keep you dry and doesn’t hold in warmth and moisture.
- Don’t get in hot tubs or hot baths. While on that note, be sure to change out of wet swimsuits and workout clothes quickly.
- After using the bathroom, always wipe from front to back. Some women already do this, but most do not.
- If you have diabetes, be sure your blood sugar is under control.
What do I do if I get yeast infections quite often?
This is more common than you realize. If you get more than three or four yeast infections per year, definitely see a doctor. They seem to treat this with an anti-fungal medicine for up to six months.
About 5% of women experience this. It is most common if you have diabetes or a weak immune system, but it can happen to healthy women as well. It may just be how your body reacts naturally. Everyone is different.