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The thing to understand about a yeast infection down there is that while it may sound very scary - it is not incurable. So although you might have to suffer through some discomfort if you develop a vaginal yeast infection, it is something that can be dealt with. Here are a few things you ought to know about a vaginal yeast infection and dealing with it.
1. How does one develop a vaginal yeast infection?
Yeast is a type of fungus that is usually present in the vagina in small numbers. If one develops a vaginal yeast infection, what it means in simple terms is that too many yeast cells are growing in the vagnina.
A yeast infection is caused by a type of yeast called candida albicans. The growth of the yeast in that region is kept in check by the good bacteria present there. However, if there is an imbalance in your system, the bacteria are unable to work effectively.
Also read: 9 Things Every Girl Should Know About Her Vaginal Health
2. What causes this imbalance and leads to the infection?
A vaginal yeast infection can occur due to many reasons. Some of the more common ones involve...
A. Using soap to clean your vagina thoroughly
While you may think that it’s important to keep your vagina clean (and it is), using soap is not the way to do it. It destroys the natural PH balance of your vagina and kills the good bacteria. Use water to clean your vagina on a regular basis or if you want another option, go for something like V wash, which is designed for the sensitive area.
B. Anything that changes your natural hormonal cycle or levels - such as your birth control pill.
Consult your doctor if you get recurrent episodes of a yeast infection after starting to take birth control pills.
They lower the amount of good bacteria in the vagina and more susceptible you become to a yeast infection.
Yeast infections are common during pregnancy. However, the medication you need to take while pregnant, for the same, may differ. Consult your doctor before using any kind of medication.
E. Poor eating habits
If your diet includes a lot of unnatural sugary foods, you might be causing yourself a yeast infection.
F. Wearing wet or damp underwear
Yeast thrives in a warm, wet environment. Try and make sure that you put on a clean and dry underwear at all times.
G. Using unclean hands to touch the area
Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands or any other object before you bring it in contact with your vagina.
3. What are the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?
Yeast infection has quite a common bunch of symptoms as other vaginal infections. However, if left untreated, the symptoms can become severe. Frequent symptoms include:
C. Vaginal discharge - in small or large amounts - often thick and off whitish in colour. (Although the colour and thickness can differ)
D. Soreness and rashes
Also read: 8 Fun Facts About Your Vagina We Bet You Didn’t Know!
4. Can it be sexually transmitted?
While a yeast infection is technically not a sexually transmitted disease - since even women who are not sexually active can get a yeast infection - it can be transmitted from one partner to another while having sex. Having sex while you are suffering from a yeast infection is not recommended as you can transfer it to your partner, although the probability of men getting it is low.
5. How do you deal with it?
If you have the above symptoms, go and see your gynaecologist at the earliest. She will be able to advise you on the medication you should take based on how severe your symptoms are. Try and keep the area dry in the meantime and don’t wash it too often. If you don’t want to take prescribed medication, some natural remedies like applying tea tree oil or drinking and eating plenty of probiotics and yogurt can be effective. However, consulting a doctor is still recommended.
Published on Aug 05, 2016