Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yes Yeast Yes...

Soooooo... I had a yeast infection a few months ago. Worst experience of my life (that' saying much right?) At first I had no idea what was wrong with me down there and I really don't have that type of relationship with my mother to discuss it. I didnt really want to tell my friends so I just let it continue. It hurt so much and I have no idea what I was thinking when I let it continue for about a month and a half before finally going to the doctor. I never want to go through that again. I also don't want anyone else to go through that experience or to let it continue for lengthy periods after it starts.

WHAT IS A YEAST INFECTION? - Yeast is a type of fungus. Yeast infections are caused by overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Small amounts of yeast are always in the vagina. But when too much yeast grows, you can get an infection.Yeast infections are very common. About 75 percent of women have one during their lives. And almost half of women have two or more vaginal yeast infections. (Source)

Candidiasis, commonly called yeast infection or thrush, is a fungal infection (mycosis) of any of the Candida species, of which Candida albicans is the most common. (Source) Candida albicans is a fungus (a form of yeast), which is capable of sexual reproduction. (Source)

SYMPTOMS - Symptoms include severe itching, burning, and soreness, irritation of the vagina and/or vulva, and a whitish or whitish-gray discharge, often with a curd-like appearance. Many women mistake the symptoms of the more common bacterial vaginosis for a yeast infection. In a 2002 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, only 33 percent of women who were self-treating for a yeast infection actually had a yeast infection, while most had either bacterial vaginosis or a mixed-type infection instead. (Source)

In men (yes men too), symptoms include red patchy sores near the head of the penis or on the foreskin, severe itching, and/or a burning sensation. Candidiasis of the penis can also have a white discharge, although uncommon. However, having no symptoms at all is common, and usually, a more severe form of the symptoms may emerge later (don't I know it) (Source)

The most common symptom of a yeast infection is extreme itchiness in and around the vagina. Other symptoms include:
burning, redness, and swelling of the vagina and the vulva
pain when passing urine
pain during sex
a thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese and does not have a bad smell
a rash on the vagina
You may only have a few of these symptoms. They may be mild or severe. (

CAUSES - Pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives have been reported as risk factors, while the roles of engaging in vaginal sex immediately and without cleansing after anal sex and using lubricants containing glycerin remain controversial. Diabetes mellitus and the use of antibiotics are also linked to an increased incidence of yeast infections. Diet has been found to be the cause in some animals. (Source)

Antibiotic and steroid use are the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. The former kills the bacteria which would otherwise help maintain Candida at safe levels, thus allowing the fungus to overgrow. (Source)

In penile candidiasis, the causes include sexual intercourse with an infected party, low immunity, antibiotics, and diabetes. Male genital yeast infection is less common, and the risk of getting it is only a fraction of that in women; however, yeast infection on the penis from direct contact via sexual intercourse with an infected partner is not uncommon. (Source)

Many things can raise your risk of a vaginal yeast infection, such as:
  • stress

  • lack of sleep

  • illness

  • poor eating habits, including eating extreme amounts of sugary foods

  • pregnancy

  • having your period

  • taking certain medicines, including birth control pills, antibiotics, and steroids

  • diseases such as poorly controlled diabetes and HIV/AIDS

  • hormonal changes during your periods (Source)

TREATMENTS - Yeast infections can be cured with antifungal medicines that come as:

  • creams

  • tablets

  • ointments or suppositories that are inserted into the vagina

These products can be bought over the counter at the drug store or grocery store. Your doctor can also prescribe you a single dose of oral fluconazole (floo-con-uh-zohl). But do not use this drug if you are pregnant.
Infections that don’t respond to these medicines are starting to be more common. Using antifungal medicines when you don't really have a yeast infection can raise your risk of getting a hard-to-treat infection in the future. (

  • Consider taking a daily supplement designed to help prevent the recurrence of a yeast infection

  • Keep you vaginal area clean, being sure to wash the area when you shower

  • After a shower or bath, make sure your vaginal area is completely dry before getting dressed

  • Wear cotton underpants and pantyhose with a cotton crotch

  • After using the toilet, always wipe from front to back

  • Avoid sharing towels and washcloths

  • Wash your under garments in hot water and skip the fabric softener in the dryer

  • Avoid clothing that is tight in the crotch

  • Always change out of your exercise clothes or swimsuit immediately after working out or swimming

  • Change your sanitary pads or tampons frequently and avoid using ones that are scented

  • Avoid using heavily scented soaps, perfumes and talcum powder

  • Avoid douching

  • Use antibiotics only when necessary

  • Eat a diet high in vegetables, protein and grains as well as consuming yogurt that has live acidophilus bacteria; avoid processed foods, sugars and alcohol

  • Always use a water soluble lubricating gel during sex

  • Consider using a condom if you are having sex and have a yeast infection

  • Make sure your vagina is well lubricated during sex; avoid sex if it feels painful

  • If you are experiencing chronic yeast infections and are using hormonal contraceptives, like the birth control pill, consider changing your birth control method (Source)

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