Vaginal Yeast Infection – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal yeast infection is a type of infection that is common in women. Regional burning sensations in the vagina arises with symptoms such as itching, an unusually intense white discharge, frequent urination and pain during sexual intercourse. The most common of germs that cause this problem is a yeast cell called Candida albicans. We call Vaginal fungal infections  vaginal candidiasis, as this fungus causes more than 90% of cases.

In a healthy vagina, there are some bacteria and yeast cells. However, when the balance of bacteria and fungi is changed, yeast cells can multiply and cause infection. Stress, pregnancy, diseases affecting the immune system, use of antibiotics, some birth control pills, improper hygienic products and underwear can cause Candida yeast cells to increase.

Vaginal fungus is not in the category of sexually transmitted diseases. Women who are not sexually active can also experience this problem. Although this disease is known as a woman’s disease, it can be seen in men and treated with medication as in women. A man with this disease could infect his sexual partner with this fungus.

Treatment of vaginal yeast infection is easy and can be treated effectively with medications. The treatment results in a few days of relaxation, but in some severe cases it may be a little longer. If you have recurrent yeast infections – you may need four or more – a longer treatment cure and a maintenance plan within a year. If you think you have vaginal infections, you should consult with a specialist doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are similar to other vaginal infections and sexually transmitted infections. If you have a more serious infection that is not a yeast infection, this can lead to significant health problems.

Symptoms of vaginal yeast infection

  • Vaginal itching
  • Swelling around the vagina
  • Pain or combustion during uration or sexual intercourse
  • Redness
  • Vaginal rash
  • Vaginal pain
  • Whitish grey and intense vaginal discharge
  • In some women vaginal discharge may look like cheese

These symptoms are more likely to be week before the menstruation period. Symptoms can be aggragated when yeast infection is not usually treated.

Symptoms of complicated vaginal yeast infection

You may have a severe and complicated fungal infection in the following cases and you should see a specialist doctor as soon as possible:

  • If your symptoms of redness, swelling and itching are very intense and uncomfortable
  • If cracks and wounds have occurred
  • If you are having four or more yeast infections per year
  • If the infection is caused by a fungus other than Candida albicans fungus
  • If you are Pregnant
  • If you have uncontrolled diabetes
  • If your immune system is weak, the infection is weakened by certain medications or conditions that you use

When should I go to the doctor because of a vaginal infection?

  • When you see the symptoms of yeast infection for the first time
  • If you’re not sure if you’ve had a yeast infection
  • If your symptoms are not lost after being treated with unprescribed antifungal vaginal creams or cords
  • If you observe the symptoms of the complex yeast infection mentioned above
    or other symptoms are seen

Do men get fungal infections and what are the symptoms?

Candida albicans yeast cell, which causes vaginal yeast infection in women, can cause a similar infection to the penis in males. Men with diabetes, long-term antibiotics or uncircumcised males are more prone to this infection. Men who are not circumcised should clean the bottom of the foreskin properly. The warm, moist folds of the foreskin are the perfect environment for fungus development. Keeping the area clean and dry can help prevent an infection, but if symptoms arise, you must get an expert help.

What are the causes of vaginal fungus infection?

The Candida albicans fungus, which causes vaginal fungus, is a naturally found microorganism in the vaginal area. Lactobasil (milk bacilli) bacteria control the proliferation of these fungus. But if there is an imbalance in your system, this beneficial bacteria will not work effectively. This causes excessive proliferation of Candida albicans fungus. The factors that can cause this imbalance in your system include:

  • Use of antibiotics to reduce the lactobacillus bacteria in your vagina
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Use of Spiral
  • Weak immune system
  • Birth control pill or hormone therapy that increases estrogen level
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cortisone treatment
  • Consume sweetened food and poor eating habits
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal imbalance close to your menstrual cycle
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Use of perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays or similar products
  • Undies or some pads that may prevent the vagina from getting air
  • Vaginal yeast infection may occur after some sexual activities, especially after oral-genital intercourse. However, this disease is not a sexually transmitted infection. Even women who are not sexually active can develop yeast infections.

Which area of expertise does vaginal fungus care?

Primary care practitioners, including family physician doctors, internists and pediatrician, can all treat fungal infections. However, if you have vaginal yeast infection, you had better see a gynecologist. If you have a yeast infection treatment in the past and you are going to the same doctor, your doctor can also repeat the treatment by phone without seeing you again.

Useful procedures before going to a doctor

  • Make a list of the symptoms you observe and note how long you’ve been experiencing these problems
  • If you have different treatments and medications, vitamins, or supplements that you see, make a note of their names and medical information that you think is important
  • Do not use tampons. So your doctor can assess your vaginal discharge.
  • Consider your doctor’s time-limited status and choose the most important questions you want to ask and make a list

What can you ask your doctor?

  • How can I prevent fungal infections?
  • What symptoms should I pay attention to?
  • Do I need to use medication?
  • Should my wife or sexual partner be involved in the diagnosis and treatment process?
  • Are there any unprescribed products that will cure my illness?
  • What can I do if my symptoms return after treatment?

How to diagnose a vaginal yeast infection?

The diagnosis of fungal infections is simple. Your doctor will ask you some questions in order to diagnose your illness correctly and apply effective treatment. The next step is a pelvic exam. Your doctor will examine your external genital area and observe the signs of infection. It then places a speculum in your vagina to keep the vaginal walls open so that you can examine the vagina and cervix region. It will also look at the area around the vagina to determine if it is infected.

Depending on what you see in your physical examination, your doctor may take some samples from your vagina and send it to the lab. Laboratory tests are usually preferred in patients with a regular infection or an infection that has not responded to treatment. Determination of fungal type in patients of this type is important for effective treatment.

How is vaginal yeast infection treated?

In order to treat vaginal fungus,  you apply oral tablets, supository drugs to the vaginal area and antifungal creams  to the external genital area. You can treat yourself with only nonprescription products without the diagnosis and advice of your doctor in the following cases:

  • If your symptoms are mild and you have no pain
  • If you’re not pregnant
  • If you are sure that your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection
  • If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, consult your physician.
  • If you have not been subjected to a sexually transmitted infection
  • You don’t have multiple recurrent infections

Self-treatment can be risky at times. Because the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection may be similar to the symptoms of other sexually transmitted diseases and in such a case a different treatment will be required. So it would be much more beneficial to go to the doctor in any case. Each yeast infection is different, so your doctor will recommend the best treatment for you.

Simple yeast Infections

For simple yeast infections, your doctor will usually prescribe a 1-3-day prescription of an antifungal cream, ointment, tablet or supository. These medications may be prescription or without prescription. Generally, the treatment methods are as follows:

  • Short-term vaginal therapy: Antifungal drugs can be counted as cream, ointment, tablet and supository. An antifungal treatment cure that lasts for one, three or seven days usually cleans up a fungal infection. Butoconazol (Gnazol-1), it has been observed that a number of medications are effective in the treatment, including Klotridiol (Gyne-Lotrimin), Miconazole (Monistat 3) and Terkonazole (Terazol 3). Some of these are prescription, some are drugs without prescription.
  • Single dose oral medication: Your doctor may prescribe a single dose of antifungal medication to be used orally. Or, He may suggest that you use two single doses at three separate intervals to relieve severe symptoms.
  • Treatment with Cream : Non-prescription antifungal vaginal suppositories and creams are effective for many women and they are a safe choice during pregnancy. The treatment usually lasts between three and seven days.

In the treatment process, medications may have side effects such as mild combustion or irritation. Because the plugs and creams are oil-based, they can potentially weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. So your doctor may suggest an alternative birth control method.

Patients with simple yeast infection should follow the treatment process with their physicians. If your symptoms return within two months, you will need to follow.

Severe vaginal yeast infections

If your symptoms are severe, your doctor will choose a different treatment method that is specific to you. Possible treatments followed in severe fungal infections include:
Long-term vaginal treatment: a treatment cure with azole antifungals medication for seven to 14 days can successfully cleanse a yeast infection.

  • 14 days cream, ointment, tablet or supository vaginal treatment
  • Two or three doses of fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • Long-term use of Fluconazolun (Diflucan) for six weeks, six days a week
  • Prolonged use of topical antifungal drugs
  • If your infection is repeated after 2 months of treatment or 4 times in 1 year: a long treatment can be applied from 6 months to 1 year.
  • You may need to test whether your sexual partner has yeast infection
  • Use condoms during intercourse if you have a suspected situation

Herbal and alternative therapies in vaginal yeast infection

What natural and alternative treatments are available? If you do not prefer to use prescription medication in a vaginal yeast infection, you can also try treatment with natural medicines with your doctor’s approval. It is important that your doctor also approve, because some herbs may interact with medications you may receive or cause unwanted side effects.

Natural products for the treatment of vaginal yeast infection

Yogurt: There is plenty of probiotic lactobacilli in yogurt that keeps the vagina healthy. However, studies have not proved to be effective in providing any benefits for treating vaginal yeast infection when you eat a cup daily. However, in a recent Italian study, it was observed that when the probiotic tablet was placed directly in the vagina (once a day for 7 nights, then once every 3 nights, and then once a week) the yeast infection treated 87%.
Preparation of yoghurt Wick: Put the yogurt on the fingers of a plastic glove and freeze it. Apply as a wick every night before bedtime

  • Coconuts Oil: Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial substance that is used topically in India for centuries. To apply the oil to the vagina, dip a sterile bumper in the butter and remove it from the vagina. You can apply it 4-5 times every night. Also use natural coconut oil in your meals.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Nowadays it is an approved method in the treatment of yeast infection in Italy. 10 drops can be added to a 1 bucket of water to soak the Pelvis area. Alternatively, it can be applied with a tampon as in coconut oil. Make sure that the oil is not diluted with alcohol while taking the tea tree fat
  • Boric acid Vaginal suppositories: Some experts may recommend vaginal boric acid capsules as a treatment option in infections that cannot be treated with particularly prescription or non-prescription antifungal yeast infection medications. Boric acid is a white crystalline chemical substance with antifungal and antiviral properties. It is used in various pharmaceutical products and is also available without a prescription.
  • Garlic: If none of the above suggestions solve the problem, you may have to make a more serious intervention. Take a peeled tooth raw garlic before bedtime, damage the entire surface with a fork and apply it to the vagina as a wick.

Ways and methods of prevention of vaginal yeast infections

  • Feed on a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean dairy products
  • Keep your blood sugar under control
  • Avoid unnecessary antibiotic usage
  • Eat yogurt or use probiotic supplements
  • Wear natural fabrics such as cotton, linen or silk
  • Wash the underwear with hot water
  • Avoid stuffy clothes like tight pants, pantyhose, tights
  • Do not use feminine deodorant or fragrant bumpers or pads
  • Sit in the bathtub filled with hot water or avoid taking hot showers often
  • Keep your vaginal area clean. Use mild, odorless soap and water for cleaning
  • After the toilet, wipe from the front to back to avoid spreading fungus or bacteria from the makat to the vagina or urinary tract
  • Wear cotton underwear that helps keep your vaginal area dry and does not retain temperature and humidity. Try to sleep without underwear.
  • Change your wet bathing suit now
  • Change pads or tampons frequently
  • Do not use vaginal deodorant spray or dust. These substances can change the normal balance of organisms in your vagina.

References:
1- Healthline– HL
2- Mayo Clinic – MK
3- Medicinennet – MN
4- MedlinePlus – MP