Vaginal Yeast Infection
Some women develop a vaginal yeast infection quite frequently, while it is a rare occurrence for other women. However, most women will encounter at least one in her lifetime. If you understand the conditions that make yeast infections thrive, you can take steps to reduce or prevent your incidents.
Candida is the name of the yeast that is responsible for infections in the vagina. It is a fungi that lives in all bodies of human beings. Normally it is kept in balance and under control by the presence of other healthy bacteria that live in the body as well. Infections develop when something upsets the bodies balance and the yeast is permitted to grow out of control and overpower all the other friendly bacteria in the body.
Vaginal yeast infections occur for a variety of reasons, but the leading cause is the overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics. Prescription antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria you're trying to get rid of, but they also wipe out all your healthy bacteria that are needed for homeostasis.
You may have noticed that whenever you take an antibiotic that you immediately develop a yeast infection in your vagina and this is why. Yeast are not vulnerable to antibiotics and therefore when the friendly bacteria is wiped out, the field is wide open for Candida to proliferate freely.
Poor diet is another very important reason we see such a high occurrence of yeast infections among women today. Most people are existing on junk food diets that are lacking in any nutritional value and extremely high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Candida's primary source of food is sugar. The more sugar you eat, the more food you are providing for your Candida.
Another contributing factor is that the vagina provides the perfect conditions for yeast to thrive. It flourishes in environments that are moist, dark and warm, and thus why the vagina is one of the most frequent places for yeast infections to develop.
A vaginal yeast infection can also be encouraged by clothing that fits too tight and doesn't allow for air circulation, the birth control pill, steroids, synthetic undergarments and personal care products, sensitivity to latex condoms or spermicides and through sexual transmission.
Men may carry penile yeast infections and exhibit no noticeable symptoms. He can then pass it along to the woman, unknowingly. Women can pass the infection to her partner and not know it and then once she's cleared her infection he can reinfect her again. If you notice that your yeast infections occur after sex, there is a good chance your partner is carrying it and he needs treatment as well.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection usually include intense relentless itching, redness and irritation of the vagina and surrounding tissue, burning and a thick white discharge that can look like cottage cheese.
So by making a couple simple changes in your lifestyle such as eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates from your food, avoiding the use of antibiotics unless absolutely essential to save your life, wearing lose clothing made of cotton, avoiding the use of birth control pills or drugs containing steroids and switching to natural personal care products you can reduce the prevalence of infections you may encounter.
The most common traditional treatments for a vaginal yeast infection are usually antifungal creams, ointments or suppositories, acquired either over the counter or through a prescription. However, the easiest and most affordable way to treat vaginal yeast is with yogurt or acidophilus capsules. Simply scoop some yogurt up with your fingers and insert it into the vagina. Alternatively, you can insert an acidophilus capsule into the vagina like a suppository. Acidophilus capsules are less messy than the yogurt, but either one will work great. Relief is usually immediate. You'll probably want to wear a sanitary napkin to keep your undergarments dry, as both the acidophilus and yogurt will seep slightly from the vagina.
Other effective natural remedies include using garlic as a suppository, homeopathic remedies, herbal douches with tea tree oil or pau'd'arco.
If you have a high reoccurrence of vaginal yeast infections on a regular basis, this may also be an indicator that you have a yeast problem in other areas of your body. Candida yeast can also infect the gastrointestinal tract and travel to other parts of your body. If that is the case, you'll be experiencing a variety of other Candida Symptoms and will require a more comprehensive treatment plan.