Dealing with a Vaginal Yeast Infection
A vaginal yeast infection, also called candidiasis, is one of the most common vaginal infections. “The fungus that causes a yeast infection is called Candida—the fungus is found in a healthy vagina in very small amounts. However, when the balance of yeast and bacteria changes, the fungus may multiply and cause an infection,” says Julia B. Willner MD, PIH Health OB/GYN.
What causes a yeast infection?
Some types of antibiotics increase the chances of developing a vaginal yeast infection. These antibiotics destroy normal vaginal bacteria and can cause yeast to overgrow. Women who are pregnant or those with diabetes are more likely to get the infection. If the body’s immune system is not working properly, it can also increase the risk.
What are the most common symptoms?
Most women experience itching and burning around the area outside the vagina called the vulva. This area may become red and swollen. It is common to have discharge which is usually white, lumpy and odorless.
What are the best treatments?
Treatments for a vaginal yeast infection include taking a pill orally or by placing medication into the vagina directly.
There are over-the-counter medications that are safe and effective at treating a vaginal yeast infection. Keep in mind, some women may think they are experiencing this infection when in fact they actually have another medical condition. In this instance, medication for a vaginal yeast infection will not work and may delay proper diagnosis.
It is always good to call your physician before taking over-the-counter medications. Whether it is your first time developing a vaginal yeast infection or you’ve had one prior, you should see your healthcare professional.
How do I get help when I need fast treatment?
If you ever experience the discomfort of a vaginal yeast infection you can visit our Women’s Center for same day appointments. See locations and phone numbers here PIHHealth.org/Women. For after-hour care, visit one of our PIH Health Urgent Care Centers for immediate medical service. For locations and wait times, visit PIHHealth.org/UCC.