Yeast Infection

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Overview

A yeast infection, most commonly of the vagina, is a fungal infection. The infection leads to inflammation of the vagina, and tissues surrounding the vagina. It is very common, and most women will acquire the infection at least once during their lifetime. It can be transmitted through the mouth to genital contact, but it isn’t considered an STD.

Causes

The fungus, Candida is usually present in the vagina. Overgrowth of the fungus leads to the symptoms of yeast infection. Following are some of the causes of fungal overgrowth:

  • Antibiotic use. Over use can lead to the death of lactobacillus (normally present in the vagina). Lactobacillus produces an acid that prevents candida overgrowth.
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Impaired immunity
  • Taking pills that lead to excessive estrogen (Oral contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapies)

Symptoms

The symptoms of a yeast infection are usually mild to moderate in nature. They can be listed as the following:

  • Intense vaginal itching
  • Burning sensation during intercourse and passing urine
  • Redness and swelling
  • Pain and soreness
  • Rash
  • Discharge – Discharge has a cottage cheese appearance

Diagnosis

For the diagnosis of yeast infection, an adequate history, and pelvic exam are necessary. Apart from that, testing of the sample of vaginal secretions can provide diagnostic confirmation.

Treatment

For the treatment, azole medications are used, mostly in the form of a topical creams, but ointments, tablets, and suppositories are also available.

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