Seunga (Jasmine) Han, PharmD Student
When we notice an abnormal discharge of any sort, we all tend to panic. There are so many reasons that could explain this particular encounter we may have. In hopes of answering questions that some may be too scared or nervous to ask, we’ll have a series of articles in the future covering various topics similar to this in nature. In today’s article, we’ll go over what vaginal yeast infections are, how to treat them and how to prevent them.
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
So, yeast is a fungus that normally lives in the vagina and when it grows too much in number, it ends up causing a vaginal yeast infection. Most often, it’s caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include the following:
- Itchiness or soreness in the vagina
- Pain during urination or sex
- Thick, clumpy, white discharge – like cottage cheese
- No odour
How do you treat it?
If you have had a yeast infection before and are not pregnant, you can treat yourself using:
- an anti-fungal cream
- a suppository for your vagina
- an anti-fungal tablet
Luckily, some the treatment options are available over-the-counter, and you may be able to treat it with the help of a pharmacist. But, if you are pregnant, if this is your first time, or if you’ve had more than four yeast infections in a year, you must go see your physician before using any medicine. Additionally, if you are experiencing other symptoms, make sure you go see your physician as it may be something else you are experiencing.
How do you prevent it?
Avoid doing activities activities that could affect the balance of your vaginal pH or increase the body heat and moisture in your genital area.
- Keep your vaginal area clean. Use mild, unscented soap and water. Rinse well.
- Do NOT douche or use deodorant tampons or feminine sprays, powders, or perfumes.
- Wipe from front to back to avoid spreading yeast or bacteria from your anus to the vagina or urinary tract.
- Wear underwear that helps keep your genital area dry and doesn’t hold in warmth and moisture. One good choice is cotton underwear.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing, such as panty hose, and tight-fitting jeans.
- Change pads or tampons often.
We hope you took away something valuable from this piece. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this article or others, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, Facebook, or at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. We’d love to hear from you.
- Vaginal Yeast Infections. (2017, October 6). Retrieved October 24, 2018, from https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=hw61044