You probably will know what yeast infections are once you get one. You don't hear much about them in family and friends conversations or learn about them in health classes. However, this fungus affects a large number of people.
You can find relief from yeast infections, even if they keep coming back. Find out how long vaginal yeast infections last, if they go away on their own, how to get rid of them, and what else you might be suffering from if it's not a yeast infection.
Overgrowth of the candida fungus in your vagina leads to vulvovaginal candidiasis. It is usual for Candida albicans to live in the vagina and to cause no harm to women. However, this fungus can multiply when the delicate balance of lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina is disturbed.
A yeast infection happens to 75% of people with vaginas at some point, and some are unlucky enough to get chronic yeast infections (four or more yeast infections per year). Infections of the mouth (called thrush) and skin can also occur.
Yeast infections in the vaginal area are uncomfortable, so it's difficult to overlook them. Yeast infections can cause the following symptoms:
Yeast infections can be due to various factors, and some unfortunate people are more vulnerable than others. Here are some of the main causes of yeast infections:
In some cases, mild yeast infections will resolve independently within a few days. Without treatment, yeast infections usually worsen. Whenever you start noticing symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider. Your doctor can diagnose you and prescribe an over-the-counter antifungal prescription. Within a week of starting this, your yeast infection should be gone.
It may be possible for you to get rid of your yeast infection on your own if it is mild. Sometimes, this does not happen, and you cannot predict whether a yeast infection will improve or deteriorate without treatment. Moreover, many home remedies have not effectively treated yeast infections.
Without proper treatment, yeast infections can return weeks or months later. Additionally, you risk developing a complicated yeast infection that makes treating your symptoms more difficult.
Redness, swelling, cracks, and sores around your vagina can occur if you do not treat yeast infections. The infection is still treatable but is more uncomfortable and takes longer to heal.
You should be proactive if you want to minimise your symptoms and feel better as soon as possible.
Some yeast infections are more severe than others; others may resist the medications typically used to treat them. A gynaecologist or other healthcare provider should be consulted if your yeast infection does not improve. Additional testing and prescription antifungal medication may be required.
Your yeast infection has cleared once you've completed your treatment and your symptoms have resolved. You should use the medication until the full course of treatment is completed, even if your symptoms subside before the entire course is completed. Otherwise, the infection may not fully clear up and return.
Yeast infections can only be cured by taking antifungal medication. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications include oral pills, topical creams, and suppositories.
OTC treatments include clotrimazole (Lotrimin) and miconazole (Monistat), available as creams and suppositories. Fluconazole (Diflucan) is the most commonly prescribed treatment option. It is an oral medication for two or three days (or longer if the yeast infection is severe)
Yeast infection symptoms are alleviated quickly by many of these medications. Itching and other discomforts should subside within 24-48 hours after starting an antifungal drug. You may feel better after just one day of taking a single-dose medication your doctor prescribes.
If it's not a yeast infection, what could it be?
s with several different women's health conditions. You may have something else besides yeast infection if the antifungal medication doesn't work, such as :
Urinary tract infection (UTI): The condition is caused by bacteria multiplying in the urinary tract, causing symptoms such as burning during urination, bloody or cloudy urine, and abdominal pain. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI): Itching, burning, and unusual vaginal discharge can be caused by STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and trichomoniasis. If you experience blisters, sores, or any rash around your vaginal area, you should see your doctor, primarily if you have recently engaged in unprotected sexual activity.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV): In many ways, this bacterial infection is similar to a yeast infection, but bacteria instead of fungi cause it. A thin, greyish-white discharge characterises an infection with BV with a strong fishy odour (whereas an infection with yeast is thick, white, and odourless).
Medical advice should be sought from a gynaecologist or other healthcare professional if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with a yeast infection. Yeast infections aren't always yeast infections, and unless you treat them appropriately, your symptoms won't resolve.
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