Are you experiencing symptoms of a yeast infection or is it something else? Inflammation of the vagina (vaginitis) is experienced by up to 75% of women at some point in their lives. This may be caused by bacteria or protozoa, but the most common culprit is the Candida albicans yeast.
Yeast is a kind of fungus. It thrives in dark, damp areas and can be both beneficial (like in the form of baker’s yeast) or can cause infections (like in the form of Candida albicans). Typically, the human body is host to Candida albicans – it is present in continuously moist areas such as the skin, mouth, digestive tract, and vagina – but it hardly causes any trouble or discomfort, unless there is a dramatic increase in its number relative to the amount of protective bacteria present. When the quantity of yeast increases, then infection occurs and the symptoms of a yeast infection are felt.
Symptoms of yeast infection are nonspecific – which means that the signs may be caused by agents other than yeast. It is, therefore, always better not to rule out other factors unless the cause had been pinpointed. However, the following are some of the most common signs of vaginal Candidiasis – the inflammation of the vagina caused by this particular yeast:
- Itching. The itching can be felt in the vaginal, labial and vulval areas.
- Burning sensation.
- Pain. Pain may be felt when urinating and/or during intercourse.
- Vaginal discharge. This may not be always present, but when discharge is observed, it is likely to be odorless and may range from white, slightly watery discharge to that which is white, thick and chunky akin to cottage cheese.
There are certain conditions that cause this fungus to increase in number which causes symptoms of a yeast infection to be felt. This may include intake of antibiotics, which neutralize bacteria, even the beneficial ones, thereby allowing other organisms to flourish. Those with poor diet or limitation in their diet are also prone, as well as those whose immune system have been weakened.
Wearing tight jeans or underwear can also cause an infection. Too much moisture can also be a cause, as well as conditions such as diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, and intake of contraceptives and other medications. Surprisingly, douching can also result in infection since the practice kills the bacteria that keep the yeast at bay.
There are over-the-counter medications available, as well as a self-help yeast infection home remedy or two that may relieve the discomfort. One thing which is important is how you can help yourself by these home remedies. However, when symptoms of yeast infection are observed, it is always best to seek medical advice.