What is a vaginal yeast infection?
A vaginal yeast infection is an excess growth of yeast cells in the vagina. Yeast infections are very common in women of childbearing age but can occur at any age. Although they can be uncomfortable, vaginal yeast infections rarely lead to serious health problems.
Causes of a Yeast Infection
A healthy vagina normally contains many bacteria and small numbers of yeast cells. The most common bacteria found in the vagina, Lactobacillus acidophilus, help prevent other organisms, such as yeast, from growing in excess and causing an infection. About 70% to 90% of yeast infections are caused by a strain of yeast called Candida albicans.
When there is a change in the normal balance of organisms in the vagina, yeast can overgrow, causing symptoms. This imbalance can be caused by many factors, including use of broad-spectrum antibiotics for other conditions, high estrogen levels (as during pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy), or certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or HIV infection.
Symptoms of Yeast Infections
Irritated genital skin
Pain or burning in the genital area with urination or sexual intercourse
In some cases, white vaginal discharge that is usually curd-like and odorless. Some women have no noticeable discharge.
How do you diagnose a vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal itching and a white vaginal discharge that is odorless and looks like cottage cheese are classic signs of a vaginal yeast infection. However, it is easy to misdiagnose a vaginal infection. If your symptoms are not typical of a yeast infection, you are not certain of your diagnosis, or you are pregnant and have symptoms, see your health professional. A vaginal exam and possibly a culture of vaginal discharge can help diagnose whether another type of organism is present.
Take a tampon and dip it in yogurt. Insert in the vagina, twice a day. Continue this remedy for an extra day after your symptoms go away.
Tea Tree Oil
A few drops of tea tree oil poured on a tampon and inserted in the vagina can provide some relief.
For non-vaginal yeast infections, you can apply garlic paste directly on the affected parts. This remedy is for other affected parts of the body and not for the vaginal yeast infection.