Yeast Infection Symptoms
A yeast infection is a very common type of infection for women to get. Most women will have one at least once in their lives and, though uncomfortable, it is not a great health risk. Often a simple antibiotic that does not need a prescription can be used to cure it. The most important thing is to ensure that this is actually the type of infection you have.
Common symptoms include a red, itchy rash on the genitals. This could be severe enough to give you a burning sensation or gentle enough to be mildly sore. However, the way most women can tell if they have yeast infections is through a discharge given off by their genitals. It is highly unpleasant, thick, and often compared to cottage cheese. This is because of the bacteria in the infection.
The symptoms should alert you that something is wrong with your body. After that, you should rely upon the judgment of a gynecologist to tell you for certain the type of infection you have. There are many different kinds that could resemble this one. Because antibiotics can be bought without a prescription to treat this, many women do not bother to get proper tests and just try to treat it themselves. If it is the wrong type of infection, you may need a different type of medication.
A culture of the bacteria is one of the most common ways your doctor can tell what type of infection you have. The culture is taken and put into an incubator at a temperature high enough for the bacteria to grow quickly. If they develop into yeast buds, then you will know exactly how to treat it. A faster way would be for your doctor to take a swab and examine it microscopically to look at the shape of the bacteria.
These infections could be caused in a number of different ways. Sexual intercourse is a major component because it introduces something to the vaginal environment that may carry germs or bacteria. Contraceptives–especially oral ones–can also make your body more disposed toward getting these infections because it changes your hormones and the internal environment.
Another major contributor is your personal health and over-all sanitation. Washing well is key, though sometimes no amount of cleanliness can be a guarantee against these infections. Douching products can, oddly enough, can give you a yeast infection instead of preventing it, like some might think. Many would believe that it could keep things clean, which it does, but it takes out all of the healthy bacteria that people need to keep yeast populations under control.
Other health issues can play into it, as well. Diabetes can contribute, as well as those who have AIDS. This is because both diseases require injections in order for people to get their medication. Injections carry the risk of putting bacterial in the blood stream. It is more difficult to maintain sanitation. This is one of the main reasons why condoms should be used if a woman has multiple sexual partners–less chance of germs in the blood stream.
Treatment for the infection is usually done through antibiotics. Some might prefer other methods, anyway, since antibiotics will negate oral contraceptives. Many women do not want to risk a pregnancy for the sake of curing a yeast infection. Therefore, a doctor can let you know if your infection is small enough where it may clear up naturally. Sometimes other medications or even natural remedies can be prescribed.