Yeast infections – sometimes called candidiasis – takes many forms. They often develop where a moist environment encourages fungal growth, especially on the webs of fingers and toes, nails, genitals and folds of skin. Yeast infections are characterized by vaginal itching and a thick, cottage cheese-like discharge and are caused by an organism called Candida albicans, which is a normal inhabitant of the vagina ( part of the normal flora).
If you have never had a yeast infection before, consult your doctor before attempting self-treatment. Over-the-counter remedies are available at most pharmacies and are generally as effective as prescription medications except in certain stubborn cases. Many women experience monthly yeast infections at the time of their menstrual periods due to changes in the pH of the vaginal lining during this time, and this situation may necessitate monthly self-treatment in advance of the infection to prevent the discomfort from developing.
If you experience recurrent yeast infections, consult your physician , as it can be a sign of some other condition, such as diabetes. In addition to intense itching, another symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is a white curdy or thick discharge that is mostly odorless. Although some women have discharges midway between their menstrual periods, these are usually not yeast infections, especially if there’s no itching.
Other symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:
Ã?Â· rash on outer lips of the vagina
Ã?Â· burning, especially during urination.
It’s important to remember that not all women experience all these symptoms, and if intense itching is not present it’s probably something else. Treatment – All women with Bacterial vaginosis (BV) should be informed of the possibility of sexual transmission and offered treatment. They can be treated with antibiotics. Generally, male sex partners are not treated. Women with symptoms of BV do not always seek medical treatment, and many women without symptoms decline treatment. Treatment – Various antifungal vaginal medications are available to treat yeast infection.
Women can buy antifungal creams, tablets, or suppositories (butoconazole, miconazole, clotrimazole and tioconazole) over the counter for use in the vagina. But because BV, trichomoniasis and yeast infection are difficult to distinguish on the basis of symptoms alone, a woman with vaginal symptoms should see her physician for an accurate diagnosis before using these products.