A vaginal yeast infection or “Candidiasis” is an infection of the vagina caused by a group of yeast. It results from changes in the environment of the vagina that lead to an overgrowth of bacteria. The most common causes include Antibiotic and Steroid use. However, yeast infections can also be caused by other factors such as pregnancy, menstruation, sperm, diabetes and the use of birth control pills. Women who have already gone through Menopause are more likely to encounter a yeast infection than women who have not yet been through Menopause.
Symptoms include a change in vaginal discharge as well as burning and/or itching upon urination and/or sexual intercourse. The best way to accurately diagnose a yeast infection is with a full Gynecologic exam. Treatment may involve over-the-counter or prescription medications. Most yeast infections are superficial and clear up easily with treatment.
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see a Gynecologist so that he or she can accurately diagnose the problem and prescribe the most appropriate treatment. Other, more serious problems such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis can have similar symptoms as a yeast infection. Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease that affects both men and women. If it is not properly diagnosed and treated, trichomoniasis can be spread to others during sexual activity. Failure to treat trichomoniasis can also lead to problems with fertility.
Getting regular Gynecologic care including annual pelvic exams and communicating with your Gynecologist about any symptoms or changes you experience is a great way to protect you health and the health of your partner. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a vaginal infection, schedule an appointment with your Gynecologist today.