Yeast Infections: Causes and Treatments

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A vaginal yeast infection is an infection of the vagina that is caused by the overgrowth of a certain type of fungus, Candida albicans.  A vaginal yeast infection is a common occurrence as 75% of women will experience at least one during their lifetime. In fact, almost half of all women experience two or more yeast infections in their lifetimes.

The symptoms of a yeast infection include extreme itchiness around and in the vagina, pain during urination, pain during sex and more. Since vaginal yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter medications, many women fail to call their doctors when the symptoms of a yeast infection occur.  This is unfortunate because the signs of a yeast infection are very similar to some other, more serious conditions including Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. For this reason, it is important that you visit your physician when you start experiencing symptoms so he or she can properly diagnose the problem and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

A vaginal yeast infection can be diagnosed by your doctor by performing a physical exam and possibly taking a swab from your vagina and viewing the fluid sample under a microscope. If the condition is confirmed to be caused by a vaginal yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal cream, tablet or ointment. Despite what most women believe, vaginal yeast infections are caused by a weakened immune system, not by having sex. Eating right and getting plenty of rest can go along way in preventing this type of infection. For more ways to prevent a vaginal yeast infection or to find out if your symptoms are typical of a yeast infection, talk to your OBGYN or healthcare provider today.

Posted on behalf of Carlos Alarcon, M.D., Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.
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