Vaginal yeast infections affect up to 75 percent of women at some point in their life. It is not uncommon for a woman to experience two or more yeast infections. Although most yeast infections are easily treated, recurrent infections may require a longer course of treatment and an ongoing maintenance regimen.
Yeast infections, which are a form of vaginitis, are fungal infections typically caused by Candida albicans. They occur when the natural pH and flora of the vagina are disrupted, which allows an overgrowth of yeast. The overgrowth can occur as a result of antibiotic use, uncontrolled diabetes, pregnancy, contraceptive or hormone therapy, or a weakened immune system. Yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted diseases; however, the fungus can be spread through oral/genital contact. It is possible for women who are not sexually active to develop yeast infections.
The primary symptoms of vaginitis are intense itching and irritation of the vagina and the tissue surrounding the vaginal opening. The vulva will be red and swollen, which can cause a burning sensation during urination or intercourse. The woman may also have unusual vaginal discharge that is either watery or thick with an appearance similar to cottage cheese. A woman should consult her doctor if she has severe symptoms, is pregnant, has four or more yeast infections a year, has diabetes or a compromised immune system, or if the infection is due to a type of yeast other than Candida albicans.
In most cases, yeast infections can be effectively treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. We offer a wide variety of antifungal medications for treating vaginal yeast infections. Most treatments are available as suppositories, creams, and oral tablets. Many treatments are also available in less-expensive generic forms. Your doctor can help you determine the best treatment option for you.
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