If Youre Experiencing Recurring Yeast Infections Youve Got Options
You can take an over-the-counter antifungal like Monistat. Earthman recommends using the three- or seven-day regimens instead of the one day. Its more of a hassle, but it tends to work better.
For more complex and long-term yeast infections, your provider might prescribe fluconazole .
If youd like to keep things natural, there are vaginal suppositories like boric acid that can sometimes provide relief.
Lily swears by Yeast Arrest. Ill put in a suppository like Yeast Arrest at the first sign of itching, and Ill use a three-day over-the-counter antifungal if it gets worse. I take that with me on vacation, just in case. And if I really cant kick it, thats when Ill call my doctor for Diflucan. Diflucan always seems to work, but I like to try other things first.
As Earthman puts it, Recurring BV is the bane of my existence! It probably keeps our office in business its all too common.
Symptoms of BV are fairly obvious. Discharge is thin white, grey, or greenish, and often comes with a fishy smell.
Could your partner have anything to do with it? Earthman says that, yes, occasionally there are bacterial strains that you and your partner can pass back and forth.
The only way to really know if you have these specific strains is to have a culture taken of vaginal flora, so that both partners can be treated. She doesnt advise taking cultures immediately for BV since they can be pretty costly and most strains will respond to one or two antibiotic types.
Other Tips For Prevention
Follow these tips to reduce your risk of developing a yeast infection, regardless of whether youre taking antibiotics:
- Change out of wet bathing suits and underwear as soon as possible. Yeast thrives in moist environments.
- Avoid hot tubs and very hot baths. The only thing yeast loves more than a moist environment is a warm one.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. While theres no clear link between tight clothing and yeast infections, tight pants can increase heat and moisture around your vulva.
- Wear breathable, cotton underwear. Cotton underwear can help keep things cool and dry down there.
- Douching removes healthy bacteria.
- Avoid vaginal deodorant products. This includes sprays, powders, and scented pads and tampons.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.High blood sugar levels encourage yeast growth.
When Should I Have Treatment For Bacterial Vaginosis
The body is often very good at getting back its own balance. The disruption in the balance of vaginal germs that causes BV may correct naturally, with time. So, if you have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, you may not need any treatment, particularly if you take some of the general healthy steps above.
You normally need treatment for BV if it is causing symptoms, or if the characteristic smell is noticeable to you. If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or about to have a gynaecological procedure then you may be advised to get treatment for BV.
PregnancyIf you are pregnant and you are found to have BV then you will usually be offered antibiotic treatment with oral metronidazole .
If you are trying to conceive and you think you may have BV, it is a good idea to try to eradicate the BV through natural methods or treatment prior to conceiving. If you have symptoms then you should discuss having antibiotic treatment with your doctor.
Termination of pregnancyIf you are found to have BV and are undergoing a termination of pregnancy, treatment with antibiotics may be advised even if you do not have any symptoms. This is because there is otherwise a risk of BV causing infection of the womb or pelvis after the procedure. This could lead to later fertility problems.
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How Can Yeast Infection Be Treated
Learning how can a yeast infection be treated is a very important question to be asking yourself.
Unfortunately, too many people live with this type of infection and do nothing about it.
Because in the first place they are the ones that created it.
A yeast infection happens when Candida fungi mutate to grow on an intestinal wall or enter the bloodstream.
In most cases, they feed on sugar, protein, and starch and do so at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on your digestive system.
There are two main causes for this overgrowth in our intestines.
When you eat a diet full of sugars, proteins, and starches, the Candida will feed on them.
Sugar feeds it by providing the energy that keeps the fungus going.
What you need to do to stop this cycle is to avoid foods that feed the yeast.
Such as jams, preserves, sugars, and white flour.
If you do eat them, be sure to eat one or two servings daily.
A second cause is the lack of the needed nutrients.
The yeast needs to feed on proteins and carbohydrates to survive.
You cant get this nutrition from a vitamin pill.
The yeast thrives on the sugar you take in every day.
The only way to avoid these two things is to make some changes in your eating habits and make some natural dietary changes.
Go on a low-carbohydrate diet for a week or two.
Be sure to follow a proper plan for the number of carbohydrates to consume.
Youll know that youre on the right track if you find that youre feeling better after you stop eating carbs.
Yeast Infection During Pregnancy
Vaginal yeast infections are common during pregnancy, likely caused by elevated estrogen levels. If you are pregnant, dont assume you have a yeast infection until it is diagnosed, and dont use non-prescription medicines without discussing your symptoms with your doctor.
Vaginal medicine is the recommended treatment for vaginal yeast infections during pregnancy.footnote 1
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Is There A Cure For Bv
A healthcare provider can treat BV with antibiotics. If you have symptoms, you should be checked and treated by a healthcare provider. It is important to take all the medicine your provider prescribes, even if your symptoms go away. Treatment also may reduce the risk for getting other STDs. BV can return even after treatment.
Male sex partners of women with BV do not need treatment. However, BV can spread between female sex partners.
Bacterial Vaginosis Or Yeast Infection
Even though they have some symptoms in common, BV is caused by bacteria while yeast infections are caused by fungus. There are both over-the-counter and prescription treatments available for yeast infections, but for BV you need a prescription.
Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms, causes, treatment, and tips to prevent both BV and yeast infections.
JGI / Tom Grill / Getty Images
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What Does This Mean For Your Vaginal Wellness
Having BV and a UTI at the same time presents a challenge. It can be treated with antibiotics, however, due to the nonspecific nature of antibiotics, the good bacteria and vaginal flora are put at risk, leading to greater opportunities for a Yeast Infection to happen and an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
And as we just learned, this can lead to recurrent UTIs if G. Vaginalis is present.
What Is The Difference Between Bv And A Vaginal Yeast Infection
BV and vaginal yeast infections are both common causes of vaginal discharge. They have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to know if you have BV or a yeast infection. Only your doctor or nurse can tell you for sure if you have BV.
With BV, your discharge may be white or gray but may also have a fishy smell. Discharge from a yeast infection may also be white or gray but may look like cottage cheese.
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How Do I Know If I Have Bv Or A Yeast Infection
BV can be confused for a yeast infection. But while its true that they are similar below-the-belt issues, theyre ultimately different conditions with slightly different symptoms. First, lets talk discharge: BV causes a watery grayish discharge while a yeast infection causes a white, thick discharge. Odor is also really critical, Dr. Streicher says. There is a very specific fishy odor that generally goes along with BV. You might notice a slight odor with a yeast infection, she says, but its not foul like the one that accompanies BV.
So, if your discharge is watery as opposed to white and thick, and smells like Pike Place Market on an August afternoon, its probably BV, and not a yeast infection. But you know what we always say, Dr. Streicher says. If youre not sure, you should go to the doctor.
Importance Of Proper Diagnosis To Ensure Proper Treatment
Because the treatment of BV and candidiasis differs, it is important to get the right diagnosis to figure out which one you are dealing with.
While BV will need to be treated with antibiotics, candidiasis needs antifungal treatment. There are also alternative forms of treatment that will help you with the two conditions. The easiest way to find out which one is ideal for you is to consult with a doctor and leave it in the hands of an expert.
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When To See A Doctor Or Healthcare Professional
If you develop a yeast infection while using an OTC antifungal vaginal cream or suppository in conjunction with your antibiotics, contact a healthcare provider.
They will be able to examine you and determine the best medication for you.
They may take a small sample of vaginal discharge to test under a microscope to form their diagnosis.
How Does Bacterial Vaginosis Happen
Bacterial Vaginosis is defined as a type of vaginal infection that is caused by the imbalance of good lactobacillus probiotic and bad anaerobic pathogens. And when this occurs, much more happens than just the pH balance shifting which is what we commonly read about on most blogs.
- When pH increases it forms an acidic to a more basic state, leading to a harsher environment where bad bacteria can thrive in.
- When bad bacteria thrive , they compete more for the precious glucose sugars that can be found in the vaginal mucosa, leading to the creation of toxins while reducing the efficacy of beneficial lactobacillus.
- With the bad bacteria creating a less favorable pH and good bacteria unable to compete for the nutrients they need in order to survive, the symptoms of BV present itself.
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Are Your Medications Causing Yeast Infections
Some medications may increase your risk of developing a yeast infection.
Many medications have possible side effects that can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. For certain medications, a common side effect in women is a yeast infection. If you experience vaginal itching that lasts longer than 24 hours, a vaginal odor, or a white to yellow lumpy discharge that resembles cottage cheese, you may have a yeast infection, says Herbert L. DuPont, MD, chief of Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease Department at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston.
Doctors say knowing whether a yeast infection is a possible side effect of your medications can help cut your chances of developing a vaginal infection.
Birth control pills may lead to women developing yeast infections because they increase estrogen levels in a womans body. Those increased estrogen levels can increase a womans susceptibility to vaginal yeast, says Saul Weinreb, MD, a gynecologist at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore. And some women are more susceptible to that excess yeast growth.
Prescription antibiotics are very effective at treating a sinus infection, strep throat, or other bacterial infection. But in their quest to rid your body of the bacteria thats causing an infection, antibiotics may kill healthy bacteria and allow yeast to grow. Antibiotics are notorious for causing yeast infections, says Dr. Weinreb.
Can Vaginosis Be Treated During Pregnancy
Bacterial vaginosis that develops during pregnancy can slightly increase the risk of premature birth. The risk of a late-term miscarriage or stillbirth is also higher. In miscarriage or stillbirth, the child dies while still in the mothers body.
The advantages and disadvantages of antibiotic treatment were analyzed in a systematic review. Researchers analyzed 21 studies involving nearly 8,000 pregnant women. The results show that can lower the risk of late-term miscarriages:
- 2% of women who didn’t take had a late-term miscarriage.
- 0.3% of women who took had a late-term miscarriage.
Antibiotics had no influence on the risk of premature births or on stopping a womans water from breaking sooner. About 2% of the women stopped treatment due to side effects. There is no that used to treat bacterial vaginosis have any long-term side effects or are harmful for the child.
Most study participants experienced no symptoms and their infection was detected during other routine pregnancy tests. If bacterial vaginosis starts causing symptoms during pregnancy, it is usually treated anyway.
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How Are Antibiotics Used
Symptoms are usually treated with an antibiotic such as clindamycin or metronidazole as a cream, vaginal suppositories or tablets, or oral tablets. Treatment can last one to seven days depending on the exact drug used, its form and the dose, and the severity of the symptoms. Your doctor can help you decide what type of treatment is most suitable for you.
If you’ve been prescribed , it’s important to be careful about using them correctly. That especially means using the medicine regularly and for as long as prescribed: Stopping early, for instance if the symptoms have already cleared up, contributes to the development of resistant strains of .
Antibiotics And Yeast Infections
Taking antibiotics is one of the best ways to combat bacterial infections. This is why doctors prescribe antibiotics whenever their patients suffer from conditions like ear infections, strep throat, urinary tract infections , and many more. However, there are also certain instances where taking antibiotics may cause the body harm instead of helping it recover. One good example is the development of new infections, such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis.
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How Many Probiotics Do I Need
It is advised to take probiotics that contain at least 1 billion colony forming units . These assist in establishing and further growing the amount of healthy bacterias in your body. Any decent probiotic will have between 1-10 billion CFUs, but the particular dose will depend on the unique probiotic and how it was manufactured.
Natural probiotics are also an excellent source if you would prefer to forego supplements. However, this option will make it significantly more difficult to get enough CFUs, as supplements are specially designed to administer a large, concentrated dose of the best probiotics for your body.
How Can We Support Recovery From Uti And Bv Or Yeast Infection
Melissa: Right, definitely. And thats kind of the next question: What can you do to support that recovery? But youre suggesting that you should really start that immediately, not wait until you start to have symptoms again.
Dr. Hlavinka: My patients, forgive me for interrupting, Melissa. My patients get a prescription for high-dose probiotics and specifically how to take them. With the same prescription they get a dietary handout that shows them what to avoid that may cause problems with the antibiotics.
Were very specific about how to take the antibiotics with other food, so you dont have an interaction or diminishment in absorption. How to take them with the timing with the probiotics.
What to do for vaginal health during that time. What you can do to support vaginal health during that time. All those things we send them out at the same time.
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Will I Get Bacterial Vaginosis Again
BV often recurs, usually within a few months of treatment although if any of the behaviours which can trigger it apply to you then it may be less likely to recur if you avoid these things.
BV often returns after it has been treated. No good way has been found yet of preventing this from happening.
If you keep getting BV symptoms, your doctor will do some tests to be absolutely sure you have got BV and not any other infection. If it turns out to be definitely BV, a different antibiotic to the one you have taken previously may be tried. Occasionally regular preventative use of an antibiotic vaginal gel may be advised.
If you are using an IUCD for contraception, it may be advised that you consider having this removed.
Risk Factors For Developing Yeast Infections While On Antibiotics
Many factors can cause the development of vaginal candidiasis after taking antibiotics. In some cases, the initial condition can also cause an infection. In contrast, the risk of certain conditions is only enhanced once the antibiotics enter the body.
Here are some of the most common causes:
- Weak immune system A more vulnerable immune system cannot protect the body from bacterial infections like a vaginal yeast infection. This can be caused by other medication or treatment practices, like chemotherapy.
- Pregnancy Pregnant women are more prone to vaginal yeast infections due to the changes in their hormones during pregnancy. This causes an increased vaginal discharge.
- Diabetes Higher blood sugar levels can be a root cause of vaginal yeast infections.
- Sexual intercourse Sexual intercourse requires a lot of bodily contact while allowing bacteria to be passed on from one sexual organ to another during the process. This can cause vaginal candidiasis to develop.
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