In Case You Need A Refresher These Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection
According to the Mayo Clinic, yeast infection symptoms usually range from mild to moderate and include:
Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
Watery vaginal discharge
If you have a complicated yeast infectionpotentially including chronic yeast infectionsyour symptoms might be more severe and include things like extensive redness, swelling, and itching that can lead to tears, cracks, or sores on your vulva.
Keep Getting Yeast Infections Here’s What Your Body’s Trying To Tell You
The majority of people with vaginas will get a yeast infection at least once, or maybe even twice, in their lifetime. But is it normal for them to practically be a regular thing?
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Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus candida albicans. They’re typically marked by intense vaginal itching or irritation, redness or swelling, burning while urinating and vaginal discharge that can be watery or white and cottage cheese-like, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Yeast infections are considered recurring if a person has four or more of them per year. When that happens, they’re typically triggered by an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.
Here are the most common culprits behind recurrent yeast infections and what you can do to find relief.
Twice Weekly Maintenance Therapy Ideal For Recurrent Yeast Infections
Rachel Zimlich, RN, BSNContemporary OB/GYN Journal
Vulvovaginal candidiasis commonly known as a yeast infectionis a problem many women face at some point. About half of all women have had at least 1 of these infections clinical diagnosed, and between 6% and 10% are believed to develop a recurrent form of this condition with 3 to 4 or more episodes in a single year, according to a new report.
These infections can cause symptoms like burning, itching, or even pain during and after intercourse. When these infections become chronic or recurrent, the women who experience them usually have to rely on symptomatic control rather than trying to actually resolve the fungal infection.
A new study, published in Womens Health Reports, sought to develop a consensus among vulvovaginal experts on the best ways to treat chronic or recurrent yeast infections.
For episodic yeast infections, over-the-counter antifungal treatments or a single oral dose of fluconazole are usually used and can resolve symptoms to produce a negative culture in up to 90% of women who complete the regimen.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of oral fluconazole weekly for 6 months as an initial first-line treatment for recurrent yeast infections. If oral antifungal medication cant be used for a number of reasons, the CDC suggests that intermittent topical treatments can be used, but the type and frequency of these treatments isnt specified.
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How To Manage Chronic Yeast Infections
The sooner you treat a yeast infection, the faster you can get rid of the associated discomfort. Call your doctor if your yeast infection seems persistent.
Once your doctor confirms the diagnosis, its important to take the necessary steps to make sure you get rid of it for good. This will also help manage the possibility of chronic cases. Consider the following tips to manage chronic yeast infections:
- Make sure you take your full course of medication, even if symptoms go away before the medicine is gone and even if you dont think its working right away.
- If youre sexually active, ask your partner to get tested for Candida, too. This will help prevent the infection from spreading.
- Change and launder your clothing and fabrics, like towels and sheets, regularly and separate from other clothing. Consider adding bleach, or distilled white vinegar to the wash.
- Wash items that come into contact with infected areas directly after use to prevent spreading yeast cells or re-infecting yourself.
What Causes A Yeast Infection
There are several possible causes of a yeast infection, but most are caused by a specific type of fungus called candida albicans. .
In addition, there are situations that put you at greater risk for developing a yeast infection. These include:
- Using antibiotics
- Having a compromised immune system
- Failing to control diabetes
- Increasing estrogen levels, which may be caused by oral contraceptives or hormone therapy
- Being pregnant.
While infections caused by candida albicans are common and generally easy to treat, recurring infections are sometimes caused by a less common fungus, which means well need to provide a more specialized, long-term treatment.
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Can I Get A Yeast Infection From Breastfeeding
Yes. Yeast infections can happen on your nipples or in your breast from breastfeeding. Yeast thrive on milk and moisture. A yeast infection you get while breastfeeding is different from a vaginal yeast infection. However, it is caused by an overgrowth of the same fungus.
Symptoms of thrush during breastfeeding include:
- Sore nipples that last more than a few days, especially after several weeks of pain-free breastfeeding
- Flaky, shiny, itchy, or cracked nipples
- Deep pink and blistered nipples
- Shooting pain in the breast during or after feedings
If you have any of these signs or symptoms or think your baby might have thrush in his or her mouth, call your doctor. Learn more about thrush in our Breastfeeding section.
How Recurring Yeast Infections Start
- In a healthy state, the good bacteria in the body limits yeast and candida from growing out of control, helping to keep a healthy balance between the good bacteria to candida and yeast.
- Candida is an opportunistic organism. As such, it thrives in cases where there are imbalances in the body, especially when it comes to the good bacteria.
- When this balance is being disturbed, candida changes into a more aggressive fungal form that spreads and releases over 80 different toxins. These toxins can get anywhere in the body, suppress the immune system and cause a wide variety of health issues and frequent yeast infections all over the body. A very common symptom of yeast and candida overgrowth many women experience is a vaginal yeast infection.
Chronic yeast infections usually occur when the reason behind the imbalance in the body wasnt properly addressed during the candida and yeast treatment. And since the imbalance that caused the yeast infection to begin with is still present after the treatment, it is likely that the yeast infection symptoms will keep coming back.
Did you know? It is estimated that 3 out of 4 women will suffer from yeast infection at one point in their lives.
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How Is A Yeast Infection Treated
Yeast infections are usually treated with antifungal medicine. See your doctor or nurse to make sure that you have a vaginal yeast infection and not another type of infection.
Your doctor or nurse can also give you a single dose of antifungal medicine taken by mouth, such as fluconazole . If you get more than four vaginal yeast infections a year, or if your yeast infection doesnt go away after using over-the-counter treatment, you may need to take regular doses of antifungal medicine for up to six months.
Treatment Of Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
ERIKA N. RINGDAHL, M.D., University of MissouriColumbia School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jun 1 61:3306-3312.
See related patient information handout on recurrent yeast infections, written by the author of this article.
More than 50 percent of women older than 25 years have one episode of vulvovaginal candidiasis,1 but fewer than 5 percent of these women experience recurrent infection.2 Vulvovaginal candidiasis is considered recurrent when at least four discrete episodes occur in one year or at least three episodes occur in one year and are not related to antibiotic therapy. Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is distinguished from persistent infection by the presence of a symptom-free interval.
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Why Do You Have Recurring Yeast Infections
1. The Genetic Link
Candida albicans is a fungal pathogen, and it is the fungus most responsible for vaginal yeast infections. The immune response in healthy individuals will usually clear up infections, but a compromised immune system causes a significant increase in the risk for Candida infections. Genetic mutations might make some women more susceptible to Candida albicans because these genetic defects cant create key proteins to make that defense possible.
3. Are You Pregnant?
It is believed that higher glycogen and higher estrogen levels in vaginal secretions during pregnancy increase a womans risk of developing a yeast infection. As a result of these hormonal changes, the vaginal secretions of pregnant women contain more glucose, which can feed the Candida albicans and create an overabundant growth of yeast cells. The higher amounts of hormones can kill off more of the good bacteria that keep yeast infections in check.
4. Panty Liners Make It Worse
The use of skin-occlusive products such as panty liners, especially scented liners, is known to raise skin pH and is associated with skin infections of Candida albicans. Women who are prone to recurring yeast infections shouldnt use panty liners because they can prevent air flow and trap moisture, creating the kind of conditions that will promote yeast cell growth and make it worse.
5. Your Immune System
6. Approaching Menopause?
Why Might A Yeast Infection Last Longer Than Usual
When I look back and try to figure out what happened in my situation, I can think of a few factors that may have contributed: It was the beginning of winter in Ohio, and I had a habit of wearing tights + leggings every day. My house is nearly 100 years old and not great at preserving heat, so sometimes, admittedly, I would go a few days without showering.
I realize I may not have gotten rid of the infection completely after the first occurrence in Novemberlooking back I still had a little discomfort during sex, but it wasnt bad enough to worry me. The infection may have lingered and flared up when trapped in my tights.
Eventually, sitting at a desk for an 8-hour workday was excruciatingthe hot pain made me flinch and re-position every five minutes. When I went out with friends, I had to leave early so I could get home and go to sleepthe only time I wasnt in pain.
It seemed the pain increased with stress, and I was constantly stressed because of the pain. The cycle continued.
If your infection lasts longer than usual, Dr. Burke suggests several potential reasons:
The infection may be incompletely treated, or not treated long enough.
If you dont feel better after your first treatment, you may need a longer course or you may have a less common species of yeast that doesnt respond to standard medication.
Or, you may not have a yeast infectionit could be bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection .
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Too Much Estrogen Support Your Thymic Gland
Excessive estrogen levels have been linked to breast cancer and reduced function of the Thymic gland. The Thymic gland helps immune system t-cells that are grown in the bone marrow mature. At a certain stage of t-cell growth in the bone marrow the t-cells migrate to the thymic gland to finish their growth. Upon maturity of the t-cells, the thymic gland releases them into the body. So excessive estrogen also reduces immune function.
You can help support the Thymic Gland by taking Thymic Protein A. Thymic Protein A is a patented biologically intact 500-amino chain protein that fits into the receptor sites on T-4 cells to turn on and program the cells for their disease-fighting functions.
Following several favorable clinical studies involving both animal and human subjects, Dr. Beardsley developed a unique oral delivery system for his formulation which avoided the degradation of the thymic protein in the stomach, which was a significant problem with other over-the-counter oral thymic preparations.
The scientific data gathered from these studies resulted in the awarding of a US patent to Dr. Beardsley in 1997 for both the Thymic protein A molecule and its method of production.
Why Is My Vigina Itchy Inside
Chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and other organisms can cause vaginal/vulvar itching and irritation and other symptoms. Yeast infection . About three out of every four women will develop a yeast infection at some point in their lives.
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Chronic Yeast Infection Treatment
How to help the body heal itself
Once the root cause of the infections is considered, it is time to treat the actual infection. Our approach to chronic yeast infections treatment and candida overgrowth issues is holistic. This means that we look at the body as a whole. Rather than trying to fix individual chronic yeast infection symptoms, we work with the entire body so it can naturally heal. We do it by removing obstacles that prevent your body from healing, as well as providing the body key nutrients that are required to correct the damage caused by the candida overgrowth.
The 5 step protocol for chronic yeast infection treatment
The candida and yeast infection treatment should be tailored to the individual state of health, needs and lifestyle. Our recommended approach is very simple and has proven to be very effective create an environment in the body where candida cant overgrow while optimizing the bodys ability to heal.
This is achieved by:
See the 5-step candida supplements protocol: Candida supplements.
What To Expect When Treating Recurring Yeast Infection
I do not know how long this will take to get rid of these recurring yeast infections for each individual. You must realize, everyone is different with different physiology, has different levels of infection and no two women will have the same levels of unbalanced hormones. You may also have other health problems that can complicate this process.
However, this will get rid of this for good once you correct the underlying problems. If I were able to make an educated guess, I would say after you have been on this protocol for two to six months, your recurring yeast infection will not return again.
You may want to consider continuing to take supplements for the hormones and Profase for recurring yeast infections as a way to prevent future yeast infections, because you may not be able to fix the hormone problems permanently.
Dr. Shalaka Samant, PhD says…
Identificationand treatment of the malesexual partnersoral and penile Candida colonization also appears to be important intackling recurring infections .
10. Recurrent vaginal candidiasis. Results of a cohort study of sexual transmission and intestinal reservoir. J Reprod Med. 1992 Apr 37:343-7.
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When To See A Doctor
Even with all of your preventive efforts, you can still get a yeast infection. So when should you see a doctor? You should consider making an appointment if:
- Youre experiencing a yeast infection for the first time
- Your symptoms dont go away after using over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories
- Youre not sure if you have a yeast infection
- You develop unrelated symptoms
If You Think You Have A Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are common: According to the CDC, nearly 75% of adult women will have at least one in their lifetime. Dr. Anne Burke, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University, has this advice for what to do if you think you have one:
If its your first time, see a health care provider to be evaluated and make sure its yeast.
If youre a yeast veteran, get in touch with your provider and find out if you can just get over-the-counter medication or if your provider thinks you need an exam. BTW, if youre having frequent infections , you should definitely go see your provider and find out whats up.
Note: Its your choice which suppository length you prefer, from 1-day to 7-day treatment. The shorter courses have a higher concentration of the medication in them.
If youre not feeling better in a few days, see your provider.
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How To Put An End To Recurring Yeast Infections
Its not even a subject for discussion as its as embarrassing as it is irritating. Women can only confide about it with their closest friends and relatives. When it becomes chronic, they have no choice but to see their physician. Yeast infections can often drive one mad, especially when it becomes chronic. Unfortunately, some are more susceptible to the condition than others. If a person has had it before, shed be familiar with the symptoms when it recurs, and there are things she can do to prevent these.
Diet For A Yeast Infection
The foods you eat may be contributing to your recurring yeast infections. Yeast loves sugar. Avoiding the following foods can curb the growth of yeast in your body.
- White flour and rice
- Foods or drinks fermented with yeast
- Foods made up of simple sugars
Although avoiding these foods may help you avoid a yeast infection, this diet can be difficult to maintain. Fortunately, you may not need to completely eliminate these foods to see positive effects in the number or severity of yeast infections you get. Cutting back in small amounts may help.
It may also help to increase your intake of healthy proteins and fats and increase your intake of low-starch fruits and vegetables. Eating a low-sugar diet doesnt mean you have to go hungry you just need to eat more from other food groups.
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Yeast Infection Diagnosis And Treatment
Its important to consult a health care provider if you experience these symptoms. They will prescribe treatment without any additional tests or do a smear test for further examination.
Antifungal drugs are generally available over the counter, but recovery depends on taking an adequate dosage, drug type, and treatment duration prescribed by a health care provider.
Taking a single dose of an antifungal medicine is sometimes enough to treat the infection, but a more serious therapy may also be required. Only topical preparations should be used during pregnancy.
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