What Should I Do If I Get Repeat Yeast Infections
If you get four or more yeast infections in a year, talk to your doctor or nurse.
About 5% of women get four or more vaginal yeast infections in one year. This is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis . RVVC is more common in women with diabetes or weak immune systems, such as with HIV, but it can also happen in otherwise healthy women.
Doctors most often treat RVVC with antifungal medicine for up to six months. Researchers also are studying the effects of a vaccine to help prevent RVVC.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of A Yeast Infection
You can often prevent vaginal yeast infections by making a few lifestyle changes. These changes can include:
- Not douching douching can kill bacteria that actually control fungus.
- Avoiding the use of feminine deodorants.
- Not using scented tampons or pads.
- Changing out of wet clothing, like bathing suits or gym clothes, as soon as you can.
- Wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes.
- Using water-based sexual lubricants.
- Keeping your blood sugar levels in a normal range if you have diabetes.
The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are similar to other conditions. If you have any questions, a physical exam by your healthcare provider will help.
When To See Your Ob/gyn
Many times a simple yeast infection can be treated with over-the-counter medications like Monistat, which will kill the candida fungus and relieve symptoms like itchiness and pain. However, there are certain situations in which it is necessary to see a doctor.
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How Do You Get A Yeast Infection
Anything that disrupts the natural balance of yeast, candida, and bacteria can have the potential to lead to a yeast infection. Some things that may increase your chance of getting a yeast infection are:
Use of antibiotics
Having higher levels of estrogen
Not changing out of wet clothes, like a swimsuit or gym clothes, can create prolonged moist environments for yeast to grow.
Regularly douching in women
Using scented feminine products
Yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted diseases and are unlikely to be contagious in most cases. However, those who are prone to yeast infections, or who have a lowered immune system, may be able to contract a yeast infection from someone else through kissing, breastfeeding, or sexual intercourse.
Home Remedies For Yeast Infections
For those who want to try a more natural approach to treatment, things like tea tree oil, coconut oil, garlic, oil of oregano, or even yogurt have shown some signs of effectiveness. However, these treatments are spotty and you should still talk to your doctor about using a home remedy, as some herbs and natural supplements can interact with other medications you may be taking. In addition, its always helpful to receive a complete diagnosis from your doctor in case your condition isnt a yeast infection or is being caused by another underlying condition.
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When To See A Doctor For Yeast Infections
If youve been diagnosed with a yeast infection by a doctor in the past and are experiencing the same symptoms again, then generally there is no need to see a doctor. You can self-medicate with anti fungal creams. However, if youve had sex recently with a new partner and are experiencing symptoms typical of a yeast infection itching, burning, unusual vaginal discharge, then it might be in your best interest to see a doctor as they could be signs of a sexually transmitted infection .
Apart from that, you should also see a doctor if:
You are experiencing your first yeast infectionThis is to ensure you dont have a more serious problem that requires different treatment, such as a urinary tract infection or STI. Most women whove never had a yeast infection diagnose themselves right only about 11% of the time. So its important to see a doctor who can do a slide or swab test to get a proper diagnosis.
You suspect youre pregnant or are pregnantAny medication, including over-the-counter vaginal creams used for yeast infections, need to be approved by a doctor during pregnancy.
You get recurring yeast infectionsIf you get four or more yeast infections in a year, you might have recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Treatment for this condition will require taking an antifungal medication for 6 months. In addition, frequent yeast infections may be a sign of underlying medical conditions like diabetes.
Can Yeast Infections Go Away On Their Own
Theres a possibility that a yeast infection can go away on its own. The probability varies from person to person.
If you decide not to treat the infection, however, it might get worse. Theres also the possibility that youve misdiagnosed your condition, and what you thought was candidiasis was a more serious problem.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 75 percent of women will experience a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lifetime.
The Department of Health and Human Services indicates that about 5 percent of women will experience recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis . This is defined as four or more vaginal yeast infections in 1 year.
RVVC can occur in healthy women, but its more common in women with diabetes or weak immune systems from conditions such as HIV.
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Is It A Kidney Infection Or Something Else
Your symptoms could also result from another common illness. Some similar conditions you may mistake for a kidney infection include:
- Other UTIs. Other types of UTIs, such as those affecting the urethra and bladder, can also cause symptoms like urgent and painful urination, abdominal pain, and urine thats cloudy, foul-smelling, or bloody.
- Kidney stones.Kidney stones are hard deposits of materials like calcium or uric acid that form in the kidneys. When they become lodged in the kidneys, they can cause pain in the abdomen, side, or back, as well as nausea and vomiting.
- Lower back pain. If low back pain is your primary symptom, you may have a condition thats affecting your lower back. Examples include injuries, degenerative disc disease, and nerve compression.
- Pregnancy. Symptoms like frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal cramping can all be early signs of pregnancy.
Its always a good rule of thumb to seek medical attention if you experience any new or concerning symptoms. A healthcare professional can work with you to determine what may be causing them.
Heres an idea of what you can expect when you seek care for a possible kidney infection.
How Is Vaginal Thrush Diagnosed
Thrush can be confused with other conditions that cause itching and redness with or without discharge. These other conditions include herpes infections and bacterial infections.
Your doctor will examine you and take a swab or do further tests to confirm the diagnosis. If you get thrush a lot, they may also want to rule out other medical conditions like diabetes or HIV.
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What Is A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections are a type of UTI. The medical term for a kidney infection is pyelonephritis. Certain bacteria and viruses can cause these infections.
Experts believe that many kidney infections start as an infection of the lower parts of the urinary tract, such as the bladder or urethra. Many times, these infections happen when bacteria from your bowel enter your urinary tract through your urethra.
Its possible for a UTI to continue to move up your urinary tract, progressing from your bladder into your kidneys.
Do I Have To Go To The Doctor If I Have Vaginitis
If you have symptoms of vaginitis, its a good idea to see your nurse, doctor, or local Planned Parenthood health center. Vaginitis isn’t usually a major health problem, but if you dont get it treated it can become serious.
There are many different causes of vaginitis, and STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia can have symptoms that are really similar to vaginitis. Seeing a doctor is the best way to find out exactly whats going on, so you can get the right treatment.
To see whats causing your vaginitis, your doctor may do an exam, look at a sample of your vaginal discharge under a microscope, or do other tests, like a urine test.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with a vaginal yeast infections before and youre having the same symptoms, you can try an over-the-counter yeast infection medicine. But if youre not sure, see your doctor or go to a Planned Parenthood health center. And if you used an over-the-counter medicine but your symptoms dont go away, see a doctor.
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What Medications Are Available
Medications used to treat yeast infections can either require a prescription or be non-prescription, but they all work by killing the yeast that is causing your infection. Most of these belong to a family of medications known as azoles. Medications used to treat yeast infections can be divided into two main categories: vaginal products, some requiring a prescription and some not, and oral capsules, also available with or without a prescription.
Does My Sexual Partner Need To Be Treated If I Have A Vaginal Yeast Infection
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Yeast infections are a very common fungal infection that most women or people assigned female at birth will have in their lifetime. Its highly treatable with medication, some of which are available to purchase at your local drug store without a prescription. Even though you may know the signs of a vaginal yeast infection, its important to get examined by your healthcare provider. They can recommend the best treatment based on the type of yeast infection you have and its severity.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/02/2022.
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Can Vaginal Thrush Be Prevented
Some women find taking preventative measures to stop vaginal thrush doesn’t seem to help much, but others find they do make a difference. So it makes sense to try the following:
- Change underwear daily and wash underwear in hot water .
- Candida likes moist, warm places. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing like jeans and pantyhose, and underwear made from synthetic fibres and panty liners.
- Avoid staying in wet clothes like swimming costumes for a long time.
- Don’t take antibiotics unless you really need them.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Always wipe from front to back after going to the toilet.
How Do You Know When A Yeast Infection Is Gone
Once your symptoms resolve and youve completed the duration of your treatment, your yeast infection has cleared. If your symptoms resolve before you complete the full course of treatment, keep using the medication until you have finished it as directed.
If your symptoms persist, or if youre worried about the yeast infection recurring, talk to your doctor.
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Does Yogurt Prevent Or Treat Yeast Infections
Maybe. Studies suggest that eating eight ounces of yogurt with “live cultures” daily or taking Lactobacillus acidophilus capsules can help prevent infection.4,5
But, more research still needs to be done to say for sure if yogurt with Lactobacillus or other probiotics can prevent or treat vaginal yeast infections. If you think you have a yeast infection, see your doctor or nurse to make sure before taking any over-the-counter medicine.
When To Go To Urgent Care For A Yeast Infection
You may want to seek medical attention for your yeast infection if:
- This is the first time youâve had yeast infection symptoms
- Youâre not sure whether you have a yeast infection
- Your symptoms arenât relieved after treating with over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories
- You develop other symptoms
- Your primary care doctor is unavailable
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Signs Of A Sinus Infection
One of the most common sinus infection symptoms is feeling pain on your forehead, upper jaw, between your eyes, and your neck. Another sign of sinus infection is that you produce a thick, colored nasal secretion. Your secretion will either be yellowish, white, greenish or tinged with blood.
Your inflamed sinuses will also restrict how well you breathe. It will affect your sense of taste and smell. Not only that, but it will also affect how you talk, making you sound more stuffy.
You will experience a lot of irritation in your throat, making you cough more than normal. It could get worse when you lie down and when you wake up.
You should wait at least 7 to 10 days before going to your doctor. If most symptoms dont disappear for a week or two, its best you go to your doctor immediately. Note that OTC medications wont help in relieving the pain from sinus infections.
Living With Yeast Infections
Be sure to see your doctor the first time you have symptoms of a yeast infection. Its very important to make sure you have a yeast infection and not another more serious infection. The symptoms of a yeast infection are also the symptoms of other infections, such as some sexually transmitted infections . Treating yourself for a yeast infection when you actually have another type of infection may make the problem much worse.
Some women have recurrent yeast infections. This means they get more than 4 vaginal yeast infections in a year. This condition is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis . If you have multiple yeast infections each year, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a treatment that can help prevent the infection from coming back so often.
If you have been diagnosed with many yeast infections over the years, talk to your doctor about medicine you can buy without a prescription to relieve your symptoms and treat the infection.
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Who To See For A Yeast Infection
You can see your primary care doctor or your gynecologist, either of whom can treat a yeast infection. If you are pregnant, call your obstetrician. Gynecologic nurse practitioners, midwives, and physician assistants also treat yeast infections.
A yeast infection can be troublesome, but this common condition usually responds well to antifungal treatment. If you decide to treat it at home , be aware of symptoms that dont go away within the time frame indicated by the label of your OTC medicine. Instead, call your doctor, who may suggest a prescription medication instead. There are also oral antifungals that may be more effective than a cream or suppository.
How Long Should You Wait Before Seeing A Doctor
If your symptoms don’t improve within two to three days of at-home treatment, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. While a yeast infection isn’t dangerous, it can increase your risk for other dangerous infections. Tears in the skin that can happen with a prolonged or untreated yeast infection can make contracting a sexually transmitted infection much more likely.
Your doctor can rule out other types of infection and provide more effective, prescription treatments. If yeast infections are a recurring issue, they can also help you identify lifestyle or behavioral changes that could help reduce your risk. Either way, it’s a conversation worth having.
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When To Go To The Doctor For An Infected Bug Bite Or Sting
You may be able to treat minor infections at home with over-the-counter antibiotic ointments. But in many cases, youll need to go to the doctor for an infected bug bite or sting. You should see a doctor if:
- you have signs of a systemic infection, such as chills or a fever, especially if the fever is above 100°F
- your child has any signs of an infected bug bite
- you have signs of lymphangitis, such as red streaks extending from the bite
- you develop sores or abscesses on or around the bite
- the pain on or around the bite gets worse over a few days after youve been bitten
- the infection doesnt get better after using an antibiotic ointment for 48 hours
- redness spreads from the bite and gets bigger after 48 hours
In the beginning of an infection, you may be able to treat it at home. But if the infection gets worse, you may need medical treatment. Call a doctor if youre not sure.
How Do You Treat It
Its smarter to go to a doctor to treat your sinus infection. You can choose to treat it yourself and improve your body to fight against the infection. Start by avoiding anything that irritates your nose and eyes.
Make sure you wash your hand frequently to keep your sinuses from getting infected and irritated by viruses. Relieve your breathing by adding a humidifier to moisturize the room air. Try using nasal spray decongestants as these will keep your sinuses moist and prevent any swelling present in the passages.
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When To See A Doctor
Anytime you notice symptoms consistent with a yeast infection, its best to seek medical advice from a gynecologist or other provider who can diagnose you and recommend a treatment plan. As noted above, what seems like a yeast infection isnt always a yeast infection, and your symptoms will not resolve unless you use the appropriate treatment.
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 doesn’t go away after using over-the-counter treatment, you may need to take regular doses of antifungal medicine for up to six months.
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