Quick Read Get Back In Balance
- Recurring or chronic yeast infections are when you have four or more infections per year.
- Boric acid can help treat yeast infections that are caused by an atypical strain of yeast or that are resistant to antifungal medication.
- When inserted vaginally, boric acid capsules disrupt fungi growth and help balance your vaginal flora.
Lets be honest, one yeast infection is bad enough. But burning, itching and cottage cheese discharge on repeat? Thats the stuff of nightmares.
Recurring yeast infections are when you have four or more documented infections per year, says Dr. Melanie Andersen, an OB-GYN who sees patients at UW Medicine Primary Care at South Lake Union and Womens Healthcare Center at UW Medical Center Roosevelt.
If youre one of the not-so-lucky folks logging multiple yeast infections per year, its likely youre looking for a treatment to put an end to the madness and boric acid might just be the answer to your fungal misfortune.
Why Does My Yeast Infection Keep Coming Back
By | July 30, 2013, 7:52 a.m.
Why does my yeast infection keep coming back? Will it ever go away?
Yeast infections are caused when a bacteria called candida grows too much. Most people have small amounts of yeast in their mouths and intestines. Healthy women also naturally have yeast in their vaginas. But sometimes this yeast grows too much and causes a yeast infection. Certain antibiotics, diabetes, a week immune system, and normal changes in your hormone levels can lead to yeast infections.
Many treatments for yeast infections, like creams, suppositories, vaginal tablets, or oral medicines have to be prescribed by a nurse or doctor. Some medicines for yeast infections are available without a prescription at drugstores. If youve been treating your yeast infection with medicine you got at the drugstore and it keeps coming back or hasnt gone away at all, its important to see a health care provider. They can prescribe a more effective treatment.
If youve already been treated by a nurse or doctor and your yeast infection still isnt going away, make sure you let your health care provider know. They can help you figure out exactly whats going on with your body and what you can do about it. Read more about yeast infections and vaginitis here.
When To See Your Doctor Forrecurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
If you suspect that you have BV, see your doctor. A trip to the doctor is warranted with a full history and physical to uncover potential causes and risk factors, Dr. Wider says. And, if you keep getting BV, its important to go back for repeat care until the problem is solved. Extended use treatment with the antibiotic metronidazole may be necessary, along with recommendations to increase lactobacillus in the body, Dr. Wider says. But, its important to remember, your doctor cant help if they dont know whats going on.
Stopping The Cycle Of Genital Yeast Infections
The genital area naturally contains Candida. Once this balance is disrupted, though, Candida overgrowth can happen.
For some people, being prone to yeast infections is simply hereditary. Overgrowth of yeast can also happen as a result of:
Genital yeast infections are also more common in people with compromised immune systems and who have diabetes. Sexual activity and high estrogen levels are other risk factors.
There are also studies suggesting chronic yeast infections may be due to hypersensitivity to Candida.
A genital yeast infection can cause burning and itching sensations. You may also notice a red rash, especially around the vulva or anywhere . When you urinate, you may see a cottage cheese-like discharge and feel burning on the surrounding skin.
Over-the-counter suppository medications can usually treat vaginal yeast infections. However, if this is your first yeast infection or first recurring yeast infection, you may want to see your doctor. They can rule out the possibility of other infections.
Once treated, you can help keep genital yeast infections from returning by keeping good hygiene habits and promoting normal vaginal bacterial balance. Here are some tips:
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing.
- Take daily showers.
What Should I Do If I Have Frequent Yeast Infections
If you get more than four vaginal yeast infections per year, have a discussion with your healthcare provider. Your provider may:
- Test to confirm that you have a vaginal yeast infection.
- Order a blood sugar test for diabetes.
- Test for HIV/AIDS.
- Discuss any possible hormonal changes .
Your healthcare provider will use your test results to make sure you receive the right treatment. It can be important to treat the underlying cause while treating your yeast infection. Controlling the reason for the infection can help prevent future vaginal yeast infections.
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Yeast Infection Came Back 2 Weeks After Fluconazole
27F, 242 Lbs, Mexican, Yeast infection came back for me 2 weeks after one Fluconazole pill, have type 2 diabetes, drink socially, dont smoke or use drugs.
2 weeks ago I got a pretty bad yeast infection. I got 2 Fluconazole pills from my doctor. I took one, and felt better a few days after. I can feel the symptoms creeping up again, with added fissures/cracks near my clitoral area. I am going to take the second pill today. My question is, will it be less effective because I took the second pill so far apart? Is that a thing? Any general advice to combat it?
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Getting Rid Of The Yeast Infection For Good
Do your yeast infections keep coming back? Have you tried to treat them but it didn’t work? Have you had more than four yeast infections in the last year? If so, don’t try to fight the infections alone! Ask your doctor for help.
Your doctor can help you get rid of stubborn or frequent yeast infections. The first step is to get a proper diagnosis. This is important because what you think is a yeast infection may, in fact, be something else, requiring a different treatment. Some studies showed that over half of women with vaginal irritation misdiagnosed themselves! Or, you might be infected with a particularly stubborn yeast that requires stronger treatment. To diagnose your infection, the doctor will do a physical examination and take a sample of your discharge. Your doctor will also need to know about any medications you may be taking and any health conditions you may have, as these may be increasing your risk of yeast infections.
If your doctor confirms that your current symptoms are due to a yeast infection, the doctor will recommend a medication to get rid of the infection. If you have been having frequent infections, your doctor may recommend that you follow a “maintenance treatment” to prevent the infections from coming back.
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How Do I Protect Myself Against Yeast Infections
Protecting yourself against yeast infections should be a multi-pronged approach:1. Be aware of your body and its changes and cycles.2. Maintain good hygiene habits.3. Wear clothes that let your skin breathe.4. Change out of damp clothes, such as after the gym or after a swim.5. Having a dialogue with your doctor.With proper treatment, yeast infections after sex usually go away within a week. If your symptoms persist or get worse, contact your doctor immediately. A PlushCare doctor can help advise by phone or video chat which steps to take . Several symptoms of yeast infection mimic those of other sexually transmitted infections, so it is important to make sure that what you are experiencing is not indicative of a more serious problem.
An Allergic Reaction Or Sensitivity
Your vaginal area is sensitive, which means it may be sensitive to certain products you use.
As with other parts of the body, the vulvar and vaginal areas can develop a contact dermatitis reaction to detergents, lotions, soaps and creams that you use Dr. Nelson said. In addition, depending on what products you use, they can also alter the which can lead to increased risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis.
This kind of vaginal irritation is known as noninfectious vaginitis. It can cause itching and burning and vaginal discharge.
Treatment: Treating an allergic reaction or sensitivity will depend on whats causing the symptoms and then eliminating them to see if symptoms resolve. Sometimes short courses of steroid creams can help with the itching.
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Should I Call My Doctor Or Nurse If I Think I Have A Yeast Infection
Yes. Seeing your doctor or nurse is the only way to know for sure if you have a yeast infection and not a more serious type of infection.
The signs and symptoms of a yeast infection are a lot like symptoms of other more serious infections, such as STIs and bacterial vaginosis . If left untreated, STIs and BV raise your risk of getting other STIs, including HIV, and can lead to problems getting pregnant. BV can also lead to problems during pregnancy, such as premature delivery.
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.
Recurrent Use Of Antibiotics
Your vaginal ecosystem is comprised of both good and bad bacteria, which work together to keep your vaginal pH levels balanced. A side effect of taking antibiotics is that it depletes some of the naturally-occurring “good” bacteria. “Antibiotics, which may be prescribed for a host of reasons, can upset the delicate balance in your ecosystem and put you at increased risk for yeast infections,” says Valdez. “Make sure your OB/GYN monitors your antibiotic intake carefully and can treat any infections that occur.”
Is It Time To See My Doctor About My Yeast Infections
The infection keeps coming back. If your last infection was less than 2 months ago, or if you have had 4 or more infections in the last year, see your doctor. Frequent yeast infections can be a sign of an underlying health problem or ineffective self-treatment. Your doctor can help uncover the cause and find a treatment that works.
The treatment you tried isnât working. Even though you checked to make sure that you used your last treatment exactly as recommended, it may just not be the right one for your infection. You may have a resistant infection, or you may be infected with a type of yeast for which the medication you tried was not effective. Your doctor can help you find out why the treatment didnât work, and can recommend one that will.
Youâre pregnant or breast-feeding. Your doctor can help you choose a treatment option that is effective for you and safe for your baby.
Youâre having other symptoms or are not sure if itâs a yeast infection. If you have a fever, pelvic pain, or a smelly or coloured discharge, see your doctor. These are signs that you may have a different type of infection. Yeast infection treatments will not work for infections that arenât caused by yeast. Itâs important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment if you have other symptoms.
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Other Things It Could Be
If youve been having symptoms of a yeast infection for weeks and treatments dont seem to be offering any relief, you might be dealing with something else.
Yeast infection symptoms can resemble those of other vaginal health issues, so its important to make sure you know what youre treating before you choose a medication.
If you use antifungal treatments when you dont have a fungal infection, your symptoms probably wont improve.
Symptoms Of Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
A lot of people with BV dont have any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . However, if you do develop signs of the condition, you might notice the following:
- A thin white or gray vaginal discharge
- A strong fish-like odor, especially after sex
- Burning when peeing
Recurrent BV simply means that you keep dealing with the condition, says women’s health expert Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an ob/gyn in Texas. Even if you dont have any major symptoms of BV, this isnt something that you want to let slide.
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Certain Chronic Medical Conditions
Suffering from other medical conditions can put you at a higher risk for yeast infections. “Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or other medical problems that make your immune system susceptible to infection can cause recurrent yeast infections,” says Ross. “Many women will take prophylaxis anti-yeast medications to prevent a recurrence of yeast infections if they are immune suppressed.” If you think an underlying condition may be causing recurring yeast infections, speak with your doctor, and they will help you evaluate the best next steps.
Finally My Yeast Infection Is Gone What Can I Do To Keep It That Way
Finally, your latest yeast infection is gone! If youâve been suffering from frequent yeast infections, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid them in the future. There are many ways to prevent yeast infections.
Find the right medication for you. If youâve been having more than 4 yeast infections in the last year, your doctor may recommend that you take yeast infection medication regularly for 6 months to prevent the infections from coming back. Depending on the medication used, the treatment may be given daily, weekly, every 2 weeks, or monthly. This should only be done under the supervision of your doctor.
When talking to your doctor, itâs important to remember that different medications are available to meet different needs. For example, if you are concerned about taking a pill by mouth, vaginal products are available.
Keep other health conditions under control. Frequent yeast infections may be a sign of an underlying health problem such as diabetes. If you have a health condition and are also troubled by yeast infections, see your doctor. The doctor can investigate whether your health condition may be increasing your risk of yeast infections and help you control it. Better control of certain health conditions, such as diabetes and immune system problems, can help decrease your chances of having another yeast infection.
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Yeast Test
Certain antibiotics can also cause an overgrowth of yeast. Be sure to tell your health care provider about any medicines you are taking.
Yeast infections of the blood, heart, and brain are less common but more serious than yeast infections of the skin and genitals. Serious yeast infections occur more often in hospital patients and in people with weakened immune systems.
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.
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What Complications Can Occur From Male Yeast Infections
You may be embarrassed, but its important to have your yeast infection checked out by your healthcare provider. An untreated yeast infection can cause many complications which may include:
- Increased risk of penile cancer.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A yeast infection may be the last thing you want to talk to your healthcare provider about, but its important that you do. There are treatments available to help relieve the pain and itchiness that come with a male yeast infection. With the help of an antifungal medication such as a cream or an ointment, you should be good to go. But if not, your healthcare provider is there to help you. Reach out to your healthcare provider today to find the best option for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/06/2022.