Why Would A Yeast Infection Come Back
Sometimes yeast infections come back for of a variety of reasons â it could be a symptom of an underlying condition , because of persistent lifestyle habits, or another reason.
You should see a doctor if your symptoms return within two months.6 If you’ve had more than four yeast infections within a year, you should see a doctor for treatment that might include other kinds of prescription medication since it may be that the yeast infection is not limited to your nether regions and could be a systemic infection where a more thorough solution may be required.
Looking for healing and preventative measures? I strongly recommend a change in your diet as a good place to start. Read below for some diet pointers.
Eating healthy foods low in sugar may help you from getting a yeast infection.
Changes In Your Sex Life
While a yeast infection is not an STI, having sex more frequently than usual or with a new partner can change the vaginas pH and introduce new bacteria and fungus, explains Dr. Cackovic, altering the Candida levels and causing an infection.
Speaking of sex and yeast infections, if youve ever wondered whether its safe to have sex when you have one, weve got you covered. Everything you need to know is here.
Treating A Yeast Infection
If you know that it is a yeast infection from past experience and are familiar with the symptoms, you want an effective and convenient medicine – one that works at the site of the infection. Try MONISTAT®, the #1 OTC antifungal.
MONISTAT® comes in 3 doses: highest dose MONISTAT® 1, regular strength MONISTAT® 3, and low dose MONISTAT® 7. Regardless of which product you choose, you should begin to experience some symptom relief after 3 days, and complete relief in 7 days.
Highest Dose MONISTAT® 1 may be the perfect solution for busy women with active lifestyles. This powerful single-dose product is available in the Ovule® form for use day or night and will stay in place during daily activities, even during exercise.
Regular Strength MONISTAT® 3 is a great option for women who want a less concentrated treatment that provides consistent treatment and relief at moderate dosage levels.
Low Dose MONISTAT® 7 has smaller doses of the active ingredient evenly distributed throughout the week at bedtime. Only 7-day topical yeast infection treatments are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the treatment of yeast infections in pregnant and diabetic women .
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Conditions That Can Mimic A Yeast Infection
Six possible causes of symptoms that may masquerade as yeast infections include:
If you arent getting relief from the usual measures, or you arent quite sure of the diagnosis, its worth a trip to the office to get checked out, says Dr. Zanotti. Call your doctor to be sure youre addressing any problems with appropriate treatment.
Common Conditions Often Mistaken For A Yeast Infection
. But that doesnât necessarily mean weâre good at telling the difference between a yeast infection and other vaginal conditions. In fact, one study showed that only about a third of folks were correct in diagnosing themselves with a yeast infection.
Below are eight common conditions that are often mistaken for a yeast infection, plus guidance on how to tell whether they may be the cause of your symptoms. And remember â if your discharge and itchiness are causing you concern, then itâs best to get checked out by a doctor.
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Can I Transfer My Vaginal Yeast Infection To My Partner
Vaginal yeast infections are usually not spread by having intercourse . However, if your partner has a rash, itching or discomfort in the genital area, a healthcare professional should be contacted to find the cause of the symptoms. The healthcare professional should be informed that you are treating a vaginal yeast infection with MONISTAT®.
Is It A Yeast Infection Or Something Else Four Conditions To Consider
Vaginal concerns can be a common occurrence. Sometimes the cause is obvious such as changes in menstrual cycle, sexual activity or a new product you may be using. Other times, the cause is not as clear.
Since many have had a yeast infection before it may be easy to assume your recurrent symptoms have the same cause, however that is not always the case.
A vaginal yeast infection is a common fungal infection that causes burning, itching, discharge and discomfort in the vulvar and vaginal areas, said Jennifer Nelson, DO, an internal medicine-pediatric specialist at Banner University Medicine Internal Medicine Clinic in Phoenix, AZ. Although its common, many other vaginal conditions can mimic a yeast infection but require different treatment. This is why its always important to discuss symptoms with your doctor to ensure that you are receiving the correct treatment.
As Dr. Nelson mentioned, there are a few common conditions that can be mistaken for yeast infections. She walked us through four other important vaginal health issues to consider when these symptoms arise.
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What Could It Be If Its Not A Yeast Infection
Several different womens health conditions share symptoms with yeast infections, and its not uncommon to mistake them for each other. If your yeast infection doesnt clear up with antifungal medication, you might have something else, such as a:
- Urinary tract infection : This occurs when bad bacteria multiply in your urinary tract, triggering symptoms such as a burning when you urinate, bloody or cloudy urine, pain during sex, and abdominal pain. Antibiotics can treat UTIs.
- Sexually transmitted infection : STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and genital herpes can cause itching, burning, and unusual vaginal discharge. If you notice blisters, sores, or any kind of rash around your vaginal area, its worth seeing a doctor, especially if youve recently had unprotected sex.
- Bacterial vaginosis : This bacterial infection is similar to a yeast infection in many ways, with one crucial difference: Its caused by bacteria instead of fungus. BV is characterized by a thin gray or white discharge with a strong fishy odor .
Can A Yeast Infection Go Away On Its Own
If your yeast infection is mild, it might go away on its own. But this doesnt always happen, and you cant predict whether a yeast infection will resolve or worsen without treatment. Additionally, most home remedies for yeast infection are not proven to work.
If you do not properly treat a yeast infection, you risk having the infection come back a few weeks or months later. You also risk ending up with a complicated yeast infection, where your symptoms become more severe and harder to treat.
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 .
When To See Your Doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of an infection, but think that it might not be a yeast infection, use the Vaginal Health Test from MONISTAT® CARE to help determine if you need to see a doctor.
Make an appointment with your doctor if:
- It’s your first yeast infection
- You’re under 12 years of age
- You get an abnormal result from the Vaginal Health Test from MONISTAT® CARE
- You have missed a period, are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have or suspect you may have diabetes
- You’re taking the prescription drug Warfarin
- You have a weakened immune system
- You have recurring yeast infections
- You may have been exposed to HIV
- You develop other symptoms such as rash, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, lower abdominal, back or shoulder pain
- You have foul-smelling or greenish-grayish vaginal discharge
- You’re using MONISTAT® and there is no improvement in symptoms within 3 days
- You’re using MONISTAT® and symptoms last more than 7 days
If you are unsure of what to ask or uncomfortable speaking with your doctor regarding yeast infection concerns, download our
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How To Prevent A Yeast Infection
Anything you can do to keep your genital area dry and clean will help prevent a yeast infection.6 This includes:
- Wearing loose pants and cotton underwear
- Avoiding wearing damp underclothes
- Avoiding scented feminine products and douching
Lifestyle habits like making sure you get enough sleep, maintain low levels of stress, and keep your diet in check can also help you keep you from getting a yeast infection.
Below I talk more about diet changes that are positive both for your health and for reducing the chance youâll get a yeast infection.
External Vaginal Itch Creams
A common misconception is that vaginal itch creams can treat yeast infections. Many women who use these products intending to treat a yeast infection soon discover the products shortcomings. While they may temporarily relieve the symptoms of your infection, they will not cure it.
Now, lets clear up some misconceptions about what causes yeast infections.
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Are Vaginal Yeast Infections Like A Std
No, vaginal yeast infections are usually not spread by having intercourse . Common triggers for a yeast infection are menstruation, pregnancy, antibiotic use, having diabetes or a weakened immune system, but sex is unlikely to be the cause. However, if your partner has a rash, itching or discomfort in the genital area, a healthcare professional should be contacted to find the cause of the symptoms. The healthcare professional should be informed that you are treating a vaginal yeast infection with MONISTAT®.
How Do I Treat Recurring Yeast Infections
You should talk to your doctor if you get four or more yeast infections per year because you may need to take prescription antifungal medicine for a few weeks or longer. This occurs in less than 5% of women. However, being immunocompromised increases the risk of recurrent yeast infections. You should also see your doctor if you do not have improvement within three days or if you have symptoms for more than seven days after starting a treatment. If you experience serious side effects, such as developing a rash, hives, abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea vomiting, foul smelling vaginal discharge, or severe vaginal burning, stop the treatment and seek medical help.
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Are Bv And Trichomoniasis Treated In The Same Way As A Yeast Infection
No. BV is caused by an abnormal growth of bacteria and must be treated with prescription antibiotics. At this time there are no FDA approved over-the-counter treatments for BV.
Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection and must be treated with prescription antibiotics. At this time there are no FDA approved over-the-counter treatments for Trichomoniasis.
If you think you have a yeast infection and are familiar with the symptoms because you have been previously diagnosed with a yeast infection, you can try an over-the-counter antifungal remedy such as MONISTAT®. If this is your first yeast infection, see your healthcare professional.
How Long Does A Yeast Infection Usually Last
Sometimes mild yeast infections will go away on their own within a few days. But most times, yeast infections get worse without treatment. So as soon as you start noticing symptoms, your best bet is to contact your healthcare provider. They can diagnose you and suggest an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal treatment. Once you start taking this, your yeast infection should clear up within about a week.
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How To Prevent Yeast Infections
Most of the time, the cause of a yeast infection is unknown. However, there are some common factors that can increase the risk of a yeast infection:
- Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics can increase likelihood of developing a yeast infection in 25-33% of individuals
- Increased estrogen levels appear appear to promote candida overgrowth, specifically when using an oral contraceptive that is high in estrogen, during pregnancy, and during estrogen therapy
- Immunocompromised individuals tend to have higher rates of yeast infection, especially individuals with HIV or those taking corticosteroids
- Diabetes can increase the likelihood of yeast infections due to high blood sugarâpeople with diabetes are more likely to acquire a vaginal infection than those who do not have diabetes
There are also some lifestyle changes you can make if you experience frequent yeast infections:
- Wear cotton underwear: Cotton allows the skin to breathe and wonât trap moisture that can contribute to the growth of yeast and bacteria.
- Wash and dry off after exercising: Like wearing cotton underwear, staying clean and dry helps prevent yeast overgrowth.
- Try a probiotic: Taking a daily probiotic helps promote healthy vaginal flora and can help keep yeast in check.
Can I Safely Use Monistat Antifungals If I Am Pregnant
Only 7-day topical yeast infection treatments are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the treatment of yeast infections in pregnant women. If you are pregnant and think you have a vaginal yeast infection, talk to your healthcare professional before using any product to treat the infection.
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Related Conditions To Yeast Infections
Vaginal concerns can be a common occurrence. Sometimes the cause is obvious, such as changes in menstrual cycle, sexual activity, or a new product you may be using. Other times, the cause may not be as clear. If you’ve had a yeast infection before, it may be easy to assume your yeast infection symptoms have the same cause, but that is not always the case. There are a few conditions with symptoms that can be mistaken for yeast infection symptoms.
How Accurate Is The Screening Kit For Vaginal Infections
In a clinical study of pre-menopausal women where the physicians used the test kit, the kit detected over 90% of cases with an abnormal pH associated with a bacterial or Trichomoniasis infection. In 92.9% of cases of no bacterial infection, the kit indicated normal vaginal acidity. In another study where women used the test, there was over 90% agreement between the patient and physician reading of the results.
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Why Is Vaginal Acidity Important
Normal vaginal bacteria produce factors that keep the vaginal environment slightly acidic. The acidic environment helps suppress the overgrowth of abnormal bacteria. When abnormal bacteria overgrow or parasitic infections like Trichomoniasis become established, this results in abnormal vaginal activity yeast infections usually do not result in a change in vaginal acidity. A vaginal pH test can determine your vaginal acidity.
It Doesn’t Get Better With Over
Got yourself from Monistat, but you don’t show any improvements after the treatment? You might not have a yeast infection. “Most yeast infections should resolve with OTC meds,” says Sara Twogood, MD, FACOG over email. “If they don’t you’re likely treating the wrong cause.” It is possible to have a resistant yeast strain, so you’ll want to see a doctor who can determine this through a culture.
Yeast Infection Alternatives To Monistat And Vagisil
There are some alternatives to Monistat and Vagisil for treating and alleviating the symptoms of a yeast infection. They should never be used internally without consulting a doctor. These alternatives include:
- Apple cider vinegar: Drinking one spoonful mixed into a glass of water daily can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans.
- Cranberry juice or pills: These can help prevent the formation of Candida albicans in the urine.
- Tea tree oil suppositories: Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It has been found to be effective against Candida albicans.
- Garlic: Garlic has antifungal properties and consuming it can help prevent or speed up treatment of yeast infections.
- Boric acid vaginal suppositories: These have been shown to treat recurrent or hard-to-treat yeast infections because of their potency. Milder treatments should be used first. Remember, if you are having difficulty treating a yeast infection, it is best to consult a doctor.
- Prescriptions: No matter what treatment you try, if there is no improvement within three days or if a yeast infection is still present after seven days, it may be time to get a prescription. You will most likely be prescribed an antifungal, such as fluconazole or terconazole.