Throughout their lifetime, three out of four women will experience a vaginal yeast infection. Also known as simply a yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis, this condition is classified as a type of vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina. The vagina organically contains a balanced mix of yeast and bacteria, and when this balance is disrupted, it can lead to a yeast infection.
This overgrowth of yeast and imbalance can be caused from a variety of things, including:
- Taking certain types of antibiotics
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Sexual activity
While a yeast infection can be caused from sexual activity, it’s important to note that a yeast infection isn’t considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or STD, and you can develop a yeast infection even if you’re not sexually active.
Signs that you may have a yeast infection include:
- A burning sensation during sex and/or while urinating
- Redness and swelling of the vulva (the outside opening of the vagina)
- Itching and irritation of the vulva and vagina
- Discharge that is thick, white, and odorless
- Vaginal pain and soreness
In most cases, yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter-medicines, such as with anti-fungal vaginal suppositories and creams. Occasionally, yeast infections can even go away on their own. Certain measures such as wearing cotton underwear and avoiding tight-fitting bottoms have been known to reduce the risk of developing the infection.
However, if you feel that you’re suffering from recurrent yeast infections, a medical professional can help. If you want to seek professional treatment for recurrent yeast infections or for a yeast infection that is not responding to over-the-counter-medicines, book an appointment at a local urgent care center. And if there is a chance you may be pregnant or have contracted an STD, get a pregnancy test and STD test sooner rather than later.