Topic: Yeast Infection, STD, or Something Else
If you suspect that you have a vaginal yeast infection, you’re most likely in a hurry to get rid of it. Yeast infections are uncomfortable, and are usually accompanied by itching, burning, and thick discharge.
Before you run to the pharmacy, though, it’s important to determine if what you’re experiencing is indeed a yeast infection or something else. Other causes of vaginal pain and discomfort include bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), skin irritation, and more. While the symptoms are similar, the causes and treatments are very different.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection is common, and most women will experience at least one in their lifetimes. A yeast infection occurs when the Candida yeast in the vagina overgrows and leads to an infection. It usually causes burning and itching in the vagina and the surrounding area called the vulva. Vaginal yeast infections are common in girls and women, with about 75% of women experiencing at least one. The infection is rare before puberty and after menopause.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
The most common symptoms of a yeast infection include:
- Thick, white discharge that has a cottage cheese consistency
Other symptoms to keep in mind may include redness and swelling, pain with urination, and pain with sexual intercourse.
Yeast Infection Treatments
Most yeast infections can be treated at home with over-the-counter products. The infection requires an antifungal medication that may come in the form of a cream, ointment, or vaginal suppository.
While yeast infections are usually easy to treat, it’s still helpful to check in with your doctor. Other types of infections can be mistaken for a yeast infection, and it’s estimated that up to two-thirds of women who buy over-the-counter yeast infection treatments do not have a yeast infection. In addition, using an antifungal treatment when you do not have a yeast infection can cause your body to become resistant to the medication. The antifungal may not be effective the next time you need it for a true yeast infection.
Topic Discussed: Yeast Infection, STD, or Something Else
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