A yeast infection in the vagina is characterized by itchiness, irritation in the vulva and vaginal discharge. Inflammation occurs in the tissues of the vagina, leading to constant itching. Though this is not a sexually transmitted infection, the fungus may spread via oral sex where the mouth and genitals come in contact.
The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are:
1. You may experience a painful sensation during sexual intercourse
2. An itching sensation in the vaginal opening
3. A sore and painful vagina
4. Rashes may develop in the vagina
5. You may have a thick and whitish discharge from your vagina
Apart from this, the symptoms may turn severe under certain circumstances. The risk factors are:
1. If you are a diabetic, then you are at a high risk of contracting this infection
3. If you are taking medications or have infections such as HIV then it may cause your immune system to malfunction. This increases your risk of vaginal yeast infections.
4. Multiple episodes of yeast infections (about 4 or more).
Causes behind it
The vaginal yeast infection is caused by a fungus known as candida. This fungus naturally exists in the vagina along with a bacterium called ‘lactobacillus’. This bacteria produces a substance that controls the over growth of the yeast. Yeast infection occurs when the balance is disturbed due to various factors such as:
1. If you are pregnant
2. Taking antibiotics may modify the pH balance of your vagina, leading to yeast infection
3. Any therapy or medication that increases estrogen levels in the body
4. If you have diabetes or an impaired immune system
Medications such as ointments, tablets and creams are administered to get rid of the yeast infection. It is recommended to not use latex condoms as birth control measures; as the oily nature of the lotions and ointment can weaken the latex thus, increasing the risks of unplanned pregnancies.
There are certain preventive measures which you may adopt to prevent these infections, them being:
1. Do not wear tight fitting undergarments
2. The material of your clothes should preferably be cotton based
3. Do not use hot water for your bath
4. Don’t stay in your wet clothes for long hours