It is not considered an STI but sexual activity can have an impact on it. It can be transferred to the male partner sexually, men do get infected as well. Yeast infection can occur in women who are not sexually active and something as simple as lack of enough sleep in women can cause yeast infection. Let us start by understanding that even the healthy vaginas have yeast, in fact, 20-50% of women have yeast in their vaginas. About 3 out of 4 women get infected with yeast infection in their lifetime and the causes are not only or always sexual.
What is yeast infection?
Yeast infection is the fungal infection caused by Candida Albicans and this yeast occurs naturally in the vaginal area.
How do you get infected?
There are also bacteria in the vaginal area that keeps the normal balance of yeast growth. For a person to get an infection, it is when the normal balance of yeast and bacteria is disturbed making the yeast grow out of control. It affects the vagina and the opening of the vagina called the vulva.
Who can get infected?
*As mentioned above, any woman who is not sexually active can be infected.
*A woman who does not get enough sleep.
*Women who have compromised immune system especially those taking certain medications that are cortisone related will be more infected than women with healthy immune.
*Women who take oral contraceptives
*Women who use perfumed vaginal hygiene (feminine) products increases the risk of infection
*Women who have cancer or have gone through chemotherapy
*Taking steroids or antibiotics can mess with the bacteria in the vagina, so the two can be uhe reason behind your infection.
What are the symptoms?
* The main symptom will be the intense itching on the vaginal area
* Burning sensation during urination
* Irritation and swelling of the vaginal area
* Odorless, thick white discharge
* Pain during sex
What are the preventative measures to help reduce the risk of yeast infection?
* We love fancy undies but it’s best to stick to loose cotton undies to prevent moisture
* Avoid scented or perfumed pads, panty liners and tampons
* Change damp work out or gym clothes as soon as possible
* Avoid sitting with your wet bathing suits for long
* Take your normal bath or shower no inserting fingers in the vagina or douching
* Avoid frequent hot baths
* Eat a diet that contains probiotics especially yogurt
* Change your feminine products
* Do check if your partner is not infected as well
* Men can infect their penis or the scrotum experiencing itching burning sensation & pain on the tip of the penis so protect your partner by abstaining. It is best to abstain because with the use of condoms it’s easy to transfer it if you perform oral sex giving yeast of the mouth and use of sex toys will easily put you at risk.
How long does the infection take & what treatment is needed?
For mild infections, you might not need treatment but taking treatment can only take 1 to a maximum of 3 days by use of oral medication or application of antifungal creams found over the counter or by prescription.
Doctors can do pelvic exams and with recurring infection, a lab test might be done.
Due to different infections or their severity treatments will differ determined by the symptoms thereof. It might take 3 days to 6 weeks with severe cases.
Yeast infections are very common and with the use of OTC treatment, you can get rid of the uncomfortable symptoms within a few days. Fluctuating hormones can also be the reason behind the infection so it is so unfortunate that you might get infection towards your period. Should you have a recurring problem please don’t rely on the OTC treatment go see your doctor to get the right treatment. A doctor will give you a proper diagnosis because recurrence might be a sign of more serious condition. If you are pregnant please see the doctor.
Lack of information or understanding on most issues creates unnecessary stigma and people end up not getting treatments due to that. Yet very common but most still associate it with sex. Stay informed, stay safe and extend a helping hand by sharing this information.
**KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, SHARING IS CARING & PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE**