Do You Have Yeast Infection?
It’s possible that you’d been experiencing itching in the vagina for quite some time now, but had been ignoring it, thinking it’d go away on its own. But, there is every likelihood that it’ll soon turn to burning and slowly creep to the vulva, the skin surrounding the vagina. Before you press the panic button and start thinking the worst, take comfort in the fact that it may only be yeast infection.
Most yeast infections begin this way and are a common occurrence. Almost three-fourths of women can expect it some time in their lives. However, this infection is not confined to women alone, it infects men too. So, let’s see what are the signs and symptoms of yeast infection.
Defining yeast infection
Yeast infection is most commonly caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. In women, it’s already present in small amounts inside the vagina, but does not cause the infection, because of the acidic environment that helps keep yeast from growing. If the vagina becomes less acidic, yeast multiplies causing vaginal infection. This change in acidic balance can be caused by menstruation, pregnancy, diabetes, some antibiotics, birth control pills and steroids. Moisture and irritation of the vagina also seem to encourage yeast growth.
Symptoms of yeast infection
Of course, the symptoms of female yeast infection will certainly differ from male yeast infection symptoms. Candida yeast infection symptoms are most commonly displayed in teenage girls and women between the ages of sixteen and thirty-five, although it can occur in younger girls and older women too. However, the vaginal yeast infection symptoms remain, more or less, the same. The symptoms experienced may be:
a. Vaginal irritation: This generally appears at the onset of yeast infection.
b. Vaginal itching: It can vary from light to severe and may also affect the area around the vagina.
c. Vaginal burning: This is chronic yeast infection symptom and can be accompanied by swelling of the vulva and painful urination. This condition can get so bad, as to prevent you from walking, let alone riding a bike.
d. Vaginal discharge: This may appear in the form of thick white or whitish-gray, cottage-cheese-like discharge. It can also be watery in consistency and can range from thick and not clumpy to faintly yellow to thin and clear.
e. Vaginal discharge smell: Vaginal discharge is generally odorless, but can smell like bread or beer, since yeast is used in their preparation, although the species used in brewing and baking is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Since, no bacteria smell like that, it’s a great diagnostic!
f. Painful sexual intercourse: Women suffering from yeast infection generally experience p ain during sexual intercourse.
Yeast infection symptom in man generally appears as penile infection, but is rarer. Although, it can be contracted through unprotected sex with an infected person, you don’t have to be sexually active to get it.
Although, yeast infection is a common problem, especially amongst women, you need to remain on guard, as the reason can be other infections, like bacterial and urinary tract infections and trichomoniasis.
Yeast infection can be very uncomfortable, but is usually not serious. If you suspect your symptoms to be that of yeast infection, see your physician immediately. He’ll examine you to make sure the cause of symptom is yeast infection.