How Long Does a Yeast Infection Last – A vaginal fungal infection, also called candida, is a condition that will be very familiar to many women. That’s no wonder, because virtually all women have ever had a deal with it or will be affected.
In this article I’m all about fungal infections, especially the causes and symptoms.
What is a vaginal fungal infection?
A fungal infection is a result of excessive growth of a yeast (a kind of fungus) and can occur throughout the body. Candidiasis is by far the most common form of this infection. There are more than 20 kinds of Candida and the most common is Candida Albicans. These fungi live on all surfaces of our body. Under certain conditions, they may become so numerous that they cause infections, especially in hot and humid areas. Examples of such diseases include vaginal fungal infections, spraw (infection of tissues in the oral cavity), skin such as diaper rash, large breast and nail bed infections.
Symptoms of vaginal fungal infection
How do you know if your vagina is affected by a fungal infection and not by anything else? It is wise to go to a doctor to diagnose it for the first time and once you know what it feels and what it is, you can respond appropriately the next time.
Unfortunately, women often think that they suffer from fungal infections while they really have something else. This is a bad thing because you could have a serious problem that gets worse if it is not treated and certainly will not pass on treatments for a fungal infection. You can also become resistant to treatment and that’s pretty annoying because if you have a fungal infection, it’s hardly anymore.
A doctor can tell you if you have an infection by taking a smear and investigating it under the microscope. Most of us can not of course do this at home, but sometimes you can smell the smell or look like it does know you have a fungal infection. If your symptoms do not match this list or if you are not sure, try to consult a doctor:
- Intense itching and a burning sensation in your vagina and vulva. This itch is not always present, but it can really be so hard you can hardly walk, let alone jump on the bike to go to the pharmacy or the doctor to get it treated.
- Sticky, lumpy annoying white stuff. Most medical descriptions compare with ricotta cheese, but it can range from thick and non-sticky to pale yellow and thin and bright.
- Smells for bread or beer. In fact, it smells almost exactly like yeast, although the yeast used for brewing and baking is a very different type of yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae). No other bacteria smell like this, so it’s a good diagnosis.
Finally, I would like to point out that a fungal infection will not cause you to become ill .
Complicated fungal infection
You may have a complicated fungal infection if:
- You have severe symptoms, such as extensive redness, swelling and itching that lead to cracks or cracking (sores) or ulcers;
- Have four or more fungal infections in one year;
- Your infection is caused by a type of candida other than candida albicans;
- Are pregnant;
- Uncontrolled diabetes;
- Your immune system is weakened by certain drugs or conditions such as HIV infection;
The possible causes of vaginal fungal infection
There are two reasons why you should first learn something about the causes of vaginal fungal infections.
- First, if you have recurrent fungal infections then you can find out what it causes and how to prevent it instead of just being busy killing the mold as it strikes.
- Secondly, if you know what kind of business causes you to get fungal infections you can watch the symptoms and ask them to handle home remedies, for example, rather than pumping your body full of medication.
Vaginal fungal infections are caused by Candida Albicans, which together with a variety of bacteria are usually present in relatively small amounts in and around your intimate parts. Sometimes the fungi multiply by causing a full infection, or in the terminology of the medical world, candidiasis. This can be due to a change of vaginal flora, injury, sexual transmission or HIV.
Common disorders that promote fungi include increased pH, more heat and moisture, allergic reactions, elevated levels of sugar , hormonal problems, and a reduction in the populations of bacteria that are normally present.
There are a number of issues responsible for the onset of a fungal infection:
Cause of vaginal fungal infection # 1: Antibiotics
Antibiotics are probably the main cause of vaginal fungal infections in women in Europe and are a good example of the important principle that by using technology to solve problems, we create new and new problems. Imagine taking an antibiotic to cure a simple sinus infection. The antibiotic kills the unwanted bacteria in your sinuses, but will also kill the “good” bacteria in your vagina and intestinal flora, which causes disturbance of the vaginal ecosystem, causing the fungus to overcome it.
Antibacterial deodorant or soap can cause the same effect. Most women have problems with only a few types of antibiotics, or in prolonged treatment with antibiotics. Others receive fungal infections every time they use antibiotics. Unfortunately, I do not know a way to prevent antibiotic-induced infection; try to treat it as soon as it starts.
Cause of vaginal fungal infection # 2: Clothes
Annoying fungi thrive in non-cotton, tight or dirty clothes that hold heat and moisture. It is absolutely the best ‘skirts without underwear or tights wear. If you ever had a desire to wear those sexy stockings but never dared, here’s the excuse to do it quickly.
And if you just want to wear underwear, your safest bet is unbleached, unpainted briefs of cotton and breathable clothes. It is a good idea to regularly change your panties every day.
If possible, you can better spend your underwear while sleeping If you still wear your underwear, pull a clean set.
Mold can live in your underwear so be sure to wash well, especially during and after a fungal infection. Some scientists advise that if you have a fungal infection, you need to wash your underwear hot and also need hot ironing.
Cause of vaginal fungal infection # 3: Chemicals
Chemicals like ink, dyes and perfumes can disturb the balance in your cross or lead to allergic reactions that lead to fungal infections. The classic example is the commercial intimate showers that have no benefits and are certainly harmful to the vaginal environment and your health. On top of that, soaps do not only contribute to the deterioration of the vaginal environment but also damage your mucous membranes.
You should never use soap in your cross. But there are also other less obvious sources of annoying chemicals. For example, I have serious problems with annoying scented toilet paper. If you think you also have this problem try the unpasteurised, unpainted toilet paper. Or better use a recycled, unbleached eco brand.
Also a number of detergents and fabric softeners contain allergens dyes and perfumes. Again, try an eco brand or the like, or odor-free detergents. Additives in bath foam and bath salts, perfumed tampons or sanitary napkins, or intimate deodorant sprays can lead to fungal infections in the same way.
Cause vaginal fungal infection # 4: Condoms
This unexpected malicious person can promote fungal infections in two different ways.
- On the one hand, many condoms are packaged with a lubricant containing nonoxynol-9, a spermicide that can kill the HIV virus. Lastly, I received an email from a reader telling her that she had had a fungal infection for years after coming into contact with a nonoxynol-9 condom.
In fact, several studies have now shown that nonoxynol-9 is associated with fungal infections. If you suspect that this is also your problem try a condom that does not contain a sun-cushioning lubricant and use another antifouling agent or extra protection.
- On the other hand, condoms can also cause fungal infections if you are allergic to latex, although this occurs less frequently. If this is the case, do not give up hope and stay safe free. Perhaps you can try some of the newer latex free (often polyurethane) condoms for men or women.
Cause vaginal fungal infection # 5: Diet
Some people say that eliminating yeast containing foods helps reduce the intensity or frequency of vaginal fungal infections. I do not understand how this can be because the type of yeast in foods like bread or beer is totally different from the yeast in your vagina. But yet it can not hurt and it could help.
Many people also believe that high levels of sugar in your diet can contribute to fungal infections, presumably because there is more sugar in your urine, which makes the fungus more nourished. I do not see how this should be a healthy person, but if you think you have this problem, reduce your intake of sugar and reduce your alcohol consumption. It is clear that women with poorly controlled diabetes get frequent fungal infections and this is probably because of sugar in the urine.
If you often have fungal infections and suffer from other symptoms of diabetes, as always thirst and often urinate go to a doctor. Finally, there are also people who claim that caffeine can be a factor. I myself do not see the connection and I can not imagine my life without caffeine, but it is natural to you.
Cause of vaginal fungal infection # 6: Hormones
Hormones, both natural and artificial, may affect fungal. Pregnant women are particularly sensitive to fungal infections. Many women who use contraceptive pills often experience fungal infections because their hormone levels fluctuate. Many women who use the pill get a fungal infection every month just before the menstrual period.
Whether or not you are on the pill, fungi generally do not hold the pH of menstrual blood and therefore, fungal infections will often go away during your period. But unfortunately, the fungus can hit again as soon as your menstruation is over. Also, steroids used in the treatment of conditions such as arthritis, asthma or lupus can contribute to fungal infections.
Cause of vaginal fungal infection # 7: Injury
An injury to the vulva or vaginal membranes can lead to infection. This is almost always due to excessive friction while the area is not moist. In other words, if you or someone else stops something in your vagina or rubs your cross, make sure you are really wet.
And if you’re not wet enough, use smart lubrication, but take care when using condoms: oil-based products like vaseline, break latex; and even non-fat hand creams contain dyes and perfumes that can cause fungal infections!
Cause of vaginal fungal infection # 8: Sexual transmission
Candida can be transmitted by direct contact between people and, in fact, is a sexually transmitted disease. Lesbian partners are particularly sensitive to transmitting fungal infections, so if you or your loved one has an active infection you must be extra careful and take care of safe sex: wash your hands after touching your own cross and your partner’s love sex toys clean.
And you must know that men can also get fungal infections and that this is often without clear symptoms. An infected woman who has unprotected sex may infect her lover, treat her own infection and then re-infect when she has sex again. If you think your male lover may have a fungal infection then you need treatment and make sure you are safe at least until you both know that the infections have disappeared.
Cause vaginal fungal infection # 9: Weakened immune system
Women with a compromised immune system due to HIV or Lyme’s disease are very sensitive to getting fungal infections. In addition to vaginal fungal infections, they are also particularly prone to getting sprout, a fungal infection in the throat, esophagus or other fungal infections.
Factors that increase the risk of developing a yeast infection include:
- Use of antibiotics . Fungal infections are common in women taking antibiotics. Broad spectrum antibiotics, which kill a series of bacteria, also kill the healthy bacteria in your vagina, which leads to overgrowth of fungal organisms.
- Increased estrogen content . Fungal infections are more common in women with increased estrogen levels. These may be pregnant women or those who take high doses of estrogen pills or an estrogen hormone therapy.
- Uncontrolled diabetes . Women with diabetes, which have poorly controlled blood sugar levels , run more risk of fungal infections than women with well-controlled diabetes.
- Immunocompromised . Women with lower immunity – such as in corticosteroid therapy or HIV infection – are more likely to develop fungal infecti
- Sexual activity . Although fungal infections are not considered sexually transmitted infections , sexual contact can spread candida fungus.
When should you visit a doctor?
Make an appointment with your doctor if:
- This is the first time you have symptoms of a fungal infection.
- You are not sure if it is a fungal infection.
- Symptoms after treatment with fungicidal vaginal creams or suppositories purchased from the drugstore or pharmacy do not disappear.
- If you develop other symptoms.
If you have ever been treated in the past for a fungal infection, your doctor may not be wise to prescribe a telephone treatment. You will probably need to visit your GP or a gynecologist to treat your condition.
What can you do as a preparation?
Here you will find information to help you prepare for your appointment so that you know what you can expect from your doctor.
- Make a list of any symptoms you have had and for how long.
- See important medical information, including any other conditions you are being treated with, and the names of medicines, vitamins or supplements you use.
- Avoid the use of tampons or showers for your appointment so your doctor can judge which vaginal secretion you have.
- Make a list of questions to ask your doctor, with the most important questions first, because the time is usually (too) short.
For a fungal infection, here are some basic questions you can ask your doctor:
- How can I prevent fungal infections?
- What signs and symptoms should I watch?
- Do I have to take medication?
- Should my partner also be tested or treated?
- Are there special instructions for taking the medicine?
- Are there any prescriptions that can treat my condition?
- What can I do if my symptoms come back after treatment?
Do not hesitate to ask other questions when you have your appointment.
What can you expect from your doctor?
Your doctor will probably ask you some questions, such as:
- What vaginal symptoms do you have?
- Do you notice a strong vaginal odor ?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- Have you ever been treated for a vaginal infection?
- Have you tried to treat the condition with certain products?
- Have you recently used antibiotics?
- Are you sexually active?
- Are you pregnant?
- Use your fragrant soap or do you ever go to a hot tub?
- Do you use an internal shower or use a feminine hygiene spray?
- What medicines or vitamin supplements do you use regularly?
Research and diagnosis
To diagnose a fungal infection your doctor may:
- Ask questions about your medical history. This may include information about vaginal infections or sexually transmitted infections in the past.
- Do an internal investigation. Check your external genitals for signs of infection. Then your doctor places an instrument (speculum) in your vagina to open the vagina walls to investigate the vagina and the cervix.
- Take an outline to investigate vaginal secretion. Your doctor may send a little of vaginal secretion for research to determine the type of fungus that causes the fungal infection. Your doctor may prescribe a more effective treatment for recurrent fungal infections by identifying the type of fungus that causes the infections.
Treatments and medications vaginal fungal infection
The treatment of a fungal infection depends on whether you have an uncomplicated or complicated infection.
Uncomplicated fungal infection
For mild to moderate symptoms and if the skin infections almost never occur, your doctor may recommend you:
- Short-term vaginal therapy . Antifungal medications are available as creams, ointments, tablets and suppositories. An antifungal cure that takes one, three or seven days will usually remove the fungal infection. Some drugs appear to be effective, including butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat 3) and terconazole (Terazol 3). Some of these are available only on prescription, while others are available at the drugstore. Side effects may have a mild burning or irritation when applied. You may also need to use an alternative form of birth control. Because the suppositories and creams are based on oil, they can affect latex condoms and pesariums.
- One-time oral medication . Your doctor may prescribe a single oral dose of antifungal medicine fluconazole (Diflucan). Or you can take two single divided doses over three days to manage severe symptoms.
- Treatment without prescription . Vaginal antifungal suppositories and creams available without prescription are effective for many women and these are also safe choices during pregnancy . The treatment usually takes three to seven days.
Make a follow-up appointment with your doctor if symptoms after treatment fail to disappear or return within two months after treatment.
Complicated fungal infection
Treatment for a complicated fungal infection may include:
- Long term vaginal therapy . A treatment schedule with azole drugs for 7 to 14 days can successfully remove fungal infection. Medication is usually vaginal cream, ointment, tablet or suppositories.
- Multiple dose oral medication . Your doctor may prescribe two or three doses of fluconazole, taken orally instead of vaginal therapy. However, this therapy is not recommended for pregnant women.
- Maintenance plan . In case of recurrent fungal infections, your doctor may recommend medication to prevent overgrowth of fungal and future infections. Maintenance therapy begins after a fungal infection has been removed with the treatment. You may need a longer treatment of up to 14 days to remove the fungal infection before starting maintenance therapy. Therapies may contain a cure of oral fluconazole tablets once a week for six months. Some doctors write a vaginal suppository like clotrimazole, used once a week instead of oral medication.
Your sex partner will probably not have to be treated for a fungal infection. If you have funeral infections more often, your doctor may recommend to treat your partner if your partner also has symptoms of a genital fungal infection (balanitis) or the doctor may recommend using condoms during sex.
Although some studies on alternative therapies for fungal infections have been done, experts are able to make well-designed and controlled trials to investigate these therapies.
Examples of this are:
- Boric acid – a vaginal suppository available on prescription – may be considered to help treat chronic, less common strains of candida and candida that are resistant to azole medications. The treatment is only vaginal and is used twice a day for two weeks. However, boric acid can irritate your skin and, especially in children, may be fatal if accidentally consumed.
- Yogurt . Some women benefit from the symptoms of fungal infection while eating or using vaginal yogurt and there are some evidence to support this. Some studies showed that yogurt was more effective than the placebo or vaginal applied clotrimazole. However, the difference was very small.
Learn to recognize other vaginal infections
In addition to fungal, there are other conditions that can sometimes infect your vagina and it is useful to know the symptoms of each of them so that you are really sure about your case before you begin to treat a fungal infection if you do not members have:
- A bacterial infection of the vagina may have a lot of fungal infection and often the vulva area will feel itchy or painful. Unlike a fungal infection, the secretion may be dark yellow, green or brown. And it will not smell like bread: it can smell like fish or something rotten, especially after you’ve had sex. If you think you have a bacterial infection or if you are unsure, always visit a doctor. The main treatment that will be prescribed is antibiotics.
- Urinary tract infections are the result of bacteria that infect the urethra or the vagina. Urinary tract infections can be quite easily distinguished from vaginal infection due to a large number of symptoms including pain or burning sensation in urination, urine urine or urine, often urinating, pain or pressure in the back or lower abdomen and fever or chills all of which are characteristic of urinary tract infections but not for fungal infections. If you think you have a urinary tract infection, do not proceed: take a doctor immediately because the infection may expand to the bladder, causing kidney damage.
- Trichomonas is caused by a parasite that can infect both the vagina and urinary tract and this is mainly transmitted sexually. If you have a trichomonas infection, your crotch may be itchy or painful, it may hurt to pee free, pain may be painful and occasionally you may have pain in your abdomen.
The prevention of vaginal fungal infection
How can you reduce fungal infections?
- Wear cotton underwear and loose pants or skirts.
- Avoid tight underwear or pantyhose.
- Immediately remove wet clothes, such as swimsuits or exercise clothes.
- Keep out of hot tubs and hot baths.
- Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics , such as with a cold or other viral infections.
I have already mentioned in the article that it is important to recognize the symptoms of a fungal infection. If you do not recognize the symptoms, it may be a different condition. In that case, treatment can do more harm than good.
If you are in doubt, go to a GP for a correct diagnosis. Then you are better able to recognize the symptoms of a vaginal fungal infection yourself.