HealthHow Do You Know If You Have A Yeast...

How Do You Know If You Have A Yeast Infection?

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Count yourself lucky if you have never had to deal with a yeast infection. The pain and discomfort are enough to drive anyone crazy.

Itching, pain, and discomfort can have you trying out all manner of treatments. Applying garlic, yogurt, coconut oil, and other DIY home yeast infection treatments is not uncommon. A cursory internet search will reveal plenty of solutions. 

You also have the option of medication. It helps to be sure about what you are buying, though. It is, for instance, easy to confuse genital herpes and yeast infection. Some symptoms are similar, including itching, burning sensation, and blisters.

But, you will still need the right medication to take care of the yeast infection. So, let us look at some of the common symptoms of a yeast infection. But, we can’t go into the discussion without first understanding what it is.

Yeast Infection: What Is It?

A yeast infection results from an overproduction or growth of fungus. The condition can happen in both males and females.

In females, the condition also goes by the name of vaginal candidiasis. 75 out of 100 women will suffer an attack at least once in their lifetime. It is especially prevalent in women in their childbearing years. Yeast infections may also happen after menopause due to medicines containing hormones like estrogen.

The good news is that yeast infection treatments are available over the counter. This will provide fantastic relief from the itching and irritation. But, if you experience recurring infections, long-term treatment may be the only option. 

Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infection

The culprit behind vaginal yeast infections is Candida Albicans, a type of yeast. It is a naturally occurring fungus that lives in the genital linings in the mucous membranes. If the conditions are right, the body naturally balances the number of microorganisms.

But any disruptions due to medications, pregnancy, and illnesses will make the candida fungus grow in excess. Some people wonder whether you can get yeast infections from sexual activities.

If your partner has an infection, the fungus could find its way into your body. The same can apply to genital to oral contact.

How to Know If You Have a Yeast Infection

Yeast infections are rather sneaky in how the symptoms present. It starts slow but builds momentum quite fast. Before long, your nether regions will feel like a marauding enemy has invaded. Watch out for the following symptoms.

  • A discharge that resembles curdled milk or cottage cheese. The discharge will have no odor.
  • Intense vaginal and vulva irritation and itching. The urge to itch is a problem that not many can avoid for too long. Scratching provides temporary relief, making you want to do it more. The result will be exacerbating the swelling and discomfort. Eventually, you may experience sores, cracks, or tears.
  • Pain during coitus or when urinating
  • Red skin around the vagina and swelling of the vulva. You may also get a rash.

Symptoms of Yeast Infection in Males

As we said, men can also suffer from a yeast infection. The symptoms present on the head/glans of the penis.

It is quite common amongst uncircumcised men. The cover on the penis provides a warm, moist environment, perfect for fungus growth. Medications, weak immune systems, poor hygiene, and obesity are other contributing factors.

The resulting condition of a yeast infection in men is balanitis. Typical symptoms include:

  • Moisture around the glans
  • White substance in the skin folds
  • Patches of white, shiny skin on the penis
  • Burning sensation, redness, and itching

Some of the symptoms are pretty similar to what happens in cases of genital herpes. But some differences are indicative of the latter. These include small blisters, fatigue, headaches, and itching in the anus.

Over-the-counter medications can help manage some of the herpes symptoms. But, it is also a good idea to visit the doctor for additional advice. This is important so that you don’t spread genital herpes to others.

Treating Yeast Infections

If you’re unsure you have a yeast infection, book an appointment with a doctor. He will look at your medical history and also ask questions about STIs. The next step would be a pelvic exam to check the cervix, vaginal walls, and surrounding areas for infection.

In some instances, there may be a need for lab work. This is crucial if you tend to experience recurring infections.

As we have stated, treating simple yeast infections is not difficult. You can find over-the-counter medications that will take care of the problem. Antifungal creams are great for taking care of itching and swelling. In more severe cases, the doctor may prescribe tablets together with a suppository and antifungal cream.

It is also alright to try some of the home remedies. Increasing your uptake of probiotics in the form of yogurt can help. You can also apply some around or into the vagina.

Be careful about allergic reactions to some of the remedies. If you experience any, please suspend the DIY treatments immediately. The best option, in this case, would be over-the-counter medication or consulting a doctor. 

Preventing Yeast infections

You can do some simple things to avoid a recurrence or risk of a yeast infection.

  • To maintain a healthy yeast environment, take care of your personal hygiene. Avoid practices like douching that kills all bacteria, whether good or bad.
  • Postpone sexual contact with an infected partner until the yeast infection clears
  • Avoid tight clothing and stick to breathable material like cotton. Always make sure your hands are clean before touching your vagina or penis.
  • Keep away from scented products, including tampons, bubble baths, perfumed soap, etc.
  • Ensure that you avoid anything that creates the right environment for candida growth. Staying in wet clothes for too long is a good example.

Final Thoughts

Symptoms of yeast infection can be very uncomfortable. If you don’t take care of them immediately, it can make your life unbearable.

If you notice any signs of infection, explore the option of over-the-counter medication. If the symptoms persist or keep recurring, please visit a doctor. There could be a deeper underlying condition requiring urgent intervention.

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