A Candida albicans overgrowth is one of the main causes of a vaginal yeast infection. Follow the suggestions below to cure your yeast infection and learn how to prevent yeast infections in the future.
Almost 75% of women will experience a yeast infection in their life - nearly 50% will have two or more.
There are several conditions that can lead to the vaginal itching and burning commonly referred to as a vaginal yeast infection - fungal vaginitis, bacterial vaginosis, vaginal dermatitis, Trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
This page discusses fungal vaginitis.
Other Types of Vaginal Infections
The true "yeast" infection is fungal vaginitis.
It has many names - vaginal yeast infection, vaginal candidiasis, vaginal thrush, vulvitis, vulvovaginitis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, vaginitis, yeast vaginitis, yeast overgrowth, Candida yeast infection, Monilia and Monilial vaginitis.
It is caused by a Candida overgrowth in the vagina.
Candida albicans is a yeast normally found throughout your body - in your vagina, in your mouth, in your gut and on your skin. It is usually kept in balance by beneficial bacteria.
Sometimes this natural balance is upset and the Candida can grow out of control, leading to systemic Candidiasis. One of the symptoms of Candidiasis is a vaginal yeast infection.
Most women believe that a yeast infection is confined to their vaginas. As you have just learned, it is not a condition that exists by itself but rather a symptom of a system wide condition.
Treating the yeast infection symptoms does not get rid of the Candida overgrowth. It merely removes the Candida from your vagina and leaves it roaming free throughout the rest of your body where it can lead to many chronic illnesses.
How do you know if you have an infection?
Vaginitis is usually accompanied by these symptoms:
If you have these vaginal yeast infection symptoms, then it is likely that you have a vaginal yeast infection. Keep reading to discover the best treatment of yeast infection.
There are many conditions that have the same symptoms as a yeast infection. You should visit a doctor for treatment if:
Do not use any vaginal treatment for a few days before you go to the doctor because it can make it more difficult to diagnose a vaginal infection.
You should go to a hospital immediately if you also experience:
These may be signs of a serious condition such as kidney infection, appendicitis, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Your doctor will do a pelvic exam to look for swelling of the skin of the vulva, in the vagina, and on the cervix. They may also use a swab to take a fluid sample of your vaginal discharge.
This will be examined with a microscope in a procedure called a wet mount and KOH test. A Candida overgrowth will show up on the microscope.
Your doctor may also choose to do other tests to find other causes of your symptoms.
There are many things that can upset the natural balance between yeast and the beneficial bacteria. Anything that kills off the beneficial bacteria can lead to vaginitis.
Some of the more common causes are:
Hormonal changes are also what causes vaginal yeast infections. These hormonal changes can be caused by pregnancy, diabetes, obesity, or the use of pharmaceutical drugs such as:
Now you know what causes yeast infections. Avoid the causes to prevent yeast infections in the future. You also need to avoid them in order to treat your existing infection.
Yeast infections can be passed between sexual partners so both you and your partner need to be treated at the same time to prevent re-infection.
Not only can male partners get a system wide Candida overgrowth, they can get a penis yeast infection known as candida balanitis.
The proper way to cure male yeast infection is for him to follow the same natural cure for yeast infection that you do.
Most infections are systemic yeast infections rather than a localized problem. Therefore there are two ways of treating vaginal yeast infections:
The quick relief is just that - quick relief of the symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms may subside altogether but the Candida is still present in your body.
It will be waiting for just the right moment to create another vaginal yeast infection. It may also start wreaking havoc on the rest of your body.
Choose one or all of the yeast infection home remedies to quickly rid yourself of vaginal itching, burning and irritation.
Be sure you also follow the natural cure for yeast infection to rid yourself of the Candida overgrowth once and for all.
To permanently treat and prevent yeast infections, you need to follow a Six Step Program.
The steps include many lifestyle changes - eating a healthy diet, avoiding environmental toxins and taking supplements. The Six Steps are all meant to be performed at the same time.
The Six Steps to Health
Use the quick yeast infection relief steps to ease the symptoms and the permanent yeast infection treatment steps to permanently rid yourself of yeast infections!
As mentioned above, most infections are systemic yeast infections rather than a localized problem. Because of this there are two ways of of looking at yeast infection medicine:
The quick symptom relief is useful in getting quick relief of the itching and burning. However you need to perform the permanent cure to ensure that you are free from yeast infections for life.
The quick relief medicine is usually an anti-fungal cream or suppository. The treatment time will vary from one to seven days.
It will usually kill the yeast that is present in your vagina but it cannot kill the Candida present throughout your body.
The Candida will be waiting for just the right moment to create another vaginal yeast infection. It may also start wreaking havoc on the rest of your body.
Using a yeast infection medicine for quick relief is the pharmaceutical equivalent of using the yeast infection home remedies listed above. They are both able to quickly get rid of vaginal itching, burning and irritation.
However you need to choose a permanent treatment to rid yourself of the Candida overgrowth altogether.
To ensure you have taken care of the Candida overgrowth in your body and prevent yeast infections in the future, you need to take a permanent yeast infection medicine.
They are oral anti-fungals in a pill form. They usually do a good job of killing the Candida throughout your body when used as a part of the Six Step Treatment Program.
They are the pharmaceutical equivalent to the natural cure for yeast infection listed above.
The main drawback to the yeast infection pills is that most pharmaceutical antifungals harm the liver.
If your doctor prescribes an antifungal, make sure to ask if liver function tests are needed before, during and after the treatment.
Since all pharmaceuticals have potentially dangerous side effects, I always recommend using the natural cure for yeast infection listed above.
In order to prevent yeast infections, you must do two things:
You keep your immune system healthy by avoiding all of the things that cause a Candida albicans overgrowth.
Here is a brief summary of the things you need to do for your immune system:
Most of the time a strong immune system is all you need to prevent yeast infections.
However it is still possible to get a vaginal yeast infection if the conditions in your vagina are not healthy. Follow these tips for proper feminine hygiene:
Keep your immune system strong and your vagina healthy in order to heal your existing infection and prevent yeast infections in the future.
About 5% of women develop chronic vaginal yeast infections - otherwise known as Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (RVVC). Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis is defined as 4 or more recurring yeast infections in a 1-year period.
Chronic vaginal yeast infections are more common in women who have systemic Candidiasis, including those with diabetes or a weakened immune system.
Many medical experts believe there is no medical illness that would predispose women to recurring yeast infections. The reason for this is that they won't accept systemic Candidiasis as a disease.
After reading this page you should not only know what causes chronic vaginal yeast infections but how to treat them as well.
Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria Gardnerella vaginitis.
It causes the same burning with urination as yeast infection.
The difference is that itching is uncommon and the discharge is white or gray and smells like fish.
It is usually treated with the antibiotics clindamycin or metronidazole. Taking probiotics will help prevent recurrences.
Dermatitis is the medical term for a rash.
It causes the same burning, soreness and redness as yeast infection.
The main difference between dermatitis and yeast infection is the lack of itching or discharge.
Dermatitis is usually caused by irritation or allergies.
Irritation is a result of friction from many sources:
Many chemicals can lead to an allergic reaction:
Dermatitis is made worse by heat, wetness and friction. Since vaginas are naturally wet and warm it can take up to six months to treat a severe case.
Trichinomiasis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the protazoa Trichomonas vaginalis.
It causes the same pain, burning and itching as yeast infection.
The difference is that the discharge is yellow-green, itchy, frothy and fishy-smelling.
Trichinomiasis is treated with one dose of the prescription antiprotozoal medication metronidazole.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
It causes a vaginal discharge similar to yeast infection.
The difference is that is can also cause pelvic pain. Up to 50% of women show no symptoms.
If left untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or spread throughout the body attacking joints or heart valves.
It is treated with antibiotics such as ceftriaxone, azithromycin or doxycycline. Retesting is recommended three months after treatment.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
It can create an abnormal discharge, pain when passing urine and painful intercourse just like a yeast infection.
The difference is that is can also cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, fever, and the urge to urinate more often than usual. Up to 80% of women show no symptoms.
If left untreated, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), reproductive problems, arthritis and blindness.
It is treated with antibiotics such as azithromycin, doxycycline, erythromycin, ofloxacin or amoxicillin.
To learn more about Vaginal Yeast Infection, check out one of these books.