Q: What is a Yeast Infection? How do I know if I have one, and how do I make it go away?
I’m going to be honest here – yeast infections are not fun. But they are quite common and manageable. About 3 in 4 women will experience a yeast infection at some point in their lives. So what is it? Well, yeast is a type of fungus that all women have in their vaginas in small amounts. When too much yeast grows in the vagina, it results in a yeast infection.
Signs and symptoms:
- Extreme itchiness in and around the vagina
- Burning, redness, and swelling of the vagina
- Painful urination
- Pain during sex
- A thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
Keep in mind that you may only experience a few of these symptoms during a yeast infection, and that they can be mild or severe. So, what causes a yeast infection? Well, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to someone developing a yeast infection. These include:
- Lack of sleep
- Poor eating habits, including eating a lot of sugary foods
- Having your period
- Taking certain medications such as birth control and antibiotics
- Hormonal changes during your period
If you think you may have a yeast infection, make an appointment with your doctor or go to a walk-in clinic. They are common, but you want to get it checked out by a doctor. Yeast infections are treated with creams, tablets, or ointments or suppositories (big pills) that are inserted into the vagina. Some common medications include Canesten, Monistat, both of which are available without a prescription. You can buy these products at a pharmacy; they are usually located near or around the tampon aisle. Even though you can buy medication for a yeast infection without a prescription, you should still contact your doctor if you think you may have a yeast infection, especially if you’ve never had one before.
If you have any more questions, send us an email, or contact your doctor.