What is that?
If you're having vaginal discharge that's white and clumpy or thick and milky, plus a really annoying itch, you probably have something known as a yeast infection or candidiasis —a common vaginal disorder caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. How do you get it?
There's always some yeast and bacteria in the vagina from the time you're born and throughout your life. In fact, yeast is actually kept in check by these "good" bacteria. But when the amount of the bacteria is reduced, the yeast can grow and cause problems. Some of the things that can affect the natural bacterial balance and cause yeast to grow include: Antibiotics Oral contraceptives Wearing tight clothes, pantyhose, and wet bathing suits. Possibly — eating too much sugar, artificial sweeteners, sodas, or even milk products Excessive douching Intrauterine devices Pregnancy Diabetes Like any fungus, Candida really gets going in warm, dark, moist places like the vagina. So that's why wearing clothes that trap moisture —like pantyhose or a wet bathing suit —can create the perfect conditions for developing a yeast infection. How do you treat it?
The first time you think you may have a yeast infection you should see your doctor to get a definite diagnosis. After the first time (some women get recurring bouts) if you get a yeast infection, you don't HAVE to go to a doctor. You can get anti-fungal vaginal suppositories or ointment at the drug store. But doctors can also give you a prescription or a one-dose oral prescription medication, if you prefer that. When treating your infection, use all the medication that the doctor prescribes or the full dose of cream/suppositories or ointment from the drug store, otherwise it may return. Whichever remedy you choose, avoid sex until the yeast infection disappears. Otherwise the infection could last longer. If the yeast infection symptoms don't hang on after treatment or if you have abdominal pain, cramping or fever and chills, it's definitely time to see a doctor (or go back). These might be signs that you have another type of vaginal infection. How can you avoid it? There are a lot of things you can do to avoid yeast infections. They include: Don't wear tight pants or pantyhose all the time Wear cotton underwear Avoid douching, bactericidal or perfumed soaps, feminine sprays and powders Change out of sweaty underwear, workout clothes, and wet bathing suits quickly Use non-deodorant pads and tampons Also, if you're sexually active, many vaginal infections can be passed back and forth between you and your partner. Only one of you may show symptoms even though you both may be infected. If the infection persists, or if your partner has any discharge, itching or burning, then both of you probably need to be treated.
Learn about yeast infection symptoms and get helpful information and advice at BeingGirl.com.