Prevention And Treatment Of Yeast Infections

Yeast infections are inflammations or infections of the vaginal area caused by an overgrowth of the candida fungus, which is always present in the vagina. This is a fairly common ailment among women and can be controlled with careful measures.

Yeast infections are inflammations or infections of the vaginal area caused by the overgrowth of the candida fungus, a bacteria which is always present within the vagina. The overgrowth occurs when the natural bacterial balance within the vagina is upset. Yeast infections are very common ailments among women and there are frequent recurrence rates for the condition.

Yeast infections are not considered as sexually transmitted diseases and men do not usually suffer from this ailment. However, uncircumcised men may have yeast present under the foreskin of the penis, resulting in irritation and discharge. These men may be treated with topical medications to combat the condition.

When a yeast infection is diagnosed, a doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter or prescription medication to control the condition. Testing is often necessary, however, to determine whether the condition is actually a yeast infection or whether or not the ailment has been confused with a urinary tract infection.

Doctors may prescribe antifungal drugs or vaginal creams and suppositories, which are effective, although the rate of recurrence is frequent for some. If, despite treatment, symptoms persist for more than a week or unusual vaginal bleeding and irritation develop, medical assistance should be obtained immediately.

Yogurt has long been used to battle yeast infections, either as a yeast cream or by adding it to the diet. The kind of yogurt effective in treating this ailment is that made with lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. Not all yogurts are of this type. These live yogurt cultures help to restore the balance of helpful bacteria within the intestines and vagina, making a yeast infection much less likely to recur. One cup daily, added to the diet, is enough to get full protection.

Research suggests that garlic can also have a positive effect on reducing or curing the infection. Garlic contains powerful substances that fight against fungal infections. These substances have been proven to destroy yeast fungus on contact, while stimulating the immune cells that fight infection. Baked, microwaved or sauteed garlic eaten daily or added to food will release this fungus-fighting power.

General symptoms of a yeast infection include:

---thick, white vaginal discharge

---burning sensation while urinating

---swelling and itching in genital area

---painful sexual intercourse

Several factors may cause or intensify a yeast infection. They can include:

---menstruation-the infection tends to appear before menstrual periods and to improve during the cycle

---use of antibiotics and/or oral contraceptives


---high carbohydrate diet

---hot weather

---clothing which does not allow free ventilation of the body, particularly underwear

Yeast(candida) multiplies rapidly in dark and moist environments. As a result, clothing which allows for good body ventilation is recommended. All clothing worn next to the skin should be removed and washed after each wearing. Bathing suits should be changed as soon as possible after swimming.

The genital area should be kept clean at all times and showers are preferable over bathing in bathtubs. Plain unscented soaps should be used for bathing. Frequent douching is to be avoided.

The amount of sugar and milk products consumed should be limited, as well as the amounts of products containing artificial sweeteners. Sugar and artificial sweeteners encourage the growth of yeast cultures.

Antibiotics should be avoided if yeast infections are a problem. Antibiotics act to destroy various harmful bacteria but also destroy helpful bacteria within the vagina and intestinal tract. A doctor should always be made aware of any problem with yeast infections before writing a prescription for any antibiotic.

While treatment for a yeast infection is underway, sexual intercourse should be avoided. Any other activity which might result in excessive exertion or sweating should be avoided as well, until the condition is relieved.

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