Yeast Infections: What Are They and What Can You Do if You Get One?

Vaginal irritation or pain can be an alarming symptom for any woman to encounter. There are several potential reasons gynecological symptoms may occur. That’s why it is imperative to talk to your gynecologist when they do. More often than not, sensations like burning, itching, and pain are benign. Simple treatments can clear up the problem relatively quickly. Here, we discuss one of the most common gynecological problems women face at some point in their lives, yeast infections, and what you can do about it. 

Understanding Yeast Infections

What Causes Yeast Infections?

It is estimated that three out of four women get a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. This common condition is a simple fungal infection that results from candida albicans. The vagina, like many parts of the body, has a rich flora that requires balance to remain asymptomatic and  healthy. Disruption to this balance enables the candida albicans fungus to overgrow. This fungus can penetrate the cellular layers of the vaginal canal, resulting in symptoms. The common symptoms related to a yeast infection include thick, white discharge, itching or pain around the vaginal opening, and painful intercourse. 

There are a few reasons that the balance of vaginal flora can get disrupted. It may be pregnancy, hormone therapy, unregulated diabetes, antibiotic use, birth control, or even a weakened immune system that sets the stage for fungus overgrowth. It could be wearing tight clothing too frequently or remaining in a wet bathing suit for too long after swimming. Some women get yeast infections from douching or using a hot tub. 

What to Do about a Yeast Infection

If you develop the symptoms of a yeast infection, it is helpful to see your gynecologist right away. The symptoms can progress without care, so the sooner a course of treatment starts, the better. Mild yeast infections caught early often resolve with the use of an over-the-counter antifungal medication that is inserted into the vagina. More severe infections may require prescription medication or a longer course of treatment. A brief consultation and gynecological exam enables your doctor to determine the best action plan for your situation. 

Your gynecological health is important to your quality of life. Contact us here or call 713.955.6560 to schedule a consultation with a friendly, experienced gynecologist in Houston.