Vaginal yeast infections should be diagnosed and treated by a physician
Three out of four women will experience vaginal yeast infection symptoms at some point in their life. Many women wait to see their physician or try to self-treat vaginal yeast infections. However, this can lead to complications and prolonged discomfort. Our San Antonio OBGYNs urge women to schedule an appointment as soon as they experience symptoms.
What causes vaginal yeast infections?
Vaginal yeast infections are a type of vaginitis that is caused by fungi, most commonly Candida. If a fungus overgrowth occurs, it can lead to a fungal infection. There are several factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing an infection.
- Douches and vaginal sprays
- Diabetes, especially when it’s poorly controlled
- Some hormonal contraceptive methods
- A weakened immune system
What are the symptoms?
There are two types of vaginal yeast infections: an uncomplicated infection and a complicated infection. Most women have uncomplicated infections. They usually experience mild to severe symptoms that include redness, burning, swelling, extreme itchiness of the vagina and vulva, and, typically, a thick, odorless discharge that resembles cottage cheese. Some women may also notice pain during urination or sexual intercourse.
Women with complicated infections have more severe symptoms. Our San Antonio OBGYNs diagnose patients with a complicated infection if they have four or more infections per year; diabetes, a weakened immune system or if they are pregnant.
Diagnosing and treating the problem
For uncomplicated infections, our San Antonio OBGYNs will take a medical history, perform a pelvic examination and take a sample of the vaginal secretions. Treatment includes antifungal vaginal suppositories and creams or prescription medications. Complicated infections require more treatment, such as multiple doses of medication or a long-course treatment plan.
Preventing vaginal yeast infections
It is impossible to prevent yeast infections, but there are steps women can take to reduce their risk. Since the fungus that causes these infections thrives in moist environments, women should consider the following tips.
- Avoid tight pants
- Wear cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch
- Change out of wet or sweaty clothing as soon as possible
Our San Antonio OBGYNs also recommend that women avoid douches and any products containing deodorants to prevent yeast infection symptoms.
Yeast infections can be a painful, uncomfortable hassle, but a visit to our team can provide relief. Contact us for an appointment.