About Yeast Infections
A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. As many as 3 out of 4 women experience a yeast infection at some point in their lifetime.
Causes of Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance in the normal environment of the vagina.
Candida albicans is a type of yeast that is normally present in areas of the body like the mouth, skin, digestive tract and vagina. When for some reason, an imbalance occurs and the pH level of the vagina becomes less acidic, Candida albicans can begin to multiply. This causes further upset to the normal vaginal condition and the result is a yeast infection.
Vaginal yeast infections are common. In fact, nearly 3 out of 4 women experience one at least once in a lifetime. This includes women of all ages from 12 years old to beyond menopause. However, it’s during the childbearing years that women are most susceptible.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, chances are you may have a yeast infection:
- Mild to intense vaginal itching
- A lumpy, white vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese
- Vaginal soreness, irritation or burning, especially during intercourse
- Redness around the vagina
You should only self-medicate if you’ve been diagnosed with vulvovaginal candidiasis in the past and if your current symptoms seem to be the same. If, however, you’re experiencing frequently recurring infections, abdominal pain, fever, foul-smelling or greenish-grayish vaginal discharges, you may have another type of infection and should consult your doctor.
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