Once bacteria in the vagina declines this provides a environment for yeast to thrive. Too much yeast results in a yeast infection. Yeast infections are fairly easy to identify but sometimes mistaken for bacterial vaginal infections so it is important to be able to properly identify a yeast infection before beginning treatment.
A yeast infection will usually cause a mild to very uncomfortable itching and burning sensation in the vaginal region. Irritation is also associated with an abundance of yeast. There will be more discharge than usual and it will have the consistency and look of cottage cheese. If the discharge is gray, thin and has a foul fishy smell this is not a sign yeast but bacterial infection and medical attention should be sought.
People who are taking antibiotics, have weakened immune systems, diabetics and are pregnant are at a greater risk of developing a yeast infection. Take action to protect yourself and reduce the chances of getting a yeast infection.
If you or your partner have recently had an infection abstain from having sex until all symptoms have cleared. Yeast can be passed back and forth during sex. It is usually not considered a sexually transmitted disease but can be one.
Wear underwear that is loose fitting and breathable. Breathable underwear are those made of 100% cotton. If you've recently had a yeast infection soak your underwear in bleach water for at least 24 hours or boil them in a pot of water for 5 minutes. Bleach or heat will kill the yeast living in the cloth. Do NOT microwave your underwear. Some people have been told to do this as it kills yeast but it will also catch on fire! Wear skirts, dresses or loose fitting clothing. Avoid wearing underwear when wearing a skirt and avoid wearing anything while sleeping if possible.
After bathing or showering dry yourself well. Yeast loves and thrives in damp places. Keep yourself dry however refrain from using starch based powered because this feeds the yeast.
Avoid using any sort of chemical that comes in contact with the vaginal area. This includes perfumes, dyes, harsh soaps, spermicide and douches with fragrance. Avoid over douching and use only vinegar and water on occasion if you feel it is necessary. The vagina is a self cleaning organism and does not require douching. Refrain from using tampons and colored or perfumed toilet paper.
Limit your intake of sugar, yeast and mold. Avoid drinking beer and wine and avoid eating high amounts of carbohydrates. Maintaining a healthy immune system and sugar glucose levels will reduce the chances of developing yeast infections.
People taking antibiotics may have to use stronger preventive methods to prevent yeast infections such as medication or creams. The antibiotics kill bacteria including the bacteria that keeps yeast at a healthy level within the vagina. Some doctors will recommend using a vinegar and water douche while talking antibiotics.
If you suspect that you have something other than a yeast infection seek medical attention right away.
If you treat a yeast infection and do not see improved results for 3 days and/or still have symptoms after 7 days seek medical attention.