Vaginal yeast infection is a very common condition that 75 % of all women will experience at least once in their life. It is caused by the Candida Albicans fungus, which is always naturally present in the mucosa, including the vagina, as a part of the vagina’s natural balance of microorganisms. Yeast infection is a symptom that the natural balance in the vagina has been disturbed.
Normally, the PH-value of the vagina lies between 3,8 and 4,2 because of its natural levels of lactic acid bacteria that helps keep the environment inside the vagina relatively sour - too sour for the Candida to really thrive. If the PH goes up above 4,5 microorganisms will be able to multiply and ultimately cause an infection.
This article sums up:
- factors that causes yeast infection
- symptoms of yeast infection
- how to treat yeast infection
- aftercare - how to restore your natural balance
Factors that cause yeast infection:
- Hormonal changes, such as right before or after you have your period, during pregnancy or taking birth control pills or morning after pills with high levels of estrogen.
- Taking antibiotics against a bacterial infection might also kill the good lactic acid bacteria in the vagina which will cause the PH to go up.
- Washing your intimate area with perfumed soap. This can also disturb the natural balance of the vagina and cause yeast infection.
- Using tampons can dry out the vagina and cause yeast infection.
- Tight clothes, especially of synthetic fabric, disable the vagina to “breathe”.
- The presence of foreign bacteria in the vagina, for example after sexual intercourse, might cause yeast infection. It is important to notice though that even though sexual activity can cause yeast infection it is NOT considered an STD.
- Weak immune system, for example after recovering a long term illness.
- Taking prednisolon (a corticosteroid )
Symptoms of yeast infection:
Women who have had a yeast infection once might be able to tell that a new infection is building up even before it breaks out simply by registering a different “feeling” in the vagina like a prickling, burning sensation. Soon the vagina and the area around it will start to itch significantly and burn, and get red and sore. There might be an increase in vaginal discharge which will be whitish, thick, and might look like cottage cheese. Additionally, in case of yeast infection you might also experience pain while urinating. Since this can also be a symptom of more serious infections it is advisable that you see a doctor if you experience pain while urinating.
How to treat yeast infection:
Normally the treatment will consist of a combination of vaginal tablets and an antifungal crème containing clotrimazol to be used on the skin around the vagina. Usually, you have to insert one vaginal tablet every night before going to sleep for about 4-6 days. Be aware that even though the symptoms of yeast infection can disappear already after a couple of days of treatment it is very important that you complete the treatment to avoid the yeast infection to come back.
Since yeast infections occur when the natural sour balance of the vagina is disturbed, it is important to be sure that the balance is restored after treating the yeast infection, even though the symptoms have disappeared. An easy, natural way to do this is by using vaginal tablets with lactic acid bacteria every night before sleeping for about a week after treating the yeast infection. This will restore the natural PH value of the vagina.