Vaginal disease caused by yeast is common, with most women having at least one symptomatic vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. A small percentage of women (probably less than 5%) experience recurrent yeast infections.
Typical symptoms include swelling, itching, and/or discomfort in the vaginal area. There may be a white to yellow discharge from the vagina, which may be thin, or thick and curdy, similar to cottage cheese.
Yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease. However, it can be transmitted by having intercourse with an infected partner. It is thought that infected men can have the organism in the lower urinary tract or in the folds of skin on the penis and pass it to the woman during intercourse.
Yeast can be spread from the rectum if a woman wipes herself from back to front. Yeast can also be spread from the rectum along the menstrual pad.
During oral sex, yeast can be passed from the vagina to the mouth. Yeast in the mouth is called thrush. Yeast can also be passed by a pregnant woman to her baby's mouth during childbirth.
A woman may get a yeast infection while taking antibiotics. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are susceptible to yeast infections before an antibiotic is prescribed for you. A person who takes an antibiotic for acne is susceptible to frequent yeast infections.
PREVENTION OF VAGINAL INFECTIONS
Keep in good health by eating a balanced diet and getting the proper amount of sleep.
Keep the vaginal area dry. Wear underpants and pantyhose that have a cotton crotch. Nylon prevents air circulation and keeps the area moist. Dry yourself carefully after a bath or shower.
Douching, bubble bath, feminine hygiene sprays, perfumed or colored toilet paper, deodorant tampons and bath powder (including baby powder) can increase your chances of getting a vaginal infection.
Return to the clinic if symptoms persist or recur. Women who have three (3) or more vaginal yeast infections per year should be evaluated by a physician for conditions that increase the chance for yeast to grow: diabetes mellitus, lowered resistance/stress, antibiotic use.