Yeast infections are one of the most common causes of vaginal irritation. Yeast also affects the area around the opening to the vagina called as vulva. It is estimated that about seventy five percent of women suffer from vaginal yeast infection in some stage of their lives.
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a kind of fungus called Candida. The overgrowth of yeast is mainly due to hormonal changes that adversely affect the acidity in vagina. Intake of antibiotics can also result in yeast infections. This is because; antibiotics result in the destruction of vaginal bacteria and thereby result in the flourishing of yeast cells. The symptoms of vaginal yeast infections in women can either be mild or very uncomfortable. They include severe itching, burning, and irritation in the vaginal or in the vulva region.
Abnormal vaginal discharge similar to cottage cheese is also found in some women who suffer from yeast infection. Usually no odour difference is noted. Pregnant women are more likely to be infected with yeast due to the hormonal changes that occur in their body. Women who use oral contraceptives are also in the risk zone. High blood sugar stimulates the yeast to multiply and that is why diabetic women are found to be under threat of yeast infection.
A frail immune system and steroid drugs are yet other conditions that favour the multiplication of yeast. This infection is least likely to be transferred from a person to another through sexual contact. Usually male partner of an affected female does not get infected with yeast. But, in some men itchy rashes on the penis are likely.
Yeast infections get diagnosed through a lab test of the sample collected from the affected area. Generally, the infection is treated with antifungal drugs, such as clotrimazole or miconazole. Skin ointments and pills are also available. Taking antifungal drugs when the body is not actually in need of them can make yeast resistant to the drugs.