A vaginal, also known as vaginal, genital, or vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), is an infection involving a type
of, or yeast. The fungus most commonly associated with vaginal yeast infection is called Candida albicans, which account for up to 92% of all cases, with the remainder due to other species of Candida. These fungi can be found all over the body and are normally present in warm and moist areas of the body. Studies have shown that up to 20% to 50% of all women normally carry yeast in the vagina without the presence of symptoms. When C albicans in the vagina multiplies to the point of infection, this infection can cause vaginal inflammation, irritation, odor, discharge, and itching. Certain types of bacteria that live naturally in the vagina usually keep C albicans from growing out of control. If the balance of these microorganisms becomes upset, C albicans may be allowed to grow uncontrollably and lead to symptoms. The use of certain medications including, changes in hormone levels, or certain diseases are examples of factors that can allow a vaginal yeast infection to develop.
Vaginal yeast infections are extremely common. Seventy-five percent of all women develop a yeast infection at some point during their lives. A vaginal yeast infection is not considered a sexually-transmitted infection ( ), but 12% to 15% of men develop symptoms such as itching and penile following sexual contact with an infected partner. Under normal circumstances, a vaginal yeast infection is not serious and can be treated with medications. However, a vaginal yeast infection can be a sign an underlying, more serious condition or can lead to serious complications, especially if left untreated. Many women who think they have a vaginal yeast infection actually have other types of. When these women attempt to treat their condition with over-the-counter medications intended to treat yeast infections, the symptoms do not improve. This may allow the infection to worsen.
A study performed by the American Social Health Association found that 70% of women used over-the-counter medications designed to treat yeast infections before calling their doctor. Studies have shown that when women self-diagnose a vaginal yeast infection, in many cases, the symptoms are related to other conditions, such as, which is a bacterial infection. Other causes of symptoms similar to those of a vaginal yeast infection include local irritation (for example, from intercourse or tampons); ; or chemical irritation from soap, perfumes, deodorants, or powders. Recurring yeast infections may be a sign of a serious disease such, or. In very rare cases, a yeast infection can lead to systemic Candidal disease, which is fatal in 75% of people who develop this major complication. This occurs when the infection spreads throughout the body via the bloodstream. Women with weakened immune systems are most susceptible to this type of complication. Yeast infections are caused by the Candida Albicans strain of fungus in the human body.
Their growth is limited by the immune system and other microorganisms like bacteria that are found in the same areas of the human body where the fungus resides. These infections can either be superficial, affecting the skin and mucosal membranes or slightly more serious causing diseases like oral thrush and vaginitis. They could also lead to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases. The most common yeast infection occurs during the time when a patient is taking antibiotics to cure other diseases. The drug destroys both the bad and the good bacteria in the digestive system, thereby letting the yeasts develop within the digestive tract. The good bacteria that are usually found alongside the tract in large colonies get destroyed by the antibiotics. This results in the yeast population mushrooming within the digestive tract and causing major infections that manifest within and outside the body.
The general perception over the years has been that women are more prone to vaginal yeast infections after they complete an antibiotic dosage. However, recent studies have revealed that Candida infection could also impact men in a large way. Studies have revealed that due to misconception about yeast infection in males, it often gets mixed up with other ailments like sexually transmitted diseases. Most such infections can be treated at home with the help of natural remedies based on vinegar, baby oil and garlic. Women can take some preventive steps before starting a course of antibiotics. These steps will help restrict the growth of yeast infection and even prevent it. Probiotic supplements, yogurt consumption and staying away from sugary items and not wearing tight fitting clothes that can trap moisture are some of the steps that can prevent Candida infections. In addition, avoid wearing wet bathing clothes as well as under garments made of nylon as they tend to hold moisture.