Vaginal yeast infections (also known as candidal vulvovaginitis or vaginal candidiasis) can cause irritation, itchiness of the vagina and skin around it as well as whitish vaginal discharge. The infection is caused by a species of fungus known as Candida albicans and is referred to medically as candidiasis. This type of infection is common, affecting perhaps as many as 3 out of 4 women over their lifetimes.
Risk Factors of Vaginal Yeast Infections
The following raise the risk of developing vaginal candidiasis:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Antibiotic treatment
- Oral to genital sex
- Impaired immunity, such as from HIV or corticosteroid treatment
- Increased estrogen levels from birth control or other hormone treatment
How to Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections
Prevention of vaginal yeast infections consists of:
- Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic treatment, such as for viral infections (it won’t do any good anyway)
- Wearing panties with a cotton crotch, and avoiding tight pantyhose
- Not wearing wet swimsuits for too long
- Avoiding scented products such as bubble bath, tampons, and pads
- Avoiding hot tubs and overly hot baths
- Controlling blood sugar levels if diabetic
Treatment of Vaginal Candidiasis
- Diflucan (fluconazole) is taken orally at a dose of 150 mg once.
- Monistat (miconazole) is applied as a vaginal suppository either once (Monistat 1) or three times (Monistat 3) at bedtime. Monistat cream is applied to affected skin around the vagina.
- Terconazole is available as a cream or vaginal suppository. The cream is applied with a barrel-shaped applicator for 3 or 7 consecutive nights. The suppository is applied either with or without the applicator at bedtime for 3 consecutive nights.
Did you know? QuickMD can treat vaginal yeast infections from the convenience of your home, and provide you with a prescription for fluconazole online (or any of the other antifungal prescription drugs).