An Itch Down There: Vaginal Yeast Infections
It’s time to break the silence and address something that many women are too embarrassed to speak about and yet 75% of us experience them: yeast Infections.
Burning during sex? Itching down there? White, lumpy discharge? These are all symptoms of a common yeast infection. It’s important to understand that it is neither a sexually transmitted infection nor an indication of poor hygiene and can occur in women who are not even sexually active. Once these myths are dispelled, it becomes easier to understand the infection, seek help and speak to your partner about it.
What Causes a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
The inside of the vagina is quite acidic and allows yeast to live inside it without any side effects. When something happens that causes the acidity level to drop, yeast is able to grow rapidly and cause a yeast infection. Causes can range from wearing underwear that is too tight to using bubble bath or taking the Pill or antibiotics.
Sexual Intercourse and Yeast Infections
Sex with a yeast infection is painful and, although it is not a truly sexually transmitted infection, having sex with your partner while suffering from a yeast infection may affect them. It is in your best interest to refrain from sex altogether until your condition improves, but if you must, ensure that he wears a condom.
Treating Yeast Infections
A yeast infection can last for up to two weeks. Your doctor can prescribe an antifungal ointment, but there are also products readily available over the counter without a prescription.
Keep your vaginal area dry and wear loose clothing and cotton underwear so as not to cause any further irritation.
Many women swear by eating a large amount of plain yoghurt during a yeast infection for a kick of probiotics that help combat the infection and speed up recovery. Your doctor may prescribe a probiotic or suggest that you eat yoghurt if you are taking an antibiotic.