Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Home Remedies

Do you know there is yeast naturally found in vagina which does not cause any problem, but there is a time in which it can be problematic. This occurrence has been named as vaginal yeast infection. It is also called vaginal thrush and vaginal candidiasis.

What is vaginal yeast infection?

Human Vagina provides accommodation for numerous amounts of bacteria, fungus and other pathogens. Some of these pathogens are good and others are bad for body. Good bacteria kill bad bacteria and maintain normal growth of fungus. If, by any means, this equilibrium gets imbalanced, it leads towards overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast. This overgrowth of yeast is called vaginal yeast infection.

So in the short, uncontrolled growth of yeast in vagina, which results in itching and pain, is known as vaginal yeast infection.

What causes vaginal yeast infection?

 Vaginal yeast infection is the result of Candida Yeast. Scientists have found more than 200 types of candida strains out of which 15 types of candida cause infection in vagina. Most common type of candida infection is because of candida albicans.

Vaginal yeast infection causes:

  • Antibiotics

Antibiotics kill bacteria irrespective of its good or bad nature for the body. Killing of good bacteria provides conducive cellular state of the body to get infected with number of pathogens. Yeast infection of vagina is one of them.

  • Immunosuppressive conditions

Low immunity means the inability of the body to fight against pathogens. Low level of immunity can cause yeast infection of the vagina.

  • Diabetes

Chances of vaginal infection is directly proportionate to diabetes. Increased level of blood sugar increases the chance of vaginal yeast infection.

  • Douche

Douche is a vaginal instrument which is used for vaginal wash or sexual pleasure. Using douche can interfere with the equilibrium of vagina which leads towards infection.

  • Steroid

Long-term use of steroid is prohibited in medical science because it can decrease body’s immunity which can lead towards vaginal yeast infection.

  • Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal imbalance plays important role in yeast infection. With idiopathic reason, it has been found in the observation that yeast infection is common in puberty and menopause.

  • Poor hygiene

Not maintaining proper hygiene during daily life and during periods may lead to yeast infection in vagina.

  • Unsafe sex

Unsafe sex can lead towards various types of infection. It may transit yeast infection as well as sexually transmitted disease.

  • Wet cloths

Wearing wet clothes for long period of time may increase chances of yeast infection.

  • Moist environment

Moist environment is the most favorable for the growth of fungus. That’s why yeast infection usually occurs in rainy seasons.

  • Diet rich in sugar

Consuming diet rich in simple carbohydrate and sugar increases chances of vaginal yeast infection.

  • Stress

How does stress affect the body is still unclear. But it is very well understood that stress decreases the body’s immunity to a very low level.

  • Pregnancy

During pregnancy vaginal gland produces excessive vaginal discharge and decreases vaginal pH which causes a favorable environment for yeast growth.

Vaginal yeast infection symptoms:

  • Vaginal discharge Vaginal yeast infection discharge is thick whitish discharge or cottage cheese discharge from vagina. Sometimes watery discharge may be present.
  • Intense itching.
  • Pain during sex or after sex and Pain during urination is also common. Severity of pain depends on the duration of infection.
  • Redness of vagina
  • Redness of groin region
  • Soreness
  • Inflammation of vagina and vulva
  • Rashes
  • Irritation, burning or discomfort in vagina

Pregnancy yeast infection:

Vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy is common due to increased estrogen level in blood. Increased level of estrogen causes increased blood flow to the vaginal canal which in result causes the imbalance of good and bad bacteria. The change in the equilibrium of vaginal canal results in infection of vagina such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, normal vaginal discharge. Vaginal yeast infection in pregnancy is 20% more common than bacterial vaginosis.

Yeast infection in men:

Yeast infection in men genital is not as common as compared to women. In men, it is usually limited to the head and skin of the penis. It also does not cause severe symptoms like women.  General symptoms of yeast infection in male are cotton cheese like discharge underneath in fold of penis or prepuce, pain, and irritation around the penis, and intense itching. Occasionally there may be inflammation of penis.

Diagnosis of yeast infection in vagina:

  • Clinical examination- Self-diagnosis of yeast infection is easy because of its specific characteristic discharge, but it is still a good option to take an advice from gynecologist.
  • Pelvic exam– Gynecologist will exam the pelvis for any abnormality. Finger checkup of the vagina and instrumental visualization of the vagina is must.
  • Vaginal swab– Microscopic examination of vaginal swab will determine about type of infection.
  • Ultrasound- For any other abnormality such as the uterine polyp, cancer endometriosis etc.

Vaginal yeast infection Complications:

Yeast infection is a treatable disease and generally does not cause complication. But an untreated chronic yeast infection can produce major complications.

Yeast infection can also occur with bacterial vaginosis and worsen the condition of the vagina. Vagina infected with yeast and bacteria simultaneously are more difficult to treat and they also produce the combination of symptoms which makes it more difficult to diagnose.

  • Multi-strain yeast:

Commonly yeast infection is because of candida albicans. Chronic yeast infection can be caused by different other types of candida also.

  • Blood yeast infection or fungemia:

Sometimes fungus can enter into bloodstream and produces symptoms like fever with shivering, hypotension, confusion shock etc. This is a serious medical emergency and needs urgent medical attention.

  • Systemic infection:

Fungus can enter in different organs through the blood which produces more severe symptoms. Symptoms of systemic yeast infection depend on infected organ or system. It is again a medical emergency. Yeast infection can also occur in the central nervous system (brain) which can cause irreversible complications in the brain.

  • Infertility:

Chronic yeast infection can produce a tubal block which is an important cause of infertility.

  • Pregnancy complications:

Yeast infection during pregnancy is common and usually does not cause any complications, but chronic yeast infection can involve cervix too which can make pregnancy more difficult. During labor, Yeast infection can be transferred to the child also.

Vaginal yeast infection treatments:

Yeast infection is easy to treat and responds well with anti-fungal treatment. Duration of treatment depends upon the immunity and severity of the infection. Patients usually get relief within 3-4 days but treatment may continue for weeks. The doctor may prescribe oral, vaginal or intravenous antifungal medicines.

Common antifungal medicines are Fluconazole, Teraconazole, Monisat etc

Herbal treatment for yeast infection in vagina:

  • Decoction of bark of nimb (Azadirachta indica)- One can apply it as a vaginal wash and taken orally; both are effective.
  • Powder of nimb or extract of nimb (Azadirachta indica) – Topical application and oral intake both are effective.
  • Decoction of Turmeric (Haldi- Curcuma longa)– Wash vagina with this decoction thrice a day.
  • Decoction of dry ginger ( Shunthi – zingiber officinale) – Oral intake of 15 ml decoction for three weeks improve immunity up to a mark level.
  • Decoction of Ashok ( Saraca ashoka)- 15 ml of this decoction twice a day for two weeks.

Home remedies for yeast infection in vagina:

  • Yogurt- Yogurt has natural probiotic properties. It has lactobacillus acidophilus which produces lactic acid in vagina. Oral intake of fresh yogurt, twice in a week will improve immunity.
  • Boric acid- Boric acid is toxic in oral intake, it can be used for vaginal wash or boric acid coated vaginal suppositories.
  • Coconut oil- Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acid which inhibits the growth of fungus. Application of coconut oil or taking one spoon orally is good for treatment of yeast infection.
  • Garlic- Garlic is a rich source of sulfur compound. It is scientifically proven that garlic is a natural source of antibiotics and anti-fungal. Oral intake of 1 slice of garlic with cold water detoxifies the body.
  • Vitamin C- Food containing high amount of vitamin C improves the body’s self-defense mechanism. It fights with bacteria and fungus both.
  • OnionOnion is a rich source of sulfur. Oral intake and local application on affected site of onion; both are effective.
  • Honey- Honey can effectively treat all types of male and female genital infection. Local application soothes vaginal irritation and burning. Honey contains vast amount of anti-toxin, minerals, and vitamin. It detoxifies the body. 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of onion juice with 100 ml of water for 2 weeks will do magic for the vaginal problem.

Vaginal yeast infection treatments in Ayurveda:

Yeast infection in vagina can be described as aam kapha dushti. Imbalanced diet and life style vitiate Tridosha system of the body. Mandagni caused by improper diet produces aam in body. This aam, when combines with kapha, produces saam kapha. This Saam kapha in vagina is responsible for yeast infection. Summary of yeast infection in Ayurveda is

·                     Dosh                   kapha dushti
·                     Agni                    mandagni
·                     Dhatu                 majja
·                     Sthan sanshray  kati and vanchan

According to the above-described pathology line of treatment would stimulate agni, and purification of kapha.  There are lots of Ayurvedic ethical medicines which can effectively treat yeast infection acute and chronic conditions both, are:

  • Arogya vardhini vati
  • Sanjevani vati
  • Vang bhasm
  • Trivang bhasm
  • Higvashtak churn
  • Pushyanag churn
  • Darvyadi kwath
  • Lodhra asav etc
Do’s Don’ts
1.breathable cotton cloth 1.tight cloth and nylon cloth
2.vaginal wash / intimate wash 2.soap and shampoo
3. hot dry cloth 3. wet cloths
4.sanitary pads 4.scented sanitary pads and tampons
5.luke warm water wash 5.hot bathtub wash

Some frequently asked questions about yeast infection:

  • Can I have sex while vaginal yeast infection?

 No, it can worsen the condition. Sex may aggregate pain and irritation.

  • Can I also pass it to my sexual partners?

YES, if your sexual partner is male, it may cause yeast infection of penis skin. If your sexual partner is female it may cause her yeast infection of vulva and vagina.

  • Is it treatable?

YES. Well responded with anti-fungal Ayurveda and modern medicine.

  • How long should I take treatment?

Some days to weeks, depending on your immunity and severity of your infection.

  • Can it reoccur?

YES.  Recurrence is quite common.

  • Can I treat it myself?

NO, laboratory test and clinical examination to know the exact cause of infection and sensitivity test must do.

  • Can I get pregnant during yeast Infection?

YES, But you should not. If you have yeast infection and planning to conceive, then you should avoid pregnancy till the treatment ends because some medicines can cause complications in pregnancy.

  • What if I am pregnant and have yeast infection?

Not serious issues. Yeast infection in pregnancy is normal. You should talk about it to the gynecologist. Vaginal antifungal is not recommended.

  • Can I transfer yeast infection to my unborn baby?

NO, yeast cannot cross the placenta.

  • Can yeast infection occur in other parts of Body?

YES. Mouth, skin esophagus, stomach, and other parts can also get yeast infection.

  • Can I have more than one type of infection at one Time?

YES.

  • Vaginal thrush and vaginal yeast infection are the same?

YES.

YES

Disclaimer –

Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. for any query or personal consultation according to your health condition Please Contact Us

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