Yeast infections, to say the least, aren’t a glamorous topic to talk about. The reality is, however, that yeast infections are very common, as more than 1 million women in the United States will get one each year.
Because they’re so common, it’s important to know more about this common infection! Our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN center provides some helpful information below.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva. A yeast infection is also known as vaginal candidiasis (the medical term for yeast), and this type of infection affects up to three out of four women at some point in their lifetimes.
The vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida and bacteria. Certain bacteria act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast, but that balance can be disrupted, which causes an overgrowth of candida and the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
- Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva
- A burning sensation—especially during intercourse or while urinating
- Redness and swelling of the vulva
- Vaginal pain and soreness
- Vaginal rash
- Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance
- Watery vaginal discharge
Can Certain Things Increase My Risk of Getting One?
Yes, they can. While yeast infections are generally common among women, certain factors can increase your chance of developing one.
We’ve listed some common risk factors below.
Yeast Infection Risk Factors
- Antibiotic use. Yeast infections are common among women who take antibiotics. Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which kill a range of bacteria, also kill healthy bacteria in the vagina, leading to overgrowth of yeast.
- Increased estrogen levels. Yeast infections are more common among women with higher estrogen levels, such as pregnant women or women taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills or estrogen hormone therapy.
- Uncontrolled diabetes. Women with poorly controlled blood sugar are at greater risk of yeast infections than women with well-controlled blood sugar.
- Impaired immune system. Women with lowered immunity, such as from corticosteroid therapy or HIV infection, are more likely to get yeast infections.
Our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN center provides top-quality medical care for all types of non-emergency illnesses! Don’t hesitate to stop by today.