While the vagina is certainly a magical and miraculous phenomenon, there are also times when it can be straight-up annoying. Periods obviously top the list, quickly followed by annoying health issues — yeast infections, anyone?
Just in case you aren't aware, your body is carrying 20 different species of candida yeast at this very moment — not a big deal until the balance is thrown off, which can cause a yeast infection. It doesn't help that the vagina is a moist, wet area, aka the perfect conditions for yeast to thrive in.
And as if yeast infections weren't uncomfortable enough, it turns out there's much more than meets the eye when it comes to woman's worst enemy. The incessant itch, burning and discharge brought on by yeast infections will be the least worrisome thing you know about them after reading this list of disturbing yeast infection facts.
While you may hear about yeast infections the most, the actual most common vaginal infection is the lovely-sounding bacterial vaginosis (BV), caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. It's not unlike a yeast infection in that symptoms start to show when the vagina's PH is out of whack, but the bummer about BV is that you can't fix it with an over-the-counter medication.
Because BV is caused by bacteria and not yeast, an OTC yeast infection treatment won't help, and could even make it worse. That's why it's best to see your gynecologist for treatment, even if you suspect your issue to be a yeast infection that you could fix with OTC medication.
Say it isn't so! In today's news that will ruin your day, know that it's possible to contract a yeast infection orally. It's called thrush, and yes, it's just as gross as it sounds. Prepare for cottage cheese-like lesions to adhere to your tongue, cheeks and gums. Plus, it could mess with your esophagus and make it super hard to swallow.
What's more is that if you use any kind of oral accessories like an inhaler, retainer or mouthguard, it's easier for candida yeast to make its home in your mouth and cause an infection.
So... maybe that vaginal yeast infection isn't so bad after all.
Sorry, guys — you're not in the clear on this one. If a man has unprotected sex with a woman who currently has a yeast infection, he could end up with one, too. Look out for itching, burning, redness or a rash on the penis.
As always, see your doctor before self diagnosing — he'll be able to point you in the right direction of an over-the-counter treatment. Make sure your sexual partner knows about your infection — it may be that she isn't aware of her own.
Especially if you're prone to yeast infections and are treated for them pretty often (or if you misdiagnose and use OTC yeast infection treatments when you don't actually have a yeast infection), your body can actually become resistant to OTC treatments over time.
It's important to see the gynecologist if your meds aren't working, especially if you self-diagnosed. The last thing you want to do is ruin yeast infection treatment for yourself in case of a legit infection in the future.
Gross, right? Candida yeast likes to make its home in the rectum (where else?), and could easily migrate from there to your vagina, causing a yeast infection.
Ways to prevent this: take showers (not baths), wipe from front to back, eat probiotics to keep a healthy balance.
Even your diet can play a role in your vagina's health. A 2013 study found that those who ate carbs (as opposed to those who ate protein, amino acids and fatty acids) were more susceptible to developing a yeast infection. In fact, the study's participants' candida levels increased immediately after consuming carbs.
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