Most of us have felt the discomfort of yeast infections, but what are the causes, symptoms, treatments & how can we prevent them?
In this article, we’ll be going over all you need to know about yeast infections.
What are yeast infections?
A yeast infection is a disruption in the vaginal microbiome caused by overactive candida fungus. This fungus is naturally occurring and regulated by lactobacillus bacteria. Simply put, a yeast infection is an imbalance in the vaginal pH level.
Cause & Symptoms
There are many different causes for yeast infections including antibiotics, which may decrease the amount of the regulating lactobacillus bacteria, as well as pregnancy, weak immune system, diet, hormonal imbalance, stress, lack of sleep or tight, non-breathable underwear.
Symptoms may include itchy vulva, irritation, swelling or abnormal discharge. Vaginal discharge is always changing with our cycle so it’s important to keep an eye on what your cyclical discharge looks like.
Testing for a yeast infection is simple. It’s done by a gentle swap of the abnormal discharge or the area of irritation.
When it comes to treatment there are multiple options. Diflucan is a one-dose oral medication that can be prescribed. Monistat or various azoles antifungal creams are usually available over the counter. Typically done with a vaginal insertion tube & applied before bed, this treatment usually runs for 5 to 7 days.
If you are waiting to see your provider, here are some natural ways to soothe irritation:
- Apply aloe, alcohol-free or fresh from the garden, to the affected area.
- Take a diluted apple cider vinegar bath, add ½ cup to 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to bathwater.
- Eat probiotic foods such as kimchi, kefir or plain greek yogurt with no sugar.*
- Insert dissolvable probiotic capsules or probiotic powder mixed with coconut oil, aloe or plain greek yogurt with no sugar into the vagina.*
*For vaginal health, choose probiotics that include lactobacillus reuteri or lactobacillus rhamnosus.
Visit us at Hua Moon Women’s Health in Kapaa, Kauai for yeast infection treatment and prescriptions. We have an herbal suppository with essential oils, shea butter, cocoa butter & probiotics to treat & soothe naturally.
Prevention is key to staying on top of your vaginal health. A few simple practices are:
- Wear cotton underwear or no underwear.
- Change out of wet swimwear.
- Always wipe front to back.
If you’re struggling with yeast infections, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (808) 631-2682 to schedule an appointment. We do in-person appointments on Kauai & virtual telehealth throughout Hawaii.