A vaginal yeast infection is the most common form of a yeast infections. Yeast infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus, what is always present in the vagina, mouth, digestive tract and skin. An infection occurs when the amount of the fungus rises above the normal level. Yeast infections are very common — about 75 percent of women have one during their lives and almost half of women have two or more vaginal yeast infections.
But what are the signs of a vaginal yeast infection?
The most common symptom of a yeast infection is extreme itchiness and burning sensation in and around the vagina. If you have a yeast infection, one of the over-the-counter yeast infection creams or vaginal suppositories should quickly relieve the itch, as well as the other symptoms. Some women find relief from vaginal itching just by using a yeast infection cream externally once or twice a day.
Change in Vaginal Discharge
One of the hallmark symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection is a change in the vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is a regularly occurring process, but when a woman has a vaginal yeast infection, her discharge may become watery, white, thick or chunky (similar to cottage cheese).
Vaginal Pain During Intercourse
Although you may not notice a difference immediately, yeast infection triggers pain during intercourse in about 25 percent of sufferers. Don’t wait until you see the cottage cheese-like discharge before seeking help. Yeast infection is not always accompanied by this discharge and sometimes pain is your only clue.
You can also experience pain during urination. This is a direct indicator that the urinary tract is infected and inflamed. It is important to restore balance in the good and bad bacteria to prevent any long term symptoms or further infection. Take extra care to wear clean, breathable fabrics and avoid tight clothing.
At the height of a yeast infection, you may experience redness or swelling of the vulva or labia. This can be exacerbated by clothing, so following the recommendation above can help to alleviate some discomfort.
While these are the general symptoms of a yeast infection, every woman may experience one differently. You may identify an infection by the smell and consistency of the discharge, which can be different than usual. Many women experience vaginal itching or burning, which is one of the primary symptoms of a yeast infection.
Yeast infections can be treated with antifungal medicines that come as creams, tablets, ointments or suppositories containing anti-inflammatory medication that are inserted into the vagina.