Candida infections are the same thing as yeast infections. They’re called this because the fungi responsible for causing the infection are called Candida. We all have Candida living on our bodies, but in certain conditions, they can grow too fast and cause infections. Warm, moist areas are the best places for Candida to grow out of control. This is why Candida infections most commonly occur in the vagina, or sometimes in the mouth.
Who gets these infections?
Vaginal candidiasis is the most common type of vaginitis among women. They’re also the second most common reason for vaginal burning, itching, and discharge. Any woman has the potential to contract Candida infections. However, things like pregnancy, menstruation, diabetes, and the use of birth control pills make them more likely to occur. Infections caused by Candida are more common after women have gone through menopause.
What causes them?
There are many things that can cause Candida to grow out of control other than the risk factors listed above. Anything that could upset the normal balance of vaginal conditions could lead to Candida infections. This includes things like chemical irritants, douching, and poor hygiene.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of vaginal candidiasis can be confusing to diagnose. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all. When symptoms do appear, the most common one is a thick, white vaginal discharge that looks a little bit like cottage cheese. Other symptoms are basically the same as with any other kind of vaginal infections: itching, burning, and soreness around the vaginal opening.
What kind of treatment is available?
Candida infections can be treated both with prescription medications and home remedies. To obtain a prescription medication, you’ll have to see a doctor. It’s actually a good idea to see a doctor even if you plan on using home remedies, because you should have a definite diagnosis before you start trying to treat the infection. Prescription medicine usually comes in the form of a pill or vaginal suppository. There are also some over-the-counter creams that are supposed to kill the infection-causing yeast, but they aren’t guaranteed to work. Home remedies are the best option for a lot of women because they have a lower rate of recurrence than other treatments.
Can I do anything to prevent Candida infections?
The best way to prevent vaginal infections caused by Candida is to make sure nothing happens that would upset the balance of vaginal conditions and allow Candida to grow out of control. Avoid products that would irritate the vagina, like tampons, pads, and toilet paper with fragrances or dyes. It’s best to avoid using store-bought douches as well. Keep your vagina clean using a gentle, basic soap. Finally, always practice safe sex. These are good tips to follow for preventing other kinds of vaginal infections and issues as well. If you think you’re experiencing problems with Candida infections, see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.