When most women experience genital itching or discharge, they tend to assume they have a yeast infection. Their next step is often quietly buying an over-the-counter product that has been advertised on TV. But genital itching can be a symptom of many other conditions, from other kinds of vaginal infections to sexually transmitted diseases to skin allergies.
If you have a vaginal yeast infection, follow these guidelines: � Follow the full treatment prescribed by your health care provider. � Avoid sexual intercourse until the infection is gone. � After urinating, wipe gently to avoid irritation. � Avoid high-sugar diets. � Use unscented soaps. � Avoid using douches and other chemicals, such as bubble bath or hygiene spray, in the vaginal area unless recommended by your health care provider. � Take a shower instead of a bath. Pat the genital area dry.� Wear cotton underwear to allow ventilation and to keep the area drier. � Lose weight if you are obese (20% over normal weight). � If you are diabetic, maintain a normal blood sugar. � Try eating yogurt. Some women find that daily yogurt prevents yeast overgrowth.
All women with the symptoms of infection described above should be treated. Women without symptoms should not be treated. The routine treatment of male sex partners is not recommended by most doctors because yeast vaginitis is not commonly acquired through sexual intercourse.
The intestinal tract is a perfect environment where yeast thrive. Be sure to wipe from front to back to avoid re infecting yourself.
Yeast can be found in the vagina, rectum, digestive system and mouth. Excessive amounts of yeast causes itching and a burning sensation. The most common and pesky yeast infection occurs in the vaginal tract. This is called Candidiasis and may be identified by a thick, white discharge. It looks like cottage cheese and smells like bread (which uses yeast to rise).
HIV is not the only immune depressant. Any kind of infection or illness can weaken the immune system, thus allowing the body�s own natural defenses to become inadequate. Physical and mental stress as well as lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and medications such as birth control pills, can also wreak havoc on the immune system, opening the door for yeast to occur. Hormonal surges during pregnancy can also temporarily upset the immune system and cause more frequent yeast infections.
Mainstream medicine treats yeast infections with antifungal medications that used to be available only by prescription. But recently several, such as nystatin (Mycostatin) and miconazole (Mon-istat), have become available over the counter, and they are advertised extensively. It’s too bad that herbalists can’t afford to make TV commercials. If they could, people would understand that there’s more than one way to treat a yeast infection.