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Have you ever been diagnosed with a yeast infection or know someone who has? Chances are you do.  Yeast infections, or vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), is the second most common type of vaginal infection in this country.  Some factors that may put you at risk for yeast infections are obesity, pregnancy, uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus, use , of corticosteriods and antibiotics, diet high in sugar, and wearing really tight clothing. 

The most common presenting symptom of an yeast infection is itching down there and a white, thick, lumpy cottage cheese- looking discharge…nice mental pic, right? (Why do we always compare stuff to food? lol) Other signs you may have an yeast infection are red, swollen vaginal lips, painful urination, and a yeasty or musty odor.  Think of when bread sits out too long and starts to grow mold. 

If you have any signs and symptoms of this infection, you should make an appointment with your health care provider and get checked out for an official diagnosis.  A lot of times women self diagnose themselves with an yeast infection when there’s really something else going on.  If in fact, you do have an yeast infection, the HCP will prescribe you an antifungal agent for you to take orally or apply topically to the affected area.  You can have your choice of OTC medications or a single dose pill by prescription.

The real key to beating yeast infections is to not get them in the first place.  Prevention…it’s just that simple.  Below are tips on keeping your treasure box yeast free.

  • Wear underwear with a cotton crotch.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing, especially jeans.
  • Limit time spent in damp exercise clothes (moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus).
  • Avoid colored or scented toilet paper.
  • Use condoms each and every time.
  • Urinate before and after sex.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet.
  • Drink yeast active milk and yogurt with lactobacilli and probiotics.
  • Do not douch.

Take home message: Keep your vagina clean and dry.

Remember ladies, keep a healthy demeanor, both inside and out. 🙂