If you have a yeast infection, you might want to do yourself a favor and find out about the most common causes of yeast infections. Ultimately, the more you know about the causes of these itchy and irritating infections, the better equipped you will be to avoid them, because while you can never be 100% safe from a yeast infection, there are some things that can. can be done to minimize the risk. Below, learn about the causes of yeast infections and what everyone with a vagina should know about how to recognize and (most importantly) get rid of them.
If you need a refresher, these are signs of a yeast infection.
Yeast infection symptoms can range in severity, but they are guaranteed to always be unpleasant. Yeast infections can have similar symptoms to other vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis or vaginitis, so figuring out what’s going on is important to treating the problem properly and improving the condition instead of making it worse. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some things to consider:
A lot of irritability. Yeast infections are often very itchy in and around the vagina. It may burn, especially when you urinate or have sex.
Changes in your stool. During a yeast infection, vaginal discharge is usually thick and white like cottage cheese (sorry if that ruined the cottage cheese). You may also have watery stools. Unlike bacterial infections such as vaginosis, yeast infections do not cause foul odors.
Vaginal swelling, redness, or vaginal rash.
Vaginal pain and soreness.
These are fairly common symptoms of a yeast infection, but you may also be dealing with what are known as “complicated” yeast infections. With a complicated yeast infection, your symptoms can get worse, with extensive redness, swelling, and itching that can lead to tears, cracks, or sores. You can read more about recurring and complicated yeast infections here.
So what causes a yeast infection?
In general, yeast infections are usually caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. As gross as it sounds to have yeast in your vagina, having Candida albicans in your vagina is completely natural; The problem is when there is too much. Normally, your vagina does a pretty good job of keeping its own ecosystem in balance, but when a single microbe grows more or less than it should, it can easily become infected.
A yeast infection usually causes the Lactobacillus, the “good” bacteria, to throw off something that keeps Candida albicans out of balance. If left unchecked, Candida albicans can overgrow the area and cause a yeast infection, Michael Kakowicz, MD, of Wexner Medical Center in Ohio, tells SELF.