Yeast lives naturally in the body and on the skin, but an overgrowth of yeast causes yeast infection. These infections are more common in women and children. Men get yeast infections less often. With treatment, most yeast infections clear up within a week or two.
This FAQ guide will provide you with the proper guidelines about yeast infections, their types, causes, symptoms, and treatments. Continue reading to get familiar with yeast infections.
What is the main cause of yeast infection?
Candida albicans is the leading cause of vaginal yeast infection. Most women will suffer from this infection at some point in their life.
Yeast is a type of fungus. Most of the yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans – a common yeast species. Candidiasis is the infection caused by candida yeast.
The yeast Candida albicans is present naturally in the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina. A healthy balance of this yeast and bacteria helps to kill harmful organisms within and on the body. However, when their balance is disturbed, Candida grows abnormally, leading to yeast infections.
If it overgrows in the mouth, it causes oral yeast infections (oral thrush), and in the vagina, it causes vaginal yeast infection.
What are the symptoms of yeast infections?
The symptoms of oral candidiasis, also named thrush or oropharyngeal candidiasis, range from mild to severe and include:
- Redness and soreness
- Loss of taste
- Redness and cracking on the sides of the mouth
- Difficulty and pain in swallowing
- White patches on the roof of mouth, tongue, inner cheeks, and throat
The symptoms of vaginal candidiasis can be severe. They are:
- Irritation and itching in the vagina
- Vaginal burning, soreness, and swelling
- A sensation of pain during urination
- Burning and redness of the vulva
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
How long does a yeast infection last?
How long a yeast infection lasts depends upon the severity of the infection and how it is treated. Yeast infections that are not appropriately treated increase their severity. You should consult a Gynecologist or healthcare professional if you experience any signs or symptoms of yeast infection.
Mild yeast infections do not take longer than three to five days to clear up completely and may not need treatment. However, moderate to severe infections may take one to two weeks to clear up.
Treatments and home remedies in the over-the-counter form are often effective in mild infections but not as powerful as prescriptions. If you have a severe yeast infection and you use a milder treatment, you may experience a prolonged yeast infection.
Can a yeast infection go away on its own?
Mild yeast infections may go away on their own without any treatment. However, the absence of proper medication can cause severe yeast infections.
Vaginal yeast infections are widespread infections characterized by vaginal irritation, redness, and swelling. Choosing a proper treatment for vaginal yeast infection is compulsory, but some people get rid of it without any medications. So is the case of oral candidiasis.
Although mild vaginal yeast infections often go away on their own, it is suggested that you consult your healthcare professional for proper treatment to avoid further complications.
What is the fastest way to get rid of yeast infection?
Over-the-counter antifungal drug treatment is the fastest way to treat all sorts of yeast infections. These over-the-counter antifungal drugs are available as
The use of these drugs can cause irritation. But within a few days, the symptoms of yeast infection begin to fade. This treatment usually takes 3 to 7 days to cure the yeast infection completely.
You can also use a lot of natural remedies to help treat them. The important thing is to make sure they are proven to work.
How do you get a yeast infection in your body?
Naturally, the body and the skin contain a balanced amount of yeast, including Candida and certain bacteria like lactobacillus. This balance prevents the overgrowth of yeast on and within the body. However, when this balance is disrupted due to some complications, the rapid growth of yeast occurs. This overgrowth can lead to yeast infections.
Does a yeast infection smell?
Vaginal yeast infections are typically odor-free, which distinguishes them from other vaginal infections. However, odd odors are commonly linked to different ailments and should be diagnosed by your healthcare professional.
What should I eat if I have a yeast infection?
A person with yeast infection should eat food loaded with vitamins, healthy fats, and probiotic products. Greek yogurt is the best choice for people suffering from recurrent yeast infections. These foods decrease inflammation and balance the body’s bacteria levels. Diets high in carbohydrates and sugar should be avoided during a yeast infection.
Can drinking a lot of water flush out a yeast infection?
Just like garlic and yogurt, water also helps in combating yeast infections (the dairy in yogurt isn’t bad for you as many believe). Water is considered a natural remedy for flushing out yeast infections. Drinking plenty of water helps in eliminating unwanted yeast and bacteria from your body. Excessive urination will help to reduce the elevated blood sugar levels and helps control the growth of yeast.
How can a woman be sure she has a yeast infection and not something else?
Specific health issues can be confused with yeast infections as they mimic the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections. Women may experience severe itching and discomfort from an allergic reaction to a harsh detergent, scented lotions, or soaps. Similarly, bacterial vaginosis and STDs (such as herpes) cause the same itchiness and discomfort in the vagina.
Yeast infections get better with antifungals. If your antifungals are not curing symptoms, then it is time to diagnose the real cause of your infection. There may be something serious. The best way to confirm either you have a yeast infection or something else is to consult your healthcare professional.
How do I know my yeast infection is getting better?
If you experience a notable reduction in the appearance of yeast infection symptoms, it means your yeast infection is getting better. In case of vaginal yeast infections, the vaginal discharge will return to a normal consistency. Vaginal discomfort and itching will go away. Your genital area will become free from redness, swelling, and rash. In the case of oral and throat thrush, your tongue will return to a normal appearance. There will be no difficulty while swallowing, and your taste will recover.
How are yeast infections treated?
Antifungal treatments are proven beneficial for clearing yeast infections. Both prescription and over-the-counter treatments are available. Oral thrush is treated by using antifungal mouthwash and lozenges. Skin yeast infections are usually treated with topical treatments. Antifungal creams such as miconazole, clotrimazole, and nystatin are used.
Vaginal yeast infections are treated by using both topical and oral methods. Probiotics can be taken orally to minimize the recurrence of vaginal yeast infections. Medicated creams can be applied to get rid of the infection. It is recommended to consult your healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Who is at greatest risk for yeast infections?
Due to some underlying health problems, people with diabetes, weakened immune systems, and pregnant women are at a greater risk for yeast infections. Weakened immune systems, increased estrogen levels, and elevated sugar levels provide favorable conditions for yeast to multiply, resulting in yeast infection. Moreover, overuse of antibiotics also increases the risk for yeast infections.
How do I prevent yeast infections?
You can prevent yeast infections by adopting some lifestyle changes. You should:
- Avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics
- Brush your teeth twice a day, especially before sleeping
- Use a medicated mouth wash to avoid yeast accumulation
- Change wet diaper or clothes immediately
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes
- Avoid douching and hot tubs
- Do not use scented feminine products
- Use 100% cotton underwear
- Consume a balanced diet
- Eat yogurt and lactobacillus supplements
Can yeast infections be sexually transmitted?
In women with healthy vaginal yeast levels, yeast is rarely sexually transmitted. Yeast usually is not transmitted from one person to another person. Yeast infections are not considered STDs because you can get them without having sex. The chances of passing a yeast infection to your partner are less likely when you are healthy.
However, if you have an active yeast infection, sexual intercourse may affect a healthy partner. The risk of passing yeast infection to your partner is greater if you have unprotected sex. Keep yourself and your partner safe by taking all precautionary measures.
Are yeast infections contagious?
Yeast infections are more common in children and women and are rarely contagious. Antifungal drugs and creams are available to clear these infections. Warm and moist conditions favor the overgrowth of yeast. Yeast infections can go away on their own most of the time. But it is recommended to consult your healthcare professional for proper treatment.
If yeast infections are left untreated for longer than two to four weeks, they can be detrimental to your health. They can infect your blood and cause multiple infections in severe cases, leading to serious health complications.