The vagina is a perfect place for a yeast infection to thrive as it has folds, is warm, damp and dark. Vaginal yeast infections are very common and most women, around three quarters of them, will get or have had a yeast infection of the vagina. Out of those, some also have repeated occurences. It is therefore important to know the main symptoms so that you can identify what you have as early as possible. This is because quick treatment is important, leaving a yeast infection untreated can cause other health problems with internal organs and even the brain.
Itching is the most common problem usually and is accompanied with a swelling and redness of the area. There can be a clear or white or yellow discharge and its consistency ranges from runny to thick to lumpy like cottage cheese. Some get a very unpleasant odor, like a fermenting or yeasty smell. It is important to note here that should you be experiencing a fishy odor this is not a yeast infection sign but is a bacterial infection symptom. You need to know that as the treatments are different, if you treat yourself for a yeast infection but you have BV then your BV is going untreated and can worsen.
Other symptoms are pain, usually after urinating and during sex. It is painful during sex because of the swelling and possible dryness. Since it can pass to your sexual partner even if he is male, practice safe sex and have your partner check themselves. A possible course of action would be washing both partners genitals in diluted white vinegar to help readjust pH and make it inhospitable for the yeast to live there.
When deciding how to treat yourself there are three main options to choose from, visit your doctor for a prescribed medication, get an over the counter treatment from a pharmacy or seek out effective natural remedies.
In order to help prevent yeast infections there are some things you can do at home. Make sure when you wipe after urinating that you wipe front to back, the same after excreting. This will make sure no feces is moved to the vagina. Make sure you wash and dry thoroughly. Wearing cotton underwear helps as it lets the skin breathe. Avoid lycra or nylon and only wear panty hose if you have to!