It itches, it burns and ugh, what is that vaginal discharge? When people experience a vaginal yeast infection, it can seem overwhelming. And we just want it gone. Like, now.
At Her Wellness Health Center, Dr. Garritano and Christina know that yeast infections are very common. 3 out of 4 people who could develop a yeast infection will experience one at some point in their lives, and over a million people are treated for the condition in the U.S. each year.
A yeast infection develops when the naturally occurring fungus candida grows beyond the immune system’s ability to control it, causing irritation, itchiness, and discharge. This atypical growth can happen at any age. It can be caused when antibiotics used to treat an infection also kill the “good” bacteria that control candida. Yeast infections are also common in pregnant patients, patients with untreated diabetes, and patients with an impaired immune system. Because candida grows in the vagina, you may still develop a yeast infection if you’ve had a hysterectomy.
Antifungal medication to get the fungi back in balance is typically used to treat a yeast infection. These treatments can include topical creams, suppositories, or oral medications. You may get a one-time dose or multiple applications over the course of a week or 10 days, depending on the antifungal treatment we select together.
If you experience 4 or more yeast infections in a single year, you may have a chronic condition, Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (RVVC). Around 5% of patients have RVVC. It’s more likely in pregnant patients and people with diabetics or suppressed immune systems. Stress can also cause RVVC. While recurrent yeast infections can be treated with the same topical creams or oral medicines, we may increase your dosage, prescribe a stronger medication or extend antifungal treatment for several months to get your body’s microbiome balanced.
Candida occurs naturally in and on the human body, so there is no way to prevent yeast infections entirely. However, you can limit the unbalanced spread of candida fungi by taking these steps:
- Wear breathable underwear with a cotton crotch
- Avoid tight fitting undergarments like pantyhose and shapewear
- Change out of wet clothing such as gym clothes or swimsuits quickly
- Do not douche
- Do not use scented tampons, perfumed feminine-hygiene products or scented toilet paper.
When you suspect you’ve developed a yeast infection, give our office a call at 203-409-2539. While many products are available over-the-counter, Dr. Garritano and Christina can confirm that your infection is not caused by a more serious underlying condition and verify treatment options. We’ll also want to note the frequency and severity of any infections for your health history.
Do you have questions about yeast infections? Do you think you may have RVVC? Please contact us – we are always happy to help!