What is a Yeast Infection?
Candidiasis is the most common type of yeast infection and is caused by a type of fungus called Candida. This organism commonly penetrates and affects areas of the body such as the mouth, around dentures, under the breasts, the vagina, groin area, nail beds, and beneath other skin folds.
Yeast infections are more common in cases of poor hygiene, weakened immune systems, following antibiotic and steroid use, as well as hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause.
Women are more prone to yeast infections, and three out of four women are affected during their lifetime by vaginal yeast infections. Men also may also develop a yeast infection, but it is less common. It is not primarily a sexually transmitted condition, but the infection can be transmitted between partners.
Yeast infection symptoms that recur relentlessly should receive medical attention, while others may be treated with over-the-counter drugs. A wide range of treatment options which include conventional and homeopathic therapies can alleviate symptoms and ensure less pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. There are also many natural cures for yeast infections that do not have the negative sides effects commonly associated with conventional medicine.
How is a Yeast Infection Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of a vaginal yeast infection will usually be determined by the following:
A vaginal examination
Samples of discharge will be examined under microscope
For chronic infections, the discharge may be cultured to determine what else may be present. A more serious condition such as chlamydia or gonorrhea can easily be mistaken for a yeast infection, so it is best to have yeast infection symptoms checked out by a medical practitioner, especially if the infection does not respond well to treatment.
What are the Causes of Yeast Infections?
A yeast infection is caused by the overgrowth of a fungus known as Candida albicans. Candida albicans is normally found in all people, but the levels are usually kept in check by the body.
There are many things that can create an imbalance leading to Candida overgrowth and infection.