Copyright © 2020 Nameya Jacobs

YEAST INFECTIONS 101

Image: Meredith White via Club Clitoris

 

If there's one thing having a vagina is not, it's easy. Because they are so sensitive, taking care of one can be difficult if you don't have the knowledge or resources to do so. That's why today, I'm going to teach you about one of the vagina's worst enemies: (excess) yeast.

 

If you have a vagina, you've probably heard of a yeast infection and the stigma surrounding it because most people think it's an STI, and while having sex can cause a yeast infection, it cannot be classified as an STI because it is not contagious and cannot be passed on. If you have a yeast infection after having sex, it's your body's reaction to the natural yeast and bacteria in your sexual partner.

 

I digress.

 

In this post, I'm going to explain what a yeast infection is, what the symptoms look like, how to treat one and some do's and don'ts.

 

NB: I am not a gynaecologist. Contact a healthcare professional before taking my advice.

 

WHAT IS A YEAST INFECTION?

According to PlannedParenthood, a vaginal yeast infection is the overgrowth of yeast typically found in the vagina, also known as Candida albicans. A yeast infection can be brought on by:

- Changes in hormone levels (during your menstrual cycle, for example)

- Antibiotics

- Pregnancy

- Diabetes

- A weak immune system

- An unbalanced diet

- Stress

 

(I told you, your vagina is sensitive.)

 

SYMPTOMS OF A YEAST INFECTION

- Vaginal itching or burning

- Itching/burning/pain during sex

- Itching or burning during urinating

- Swelling around the vagina

- Soreness

- Redness

- A rash

- White, cottage-cheese like discharge

 

HOW TO TREAT A YEAST INFECTION

If, however, your symptoms worsen, visit a healthcare professional.Luckily, treating a yeast infection is as easy as getting a vaginal cream from your local drugstore or pharmacy. Follow the instruction manual and continue to use the cream for the recommended duration, even if your symptoms improve. 

 

DO'S/DON'TS

DO:

- Eat yogurt (preferably plain or Greek yogurt)

- Wear cotton underwear

 

DON'T:

- Have penetrative or oral sex

- Wear tight clothing, such as thongs or leggings

- Use scented soaps, pads or tampons

- Sit around in wet or sweaty clothing

- Take baths

- Douche

 

Resources:

PlannedParenthood

Healthline

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