A yeast infection is an infection of the genital area, mouth, or throat that's caused by bacteria known as Candida Albicans. The most common type of yeast infection is the vaginal yeast infection that many women suffer from off and on throughout their lives.
Candida bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, and this is why yeast infections are so commonly found in female vaginal tracts. Yeast infections, also known as thrush, can also be common in or around the mouth, and in the throat for the same reasons. These areas of the human body are quite warm and always moist.
Some people are more prone to yeast infections than others are, but the infections can actually be caused in numerous ways.
One of the biggest contributors to yeast infections is prescription antibiotics. The human body is filled with what are described in simple terms as “good bacteria" and “bad bacteria". When you get any infection, yeast included, your body has an overabundance of bad bacteria and that has overwhelmed the healing and balancing capabilities normally handled by the good bacteria and your body's immune system.
Common treatments for any kind of infection involve taking prescription antibiotic medications. These medicines are quite strong, and their job is to kill all bacteria in your body. Antibiotics don't differentiate between good or bad bacteria, so when you take these medicines - particularly for an extended period of time - all the good bacteria in your body is destroyed in the process. This leaves you more vulnerable to other types of infections, and vaginal yeast infections are a common one women suffer with after taking prescription antibiotics.
The second biggest cause of yeast infections for women is the clothing they wear. Wearing tight pants for instance, or underclothing that does not let air circulate can create a super friendly breeding environment for the Candida bacteria to populate and grow.
Another common cause of vaginal yeast infections in women is colored dies and perfumes. If you use perfumed toilet paper for instance, or feminine hygiene products, you could be more susceptible to a yeast infection.
Dirt will help create yeast infections too, particularly if there is an open cut or sore in the affected area. This is a very common cause of oral thrush in children actually, because they tend to play in the dirt and sometimes even eat it. Women are more susceptible to vaginal yeast infections if they wear dirty cloths, or have intercourse with men who work with dirt, grease or oil during the day and haven't cleaned up first.
A little known fact about vaginal yeast infections is that condoms can actually create them too. The use of condoms which have spermicide on them known as nonoxynol-9, has been proven in studies to be linked to increased yeast infections. Some women however, are simply allergic to latex, so using any type of latex condom can start a yeast infection for them.
Vaginal yeast infections are usually indicated by burning, itching sensations in the vagina or vulva area on a woman. There's often a discharge as well, and this can look almost like a cottage cheese substance. In some cases the discharge can simply be discolored however. Usually there is a smell similar to bread or beer with the discharge.
If you've never had a vaginal yeast infection before, you should visit a doctor so they can do a lab culture and make sure. You don't want to treat for a yeast infection when you don't actually have one, because this can cause additional health problems later. Once you know what a yeast infection is like and feel confident recognizing it on your own, you can use herbal remedies to treat it, or buy over the counter yeast infection medications.
Statements made here may not be approved by the FDA, and should not be considered as professional medical advice.
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