Treatment for Yeast Infection in Women

Treatment for Yeast Infection in Women

If a yeast infection goes untreated, one may experience worsening symptoms. Here are ways to treat and prevent it.

Yeast infection also referred to as “thrush” or “vaginal candidiasis”, is a common vaginal infection caused by a type of fungus called Candida. It is the second most common vaginal infection in women.

The vaginal canal has “good” Lactobacillus bacteria, which make up the normal vaginal flora. Small amounts of Candida are found in the vagina without causing any symptoms. However, if there is a disruption to the normal vaginal flora, Candida can overgrow and sometimes affect the deeper layers of the vagina, resulting in symptoms and a yeast infection. 

Common symptoms 

Typical symptoms of a yeast infection include:

  • Itch in the vulva and/or the vagina  
  • Discomfort (often described as a burning sensation)
  • Pain or soreness, which may also be more evident during sexual intercourse or urination, similar to a urinary tract infection
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge which is commonly described as clumpy, curd-like or “cottage cheese”-like, and can be white, yellow, or green in colour.
Treatment for Yeast Infection in Women

Read on for yeast infection treatment and prevention. | Image source: iStock

Causes

Any disruption to the normal vaginal flora can trigger a yeast infection. Various risk factors include: 

  • Antibiotic ingestion, even for an unrelated infection, because the antibiotics can kill the good vaginal flora, allowing yeast overgrowth
  • A weakened immune system, which may occur in individuals with poorly controlled diabetes or people taking immunosuppressive medication
  • Pregnant women are more susceptible to yeast infections due to hormonal and bodily changes
  • Increased levels of estrogen, such as in individuals taking the birth control pills
  • Certain behaviours like douching 

Is it an STD?

A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, sexual contact can trigger a yeast infection. The use of sex toys and lubricants can disrupt the vaginal flora and result in a yeast infection. 

Diagnosis

Yeast infections can often be diagnosed clinically based on the clinical history and physical examinations. Your doctor may also do a swab test to confirm this diagnosis to exclude other vaginal infections, as STDs like Trichomonas may give similar symptoms (itching and thick discharge), or can coexist with a yeast infection.

Complications

If a yeast infection goes untreated, one may experience worsening symptoms. In some cases, open wounds from scratching can get infected, and additional anti-bacterial medication may be required. Women who experience a first yeast infection are also more likely to have a repeat yeast infection.  

Treatment for Yeast Infection in Women

Yeast infection treatment options can include oral medication. Image source: iStock

Yeast Infection Treatment

Yeast infections can be treated with antifungal medication. This can either be administered orally (tablets) or intra-vaginally (cream or vaginal pessaries). 

In women who suffer from recurrent yeast infections (defined as at least four episodes a year), regular suppressive antifungal medications may be recommended.

Intravaginal boric acid is an alternative to antifungal medication. 

Prevention

While yeast infections may not be fully preventable, you can reduce your risk by avoiding douching, or the use of any harsh soaps or scented feminine care products and opt for loose, breathable cotton underwear. Avoid unnecessary antibiotics that may kill off your good vaginal flora. 

Yeast infections are extremely common and treatable, and there is no need to suffer in silence if you are experiencing one.

Dr Grace Huang of DTAP Clinic contributed this article.

Dr Grace Huang is the resident doctor at DTAP Clinic Robertson, a general practice clinic with a special interest in Men’s, Women’s, and Sexual Health. She has a keen interest in Women’s health and wellness medicine. She believes communication is the key to empowering patients through facilitating a better understanding of their own health and medical issues and is always more than glad to address and allay her patients’ concerns.

Some background about DTAP clinic

Established in 2005, DTAP clinics, a pioneer of the GP plus, or “General Practice with Special Interest” model in Singapore, provides holistic and comprehensive medical care for everyone. We provide basic GP services with a key focus in HIV & STD testing and management, Men’s Health (Andrology), Women’s Health, Allergy, Skin and Chronic Disease Management services. Our clinics are located in Singapore and Malaysia. Visit https://dtapclinic.com.

Lead image source: iStock

ALSO READ:

How to Spot and Treat a Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy

Yeast infection in children: All you need to know about it

https://t.me/theAsianparentSG

Got a parenting concern? Read articles or ask away and get instant answers on our app. Download theAsianparent Community on iOS or Android now!

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are personal and belong solely to the author; and do not represent those of theAsianparent or its clients.

Written by

theAsianparent

app info
get app banner