WHAT ARE VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS?
Another name for vaginal yeast infection is candida vulvovaginitis. It’s a very common condition that is cause by a fungus called Candida albican.
In a healthy vagina, candida albican lives in a natural balance with bacteria. A disruption of the balance can cause excessive growth of the fungus and lead to an infection.
THE SCIENCE OF VAGINAL YEAST INFECTIONS
Candida albican is an opportunistic pathogen. Which means it lives symbiotically with the natural human gut flora, but excessive growth of this yeast can cause invasive infection. Candida albican usually lives with natural balance with bacteria, most especially Lactobacilli. It also strives in an acidic pH
A healthy vagina has a low pH level within the range of 4-4.5 which means it is acidic. This acidic nature of the vagina is due to lactic acid production of Lactobacilli. This acidic environment protects the vagina and cervix by exerting selective antimicrobial activity against non-resident microbiota and suppressing the growth of several micro organisms. It also plays a role in preventing sexually transmitted infection
Lactobacilli is maintained by steroid reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and other androgen.
When there is a drop in the concentration of lactobacilli due to excessive death of the bacteria, the pH of the vaginal flora rises. The rise in the pH promotes the growth of the fungus.
THE SYMPTOMS OF VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION
The common symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include:
- Change in colour of vaginal discharge.
- Change in amount of vaginal discharge. There is usually a higher amount
- A fishy smell of the vagina due to pH disruption
- Burning sensation
- Pain during intercourse and urination
WHAT ARE DAILY ROUTINES THAT CAUSE VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION
Daily routines that cause an imbalance in pH lead to vaginal yeast infection. Example are:
- Unprotected sex. Due to semen which is alkaline in nature and can therefore interfere with the vaginal pH
- Washing vagina with soap. Soap is also alkaline in nature.
- Lack of hygiene. This promotes bacterial growth
- Not wearing cotton underwear.
- Taking oral contraception. This disrupts hormonal concentraction which decreases lactobilli concentration and therefore decrease pH
- Wearing tight clothing
other causes of vaginal yeast infections include:
- Intake of antibiotic. This kills bacteria, such as lactobilli
HOW CAN THEY BE PREVENTED
- Wash with only water. The vagina is a self-cleansing organ. You need not to use any extra cleansing agent on it
- Wear clean cotton underwear
- Avoid tight clothing
- Avoid douching.
- Change menstrual pads and tampons
- Use condom
- Frequently change condom during intercourse
- Avoid casual sex
HOW TO BE CURED IF I ALREADY HAVE IT
If you suspects that you have vaginal yeast infection, first visit your gynecologist for examination and proper diagnosis. Remedies that can cure the infection include:
- Take probiotics and yogurt, both of which can restore natural bacterial balance. Oral supplements of probiotics takes about 10days to reach full effect.
- Organic coconut oil which is effective against candida albican.
- Add half cup of apple 67 cider vinger into a warm bath and soak for 20-30minutes, vinegar is acidic in nature and can eliminate the harmful micro-organism
- Hydrogen peroxide can kill candida albicans and is produced by lactobacilli bacteria, it can also be added to a warm bath though there is no scientifical support to this
- Vitamin C is an immune booster, and is also an acid (ascorbic acid). It can be used to treat candida albican
If symptoms persist after home remedies, seek professional medical help
Vaginal yeast infection is very common, it occurs due to an imbalance to pH of the vagina and may lead to itching, discomfort, fishy smelly vagina and irritation. It is not sexually transmittable but safe sex and good hygiene can prevent it.
- What other ways have you been able to cure candida vulvovaginitis? Lets know in the comments