5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Yeast Infections

African American woman with long braidsSorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you haven’t had a yeast infection just yet – chances are you’ll probably get one — eventually. Per the CDC, nearly 75 percent of all adult women have had at least one yeast infection in their lifetime — with half experiencing two or more.

When something disrupts the vagina’s natural balance of healthy bacteria, yeast (also known as fungus Candida) can flourish, leading to an intense itching, burning sensation and inflammation of the vagina. So, what really causes an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina? Here are 5 things every woman needs to know about yeast infections.

1. Symptoms can mimic other problems. 

One study found that as little as 11 percent of women who had never experienced a yeast infection could identify the symptoms. Meanwhile, further research found that only one-third of women who believed they we’re battling a yeast infection did.

Here’s where the confusion comes in: Many symptoms associated with yeast infections: burning, itching, pain during sex, discharge can signal other health issues like bacterial vaginosis (BV), an urinary tract infection (UTI) or worse, an STD. Bottom line: It can be difficult to figure out. So, if you believe you have a yeast infection, it’s best to get it checked out.

2. Wet bathing suits are not your friend.

Wet clothing is a recipe for disaster. Why? Because yeast thrives in warm, wet environments. This is crucial for women who suffer from recurrent episodes, If you’re prone to yeast infections, hanging out poolside in a wet bathing suit for extended periods of time probably isn’t the best idea. Make changing out of soggy threads a priority!