If you are a woman, yeast infections are nothing new to you – even if you may not have experienced them, you know someone who has. If you do happen to get yeast infections yourself, you are probably wondering if there are any home remedies for treating them yourself, which there are.
What is a yeast infection?
A yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, is a fungal infection that causes discharge, irritation, and intense itchiness of the vagina and vulva, or the tissues of the vaginal opening. Many women experience at least two episodes; a yeast infection affects up to three out of four women in their lifetimes.
Most yeast infections are a result of the fungus candida albicans. The vagina contains a balanced mix of yeast and bacteria, which acts to prevent an overgrowth of yeast, but that balance can be affected.
When that overgrowth of candida in the vagina’s yeast penetrates deeper vaginal cell layers, that is when you can see the signs of a yeast infection.
Although not a sexually transmitted infection, there is a higher risk of vaginal yeast infections during initial sex activity.
What does a yeast infection look like?
Mild to moderate symptoms of a yeast infection include the following:
- Burning sensation, particularly during intercourse or urinating
- Cottage cheese appearance of vaginal discharge (thick, white, and odor-free or an unusual odor)
- Pain or soreness of the vagina
- Swelling (and redness) of the vulva
- Vaginal rash
- Vaginal/vulva irritation and itching
- Watery discharge from the vagina
Yeast infection healing signs
Ways to tell that your yeast infection has run its course and has begun to heal include the following signs:
- Alleviation of discomfort from decreased itching
- Vaginal discharge has returned to its normal smell and consistency
- Any rash, redness, or swelling has diminished
How to prevent yeast infections
To prevent the overgrowth of candida, leading to your yeast infection, be mindful of the reasons for this overgrowth: