Caring for Vagina Thrush

Vagina thrush, also known as vaginal candidas or a yeast infection, affects 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lifetime.  Despite how common it is, it can be a scary experience if you don’t completely understand the cause and the symptoms.

How did I get vagina thrush?
In every woman’s vagina, there’s a naturally-occurring fungus called Candida.  This normally grows in small amounts, but when something upsets your body’s vaginal balance, it can grow too much.  Healthy bacteria are what keep overgrowth from occurring, but they can only function well in a balanced vagina.  The conditions in the vagina can be upset by a few different things.  Menstruation, birth control bills, antibiotics, stress, and irritation are all possible causes.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of vagina thrush are more uncomfortable than dangerous.  Itching, burning, and swelling can all affect the area around the vagina, making sex and urination somewhat painful.  These are all symptoms you can feel; however, what doctors will look for to make a diagnosis is a more visual symptom.  Thrush of the vagina causes the production of a thick, white discharge that looks a little bit like cottage cheese.  This is often the most obvious symptom of vagina thrush.

Are there options for treatment?
Perhaps the only good thing about this kind of infection is the variety of options for treating it.  Thrush of the vagina is most commonly treated with a topical cream.  This soothes symptoms as soon as it’s applied, although it will take up to 24 hours to notice a change in the condition itself.  Another choice for treatment is a pill.  You need a prescription to get treatment in a pill form, but it might be worth it since it’s less messy than creams, which can be difficult to apply.

How do I keep vagina thrush from coming back?
Prevention is key to avoid future episodes of infection.  Your goal is to keep balanced vaginal conditions.  To achieve this goal, avoid products that could be irritants to the vagina.  This includes feminine hygiene products containing scents and dyes, as well as harsh soaps and detergents.  Douching should also be avoiding, because it kills the healthy bacteria in the vagina, as well as the unhealthy.  This unbalanced state can leave you susceptible to vagina thrush.  Also remember to keep the area clean and dry to discourage infections, which like to form in warm, damp places.

If, after reading this, you suspect you might have vagina thrush, see a doctor.  With your new knowledge, the visit should be a breeze, and you’ll be back to your healthy self in no time!

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