Have you been experiencing constant itching and irritation in the vagina? Do you go through a burning sensation while you urinate or during sexual intercourse? Have you noticed rashes or swelling of the vagina? If it’s a yes, then the bad news is that you suffer from Candidal vaginitis, simply put, vaginal yeast infection.
A common condition in every 3 out of 4 women, vaginitis is the result of an imbalance of yeast and bacteria already present in the vagina. Such an imbalance leads to the over-growth of a fungus called candida that causes the infection.
Some of the common symptoms include:
- Thick, odourless, whitish-grey discharge,
- Intense itching, irritation, and burning of the vaginal area
- Redness, soreness, and swelling of the vagina
- Pain during urination and intercourse
Diabetes, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, perfumed vaginal sprays, and douches also increase the vulnerability to the infection. Not considered a sexually transmitted infection, vaginitis can be treated easily once identified. Let’s have a look at some common queries.
All You Need to Know About Vaginal Yeast Infection and Fertility
Does a Yeast Infection Cause Infertility?
No, there is no evidence that can prove that yeast infection and fertility are directly related. However, the infection can indirectly contribute to the difficulty in getting pregnant. Also, recurrent infections or if left untreated, the yeast infection can affect fertility in the long run.
How Does it Affect Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?
Conceiving can be a problem if you are suffering from the infection. One, the irritation and pain dissuades you from indulging in any sexual activity. Two, the same white blood cells that fight the infection, can destroy the sperms of your partner. Moreover, the imbalance of the vaginal flora can make it hard for the sperm to reach the uterus and it weakens the vaginal mucosa’s ability to deal with other infections or diseases leading to fertility issues in the future.
Can a bacterial infection stop you from getting pregnant?
A bacterial infection occurs when a certain kind of bacteria in the vagina grows out of control. Women who have recently changed their sex partners or the ones with multiple partners are highly vulnerable to bacterial infections. Although, it doesn’t stops you from getting pregnant, in rare cases the infection can reach the fallopian tubes. If the tubes get scarred or blocked, it might lead to infertility. Also, certain recent studies have revealed that the infection can discourage pregnancy.
Can you have sex with a yeast infection?
It is recommended to delay any sexual activity till the infection clears out. One, it can transmit the infection to your partner. Two, having intercourse in this period can be painful and extremely uncomfortable, as skin-to-skin contact or friction can prove to be too rough. Three, penetrative sex can aggravate the inflammation, resulting in more of itching and irritation. Four, the symptoms of the infection get more pronounced due to sexual activities, which in turn delays the healing process. Five, friction can cause damages to the vaginal tissues making it susceptible to other sexually-transmitted diseases.
How to Treat Yeast Infection while Trying to Conceive?
Yeast infection can be treated easily and it usually takes about a week to get completely cured. The best advice to treat the infection while trying to conceive is to delay the pregnancy planning. A wide array of antifungal vaginal creams, pills and vaginal pessaries are available in local pharmacies or super markets. These medications commonly include Terconazole, Clotrimazole, Miconazole, butoconazole, and fluconazole. Vaginal creams and ointments can be applied directly to the problem area with clean hands. Regular application of the cream gradually reduces the soreness and irritation. Vaginal pessaries, like tampons, are inserted using an applicator device. It targets the root of the infection and is a pain-free treatment. Pills can also treat the infection, however a combination of cream and pills will better serve the purpose.
Can You Prevent a Yeast Infection?
Although it may not be possible to rule out the possibility of this infection, one can take preventive steps to reduce the risk and chances of suffering from one.
- Tight-fitted nylon and polyester clothes creates the breeding ground for yeast. It is recommended to wear cotton underwear or the ones with a cotton lining in the crotch area, as cotton allows free movement of air.
- Whether it’s a sanitary napkin or a soap, scentless and gentle products best suits this highly vulnerable part of your body. Avoid using perfumed sprays, powders, or detergents as they can cause an imbalance in the bacteria that are already present.
- Do not in stay in tight and wet clothes for long. Change as soon as you are out of your gym sessions or a swim. Also, try to avoid extra hot tubs and extra hot water for bathing.
- Douching is not recommended as it is said to kill the good bacteria that’s actually kills the bad bacteria. Gentle soap and water works best for cleaning this sensitive area.
- When in periods, change the sanitary napkins often as this is the time when you are most sensitive to contracting diseases and infections.
- If suffering from diabetes, manage your sugar levels as diabetes makes you vulnerable to such infections. Also, avoid the usage of antibiotics.
The yeast infection affects majority of the women and it is rarely serious. Hygiene practices, healthy eating habits, and sufficient sleep is the key to deal with infections and diseases.
Know These Facts
- The infection is also known as Yeast vaginitis, Candidalvulvovaginitis, Candidal vaginitis, vaginal candidiasis.
- The scientific name of the yeast that causes the infection is Candida (Candida albicans in 90% of the cases).
- 4 or more episodes of yeast infection in a year points to chronic yeast infection and about 5%-8% women fall prey to it.
- Using tampons dipped in yogurt twice a day and adding two spoons of apple cider in a warm bath are some excellent homemade tips to deal with the infection.
- Yogurt, garlic and fermented foods support good bacteria. Eat more of them and less of processed foods.