What is a Yeast Infection?

A yeast infection is a vaginal infection that is caused by Candida albicans. Three quarters of the world's women will have a yeast infection during their lifetime, many of them will be plagued with the problem multiple times. Yeast infections generally include a variety of symptoms; redness, dryness, burning, and itching. Women who have severe yeast infections will notice frequent urination and that they have a swollen vulva.

Candida albicans is fungus diploid asexual fungus. Although it is most commonly found infecting women's vagina's, it is also found in the oral cavity, men's foreskins, folds of the skins, and in babies diapered areas, basically the fungus likes warm, moist, dark areas. It can also live in the gastrointestinal tract.

There are a variety of reasons a women can get a vaginal yeast infection. Stress can trigger an outbreak. The type of clothing you wear can also trigger fungal growth. Many women claim that they develop a yeast infection at the beginning of their menstrual cycle. A reaction to oral contraceptives (birth control) can also trigger a yeast infection.

Although not as common, men can also develop a yeast infection, the condition is frequently called Balanitis. Balanitis is frequently found in the penal head, and is most common in men that have not been circumcised.

There are a variety of over the counter-the-counter treatments that have been very successful in clearing up the yeast infection. While these treatments have been successful in the past, there is some concern that the yeast can develop an immunity to the treatment, this is especially true if you are a person who is particularly prone to yeast infections. If you feel that you yeast infection is immune to the over-the-counter treatment you are using, you can try using a new product, or go to your doctor for a prescription treatment.

Although many women opt to avoid a doctors bill by diagnosing and treating their yeast infection this is not always a good idea. It is possible to misdiagnose a yeast infection. It could in fact be a urinary tract infection, or a sign of a more serious reproductive problem. Temple University did a study in 1997 that showed that eleven percent of women who thought they had a yeast infection actually had a bacteria infection, these bacterial infections required a different type of treatment. If you use an over the counter treatment and your yeast infection does not clear up in a few days, schedule a trip to the doctors office. A yeast infection should be gone one week after you have started treatment, if it is still lingering see your doctor.

Although it doesn't happen very frequently, it is possible for yeast infections to be sexually transferred. It would be wise to avoid sex until the yeast infection has cleared up.

Ways to avoid a yeast infection include wearing loose fitting clothing, wearing cotton underwear, wearing underwear that isn't perfumed or died, changing out of your wet bathing suit, avoid douching, wiping from front to back, and maintaining a balanced blood sugar level.