Itchy and red down there? Does your toilet paper look like you’ve peed cottage cheese? Is sex a bit painful these days? Uh-oh. You probably have a yeast infection.
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a type of yeast called Candida. This yeast is normally found in small amounts in our bodies, but due to some health conditions or certain medications, it might overgrow, especially in the moist, warm parts, such as – you guessed it. If you have excessive yeast growth in your vaginal area, you have a vaginal yeast infection. And yeast infections are no fun.
Vaginal yeast infections are common in women. Symptoms include:
Men Are Not Immune
Men can get yeast infections, too, especially if they are uncircumcised, in which case yeast can collect in the warm, moist area under the foreskin.
Male symptoms include itching or burning and redness on the top of the penis. Many couples wonder if yeast infections are contagious via sex, but that is unlikely.
How Common Are Yeast Infections and How Are They Treated?
The good news is that yeast infections are usually taken care of easily with antifungal creams or suppositories. Many are over the counter, so you don’t need a prescription. Several over-the-counter treatments for yeast infections are available, and both women and men can use the same medication creams.
If you are unsure whether you have a yeast infection, it’s best to come in to see your gynecologist. You don’t need to feel embarrassed at all – yeast infections are so common, in fact, that one of our most-prescribed medications, called Diflucan, is for just that.
More Common in Pregnancy
Yeast infections are even more common in pregnant women, due to the extra fluids in the vaginal area. If you are pregnant, it is especially important to make a visit to your gynecologist to ensure you receive the right medication.
Prevention of Yeast Infections
If you keep getting yeast infections, talk to your gynecologist about prevention methods. Some might suggest a probiotic supplement to increase the amount of “good” bacteria in your body. In addition, some people have found that they can eliminate yeast infections nutritionally by not eating anything with yeast.
Prevention methods also include lifestyle habits, namely:
Are Yeast Infections A Big Deal?
They can be. With initial symptoms, yeast infections might just be annoying. However, it is crucial to deal with a yeast infection because left untreated, the yeast can enter the bloodstream and lead to serious medical issues. So, the itching, redness, achy sex, and cottage cheese discharge are initial symptoms, which signify that you should deal with the yeast infection before it gets really bad. Be in touch with your gynecologist for your particular situation.