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Yeast Infection aka Candidiasis

What is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections are fungal infections caused by the naturally occurring yeasts (candida) in your vagina. Normally the yeasts live in a happy balance with the other friendly flora in the vagina but when this balance is disturbed, yeast infections can happen.

Yeast infections are very common and 3 in 4 women will experience at least one yeast infection during their lifetime. Yeast infections can also occur during your period.

Symptoms
  • Red swollen vagina and labia (lips)
  • Severe itch in the vulva area
  • Vaginal discharge is thick, white, curd-like, or looks like ‘cottage-cheese’
  • Pain passing urine (dysuria)
  • Pain during sex (dyspareunia)
  • Irritation and pain around surrounding affected area
  • Thickening and swelling of affected skin due to recurrent scratching

Cottage Cheese
Vaginal discharge when infected with a yeast infection looks like cottage cheese.

Risk Factors
Several factors can increase your risk of contracting yeast infections.

  1. Pregnancy
    During pregnancy, candida infection is more common. This is due to changes in hormone levels such as oestrogen.
  2. Weak immune system
    Such as those living with AIDS, poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and receiving chemotherapy. This is due to the inability of the body’s immune system to effectively control the spread of the candida fungus.
  3. Antibiotics usage
    Antibiotics are not effective against yeast infections and they can also kill good bacteria normally found in the vagina. Once this happens there is less competition facing other infections, such as candida, which means they can flourish.
  4. Lifestyle
    The link between personal hygiene, tight fitting undergarments and candidiasis remains controversial. However, good personal hygiene is always a good defence against infections. Sexual activity is not related to yeast infections as infections often occur without having sex.

Research has shown that infection with T.vaginalis increases the risk of HIV transmission in both men and women. Not only does untreated Trichomoniasis increases your risk of HIV, it also increases susceptibility to other STIs and is strongly associated with co-infection with other STI.

Untreated Trichomoniasis is linked with adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), postoperative infections and cervical tumour.

Treatment
If you are tested positive for Trichomoniasis, both you and your sexual partner should be treated and abstain from sex until treatment is completed and symptoms have resolved.

Treatment will consist of taking a course of antibiotics, usually metronidazole, which can be prescribed by your doctor.

As trichomoniasis is associated with an increased incidence of co-infection with other STI and increases the risk for HIV, patients should also be tested for other STIs and HIV.

If you or someone you know have symptoms suggestive of trichomoniasis or any other STD, check in with your doctor to get the appropriate treatment and care.

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About Dr. Sim Li Kun

Dr Sim Li Kun graduated from the University of Bristol, UK in 2009 where she has worked for 2 years before moving to Singapore. Currently she is practicing in a private medical group, Dr Tan & partners, in Singapore which has a special interest in men's and women's health, as well as tackling HIV and the spread of STDs.

One comment

  1. Jamie Stonebridge

    Thank you so much for this valuable information.

    It is people like you that really make a difference in the lives of people with yeast infection.

    I suffered for 12 years from yeast infection and nothing I tried worked.

    Drugs, nutrition, all types of doctors…you name it–the suffering never really went away.

    Fortunately, I found out about a natural way that finally got rid of my yeast infection for good.

    This article talks about it…

    http://www.bestquicktips.com/yeast_infection

    Hope it helps and keep up the good work!

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