This Is What I Learned About Vaginal Yeast Infections While Interning At A Hospital

Written by Ann Ene Agbo

I'm Ann Ene Agbo and a Microbiologist. I love writing and creating content. And when I'm not doing this, I read and sleep.

October 11, 2022

Have you heard of Vaginal Yeast infections? 

I ran into an old secondary school classmate at the university clinic where I interned. She came in with a medical report for a test to be carried out. Upon carrying out the test and dispatching the results, she came to me and said, “this is what was written. Am I sick?”

Because of the rule given to us at the lab, we were never to discuss a patient’s test result with the person. I kept quiet, but my guilty conscience wouldn’t let me; I took her somewhere and explained everything to the best of my knowledge, which is why I’m compiling this article.

Oftentimes, ladies see discharge on their underwear before menstruation. This is known as leukorrhea and is filled with fluid and cells shed from the female vagina. It continues again after menstruation which is normal because it means the body prepares for the next menstrual cycle.

But as time go on, and the discharge continues, the lady feels severe pain around the lower region of the abdomen and even itching. Some take it for granted, while others seek medical attention.

The continuous discharge and pain in the lower abdomen region result from the accumulation of fungi in the vagina leading to an infection called candidiasis.

Let me explain;

Every body part contains microorganisms, so the vagina is not excluded. The vagina normally contains a healthy balance of bacteria and yeast. Lactobacilli is one of the bacteria that live in the vagina. These particular bacteria have to keep the vagina safe and kill harmful microorganisms while maintaining the balance of the vagina. 

Read: This Woman Has a Rare Medical Condition, She Doesn’t Have a Hole!

When there’s an imbalance in the vagina, i.e, the level of Lactobacilli is low in the vagina, it allows the fungi to grow, leading to an infection known as Candidiasis or Vaginal Yeast infections.

What Causes Vaginal Yeast Infections?

 1. Antibiotics

When an antibiotic is taken to treat a UTI infection, it kills the Lactobacilli, which keeps the yeast in check since antibiotics have no effects on yeast.

2. Douches and Vaginal Sprays

”Douche” is a French word for ”wash” or ”soak.” It is a method to wash out the vagina, usually with a mixture of water and vinegar. They come in bottles or bags containing antiseptic and fragrances and are sprayed through a tube upward into the vagina.

This practice upsets the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and makes the environment more favorable for the growth of yeast causing infection.

3. Diabetes

When you have diabetes, it means there is too much sugar in your urine, and this surplus of sugar impacts the vagina.

4. Moisture

Moisture supports yeast’s growth because yeast likes warm and moist places. So if you sweat around your vagina or don’t clean your wet pubic hair after a bath or swim, you tend to get yeast infections.

5. A Weakened Immune System

Your medications can suppress your immune system if you have a disease like HIV or AIDS.

Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast infections

As a lady, you may tend to experience a lot of symptoms when this happens, and they include:

1. A continuous discharge that is thick, white, and odorless with the consistency of cottage cheese.

 2. Pains during urination 

 3. Pains during sexual intercourse

 4. Pains around the lower abdominal region. 

 5. Vaginal itching. 

 6. Swelling around the vagina and Vulva area

 7. Redness and rash.

When you begin to experience such symptoms, it is advised that you visit the hospital immediately for proper treatment. Tests will be carried out, and proper medications will be given to you also.

Tips That Will Help You Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections

 1. Wipe from front to back after going to the toilets.

2. After bathing, dry yourself thoroughly, especially the pubic hair. This is because fungi love to grow on moist surfaces.

3. Avoid using soap around the vagina. It’s unhealthy and has no effects on the yeasts.

4. If you’ve had any fungal infection, throw away the underwear. Because fungal infection can reoccur.

5. Scented tampons and vaginal douches should be avoided at all causes. They contain chemicals and may cause infections.

Scented tampons can cause vaginal yeast infections and should be avoided at all costs
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Scented tampons can cause vaginal yeast infections and should be avoided at all costs.

6. Avoid pantyhose or tight pants. They absorb heat into the body, and instead of the vagina being dried, it tends to be wet, supporting the growth of fungi.

7. Cut down on sugar and alcohol intake. They are the favorite food of yeast. If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible is important. Controlling your diabetes can help prevent vaginal yeast infections.

8. Wear loose cotton underwear for air to pass through. The vagina needs to be ventilated at all times.

9. Avoid douching. It kills the bacteria more. More people involve in douching because they want to clear a bad odor after menstruation or keep it free. The vaginal has an odorless odor which is normal but when it gets uncomfortable, using warm water to wash it helps to reduce it.

Conclusion

I hope I was able to educate you about Vaginal Yeast infections, its signs and symptoms, and hygiene and prevention tips to help you take proper care of yourself.  If you begin to see any of the symptoms mentioned above, you need to quickly contact a doctor and take a test to be sure you’re not infected. 

Did you find this blog post helpful? Will you share this blog post with your friends?  Have you heard about Candidiasis before?

Let me know in the comments.

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