Symptoms and Complications of Vaginal Yeast Infection

Vaginal yeast infection is a type of inflammation of vagina (or vaginitis, also known as vaginal candidiasis). Vaginal yeast infection is characterized by severe itching, vaginal discharge and irritation in vagina. The condition affects vaginal tissue as well as vulva, which is the opening of vagina. Vaginal yeast infection is a very common health problem among women which affect as many as 3 women out of four in their lifetime (i.e. it affects as many as 75% of women). Some women may experience the disease more than one a year.

What are the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection?

The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection may be mild to moderate in nature and include:

  • Itching (mild intensity to very intense in nature) and irritation in the vagina and vulva
  • Swelling and/or redness in the opening of vagina, i.e. vulva
  • Vaginal discharge which is usually odor-free and a thick and white discharge. The appearance is something like cottage cheese
  • Pain and soreness of vagina
  • Burning sensation during sexual intercourse and during urination

What are the complications of vaginal yeast infection?

  • Recurrence: this is common complication of vaginal yeast infection and some women may experience several infections a year
  • Commonly vaginal yeast infection is caused by candida albicans, however it may be caused by some other candida, which may complicate the matter.
  • Signs and symptoms may be severe, such as extensive redness, swelling, itching that may cause tears or cracks (fissures) or sores to develop and complicate the situation
  • Vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy may lead to complications, because it cannot be treated during pregnancy as it may affect the growing fetus
  • Complications of vaginal yeast infection tend to be more serious if you have diabetes and blood sugar is not under control. Because diabetic patients are prone to infection.
  • If your immunity is weak for any reason such as HIV infection or AIDS, weak immunity due to administration of cancer chemotherapy medications or due to administration of immune-suppressant medications as in case of organ transplantation.

Vaginal yeast infection is usually not considered as STD (sexually transmitted disease), although the infection/disease can be transmitted by oral-genital contact. Simple treatment is usually effective, unless you have some predisposing factors of complication such as administration of cancer chemotherapy medications or due to administration of immune-suppressant medications, you are diabetic. If you get recurrent attacks of vaginal yeast infection (four or more attacks a year) you may need longer course of therapy and a maintenance plan.

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