Yeast is a type of fungus that grows naturally in the body. A yeast infection is caused by a change in the chemical balance in the vagina that allows the fungus to grow too rapidly and cause symptoms.

Yeast infections most commonly occur in a woman's vagina. However, yeast infections can occur in other parts of the body and in men. Though uncomfortable, yeast infections are not serious and can be cured.

Common symptoms of a yeast infection include:

•    Intense vaginal itching
•    Thick, odorless discharge which might resemble cottage cheese

Less common symptoms:

•    Sore vagina
•    Lower abdominal pain
•    Vaginal trash
•    Burning during urination
•    Painful sex

There is no medical evidence that links one particular factor to acquiring a yeast infection. However, the commonality seems to be that conditions that usually control fungus can change, allowing the fungus to grow rapidly.

Some factors that might cause yeast infections include:

•    Birth control pills
•    Pregnancy
•    Poor nutrition and Hygiene
•    Antibiotic treatment
•    Lack of sleep
•    Diabetes
•    Stress

Since there are several different ailments that host vaginal discharge as a symptom, it’s best to consult your doctor when you suspect a yeast infection to rule out a more serious illness.  Although, if you are fairly certain that you have a yeast infection, there are over the counter medications that will treat the yeast infection. However, contact Dr. Simhaee immediately if the symptoms do not improve with treatment.

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