If you’ve ever felt really itchy “down there” that could be a sign that you have a yeast infection…but don’t worry! Yeast infections are very common and easily cured. Here, we will cover all you need to know about yeast infections: what they are, how to treat them, and what you can do to prevent them. Keep reading to learn more!
What is a yeast infection?
A yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida usually lives in your vagina without any problems. Sometimes this yeast can overgrow and cause a yeast infection, also known as Candidiasis. This is very common! Most women and girls will get a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their life.
What are the symptoms?
A yeast infection can be very uncomfortable– it causes itching, redness, or irritation in your private area. A yeast infection may also cause thick white discharge in your underwear that looks like cottage cheese. Another symptom is pain or burning when peeing or having sex. If you notice any of these signs, see your healthcare worker for a check-up! They can tell you if it’s a yeast infection and recommend treatments.
How are yeast infections treated?
There are many ways to treat a yeast infection! Oral medications and antifungal creams can clear up the symptoms after a few days and cure the infection within a week. Some yeast infections may go away on their own, but it’s better to get it checked out by a healthcare worker. Whichever treatment option you choose, it’s important to take the medication for as long as your healthcare worker directs; stopping too soon may cause the yeast infection to return. See your healthcare worker to explore which treatment works best for you!
Is a yeast infection sexually transmitted?
The good news is no; yeast infections are not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, unprotected sex can introduce new bacteria to your vagina, which can lead to yeast overgrowth. Using dental dams and condoms can lower your chance of getting a yeast infection.
Some STDs can cause the same symptoms as a yeast infection, such as itchiness, redness, and irritation in your private area. That’s why it’s important to get tested regularly for STDs at your local clinic!
I have a yeast infection…can I still have sex?
A yeast infection is not an STD, but here’s what you should consider before sex. First, having sex with a yeast infection can be painful and uncomfortable. Second, the cream used to treat yeast infections may cause the condom to break, which can increase your risk of pregnancy or an STD. For these reasons, it’s better to avoid having sex until your infection clears up.
What can I do to prevent a yeast infection?
Yeast love to grow in warm, moist areas so avoid tight clothing that traps heat and moisture. For example, wearing loose clothing and cotton underwear can help keep your private area dry.
Sometimes, other risk factors can lead to a yeast infection, such as:
Birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives
Weakened immune system due to illness
High blood sugar or poorly managed diabetes
These risk factors can disturb the “good” bacteria in your vagina that stop the yeast from overgrowing. If you think any of these factors may be causing a yeast infection, let your healthcare worker know.
Remember, Nivi is here to support you and your health. The sooner you get checked out by a healthcare worker, the sooner you can start treatment and feel better!
Have other questions about sex, STIs, and contraception? Remember you can chat with Nivi on WhatsApp any time. It’s private, confidential, and free!