Two of the best aspects of menopause -- and there aren't many -- are that you 1) stop having to deal with menstrual periods, which always came at the very worst times (like on vacation) and 2) for me, those recurrent yeast infections that I got in my 20s, 30s and 40s went away. Until now.
I haven't had a yeast infection for 10 or 15 years. But a recent argument with a sinus infection had me on three different antibiotics until the infection finally went away. My sinuses are better, but the problem moved southward.
About halfway through the last 14-day course of drugs, I recalled that antibiotics can wipe out the good bacteria in your vagina, so I started eating yogurt and drinking cranberry juice; women often share the virtues of both "cures." These days most medical professionals acknowledge their efficacy, too. In fact, the most common bacteria in your vagina is Lactobacillus acidophilus, the same bacteria in yogurt's active cultures. But it wasn't enough.
Today, treatments for yeast infections are available in your grocery store or pharmacy, over-the-counter. You don’t need to see a doctor in order to buy a treatment kit and use it. Because yeast infections are common, this helps millions of women. However, there are times when you should see a doctor before purchasing and using the medication.
What Are Vaginal Yeast Infections?
Yeast is a type of fungus. A yeast infection is caused when you have an overgrowth of the fungus called candida albicans in your vagina. Symptoms of a yeast infection include:
Redness, soreness and swelling of the vagina and vulva
Pain during sex or when urinating
Thick, white discharge that resembles cottage cheese
Rash on the vagina
You may have all of these symptoms or just a few. Symptoms can be mild or severe. Approximately three-fourths of women will have a yeast infection sometime in their life. Yeast infections are not STIs and are rarely transmitted during sex. Yeast infections can be uncomf...
Long before I ever contracted herpes I often fell victim to yeast infections. At first I blamed it on my active aquatic lifestyle, which included swimming and surfing. Other times I’d blame it on my diet, which, although not poor, could always be improved on. More recently I started wondering whether taking an antiviral for herpes, Acyclovir, could be promoting yeast infections the way taking an antibiotic does. But before jumping to conclusions I decided to do some research.
Much more common in women than in men, yeast infections, thrush, or whatever you want to call it (the scientific name being Candidiasis) is really an overgrowth of the Candida fungus, or yeast, in the genital area (although it can occur in the mouth, or any mucous membrane, as well). Yeast in this area is naturally kept in check by healthy bacteria. When there are not enough healthy bacteria, or there is too much yeast, an infection can occur. So ...
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