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Vaginal Infection

Intro

You should seek medical care any time if you have pain. vaginal yeast infection may cause unpleasant itching, they should not cause pain.

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if this is the first time that vaginal yeast infection symptoms have occurred, or if you are unsure if you have a yeast infection. (If you are sure that you have a yeast infection, you can treat the disorder with over-the-counter medications.) But if your symptoms do not respond to one course of over-the-counter medications, you may not have a yeast infection.

Vaginal yeast infections, although uncomfortable, are usually not life-threatening. You should see your health care provider. In addition, seek care for any of the following:

  • Foul-smelling or yellow vaginal discharge
  • Any stomach or back pain
  • Vomiting or fevers
  • If symptoms return within two months

If symptoms return within two months

  1. If you have vaginal discharge associated with fever  , vomiting, and abdominal  pain or if you have vaginal discharge accompanied by vaginal bleeding that is not a normal menstrual period, you may go to a hospital's emergency department.
  2. Your symptoms have not improved in three days, a large amount of vaginal discharge is seen, or if initial symptoms worsen.
  3. You have greenish or large amounts of discharge or fever.
  4. You have been taking antifungal medications for a yeast infection and you develop yellow skin, yellow eyes (the white part is yellow), or pale stools.
  5. Lesions or rash develops elsewhere (tender, red, pus-filled bumps, which can spread to the thighs and anus).
  6. Dizziness develops.

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Self-Care at Home

Bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis   will not go away with home care or over-the-counter medications. They require antibiotics. You must see your health care provider.

Only yeast infections may respond to over-the-counter medications. If you have never had a yeast infection   and think you have one, it is important that your health care provider agrees with this diagnosis before you try any home care techniques or over-the-counter medications. Generally, the first incidence of yeast infection should be treated by your health care provider.

After the first infection, if a second infection occurs and you have no doubt it is a yeast infection, you may treat yourself with one course of over-the-counter vaginal medication, such as miconazole (brand name Monistat), an antifungal vaginal medication.

Because over-the-counter treatments have become available, many women diagnose themselves with a yeast infection, when, in fact, about two-thirds of all remedies purchased in stores to treat yeast infection were used by women who did not really have one. Using these drugs when they are not needed may lead to a resistant infection. Resistant infections are very difficult to treat with the currently available medications. If in doubt, consult your health care provider.

Many current over-the-counter medications are available for mild cases of yeast infection. The cure rates with the nonprescription drugs are about 75-90%.

The medications are sold as vaginal suppositories or creams. They are inserted into the vagina with a plunger-type applicator and are usually used one each day for seven days. Stronger doses are given over one to three days only. Most women can treat yeast infections at home with these medications:

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  • miconazole (Monistat-7, M-Zole)
  • tioconazole (Vagistat Vaginal)
  • butoconazole (Femstat)
  • clotrimazole (Femizole-7, Gyne-Lotrimin)

Massage these remedies into your vagina and surrounding tissues for one to seven days or insert the suppository form into your vagina, depending on the formulation. If increased irritation occurs to the area, discontinue the medication immediately.

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before using these treatments

If symptoms continue for more than 1 week, consult your doctor. You may have a severe yeast infection or other problems that mimic a yeast infection.

Home care techniques have been used for many years although scientific studies have not proven their effectiveness.

  • Vinegar douches: While many women use a douche to clean themselves after menstrual periods or sexual intercourse, doctors discourage such routine cleansing. The vagina is made to cleanse itself. Douching may remove the healthy bacteria lining the vagina. By attempting to treat an abnormal vaginal discharge by douching, you might actually worsen the condition. Do not douche without your health care provider's knowledge when you have an abnormal discharge, and do not douche for 24 hours prior to seeing the doctor.
  • Eating yogurt that contains live acidophilus cultures (or eating acidophilus capsules): Yogurt acts as a medium for certain good bacteria to thrive. Despite popular belief, studies about the benefits of eating yogurt with lactobacillus acidophilus cultures as a way to prevent yeast infection have yielded conflicting results. The scientific benefit of consuming yogurt cultures has not yet been proven.
  • Other products available over-the-counter contain antihistamines or topical anesthetics (numbing medications) that only mask the symptoms and do not treat the underlying problem.
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