Typically, a vaginal yeast infection is not a life-threatening condition. However, a woman with symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection should see her doctor to rule out other, more serious infections or diseases that may cause or be mistaken for a yeast infection. Anyone with a weakened immune system should contact a doctor upon experiencing any new symptoms. Vaginal yeast infections may cause unpleasant itching, but they should not cause pain. Women experiencing pain should contact their doctor. In addition, a woman with symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection should contact her doctor if she notices the following:
For confirmed vaginal yeast infections, over-the-counter
medications are available that are usually effective in treating them. The cure rates associated with the nonprescription
drugs are about 75-90%. However, women who do not have a vaginal yeast infection account for two thirds of all yeast-infection remedies purchased in stores. By using these
medications, these women may increase their likelihood of developing a yeast infection that is resistant to future treatment.
Medications to treat vaginal yeast infections come in a variety of forms, including oral
medications, vaginal suppositories, and creams. Suppositories are inserted into the vagina. Cream medications are massaged into the vagina and surrounding tissues. Most candidal infections that are treated at home with over-the-counter or prescription medications clear within a week. People with a weakened
immune system should consult their doctor before attempting home-care medications or remedies, as prolonged treatment times may be recommended.
Women who experience increased irritation should immediately discontinue the medication. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before using any of these medications. Women whose symptoms last more than one week after treatment should consult their doctor to treat a severe infection or rule out other types of infections or underlying causes.
The following are guidelines women should follow to help prevent the likelihood of developing a vaginal yeast infection:
Vaginal yeast infections, under normal circumstances, are usually treatable with over-the-counter medications. However, many women mistake other conditions for vaginal yeast infections, and these other conditions cannot be treated with medications for yeast infection. Women, especially those with immune systems problems, should always consult their doctor upon experiencing symptoms of a yeast infection.
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