Vaginal thrush is another term used to refer to a female or vaginal yeast infection. Other terms to describe it include monilia or vaginal candidiasis. Every woman’s vagina contains some level of yeast. However when the levels of the yeast rise to the point where the natural balance is no longer at acceptable levels, causing unpleasant and embarrassing symptoms. This article will review the symptoms, causes and some treatments for vaginal thrush.
Vaginal thrush symptoms
Initial symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include a mild rash that causes some discomfort in the genitals. A women will find herself feeling an itchy sensation that comes and goes. During urination, there might be some mild discomfort and burning. As the infection progresses, so do the symptoms of the thrush. The area that was causing the itching develops raised bumps (either red or white) which turn into a rash. The itching, pain and burning sensations increase. If the infection continues to be left undiagnosed (and untreated), sores, blisters and lesions develop. In severe cases of a vaginal yeast infection, bleeding can also occur.
Causes of vaginal thrush
There are many potential causes of a female yeast infection of the vagina. Taking antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection can kill the ‘good bacteria’ that is needed to keep yeast levels in check. This in turn causes an overgrowth of yeast in the body (and in the vagina for many women). Other reasons could be due to chronic diseases that leave the body prone to yeast outbreaks. These diseases include diabetes, HIV and cancer. Another reason that yeast multiplies so easily in the vagina is that yeast thrives and multiplies in dark, moist places that do not have much oxygen – making the vaginal cavity and surrounding female genitalia a prime location for yeast to breed.
Vaginal thrush treatment
Before you treat a vaginal yeast outbreak, it is important to be properly diagnosed. The doctor will usually prescribe some prescription or over-the-counter anti-fungal medications such as butoconazole (Femstat), niconazole (Monistat), nystatin (Mycostatin) terconazole (Terazole), clotrimazole (Gynelotremin) or tioconazole. Many women who are plagued with frequent or recurring yeast infections also opt for natural treatments. These treatments include yogurt (plain, unsugared), tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar topical treatments and sitz baths. Another natural remedy is to reduce the amount of sugar that is consumed by eating less foods containing sugars or carbohydrates (which convert to sugar when digested). Yeast levels tend to rise in the body when blood glucose levels are high. Also – inserting a clove of garlic into the vaginal cavity has been known to be effective as garlic can kill yeast.