What is Candidiasis?
Candida yeast is normally found in the human body in small amounts. However, if Candida levels get too high due to health problems or medications, they can cause a fungal infection called Candidiasis. Candidiasis can occur in several warm, moist areas of the body including the skin, blood, mouth, throat, and genitals. Candidiasis can cause uncomfortable symptoms, and, depending on the severity, can be dangerous.
What is a Yeast Infection?
When candidiasis occurs in the genital area it is called a “yeast infection.” Although both men and women can develop yeast infections, they are common in females. Because yeast infections can be passed during sexual intercourse, they should be treated.
What can Cause a Yeast Infection?
The overgrowth of Candida can be caused by several factors:
- Antibiotic use
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Impaired immune system
- Douching or inadequate lubrication
- Sexual activity
- Increased estrogen levels
What are the Symptoms of a Yeast Infection?
Women will experience several symptoms when they develop a yeast infection:
- Severe itching in the vaginal area
- Redness, tenderness, and swelling in the vaginal area
- Pain during intercourse
- Cottage-cheese like discharge
What Treatments are Available for Yeast Infections?
There are over-the-counter medications available as a cream or suppository to treat yeast infections. Although these treatments are effective, women with yeast infections should seek medical treatment to rule out other possible causes, especially if symptoms don’t go away or the yeast infection returns.
A physician may recommend a single-dose of Diflucan for a female who is experiencing her first yeast infection. Diflucan may also be used for individuals who rarely develop yeast infections.
What if Yeast Infections Reoccur?
If yeast infections happen regularly, a doctor will need to investigate why they are returning. Women who experience frequent, reoccurring yeast infections may be prescribed anti-fungal medication to be taken for up to two weeks and then every six months to follow. Some women are also advised to take boric acid capsules. Additional testing may be needed to see if other health conditions are contributing to recurring yeast infections. Probiotics (“healthy” bacteria) may prevent future infections. Yogurts, supplements, and other foods contain probiotics.
Jean Brown Research is conducting a clinical research study for an investigational vaccination for women that have recurring yeast infections. Study participants who are between the ages of 18 and 50 years of age may receive the study vaccination, be evaluated by a qualified physician at no cost, and receive compensation for time and travel. Participants must have at least two documented yeast infections in the past twelve months.
Learn more about the Candidiasis/Yeast Infection Study here.