Candida yeasts are generally present in healthy humans, frequently part of the human body's normal oral and intestinal flora, and particularly on the skin; however, their growth is normally limited by the human immune system and by competition of other microorganisms, such as bacteria occupying the same locations in the human body. Candida requires moisture for growth, notably on the skin. For example, wearing wet swimwear for long periods of time is believed to be a risk factor. In extreme cases, superficial infections of the skin or mucous membranes may enter into the bloodstream and cause systemic Candida infections.
A Pap smear (Pap test) is a medical procedure to screen for abnormal cells of the cervix. A woman should have her first Pap smear (in general) three years after vaginal intercourse, or no later than 21 years of age. The risks for women at increased risk for having an abnormal Pap smear include: HPV (genital warts), smoking, a weakened immune system, medications (diethylstilbestrol), and others. Some of the conditions that may result in an abnormal Pap smear include: absence of endocervical cells, unreliable Pap smear due to inflammation, atypical squamous cells (ASCUS), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and carcinoma in situ.
To reduce the risk of candidiasis in your baby’s diaper area, keep the skin as clean and dry as possible, changing diapers frequently. Fungal infections (thrush or vaginitis) often follow courses of antibacterials. To avoid this, it is important to use antibiotics only when necessary. Oral nystatin and fluconazole are often used to prevent candidiasis in children with weakened immune systems.
Garlic is another buzzed about remedy, but again, the science hasn’t proven itself, and there are significant problems with people sticking whole cloves into their vaginal cavities. “Raw garlic is actually quite caustic,” Dr. Nathan says. On the other hand, no vampires? (Seriously, though, don’t do this. The Mayo Clinic recommends always seeing a doctor before you try any kind of alternative yeast infection treatment, because you don’t want to make things worse.)
Applying plain yogurt to the area may help to restore balance and reduce irritation. Using only plain yogurt with active cultures, once or twice a day, rub a few tablespoons’ worth around the outside of the vagina to quell irritation, or insert the same amount into the vagina. You can also dip a tampon in the yogurt, let it soak for a few minutes, and then insert it.
This exam includes a speculum exam, using a specialized instrument to hold open your vagina. The exam can be uncomfortable because of pressure against the tissues. The health care practitioner will take a swab of the discharge and may obtain other cultures to rule out other diseases. The swab for yeast will be mixed with a drop of potassium hydroxide and will be placed on a slide. If yeast are present, a specific branching pattern will be seen through the microscope.
A vaginal yeast infection is an infection caused by yeast (a type of fungus). Vaginal yeast infection is sometimes referred to as yeast vaginitis, Candidal vaginitis, or Candidal vulvovaginitis. The scientific name for the yeast that causes vaginitis is Candida. Over 90% of vaginal yeast infections are caused by the species known as Candida albicans. Other Candida species make up the remainder of yeast infections.