Antibiotics are one of the most common culprits in causing yeast infections, because they destroy vaginal bacteria and thereby disrupt the balance of power among the vaginal microorganisms. This balance is also affected by hormone levels, so women are more prone to yeast infections if they’re using hormonal contraceptives, during pregnancy, or just prior to menstruation. Yeast infections are also more common in women with compromised immune systems due to illnesses like diabetes, AIDS, or cancer. In fact, anything that weakens your immune system—stress, lack of sleep, consumption of alcohol, and even refined sugar—can lead to an overgrowth of yeast.


While it’s completely normal for your vagina to harbor some bacteria and yeast, certain factors can cause a fungus called Candida to grow out of control. This results in itching, burning, swelling, pain when you pee, and thick cottage cheese-like discharge—the telltale signs of a yeast infection. So it makes sense, then, that you’d want to do everything you can to get rid of one ASAP.
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Yeast infections occur without sexual activity and, therefore, are not considered sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, yeast can be transferred between sexual partners through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. You can use a condom or dental dam to protect against this. If your sexual activity irritates the vagina, it can disrupt the normal balance and encourage an overgrowth of yeast.
If your infant is extra fussy during feedings and you notice white patches in her mouth, she may have an oral yeast infection known as thrush. You've probably experienced a vaginal yeast infection at some point in your life, so you can imagine the discomfort your little one is feeling. What exactly is thrush, and how can you help your baby feel better? Here’s the deal.
Once thrush or a vaginal yeast infection are detected, take precautions so that thrush doesn't reoccur or spread to other family members. Wash your hands carefully, especially after diaper changes and using the restroom. Boil all artificial nipples for 20 minutes a day, including all breast pump parts. Use paper towels and disposable nursing pads, and discard after one use. Finally, launder everything that comes in contact with mom and baby in very hot water and wear a clean bra every day.
Most women are bothered at one time or another by vaginitis -- the itching, burning, pain, and discharge that comes with a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections can be caused by a number of organisms, many of which inhabit the healthy vagina. One of the most common causes of vaginitis is the fungus Candida albicans. The annoying symptoms can include itching, discharge that has a "baked bread" odor, and reddening of the labia and, in some cases, the upper thigh.

When using one of these products, you may want to talk to your doctor about alternatives to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Some of these OTC options can weaken condom material and spermicide, so be sure to read the directions. In addition, vaginal intercourse during treatment could displace medication from the vagina, lessening effectiveness, and cause irritation.
Fortunately, most yeast infections are not serious. Left untreated, yeast infections will usually go away on their own, but the severe itching can be hard to tolerate for some. Fortunately, the infections respond well to over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories, so if you’re sure you have a yeast infection, go ahead and try an OTC yeast infection medication like Monistat or yeast arrest suppositories, which contain boric acid, a mild antiseptic. However, pregnant women should avoid boric acid.
Also helpful: allowing your breasts to completely dry between feedings to prevent the growth of bacteria, changing nursing pads after feedings, wearing cotton bras that don't trap moisture and washing those bras frequently in hot water (drying them in the sun may also provide extra protection). Since antibiotics can trigger a yeast infection, they should be used only when needed — and that goes for both you and baby.
A recurrent yeast infection occurs when a woman has four or more infections in one year that are not related to antibiotic use. Recurrent yeast infections may be related to an underlying medical condition such as impaired immunity and may require more aggressive treatment. This can include longer courses of topical treatments, oral medications, or a combination of the two.
Antibiotic treatment. Babies exposed to antibiotic treatment (even if the nursing mother is consuming antibiotics) are more prone to develop yeast infection. The reason is that consumption of antibiotic kill good bacteria (besides the disease causing bacteria) present in body that keeps the excessive yeast growth in check. In the absence of good bacteria, yeast can grow excessively.
Yeast infections are usually caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida, also known as yeast. Small amounts of yeast and other organisms are normally found in your vagina, as well as in your mouth and digestive tract. Yeast infections occur when the balance of organisms in your vagina is upset, and the amount of yeast grows too much, causing an infection. Yeast infections are most likely to be noticeable just before or just after your menstrual period. Some types of “yeast” infections are harder to treat and are caused by other species. Ask your health care provider (HCP) if you should be checked for the other types if your symptoms do not get better.
For infrequent recurrences, the simplest and most cost-effective management is self-diagnosis and early initiation of topical therapy.[23] However, women whose condition has previously been diagnosed with candidal vulvovaginitis are not necessarily more likely to be able to diagnose themselves; therefore, any woman whose symptoms persist after using an over the counter preparation, or who has a recurrence of symptoms within 2 months, should be evaluated with office-based testing.[4] Unnecessary or inappropriate use of topical preparations is common and can lead to a delay in the treatment of other causes of vulvovaginitis, which can result in worse outcomes.[4]
According to the Department of Clinical Research at Merck Research Laboratories, candidiasis can become invasive in cancer patients and present a serious complication. (3) In this study, one-third of patients being treated for cancer had “invasive” candidiasis. Chemotherapy and radiation can both work to kill cancerous cells and tumors; however, they also kill off the healthy bacteria that naturally fight candida.
Using an otoscope, your vet will be able to look at your dog’s ear canal to determine if the ear drum is intact or if anything is present in the ear canal that could be causing the infection. The doctor will probably also take a sample of material from in and around the ear, and examine this under the microscope. It is important to determine whether the infection is caused by yeast, bacteria, or both.
There are several approaches that will be helpful in eradicating and preventing a yeast infection in the diaper area. Air exposure (no diapers) of the skin region is invaluable. The backyard is often a site where the child can be without diapers. The establishment of toilet training is also very helpful. As the child is developmentally ready, the transition from diaper to cotton underwear is beneficial. If diapers are needed, utilizing an absorbent disposable product is superior to either cloth or nonabsorbent disposable diapers. Keeping the diaper area skin clean by rapid diaper changing as indicated is also helpful. Lastly, application of a topical preventative barrier cream such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or zinc oxide (A+D Ointment) are helpful preventive measures.
Imidazoles are best but pregnant women may need longer (7 not 4 day) courses. Thrush is a common vaginal infection in pregnancy causing itching and soreness. There is no evidence that this yeast infection harms the baby. Antifungal creams are effective. Imidazoles (such as clotrimazole) are more effective than older treatments such as nystatin and hydrargaphen. Longer courses (7 days) cured more than 90% of women whereas standard (4 day) courses only cured about half the cases.
There are several approaches that will be helpful in eradicating and preventing a yeast infection in the diaper area. Air exposure (no diapers) of the skin region is invaluable. The backyard is often a site where the child can be without diapers. The establishment of toilet training is also very helpful. As the child is developmentally ready, the transition from diaper to cotton underwear is beneficial. If diapers are needed, utilizing an absorbent disposable product is superior to either cloth or nonabsorbent disposable diapers. Keeping the diaper area skin clean by rapid diaper changing as indicated is also helpful. Lastly, application of a topical preventative barrier cream such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or zinc oxide (A+D Ointment) are helpful preventive measures.
Antibiotic treatment. Babies exposed to antibiotic treatment (even if the nursing mother is consuming antibiotics) are more prone to develop yeast infection. The reason is that consumption of antibiotic kill good bacteria (besides the disease causing bacteria) present in body that keeps the excessive yeast growth in check. In the absence of good bacteria, yeast can grow excessively.
If you need to take antibiotics, you may wind up with a yeast infection. The use of antibiotics will frequently tip the balance among the normal microorganisms of the vagina, allowing harmful bacteria to dominate vaginal flora. Antibiotics suppress the growth of protective vaginal bacteria, which normally have an antifungal effect. Before rushing to the drugstore for an over-the-counter treatment, it's wise to consult your health care professional. Many self-diagnosed yeast infections turn out to be other vaginal problems.
That said, you can still see a doctor for confirmation of your yeast infection even if you’ve had one diagnosed in the past. In general, people don’t seem to be particularly good at self-diagnosing their vaginal health issues. A 2010 study of 546 people published in Nursing Research found that study participants with yeast infections misdiagnosed themselves around 30 percent of the time, and those with bacterial vaginosis or the sexually transmitted infection trichomoniasis misdiagnosed themselves around 44 percent of the time. A lot of these conditions can share the same symptoms, so it’s not your fault if you can’t always tell them apart. So, if you’re at all unsure, see a doctor.
Babies are particularly likely to get oral (mouth) thrush in the first weeks of life, with a peak in the second week. You baby will have white, cheesy coating of the tongue and you won't be able to wipe it off (compared to milk coating of the tongue whih you can wipe off). The tongue and the mouth generally can also look red and inflamed. It is often associated with thrush in the diaper area.
Since thrush is easily passed back and forth, it’s best if both you and your baby get treated. For your baby, your pediatrician may prescribe an antifungal medication (such as Nystatin), which is applied topically to the insides of the mouth and tongue multiple times a day for 10 days. Be sure to get it on all the white patches in your baby's mouth if that's the remedy your doctor has given you. In a tough case, fluconazole (brand name Diflucan), an oral medication given by dropper, may be prescribed.
Take antibiotics only when prescribed by your health care professional and never take them for more or less time than directed. In addition to destroying bacteria that cause illness, antibiotics kill off the "good" bacteria that normally live in the vagina. Stopping treatment early, even when symptoms have improved, can cause infections to return and make them resistant to the medication.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f Martins N, Ferreira IC, Barros L, Silva S, Henriques M (June 2014). "Candidiasis: predisposing factors, prevention, diagnosis and alternative treatment". Mycopathologia. 177 (5–6): 223–240. doi:10.1007/s11046-014-9749-1. hdl:10198/10147. PMID 24789109. Candida species and other microorganisms are involved in this complicated fungal infection, but Candida albicans continues to be the most prevalent. In the past two decades, it has been observed an abnormal overgrowth in the gastrointestinal, urinary and respiratory tracts, not only in immunocompromised patients but also related to nosocomial infections and even in healthy individuals. There is a wide variety of causal factors that contribute to yeast infection which means that candidiasis is a good example of a multifactorial syndrome.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
Garlic was shown in a lab study to be an effective Candida killer. But there is some debate over whether it will help cure yeast infections outside of a lab setting. If you’d like to try garlic to treat a yeast infection, add more garlic to your diet. Some websites recommend inserting garlic in the vagina, but burns and significant pain have been reported.
Once you start using an OTC anti-fungal medication, your yeast infection symptoms will probably begin to disappear within a few days. As with antibiotics, though, it's extremely important to continue to use your medication for the entire number of days recommended. Even if your symptoms have gone away, the fungus may still be active enough to cause a relapse.
For infrequent recurrences, the simplest and most cost-effective management is self-diagnosis and early initiation of topical therapy.[23] However, women whose condition has previously been diagnosed with candidal vulvovaginitis are not necessarily more likely to be able to diagnose themselves; therefore, any woman whose symptoms persist after using an over the counter preparation, or who has a recurrence of symptoms within 2 months, should be evaluated with office-based testing.[4] Unnecessary or inappropriate use of topical preparations is common and can lead to a delay in the treatment of other causes of vulvovaginitis, which can result in worse outcomes.[4]
Is it legit? Yes, although this is a pretty outdated treatment. “Vaginal boric acid capsules have been used for decades in combatting chronic yeast infections,” Dr. Ross says, thanks to its antifungal properties. One review published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that boric acid supplements were safe and effective in curing anywhere from 40 to 100 percent of vaginal yeast infections, which is a pretty big range. “This is not usually a first line treatment of health care providers,” Dr. Wider stresses.
If you’ve got a vagina, you’re at risk of a yeast infection. But that sound a lot more dramatic than it really is. Yeast infections are extremely common, so common that you can buy medication for them over the counter. And because that’s the case, you should probably know a thing or two about recognizing and treating them. Dr. Katherine McHugh — an ob-gyn at Indiana University Health — have a comprehensive overview of everything yeast infection.
During my pregnancy, I developed terribly uncomfortable vaginal yeast symptoms that just about drove me crazy. I knew it was a yeast infection, but since I was pregnant, I just didn't want to do anything I shouldn't. So I went for a quick check, and my midwife sent me right off to get some over-the-counter cream. She told me that even though I'd been right about my diagnosis, I'd done the right thing to see her first. Sometimes it isn't what you think it is, and you never know what medicines are safe when you're pregnant.
Betamethasone dipropionate is a fluorinated high-potency topical corticosteroid that is formulated with clotrimazole in the brand-named product Lotrisone. This product is frequently used inappropriately in intertriginous (diaper regions where deep folds of skin overlap) areas. Such potent corticosteroids have no role in the treatment of a Candida diaper rash. The absorption of such a highly potent steroid may produce multiple (and potentially severe) side effects.
It’s possible that eating one cup of yogurt (which contains acidophilus bacteria) a day is helpful in preventing yeast infections. However, eating yogurt alone will not cure or prevent vaginal yeast infections. If you have to take antibiotics and are getting lots of yeast infections, talk to your health care provider about using an anti-yeast cream or pill.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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