Yeast Infections: When to See a Doctor | Revere Health

No one really likes to talk about vaginal yeast infections, but it’s estimated that 75 percent all women will get one at some point in her lifetime. It’s also known as candidiasis, for the fungus Candida that causes the infection. Candida is normally found in the body, not only in the vagina, but the mouth, throat and stomach, too. When the environment changes to let Candida grow, it can cause symptoms such as vaginal itching, pain when urinating or during sexual intercourse, and an abnormal discharge.

Can I treat yeast infections at home?

You can find many over-the-counter antifungal products in the health and beauty section of a grocery store. Look for ointments or suppositories with miconazole or clotrimazole. Simple yeast infections can often be treated at home, but if your symptoms return in less than two months, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

Many women use natural remedies—such as tea tree oil cream or coconut oil—to treat yeast infections at home, but these treatment methods are not as effective prescription or over-the-counter medication. You should always consult your doctor before trying any alternative treatment methods.

When should I see my doctor?

If self-care doesn’t treat the symptoms, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider to see if you really have a yeast infection or if:

  • It’s the first yeast infection you’ve had. Yeast infections can mimic other infections, such as a urinary tract infection or STI.
  • You are pregnant. Your doctor should approve all medications during your pregnancy.
  • You have gotten several infections, four or more, in a year. Frequent yeast infections are a sign of another medical condition. You may need a 6-month treatment regimen to get rid of the yeast infection or have an underlying condition that needs to be treated.

If you have a recurring infection, your partner may also need to be checked for a yeast infection.

How do doctors treat yeast infections?

Your doctor may prescribe medication to treat a vaginal yeast infection. For severe yeast infections or complicated cases, you may be prescribed a 14-day cream or suppository vaginal treatment. Fluconazole is a prescription tablet that often clears up a yeast infection in two or three doses. Prescription medicines often work much more effectively and quicker than over-the-counter medications. If you’re especially uncomfortable, you may want to see your doctor to get back to your normal routine quicker.

You can prevent yeast infections by:

  • Washing your underwear in hot water
  • Avoid wearing tight pants, pantyhose or tights and leggings
  • Replace your feminine products regularly
  • Wear natural fibers, cotton or silk
  • Don’t use scented tampons or pads
  • Avoid sitting in hot tubs or taking frequent hot baths
  • Don’t sit around in your wet bathing suit
  • Don’t douche
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
  • Eat yogurt or take lactobacillus supplements

 

Don’t be embarrassed if you’re experiencing yeast infections. According to the CDC, vaginal candidiasis is the second most common vaginal infection in the United States. Many women deal with this uncomfortable infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options.

Dr. Oneida practices the full range of family medicine including obstetrics, pediatrics, adolescent medicine, adult medicine and some orthopedics. She also performs colposcopy, cryotherapy and vasectomies. Due to the volume of deliveries done, her practice has evolved to be more centered on women and children’s medicine, although she enjoys all aspects of family medicine. 

Sources:
“Vaginal Candidiasis.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html

“Vaginal Yeast Infection.” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/vaginal-yeast-infection#alternative-remedies

“Yeast Infections: Should You Treat Yourself or See a Doctor?” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/yeast-infections-should-you-treat-yourself-or-see-a-doctor

 

 

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.

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