Yeast infections – also known as candidiasis – are a common female condition.
They happen when the balance of bacteria and yeast that naturally occur in the vagina changes.
Around three out of four women will experience it at some point in their lives.
Symptoms include vaginal itching, swelling around the vagina, burning during urination and pain during sex.
Additionally, soreness, redness, a rash, and grey, clumpy discharge, that looks a little like cottage cheese, could also be signs.
The eight risk factors of yeast infections include:
– Uncontrolled diabetes
– Weak immune system
– Poor eating habits, like lots of sugary foods
– Hormonal imbalance near your menstrual cycle
– Lack of sleep
In light of these risk factors, it is possible to take steps to prevent yeast infections.
These include eating a well-balanced diet that includes yoghurt and probiotics containing lactobacillus.
Additionally, wearing natural fibres like cotton, line or silk, and washing underwear in hot water, can help.
Similarly, avoiding tight trousers, tights or leggings may also keep symptoms at bay.
Not douching and using feminine deodorant or scented tampons or pads likewise may stop yeast infections occurring.
However, if you do experience symptoms, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
As well as causing a lot if discomfort they could lead to other conditions such as bacterial vaginosis, dermatitis or recurrent infections.
Usually yeast infections can be treated easily at home with ointments, tablets and other treatments.