FOOD AND HEALTH: Prevention and Treatment of Yeast Infection
Sources reveal that yeast infection is a colonization of a type of yeast called 'Candida albicans' in a part of the body, mouth, ears, etc., but more commonly in a woman's vagina. Three out of four women will experience at least one yeast infection in her life, but many experience recurring yeast infection. Yeast infection is brought about by the use of antibiotics, compromised immune system, or change in the ph balance in that area. It is more common in pregnant women because of the many changes in the body that makes it harder to maintain the ph balance in the area and due to the increased amount of sugar in the pregnant woman's body. Although yeast infection is not serious, it should be treated immediately and should always be prevented.
The symptoms of yeast infection include vaginal itching and pain when having sex or urinating, plus a whitish, thick and sometimes foul-smelling discharge. Yeast infection is treated with anti-fungal creams and suppositories or by oral anti-fungal medication. For first-timers, it is recommended that you see your gynecologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Pregnant women are also treated with the creams and the suppositories but the oral medication is not recommended as they have not yet been proven safe for the baby.
As usual, prevention is better than treatment. So here are the steps you can take to prevent yeast infection:
1) Hygiene is number one. Always keep the area clean and dry by washing with mild soap, rinsing with water, and then wiping with clean tissue or cloth to dry. Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
2) Don't use douches or any perfumed bath product because they can cause irritation. Also, never use petroleum-based lubricants during intercourse; water-based, so they say, is much better.
3) Always use clean, cotton underwear to let the air into the area. No nylon or lycra which trap the air and become breeding ground for yeast. Always wear pantyhose with cotton underwear beneath.
4) Don't wear tight-fitting pants or tights that hug or cramp the area.
5) For pregnant women, limit your sugar intake.