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Candida (yeast infection) – sexually transmitted diseases

 Candida (yeast infection) 

Candida (yeast infection)

Candida is a fungal infection. It’s also known as yeast infection, Candidiasis, thrush, or genital Candidosis.

Candida usually exists as a harmless fungus that grows in the vagina, anus, mouth, and under the foreskin in uncircumcised men.

 

However, when yeast grows in excess it causes irritation and unpleasant symptoms in these areas.

 

It’s not actually a STD. But you can pass it on by a variety of different behaviours including sex. This is why it’s included in the STD section.

 

In general, you don’t need to treat it unless you experience symptoms.

 

How do you get Candida infection?

You can get a Candida infection when this yeast grows in excess. Generally, this happens only when your body’s system is out of balance. And the balance of bacteria and yeast in your body has been disrupted, resulting in this excessive growth of yeast.

 

Common causes of yeast infections are:

 

Taking birth control pills or other hormones

Changes in hormone levels before your period or during pregnancy

Taking antibiotics, particularly ‘broad spectrum’ ones such as penicillin

Taking steroid medicines

Having elevated blood sugar levels

Having vaginal intercourse, especially dry sex

Using spermicides

Leaving a tampon in for too long

Using harsh soaps

Douching

How can you protect yourself from getting Candida infection?

There are several ways to prevent a yeast infection or thrush.

 

If you’re a woman:

 

Wash the inner and outer labia of your vulva where yeast is likely to grow

Dry your vaginal area thoroughly after taking a shower/bath

Avoid using harsh soaps or perfumes, including talcum powder

Wipe from front to back after using the toilet (vulva to anus)

Wear 100 percent cotton underwear

Use hot water to wash underwear and avoid using fabric softener

Avoid wearing tight-fitting slacks or shorts

Use unscented sanitary pads instead of tampons

Change sanitary pads or tampons often

Eat foods like yoghurt that contain ‘good’ bacteria known as lactobacillus acidophilus

Avoid having dry sex – use lubrication

Use a water-soluble lubricant when you have sex, such as K-Y Jelly

Avoid using spermicides

Ask your partner to wash his penis and hands before having sex with you

Use a condom

Avoid vaginal douching

Switch to a non-hormonal method of birth control, such as condoms, inter-uterine devices (Mirena), diaphragms, or withdrawal

If you’re a man:

 

Wear 100 percent cotton underwear

Use hot water to wash underwear, and avoid using fabric softener

Avoid wearing tight-fitting slacks or shorts

Wash your hands and penis before having sex

Use a condom

Avoid harsh soaps and perfumes, including talcum powder

Eat foods like yoghurt that contain ‘good’ bacteria known as lactobacillus acidophilus

Use a water-soluble lubricant when you have sex, such as K-Y Jelly

Avoid using spermicides

What are the signs that you’ve got candida infection?

Generally speaking, most people infected with Candida – or yeast infection – don’t have any symptoms. You’re more likely to notice it if you’re a woman than if you’re a man.

 

If you think you’ve got a yeast infection get it checked out. Sometimes, a yeast infection is confused with an STD infection like trichomoniasis.

 

A doctor can use a speculum to see inside the vagina. In women, symptoms of a yeast infection are:

 

Irritation, itching, redness, soreness and swelling of the vulva and vaginal area

Thick, curd-like vaginal discharge

Vaginal odour

Pain when you urinate

Pain when you have sex

In men, symptoms of a yeast infection or thrush:

 

Irritation, redness, and scaly look on the head of the penis

Swelling of the head of the penis

Difficulty in pulling back the foreskin of the penis

Whitish discharge from the penis

How can you get tested for candida infection?

If you think you’re infected with Candida – a yeast infection – you can go to your doctor to get tested. Your doctor will examine the infected area, and may take a swab and test it for Candida.

 

How can you get rid of candida infection?

Candida or thrush is easily treated.

 

The symptoms of irritation, itchiness, and discharge don’t cause serious health problems.

 

You’ve a few options for treatment: 1. Natural remedies such as Acidophilus tablets 2. Over-the-counter creams or suppositories, such as Monistat, which come in one-day, three-day, or seven-day packages. 3. Prescribed medication such as the one-dose fluconazole (Diflucan)

 

Depending on how bad your symptoms are, your doctor may recommend any of the three treatment options.

 

Keep in mind that over-the-counter creams or suppositories may contain oil that can damage condoms. So speak to your local pharmacist to see whether your suppository or cream contains any oil. If it does, avoid using it with condoms.

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