Candidiasis, or what people who aren’t doctors know it as, a YEAST INFECTION!
I cannot tell you how many people get embarrassed about yeast infections, quite frankly that embarrassment is the exact reason I like to call them bakeries… they both produce yeast, right?
The yeast infection: itchy, sore, and super uncomfortable. Yeast infections are the second most common vaginal infection in North America and a whopping 75% of women will have at least one of them in their lifetime!
HOW DO WE GET THEM?
Yeast infections are easy to treat but are also just as easy to transmit. If you have a yeast infection and have unprotected sex, your partner can develop the infection as well—yes, men can get yeast infections. You can also transmit the infection from practicing oral sex and get infection orally. Despite what your friends (and the internet) may tell you, a yeast infection is NOT a sexually transmitted infection (although you can transmit it sexually).
Yeast infections, although super common, are somewhat of a mystery. Most people don’t quite understand how the infection forms and this confusion and lack information is partially why we tend to feel so embarrassed about having one.
WE PRODUCE YEAST NATURALLY!
Our bodies naturally produce yeast, however large amounts of sugar in diet, antibiotics (which kill all bacteria, good and bad), tight clothing especially sweaty gym clothes, hot weather, and wet bathing suits all promote and overgrowth of yeast which is essentially what becomes a yeast infection.
Some people are more prone to yeast infections than others, specifically those with unbalanced diets. People who eat a large amount of sugar are more likely to get yeast infections because yeast thrives in the presence of sugar—this is why I call yeast infections a bakery.
Most women who have the infection will notice their discharge is white and clumpy, resembling that of cottage cheese. Not all women (and men) get clumpy white discharge though! Aside from the discharge, other symptoms of a yeast infection include vaginal dryness, burning, redness to entire vulva (vaginal area including inside and out), burning when urinating, and painful intercourse. (These symptoms can also be associated with sexually transmitted infections, which is why it is important to be properly diagnosed by a doctor, rather than self-diagnosing.)
Note: although some people never see the discharge in their underwear or coming out of the vagina, it may be within the vaginal walls creating the discomfort, which is another reason to visit the doctor.
Males typically experience redness and intense itching, and occasionally discharge too.
GETTING RID OF IT:
Getting rid of a yeast infection is pretty simple and there are a variety of treatments to clear it up.
Topical creams are used to suppress the itch that is often associated with the overgrowth of the yeast but they do not rid you of the bacteria completely.
Suppositories are a popular treatment option because they’re less messy than the over-the-counter intravaginal creams; however, the intravaginal creams are often recommended by doctors because the cream is more evenly distributed.
When buying over-the-counter medication, the 7-day treatment is best! I know, this sounds like a pain in the ass, especially if you’ve ever had to use the cream before, (you have to put it in at night to allow for best efficacy and most absorbtion, however, it tends to drip out of you the next day, which can get gross and messy.)
There are also oral medications, like Diflucan (aka: fluconazole) a one-dose pill that can treat the infection just as well as creams. The downside to this medication is that it often takes a few days to feel relief, compared to the cream, which gives relief sooner.
There are also natural home remedies used for treating yeast infections, like putting coconut oil on and in your vagina. Coconut oil works because it is a natural anti-fungal. If you’re prone to yeast infections, using coconut oil as a lubricant (only use without latex condoms) or as a moisturizer can help battle the bakery from opening.
WEAR COTTON GRANNY PANTIES!
Thongs can spread the bacteria from your vagina to your butt and back and forth, spreading the symptoms of itchy redness throughout your lower-region.
Wearing real full coverage COTTON underwear allows for your vagina to breathe, promotes less bacterial growth and also passes less bacteria from front to back and back to front. Material other than cotton does not allow for air to penetrate your vagina, which can foster growth.
If you use Monistat, it’s also good to wear cotton underwear that you can wear a pad with (you’ll definitely need it.)
HOW DO MEN GET RID OF IT?
Men can either apply the cream directly to the penis for the same amount of nights that a female is required to use it for, or they can take the oral medication.
HOW TO DECREASE YOUR CHANCE OF A YEAST INFECTION:
To help decrease your chances of having a yeast infection cut down the amount of sugar in your diet, thus leaving the yeast that is in your body an inhospitable environment to thrive in. Eating yogurt on a regular basis is also really helpful, especially with live acidophilus cultures in it. There are also acidophilus supplements that you can buy at any store that sells vitamins, which help maintain and healthy level of bacteria in your body.
Also, remember to change out of wet bathing-suits and sweaty gym clothes as soon as you can! Tight jeans cause heat, sweating and friction, all of which can lead to a yeast infection.
CAN YOU HAVE SEX WITH A YEAST INFECTION?
Technically, you can have sex with any infection, it is more a matter of comfort and contraction. Yeast infections are often associated with pain and discomfort, which would make having sex with one quite uncomfortable, with or without a condom. You can get a yeast infection in your mouth, vagina, or your penis, and you can transmit the infection from oral sex to vaginal sex or vaginal sex to oral sex. It does not matter where the yeast resides, if you’re penetrating where the infection is, contraction is possible, condom or not.