- Basic facts about yeast infections
- Yeast infection symptoms
- Common causes
- When to see a doctor
- How a pharmacist can help
Yeast infections from A to Z
Yeast – a strain called Candida albicans in particular – is a tiny organism that can be found on your skin, and inside the vagina, in small numbers. Your vaginal environment is naturally acidic, which helps to keep yeast from growing, but if the pH of the internal vaginal environment becomes less acidic, a rise in yeast proliferation may result, which can cause a vaginal infection.
What causes these changes in the vaginal environment? Your period can do it; so can pregnancy, diabetes, some antibiotics, prophylactic (birth control) pills, and steroids. Moisture also seems to encourage yeast growth.
Sometimes after a course of antibiotics some women end up with a vaginal yeast infection. Why? Because antibiotics kill all bacteria – including the “good” bacteria that normally stay in your vagina and keep it healthy. This gives the Candida yeast a chance to proliferate. Not all women get a yeast infection after taking antibiotics, but it is something to watch out for. If you tend to get vaginal yeast infections following a course of antibiotics, tell your doctor next time you need a prescription.
You can find recommendations on how to avoid VYI by taking our Yeast Infection Info-Quiz!