How Are Vaginal Yeast Infections Diagnosed?
In most cases, you can treat this complaint in the privacy of your own home and will soon know if you are suffering from a yeast infection of not by the improvement, or lack of, you are likely to experience. To firmly establish the diagnosis and to rule out any other underlying causes of the symptoms, your doctor will take a specimen, a smear test, scraped from the affected area for microscopic analysis or for culture in a laboratory. Identification of yeast under a microscope, when possible, is the least expensive and most rapid and accurate way to establish the diagnosis and in chronic cases I always recommend identification.
Early detection is important because you may have another condition that may present just like a yeast infection for example such as gardnerella, which is a bacterial infection and not a yeast infection.
The 10 Main Causes Of Vaginal And Vulva Yeast Infections
There are many potential causes of vaginal infections and inflammations, and here is a list of the 10 most common reasons why vaginal yeast infections strike women:
- A diet high in refined carbohydrates. This is most likely to be one of the commonest causes, too much sugar, soda drinks, candy, white bread and cookies and other convenience foods high in sugar.
- Pregnancy and childbirth. This is a time of hormonal turmoil and many women complain of vaginitis during their pregnancy.
- Menstrual dysfunction. A menstrual cycle which is irregular, particularly in the week leading up to the menstrual period, may encourage the proliferation of a yeats infection.
- Diabetes. Diabetics tend to pass more sugar (glucose) through their urinary tract than they should, and wherever there is an abundance of glucose in the body, a yeast infection is not far behind.
- Stress. Stress has a way of weakening the immune system, thereby creating a higher level of vulnerability for many types of infection, including a yeast infection. You can read more about the link between stress and candida in chapter 6, section 2.
- Pharmaceutical drugs. Birth control pills and antibiotics in particular have been positively linked with candida yeast infections.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies in trace elements and vitamins can predispose a person to an increased vulnerability of a yeast infection. This is also tied in with a diet high in refined carbohydrates. These diets have a tendency to be calorie rich but nutrient poor.
- Chemical contamination. Vaginal tissue is very sensitive and vulnerable to the effects of certain chemicals, and the use of vaginal sprays and deodorants, colored or scented toilet paper may irritate the area decreasing the resistance of the immune system to yeasts and bacteria.
- Sexual intercourse. Excessive intercourse in a short period of time or insufficient lubrication may cause vaginal irritation and inflammation leading to a yeast infection.
- Clothing. The use of certain undergarments such as nylon panties or pantyhose or tight-fitting clothing such as jeans can lead to insufficient ventilation, and may help to provide a more suitable breeding ground for a yeast infection to develop.