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Post Op: Vaginal Yeast Infection

Post Op: Vaginal Yeast Infection

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Yeast infections can be very uncomfortable, but are usually not serious. Symptoms include the following:

  • Itching and burning in the vagina and around the outside of the vagina (the vulva, the edge of skin that surround your vagina)
  • A white vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese
  • Swelling

Yeast infections are so common that ¾ of women will have one at some time in their lives. Half of all women have more than one infection in their lives. If you have symptoms of a yeast infection, you can call Dr. Rutledge or speak with your doctor about your symptoms.

What causes vaginal yeast infections?

Yeast are tiny organisms that normally live in small numbers on the skin and inside the vagina. The acidic environment of the vagina helps keep yeast from growing. If the vagina becomes less acidic, too many yeast can grow and cause a vaginal infection.

The acidic balance of the vagina can be changed by your period (menstruation), pregnancy, diabetes, certain antibiotics, birth control pills and steroids. Moisture and irritation of the vagina also seem to encourage yeast to grow.

How are these infections treated?

Yeast infections are usually treated with a vaginal medication or with a pill form that you take by mouth.

Should I see my doctor every time I have a yeast infection?

Be sure to see your own medical doctor the first time you have symptoms of a yeast infection. It's important to make sure you have a yeast infection before you start taking medicine. The symptoms of a yeast infection can sometimes be the symptoms of something else.

If you have often been diagnosed with yeast infections, talk to your medical doctor about using a medicine you can buy without a prescription.

How can I avoid getting another infection?

Here are things you can do to help prevent another yeast infection:

  • Don't wear tight-fitting or synthetic-fiber clothes.
  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Don't wear pantyhose or leotards every day.
  • Use your hair dryer on a low, cool setting to help dry your genital area after you bathe or shower and before getting dressed.
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. This may help prevent the bacteria that normally live in your rectum from getting into your vagina.
  • Change out of wet swimsuits or other damp clothes as soon as you can.
  • Don't douche or use feminine hygiene sprays, deodorant sanitary pads or tampons, or bubble bath, and avoid using colored or perfumed toilet paper. These items seem to affect the balance of acidity of the vagina and can lead to symptoms of a yeast infection.
     
Antifungal Medications
Prescription Drugs Now Available as Over-the-Counter Products
Product class: Antifungal medications        
Active ingredients/availability Brand name(s) OTC indications Usual dosage Cost*
Clotrimazole 1%, 100-mg vaginal tablet or applicatorful of cream Gyne-Lotrimin Treatment of recurrent vaginal yeast infection in persons age 12 years and over One vaginal tablet or one applicatorful of cream vaginally once daily $12.00 per seven-day treatment regimen
Clotrimazole 1%, 200-mg vaginal tablet Gyne-Lotrimin 3 Treatment of recurrent vaginal yeast infection in persons age 12 years and over One vaginal tablet once daily $7.00 per three-day treatment regimen
Butoconazole 1% cream Femstat 3 Treatment of recurrent vaginal yeast infection in persons age 12 years and over One applicatorful of cream vaginally once daily $17.00 per three-day treatment regimen
Miconazole nitrate 1%, 100-mg vaginal suppository or applicatorful of cream Monistat 7 Treatment of recurrent vaginal yeast infection in persons age 12 years and over One vaginal suppository or one applicatorful of cream vaginally once daily $13.00 per seven-day treatment regimen
Miconazole nitrate 1%, 200-mg vaginal suppository Monistat 3 Treatment of recurrent vaginal yeast infection in persons age 12 years and over One vaginal suppository once daily $13.00 per three-day treatment regimen
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