Source: Adapted from Knowing Your Options: The Definitive Guide to Choosing The Medical Treatments, Reader’s
What is a yeast infection?
Most women will experience the itching and burning of a yeast infection, which is an overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus that normally lives in the vagina.
Who is at risk for yeast infections?
Anything that upsets the balance of vaginal organisms’taking antibiotics or steroid medications, pregnancy, a weakened immune system, fatigue or stress, or poor hygiene’can trigger a yeast infection.
Treatment for yeast infections
Vaginal medications are taken over several days; a fluconazole pill usually clears symptoms in 24 to 48 hours. Recurrent yeast infections require longer treatment.
Medications for yeast infections
Treatment with an OTC anti-yeast preparation inserted into the vagina is usually effective, but only if you actually have a yeast infection and not another form of vaginitis. See your doctor if OTC drugs don’t help.
An antifungal pill called fluconazole (Diflucan) is often prescribed. It is faster-acting on yeast infections than OTC products.
‘ Do not douche or use feminine sprays.
‘ Wear ‘breathable‘ underwear. Avoid tight pants or sitting in a wet bathing suit.
‘ When to call the doctor
‘ If you are pregnant and have symptoms of vaginal infection.
‘ If you have recurring vaginal infections.
‘ If your ‘yeast infection’ does not respond to an OTC antifungal medication in 3 to 4 days.
‘ If you develop any abdominal pain or a fever higher than 101°F.