A yeast infection is not too serious, but it can be really annoying and play havoc with your sex life and day to day tasks.
- A yeast infection will not go away on its own. If you think you have one, the best thing to do is visit your GP.
- The symptoms include itching, irritation and soreness of the vagina and surrounding area, swollen labia (lips around the vagina) and sometimes a thick, white, unpleasant smelling discharge.
- A dual treatment of a cream to get rid of the external itch and a one off pill to cure the internal infection is usually recommended. If this does not work, then pessaries (larger tablets inserted directly in to the vagina) may be prescribed to get rid of the infection.
- A yeast infection is caused by a build up of the naturally occurring bacteria, candida albicans.
- It can be triggered by certain antibiotics, and women are more prone to getting it if they have a poor immune system. It can also be caused by bad personal hygiene, such as not changing sanitary protection often enough or wearing dirty underwear.
- To avoid a recurring yeast infection, practise good personal hygiene. Don't wear over tight trousers and wear cotton underpants to avoid sweating. Try not to wear lacy or synthetic material that is tight around the area too.
- A yeast infection should clear up within a few days of you taking the tablet and applying the cream two or three times a day. If it does not, it is recommended that a GP is seen again to prescribe a stronger treatment.