The vagina contains bacteria that helps to kill harmful organisms around it and also keep you healthy. But when something happens and affects the balance of the bacteria, a fungus called candida will begin to grow out of proportion and cause a yeast infection. Yeast infections can happen to anybody but certain things make them happen more often, and out of the Nigerian female health issues, this is usually one.
Signs and Symptoms Of Vagina Yeast Infection
- Itchiness and discomfort in and around your vagina
- Pain during sex
- Burning, redness, and swelling around the vagina, vulva, or other parts of the vagina
- A thick, white, colourless discharge
Before you go ahead with self-medication, you should first meet a doctor or a pharmacist once you notice any of these symptoms. The reason being that these symptoms are also similar to the symptoms of some sexually transmitted infection and bacterial vaginosis which is an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina.
Causes Of Vagina Yeast Infection
- Hormones: Changes during pregnancy, menopause, breast-feeding, or even taking birth control pills can cause a change in the balance of your vagina thereby leading to a yeast infection.
- Diabetes: If you have diabetes and it is not being treated properly, the increase in the sugar in your mucus membrane (that is the moist linings of your vagina) will become a breeding place for bacteria. Bacteria grow faster in the presence of sugar.
- Too many antibiotics: Taking too many antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in your vagina that should be protecting you.
- Using vagina products like steams, douches and vagina sprays: All these products affect the bacteria in the vagina and may cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
- Sex: Yeast is not a sexually transmitted infection but, it can be contracted from person to person contact.
- Weak immune system: If you have HIV or a weak immune system, it can make yeast grow uncontrollably.
How To Reduce The Risks Of Getting A Yeast Infection
1. Wear Breathable Panties
Wear cotton underwear. Cotton underwear does not cause heat or moisture. It will keep you dry.
2. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes
Stop wearing tight jeans, tight panties, tight skirts, anything tight in short, avoid it. Tight-fitting clothes result in heat which will boost the growth of yeast around your vagina.
3. Stop Douching
Stop using feminine hygiene products to keep your vagina “clean” or to smell good. Every lady’s vagina has a smell, stop stressing. Douching kills healthy bacteria and gives room for the harmful ones to grow.
4. Avoid Scented Feminine Hygiene Products
Don’t use scented pads and tampons, the scents are there because of chemicals, very bad chemicals.
5. Avoid Bathing With Hot Water
Heat is not healthy for you. Anything hot tub or hot bath, avoid it. It is best to use warm water.
6. Don’t Wear Wet Clothes
When you go swimming or sweat has been dripping on your cloth, don’t wear them for too long. Take off wet clothes and change into dry ones as soon as you can.
7. After using the bathroom, wipe from front to back
8. When you are on your period, change your pad, or tampons, or pantyliners often
9. Only use antibiotics when it is necessary
10. Treat diabetes very well if you have it
How To Treat Vagina Yeast Infection
You can use over the counter drugs or ointments like fluconazole. But, if you are pregnant, avoid taking oral fluconazole. Use the ointment instead.
Home Remedies For Yeast Infection In Nigeria
● Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil made from the tea tree. It can be used to treat viruses, bacteria, and fungal infections. Inserting the tea tree oil with a suppository into your vagina will help to get rid of yeast infection. Don’t use it directly, you have to first dilute it because the direct application can irritate the skin, especially the sensitive areas of the vagina.
Yoghurt contains probiotics, also known as good bacteria. Eating yoghurt will help maintain the proper balance of bacteria and reduce the growth of yeast. If you always get yeasts or you are on antibiotics, you should take yoghurt often. Emphasis on “eat”, don’t apply it on your vagina. It is not an ointment.
● Boric Acid
Boric Acid is a chemical substance that has antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used when over-the-counter drugs and ointments don’t work. But because of how strong it is, you first have to talk to your Nigerian doctor before using it. Your doctor should be the one to prescribe it for you.
● Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is known to be effective against vagina yeast infection. It has many benefits including fighting antifungal infections. When you want to use it to treat a yeast infection, make sure you buy one that is pure and organic, 100% virgin coconut oil. Apply the oil directly to the affected area.
● Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has a lot of medicinal uses. Add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to a tub of lukewarm water and soak yourself in it for 20 seconds. The acidic content of apple cider vinegar can eliminate all harmful microorganisms, including yeast.
● Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that kills bacteria and yeast. It may not work on every species of yeast though. But women have given testimonies about using it and seeing results. Don’t use it to douche the vagina, you will only be compounding the problem. Dilute it with water, warm water preferably before applying it to your genitals. It will get rid of yeast around the genitals. Don’t use it too often.
● Vitamin C
Vitamin C boosts the immune system. When your immune system is strong, your body will be able to balance itself. Vitamin C has antimicrobial properties so adding it to your diet can help treat yeast infections. Increasing your intake of vitamin C is also good for the skin. Vitamin C and vitamin C oil are not the same. You can get vitamin c by eating oranges, and potatoes.