Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 05:11 am
Yeast infection discharge (candidiasis discharge) is due to infection of the vagina by Candida albicans. It affects millions of women all over the world. It is a common concern for women. Candida can affect other parts of the body too. If can affects the mouth (oral thrush), anal areas, skin and the guts.
Abnormal discharge due to vaginal infections can be sexually transmitted. However, yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease. It can sometimes be contacted during oral or anal intercourse because the candida is present in those parts of the body.
This article will explain the cause, treatment, and cure of yeast infection discharge in women.
What is the normal discharge experienced by women?
Women of childbearing age usually have white discharge. This can be thick discharge or sometimes watery discharge. In addition, vaginal discharge is odorless and without itching.
It can be watery during ovulation where women experience clear discharge or thick white discharge towards the onset of your next period.
Vaginal discharge is a normal way the vagina is kept clean. It consists of bacteria (lactobacilli), epithelial cell and mucus that is produced from the cervix. The normal pH of the vagina is between 3.5 to 4.5. During yeast infection discharge there is no change in the vaginal pH.
What does yeast infection discharge look like?
Vaginal discharge in women with a yeast infection is usually thick white and curdy. It is described as cheese like by some women. However, vaginal pH is within normal range.
Having said that, not all thick white discharge is due to yeast infection. Most women will experience milky white discharge or thick white discharge during their menstrual cycle. This is not a problem except there are other yeast infection symptoms and signs.
Who are at risk to develop yeast infection discharge?
Most women that are infected with candida will not show symptoms. Only about 40 percent of women will show symptoms of vaginal discharge. Some of the risk factor to develop yeast discharge are
- Pregnancy. Are you pregnant? Then its possible to have yeast infection discharge. Yeast infection is the commonest infection in women during pregnancy. It is due to reduced immunity and high estrogen level in pregnancy. However, it can be treated and cured in pregnancy. Therefore, it’s important to see your doctor.
- Use of broad spectrum antibiotic in women. This is a common cause of yeast infection discharge in young women. The vagina has both the good bacteria (lactobacillus) and the bad bacteria. Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics can kill both the good and bad bacteria. This will result in disruption of the normal vaginal flora with a predominance of fungi. Antibiotics do not kill fungi leading to fungi overgrowth. This will cause yeast infection discharge.
- Diabetes mellitus or high blood sugar levels
- Women on high dose combine oral contraceptive (COC pills)
- HIV infected women
- Vaginal douching. Women that use a douche to wash the vagina for hygienic reasons are at risk of developing fungi infection due to disruption of normal vaginal flora.
What other symptoms can I develop If I have yeast discharge?
If you have yeast infection discharge, you may experience any of this symptoms
- Vulva itching
- Soreness of the vulva from vaginal scratching
- Swollen red vulva
- Pain while having intercourse
- Pain while urinating
How is yeast infection discharge tested and treated?
The presence of thick cheesy white discharge with itching and soreness is a clue of yeast infection. However, there are other STD symptoms and infection that can mimic these symptoms. Trichomoniasis symptoms and symptoms of chlamydia, gonorrhea may be similar to a yeast infection. Therefore, it is important to inform your doctor if you are not sure about your symptoms.
Some test done during your clinic visit are gram staining and wet examination. A vaginal swab is used to collect specimen for testing. If candida is diagnosed, you will be treated by your doctor. The good news is that yeast infection discharge can be cured.
What is the treatment of yeast vaginal discharge?
Yeast discharge can be treated. Both pregnant and non-pregnant women can be treated with anti-fungal drugs. The drug of choice is imidazole. Some popular drugs used are fluconazole, Canesten cream and nystatin. Oral medications are not indicated during pregnancy. However, pessaries are safe and recommended.
In addition, women with severe infection may require longer treatment to get rid of their yeast infection. Therefore, you should take your drugs regularly as prescribed by your doctor. Also, there is no evidence to treat your partner, especially with mild infections.
How can I prevent vaginal yeast infection discharge?
If you experience abnormal discharge these are some ways you can prevent yeast infection
- Stop vaginal douching
- Avoid vaginal perfumes
- Avid synthetic underwear
- Inform your doctor before taking any broad-spectrum antibiotics as they can affect the normal flora of the vagina.
- If you are HIV infected, then visit your doctor. Inform him or her about your illness and you will be placed on HIV drugs.
- If you are diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar. Blood sugar lowering drugs are used to treat diabetes mellitus.
- Avoid using soap to wash your vagina
- Change your birth control pill. High dose COC pill can cause a yeast infection. Your doctor would change to other contraceptive methods.
Frequently asked questions about yeast discharge?
You asked us and we answered. Here are some commonly asked question about yeast discharge.
Is yellow discharge before period due to a yeast infection?
No. Yellow discharge before period can be normal in women. Normal discharge can change to yellow due to oxidation. However, STD symptoms like itching or painful urination are abnormal. You should inform your doctor about any abnormal discharge.
Will yeast infection cause milky white discharge?
Milky white discharge is normal in women. However, the presence of foul-smelling discharge without any itch or pain may be due to bacterial vaginosis. White thick cheesy discharge is likely from yeast infection
Is clear watery discharge due to yeast infection?
No. Clear watery discharge is normal in women during the middle of your menstrual cycle. It can be an ovulation sign or an early sign of pregnancy.
Now it’s your turn to join the conversation or ask new questions. Do you have symptoms of yeast infection? share your experiences with us.