There are similarities between yeast infections and other common vaginal infections such as trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. Many women assume that when they have a vaginal discharge coupled with an itching vagina, that they have a yeast infection. However, some women fail to recognize that other vaginal maladies may be the actual culprit for their infection and not yeast.
Some symptoms of a yeast infection include the following signs:
- Itching and general irritation of the vagina and at the opening of the vagina
- Experiencing burning sensations during urination or intercourse
- Having a vaginal discharge with a consistency similar to cottage cheese
Some symptoms of trichomoniasis include the following signs:
- A foul smelling vaginal discharge which can be white, gray, yellow, or green
- Burning and itching of the genitals
- Pain during urination or while you are having sexual intercourse
Some symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include the following signs:
- A grayish white vaginal discharge
- Experiencing itching and irritation in the vaginal area
- Feeling a burning sensation during urination
As you can see, the two other vaginal health maladies also have similar syptoms to that of a yeast infection, so it is important to correctly diagnose yourself. If you are unsure what type of vaginal infection you have, make sure you consult a doctor before you try to ascertain the kind of infection you have.
Perhaps one of the most telling signs of a vaginal yeast infection is a vaginal discharge with a consistency of cottage cheese. If you have this type of vaginal discharge you may very well have a yeast infection.
To help you reach a more sure conclusion as to what type of infection you have, here are more signs of yeast infections:
- Having your whole body feel bad
- Being overly sensitive to tobacco smoke, perfumes, and chemical odors
- Always feeling excessively tired and lacking energy to do things
- Experiencing headaches
- Having abdominal pain
- Premenstrual tension
- Having uncomfortable vaginal itching or vaginal burning
- Not being able to sleep well
Antibiotics and Yeast Infection Signs
There is a strong correlation between excessive antibiotic use and having yeast infections. If you have ever taken broad-spectrum antibiotics, the good bacteria in your body, such as acidophilus, would have been killed off when you took the antibiotics. Once these helpful bacteria were eliminated by the antibiotics, yeast organisms started to thrive and sustain their excessive growth with the extra nutrients which usually were consumed by friendly probiotic bacteria. Additionally, L. acidophilus, when dead, was not able to produce lactic acid and therefore was not able to stymie yeast growth by lowering the pH of its habitat.
If you have taken broad spectrum antibiotics in the past you are more at risk for developing a yeast infection. This is especially true if you took antibiotics for two months or longer; or if you took antibiotics in shorter courses 4 or more times in a one year period. Therefore, make sure you evaluate your past use of antibiotics when you attempt to diagnose your vaginal problems as a yeast infection.
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- William G. Crook M.D., The Yeast Connection and the Woman. Copyright 1995