Yeast Infection FAQs

What is yeast infection?
A yeast infection is very simply a fungal infection of the vagina.

What causes yeast infections?
Candida albicans is the most common cause of most yeast infections, although other species of yeast can be present.

Can the other species of yeast cause infection and symptoms?
Yes! Other species are often present with persistent or recurrent infections.

What other factors play a role in yeast infections?
Any situation that disturbs the normal bacteria that live in the vagina. Antibiotic use, excessive moisture or warmth, menses, tampons or scented soaps and feminine hygiene products.

What is bacterial vaginosis (BV)?
A shift in the relative levels of normal vaginal bacteria. This change results in a measurably elevated vaginal pH. Vaginal and vulvar irritation may be present. A thin, yellow-grey discharge accompanied by a fishy odor may be noted.

What causes bacterial vaginosis?
Experts are not sure what exactly causes BV, but there are certain things that make some women more susceptible. Smoking, douching, and recent antibiotic use are all things that can cause someone to develop BV.

How do I know if I have a yeast infection or BV?
Most episodes of vaginal yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis are associated with signs and symptoms. There can be considerable overlap between the two conditions. This can make proper diagnosis a challenge. Vulvar and/or vaginal irritation or discomfort is usually, but not always, present. Odor and vaginal discharge are common signs. Pelvic pain or painful urination are seen less commonly.

At what age can you get a yeast infection or BV?
Although women of any age can be affected by vaginal yeast infections or BV, women of reproductive age are most commonly afflicted.

Why would I not want to treat yeast with traditional OTC and prescription treatments every month?
Due to overuse and prescribing practices, it is estimated that a significant percentage of Candida albicans is now resistant to standard therapies. Both oral tablets and vaginal creams have proven to be less effective in greater frequency. There has been a shift in focus on prevention and, also to identifying those women that may have species resistant to standard therapies.

Can boric acid be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
There have been no well designed studies to assess the safety of boric acid use during pregnancy or lactation. As a result, it is not recommended for use with either of these conditions.

When used as a vaginal suppository, boric acid is only known to occasionally cause irritation, and a watery discharge may occur several hours after use. If taken by mouth (internally), in open wounds, or by children, boric acid is toxic. It should be never swallowed. Boric acid should be kept out of reach of children. When boric acid is swallowed it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, kidney damage, acute failures of the circulatory system, and even death. Research has not been done on pregnant women, therefore, boric acid suppositories are said to be unsafe to use during pregnancy, unless recommended by a doctor. The products and claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

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