Some women are lucky and have never experienced the pain and discomfort of a yeast infection. Unfortunately, there are also many women who experience them frequently.
If you have yeast infections that go away for a few weeks after treatment but then return a few weeks later, you may need a different type of treatment.
Standard over-the-counter treatments won’t work on all yeast infections…
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus candida and are pretty common during the reproductive age. When the hormonal balance of yeast and bacteria present in the vagina is disturbed, an overgrowth of yeast can occur.
It is this build-up of yeast that leads to vaginal itching and burning, as well as a discharge.
Unfortunately, the high-risk category includes a number of common issues. Women with a predisposition for developing chronic yeast infections include the following conditions:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- A weakened immune system from medications or diseases (HIV)
- Taking an antibiotic
- An increase in estrogen, which includes women who are
- Taking birth control pills
- On estrogen therapy
Treatment for Chronic Cases
A simple pelvic exam and a sample of the discharge for the lab to test are typically all that is needed to determine if you have an uncommon type of yeast infection or if you have some other condition.
Sometimes recurrent yeast infections simply need a stronger prescription medication used for a longer time span. This increased strength of medication effectively treats the yeast infection so that it doesn’t return in a few weeks.
Certain types of candida fungus are less common, and frequently do not respond well to traditional treatments. These types of infections typically need a different anti-fungal drug.
When It’s Not a Yeast Infection
Another infection that has similar symptoms is called bacterial vaginosis. It does not respond to yeast infection treatment because it is a bacterial infection, in which case an antibiotic is prescribed.
Neither bacterial vaginosis nor yeast infections lead to bigger health problems – however, if the infection is caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea, this is not true. When left untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can eventually lead to infertility.
To find out more about any of the conditions mentioned, visit our Knowledge Center. And if you have recurrent yeast infections, don’t put off making an appointment to find out more about your specific condition.