The Facts About Vaginal Yeast Infections

What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
Yeast infections are generally caused by an organism called Candida albicans. This is a fungus regularly found existing harmlessly throughout the body-in the vagina, the digestive tract, and the mouth. A yeast infection develops when the normal environment of the vagina is altered, causing it to become less acidic. This change results in an over- growth of Candida organisms, causing a yeast infection.

What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?
The most common symptoms are itching, burning, and redness in the vagina and vulva. You may also experience an odor- less, thick, white discharge resembling cottage cheese-though not every woman has an abnormal discharge. Pain and a burning sensation may occur during intercourse.

If you have never experienced these symptoms before, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You may have another type of infection. Your doctor can determine the type of infection you have through a physical exam and some simple lab tests.

What conditions can lead to a yeast infection?
Most women will experience at least one yeast infection during their lifetime. The following conditions can contribute to the development of such an infection:

  • Treatment with antibiotics.
    Antibiotics can upset the normal vaginal environment by altering the normal bacteria population of the vagina and allowing Candida organisms to multiply.
  • Sugar levels in the body.
    Women who are diabetic may be more susceptible to yeast infections. Abnormal blood and/or urine sugar levels encourage Candida organisms to multiply.
  • The hormonal factor.
    Hormonal fluctuations occurring due to pregnancy, oral contraceptives, or even the menstrual cycle can upset the vaginal environment and provide conditions favorable for the over- growth of Candida organisms.
  • Other factors.
    Stress, fatigue, and the wearing of tight and/or damp clothing are conditions favorable for the development of a vaginal yeast infection.

Frequently recurring vaginal yeast infections may also be the result of serious medical conditions. You could be pregnant or there could be a serious underlying medical cause for your infections, including diabetes or a damaged immune system (including damage from infection with HIV - the virus that causes AIDS). If you wish further information on risk factors for HIV infection or on the relationship between recurrent vaginal yeast infections and HIV infection, contact your doctor or the CDC National AIDS HOTLINE at 1-800-342-AIDS (English), 1-800-344-7432 (Spanish), or 1-800-243-7889 (hearing impaired, TDD).

If you experience vaginal yeast infections frequently (recurrence within a two month period), or if you ahve vaginal yeast infections that do not clear up easily with proper treatment,you should see your doctor promptly to determine the cause and to receive proper medical care.

What can I do to prevent yeast infections?
Because yeast flourish in a dark, moist, warm environment, wear cotton under- wear. Avoid wearing fight clothing or wet bathing suits for prolonged periods of time. Eliminate excessive sweets from your diet. Dry the outer vaginal area thoroughly after bathing. And don't douche unless recommended by your doctor.

How can I treat a vaginal yeast infection?
To cure a yeast infection, you must destroy the yeast cells. Mycelex-7 (clotrimazole) is a fungicidal agent that kills the Candida fungi causing most vaginal yeast infections.

Mycelex-7 vaginal cream and vaginal inserts are now available without a prescription, in full prescription strength.

Mycelex-7 should be applied before bed- time for a full seven days-even if your symptoms disappear sooner. If there is no improvement within three days, you may have a condition other than a yeast infection. Stop using this product and see your doctor. If your symptoms persist after seven days, or return within two months, see your doctor. If your period starts during the seven days of treatment, continue to use the product but do not use tampons. If you have, or develop, any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately -fever, pain in the back, shoulder or lower abdomen, or a foul-smelling discharge. You could be suffering from a more serious medical condition.

Who should see a doctor before using Mycelex-7?
See your doctor before using Mycelex-7 if:

  • You have never had a yeast infection before.
  • You are, or could be, pregnant.
  • You are nursing your baby.
  • You are sensitive/allergic to any of the ingredients in Mycelex-7 or to any other Mycelex product.
  • You are a female under the age of 12.
A few final notes:
  • Condoms, diaphragms, and vaginal spermicide may be made less effective if they come in contact with Mycelex-7.
  • While you may have sexual relations during treatment with Mycelex-7, most couples abstain from sexual activity during treatment.
  • Mycelex-7 is for vaginal use only and is not for use in the mouth or eyes.
  • If your partner is suffering from penile itchiness, redness, or discomfort, he should consult with his doctor-and mention that you are being treated for a yeast infection.
  • Keep Mycelex-7 and all other medications away from children.
This information has been produced as a public service courtesy of:
Miles Inc.
MILES Consumer Healthcare Products
Elkhart, IN 46515

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Copyright © 1999 GenneX Healthcare Technologies,Inc.


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