Not only are yeast infections uncomfortable to experience, but they can be uncomfortable to talk about, too. Even though this is the case, they’re extremely common infections—especially among females.

Thankfully, most yeast infections don’t need medical care to be adequately treated, but some still do. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road explains what you need to know.

What Causes a Yeast Infection?

A vaginal yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of your body’s natural yeast (Candida). This most frequently occurs in the vagina, but it’s also possible in other moist areas on the body, like the mouth, throat and gut.

Candida is a naturally occurring microorganism in the vaginal area. Lactobacillus bacteria keeps its growth in check. If there’s an imbalance in your system, however, these bacteria won’t work effectively. This, in turn, leads to an overgrowth of yeast, which causes the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections.

Common Causes of Yeast Overgrowth

  • Antibiotic use, which causes an imbalance in natural vaginal flora
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • An impaired immune system
  • The use of oral contraceptives or hormone therapy that increase estrogen levels

How Can a Yeast Infection Be Treated?

In many cases, you can safely treat a vaginal yeast infection with an over-the-counter medication, like an anti-fungal cream.

There are certain cases serve as signs that further medical care is needed, and we’ve listed them below.

Reasons to Seek Medical Care

  • If it’s the first yeast infection you’ve ever had. See a doctor to be sure it’s not a more serious problem that needs a different treatment, such as a urinary tract infection or an STI.
  • You’re pregnant. Any medications, including over-the-counter vaginal creams, need to be approved by your doctor during pregnancy.
  • You often get yeast infections. If you have four or more yeast infections in a year, doctors call it “recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.” If you have it, you’ll need treatment for up to six months with an anti-fungal medication. Frequent yeast infections can also be a sign that you have diabetes or another medical condition.

Not sure if you need medical care or not? It’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team!