Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for
Written by Miriam Tanenbaum
So you have a vagina. Congratulations! And you may have a yeast infection. Less congratulations. While it is possible for people with penises to get yeast infections, for the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on infections of the both yeast and vaginal variety. Coincidentally, “Vaginal Variety” is what I’m calling my new SNL-style sketch show, coming absolutely nowhere this fall.
A common symptom of a yeast infection is that your vagina becomes an itchy wasteland.
There’s a party in your pants, and discomfort is invited. There is an itch you can’t scratch, because it’s inside of your vagina. Walking feels wrong, sitting feels wrong, standing feels wrong. It’s all wrong. “It,” of course, being your pH levels. Step aside, Pennywise, the true horror movie villain is here, and it’s equally emotionally scarring. If your vagina or vulva are itchy or irritated, that’s a sign that there’s a problem and you should get in touch with your gyno.
But sometimes yeast infections aren’t itchy.
Maybe you’re itchy right now, or maybe you’re thinking “I’m not itchy, but it does feel like fire ants are crawling through my genitals.” If this is the case, you may also have a yeast infection. Itchiness is not the only symptom. General discomfort, burning, and irritation are all symptoms as well. That said, if you suspect it may be an STD rather than a yeast infection, be sure to check out Safely App to get more information because you should always know what’s going on all up in you.
Yeast infections can also cause unusual discharge.
Yeast infections can sometimes cause discharge that looks a bit like (brace yourself) cottage cheese. The human body is a miracle. Awesome! This discharge will likely be off-white in color and may lack any smell or other defining characteristics.
Will a yeast infection go away on its own?
A mild yeast infection might go away on its own, but this is unlikely. To keep it in check, it’s a good idea to treat your yeast infection baby with medication. Various yeast infection treatments can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy. You could also get it on Amazon if you want to wait a few days and really revel in the itch of it all. These medications generally entail shoving some creamy medication inside yourself, like a proper lady. Eating yogurt and other probiotic foods may also help get your gut back in balance. With all this in mind, if it doesn’t seem to be going away after using medication, or if your symptoms are really severe, it’s time to check in with your doctor ASAP. It’s possible you have mistaken a different infection for yeast.
How to prevent yeast infections from coming back
There are some simple things you can do or avoid to prevent yourself from getting this glorious infection:
- If you’re on antibiotics, they can disrupt your natural pH balance. Eat yogurt or take probiotics to help stabilize your good bacteria levels, and prevent your vagina from lashing out at you.
- Wear loose fitting cotton undies that lets your bits breathe. Avoid tight underwear and thongs whenever possible. These types of undies can trap bacteria and cause yeast infections. Overall, just a lose-lose.
- Douching is a bad idea, just don’t do it. It disrupts your pH levels and makes you more susceptible to infection. Change out of wet clothes quickly. Wet conditions allow yeast infections to thrive, so it’s generally best to keep the area around your vulva dry.