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What Is A Yeast Infection And What Are The Causes?

By Kathryn Whittaker

A yeast infection is an infection caused by yeast of the species Candida. It is also referred to as candidiasis, which mostly infects women. It causes vaginal infections and some common mouth infections especially to people who have poor immune system and those who have been taking antibiotics.

A person becomes increasingly susceptible to yeast infection if they take large amount of antibiotics, have undergone organ transplants, has AIDS infection or artificial joints.

Candida albicans, along with the other forms of yeast, commonly grow in the vagina, mouth and rectum. A yeast infection occurs if a person's immune system is unbalanced. This invites yeast like organisms to grow.

If you want to find out if you are affected with candidiasis, it is strongly advised that you see a doctor. Usually, a doctor or a clinician will take a sample of your oral plaque or vaginal discharge and examine the material under a microscope. Once examined, the doctor will be able to identify whether signs of infection are present and the current stage in the life cycle of the yeast infection.

It has been found yeast infections affects three out of four women. In the United States, nearly 50% of college women have been diagnosed with yeast infection at the early age of 25 and almost 5% of those diagnosed go on to develop chronic yeast infections. Candidiasis can be easily treated but you should know and understand how it can be prevented so it will not lead to serious infections.

During pregnancy, a woman has increased levels of estrogen which causes the increased production of glycogen in the vagina. At this time, increased yeast growth is often observed. If a pregnant woman is observed to have signs of candidiasis, she may pass the infection to her newborn baby in the form of thrush. This can be seen as white patches present in the baby's mouth at birth.

So if you are pregnant and you have signs of yeast infection, you should see your doctor for the appropriate treatment.


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