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Candida (yeast infections)

Candida is a fungal infection. It’s also known as yeast infection, candidiasis, thrush, or genital candidosis.

Candida usually exists as a harmless fungus that grows in the vagina, anus, mouth, and under the foreskin in uncircumcised men.

However, when yeast grows in excess it causes irritation and unpleasant symptoms in these areas.

It’s not actually a STD. But you can pass it on by a variety of different behaviours including sex. This is why it’s included in the STD section.

In general, you don’t need to treat it unless you experience symptoms.

How do you get candida infection?

You can get a Candida infection when this yeast grows in excess. Generally, this happens only when your body’s system is out of balance. And the balance of bacteria and yeast in your body has been disrupted, resulting in this excessive growth of yeast.

Common causes of yeast infections are:

  • Taking birth control pills or other hormones
  • Changes in hormone levels before your period or during pregnancy
  • Taking antibiotics, particularly ‘broad spectrum’ ones such as penicillin
  • Taking steroid medicines
  • Having elevated blood sugar levels
  • Having vaginal intercourse, especially dry sex
  • Using spermicides
  • Leaving a tampon in for too long
  • Using harsh soaps
  • Douching

How do you protect yourself from getting Candida?

There are several ways to prevent a yeast infection or thrush.

If you’re a woman:

  • Wash the inner and outer labia of your vulva where yeast is likely to grow
  • Dry your vaginal area thoroughly after taking a shower/bath
  • Avoid using harsh soaps or perfumes, including talcum powder
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet (vulva to anus)
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton underwear
  • Use hot water to wash underwear and avoid using fabric softener
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting slacks or shorts
  • Use unscented sanitary pads instead of tampons
  • Change sanitary pads or tampons often
  • Eat foods like yoghurt that contain ‘good’ bacteria known as lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Avoid having dry sex – use lubrication
  • Use a water-soluble lubricant when you have sex, such as K-Y Jelly
  • Avoid using spermicides
  • Ask your partner to wash his penis and hands before having sex with you
  • Use a condom
  • Avoid vaginal douching
  • Switch to a non-hormonal method of birth control, such as condoms, inter-uterine devices, diaphragms, or withdrawal

If you’re a man:

  • Wear 100 per cent cotton underwear
  • Use hot water to wash underwear, and avoid using fabric softener
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting slacks or shorts
  • Wash your hands and penis before having sex
  • Use a condom
  • Avoid harsh soaps and perfumes, including talcum powder
  • Eat foods like yoghurt that contain ‘good’ bacteria known as lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Use a water-soluble lubricant when you have sex, such as K-Y Jelly
  • Avoid using spermicides

What are the signs that you've got Candida?

Generally speaking, most people infected with Candida – or yeast infection – don’t have any symptoms. You're more likely to notice it if you’re a woman than if you're a man.

If you think you’ve got a yeast infection get it checked out. Sometimes, a yeast infection is confused with an STD infection like trichomoniasis.

A doctor can use a speculum to see inside the vagina.

In women, symptoms of a yeast infection are:

  •     Irritation, itching, redness, soreness and swelling of the vulva and vaginal area
  •     Thick, curd-like vaginal discharge
  •     Vaginal odour
  •     Pain when you urinate
  •     Pain when you have sex

In men, symptoms of a yeast infection or thrush:

  •     Irritation, redness, and scaly look on the head of the penis
  •     Swelling of the head of the penis
  •     Difficulty in pulling back the foreskin of the penis
  •     Whitish discharge from the penis

How do you get tested for Candida?

If you think you’re infected with Candida, you can go to your doctor to get tested. Your doctor will examine the infected area and may take a swab and test it for Candida.

How do you get rid of Candida?

Candida or thrush is easily treated.

The symptoms of irritation, itchiness, and discharge don’t cause serious health problems.

You’ve a few options for treatment:
1. Natural remedies such as Acidophilus tablets
2. Over-the-counter creams or suppositories, such as Monistat, which come in one-day, three-day, or seven-day packages.
3. Prescribed medication such as the one-dose fluconazole (Diflucan)

Depending on how bad your symptoms are, your doctor may recommend any of the three treatment options.

Keep in mind that over-the-counter creams or suppositories may contain oil that can damage condoms. So speak to your local pharmacist to see whether your suppository or cream contains any oil. If it does, avoid using it with condoms.

Comments
Ibra, there is no formula to figure this out. You need to look for signs. Is she still affectionate? Do you share secrets, do you talk, do you fight? Or is she indifferent? Do you make future plans together? Have a critical look at your relationship, and you might be able to figure it out. And, of course, ask her!
James, it's best to start talking about it. Are you and your partner ready? Does one of you have experience? What are you going to do to prevent pregnancies? Have you thought about getting STD tests? Also check out our 'first time sex' section, under making love.
hi if at all u fail to react second round totally and reacts after the sex when the lady'sfeelings are gone. what actually causes this?
Charles, that's called the refractory period. It's the time your body needs to recover from your first erection and ejaculation. It can vary from between a few minutes to several hours. All is normal. That's why it's so important that quality is more important than quantity.
Ngonyo, everybody has a different way of showing love, so there is no universal way of determining if someone loves you. Look out for general signs- does your partner call you when he/she says they would? Have they introduced you to friends and parents? Do they show affection and respect you?
I hav boy who claim to hav a wife although he came to me by him self and give me the nmr since then we communicate together I didn't like him but I gaved him a chance every time we make SMS he always tell me I love u and I want u to love me but then after then I bigin to like him and I told him that I lik him
i am 21yrs old and i hav a baby girl almst 2yrs old.i broke up with the father due to infidelity.i had a man who i thought would hv bn good 4 me but all over sudden he stops pikin my cals n wen he does he is so rude n also dsnt reply txt sms.i feel so tired of that.up to this point i fail 2 blv there is true lov.most men want sex n they dissapear.wats the problem wit this guy cz i askd wat i did 2 deserv that treatment n he said nothing.
Precious, sorry you had to go through all of that. But don't give up on love. Next time, don't rush into a relationship. Spend time getting to know each other, being friends, and take your relationship from there. The better you know each other, the lower the risk you will get disappointed.
I got married to someone I don't love and I have never forgotten the guy I had for five years ...Am always thinking of him ,sweet memories follow me around that can't help but cry a lot......Is there any chance that we were meant for each other
i wanted to kno how to control my feelings when im with a gal.....coz my dick gets up easyly n its big so its hard to hide it so tht the gal u have nxt to wont notice.
Alexis, That's pretty normal, actually, especially if you are inexperienced and aren't getting a lot of sex. You can try to masturbwte regularly, to deal with some of the urges. Also, when it happens. try putting your hands in your pockets, or covering up your erection with a newspaper or a backpack, or whatever else is near you. And try to distract yourself, think of something sad... Good luck!
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