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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.

Did you learn something new?

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 07:14 am
Hy I have girlfriend who like sex than me.She always ask for sex when we meet and I am not interested.what can I do to strengthen my relationship
Mon, 12/28/2015 - 04:22 pm
Pls help me,I married when I was a virgin,this is the 5th ia now n unless my hubby caresses me i cant feel lik aving sex at all.whats wrong with me?
Jannie has this always been the case or its something that started after a while? In any case you need to talk to your husband about it and find out what could be the problem as this may be stemming from an issue in the relationship that makes you not be interested in sex. All the best.
Have been in a relationship for 4 months en we lived together with him but Wen I got a job far from wea he worked he divorced me coz he said he never trusted me especially with my ex who lived wea I went to work. I never gave up for the job coz the man beat me just because of small mistakes en we were not yet married, wen I left he cried the whole night and I was wondering does this man really love me?
Hi..av had sex thrice with the same girl but has never come she always encourages me to continue en that nothing is wrong with me.please help coz i really want to prove my manhood
Wed, 03/09/2016 - 11:25 pm
hi...I have been in a relationship with this guy for almost two months now,but he always complain whenever we make love....he says am not mature in love making.... I wonder what I should do to make him happy
Fri, 04/22/2016 - 04:34 pm
i thought the dat , the first tym 2 hav sex u can fill alot of pain en also u bleed bt 2 me it was different , i didnt experience anythg even a single pain
I'm in abusive rshp,wnever i try to walk out of it,i find maslf cptured to his lov,i dont kno whthr he lovs me bse wnevr he beats me up,he asks for fogvenes and we bcom happy again,wt shd i do bse i lov hm sooooo much
Hmmm am hapi y bcos of dis house a hole lot of pple don't know abt dis tins sex make home n it break home learn to satisfie ur partner
Thu, 08/18/2016 - 02:34 am
please help me, the is dis girl we grow up together she knows my ex girl frid, we hav been in a relationshipe now for like two weeks, but any time i tried touchx her she run away,she aviods body contact between us, so pls wat eals can i do to make love to her?
Hi Clinton, Its only been two weeks. Have you thought that she might not be ready for it? Talk to her and find out how she feel, what her expectations and fears are. Get to know her more. It is also important for her to know what your intentions and expectations are for that relationship so that both of you understand each other. All the best to the both of you.
I have been in a r/ship for now its one n half yrs wth a man who has a kid bt broke up with his wife.He has already introduced me to his parents.Its a long distance rship n he rarely communicate claiming that he is always busy n whenever i complain,he change the behaviour bt after sometime repeats the same.I used to love him bt now i feel i dont love him anymore.I want to quit him n move on bt i find it difficult for me n i dont love him anymore,,,pls help
I hv my guy i lov bt wneva i hv sex i enjoy bt afta hvng sex i wl stat filn stomch pain around my weste en serious headek lyk 4 2daz, wt brngz tht?
Sat, 10/15/2016 - 04:21 am
Hi guys I have this confused thing in my mind about my friend we have been friend for almost 4 years now n i have been avoiding feelings for her and we have been a lot 2gether meaning help her with advice I know all her x bf and she knows mine too.I love her and she once also admited that she loves me too but she can't it as like I wanted because we know each other for years help
junior R
Sat, 03/11/2017 - 07:28 pm
hey guyz there is ths thng tht confus me much, when i had sexe with my g/frnd i felt strong pain my testis soon after i was done and what brought the hell is, i safocats and falls I really dont knw what the problem could be. do help
Femi Louis Ogumah
Wed, 08/08/2018 - 01:17 am
Thank you for this great info. I've been following on series of your articles I just want to let you know that it has been so educating, with resourceful guide that has change a lot in the life of many. Thanks Louis

Hey Liz, it is normal to have vaginal discharge. Most women have it at least sometimes. Some women have discharge all the time, and yet others never have discharge. However, if you see any drastic changes in smell, color or quantity, especially in combination with itching, pain or redness, it could be a sign of infection. In that case, you must consult your doctor and get it checked. Check out the following article for additional information;-

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