Candida, the common name of yeast infection can be both experienced by men and women. Specific type of fungus is the Candida albicans. Yeast is normally found in our body especially in the moist part and they are referred to as the normal flora. Their presence cannot cause infection since they live normally in the body but when their number counts above the normal then an irritating yeast infection can occur. Increase number of the normal flora can be caused by different circumstances. They can infect at any part of our body. In fact, it is estimated that between 20%-50% of healthy women normally carry yeast in the vaginal area.
Candida can overgrow for many reasons. Stress, pregnancy, and illnesses that affect the immune system such as AIDS may allow yeast to grow in unfavourable numbers. Also, birth control pills can cause imbalance in the hormone level, specifically the estrogen causing the vaginal wall to thin and steroids, use of steroid can cause decrease in immune system function thus the body cannot regulate the growth and multiplication of the normal flora. Or if you’re taking antibiotics, use of certain antibiotics can cause death in “good bacteria”. Good bacteria keeps the bad bacteria from multiplying wildly, they tend to control their number if good bacteria are killed then the bad ones will increase. Diabetes or increased blood glucose level can also causes yeast infection in both female and male, but it is very rare condition for males.
Yeast infections can happen to anyone and they’re not all related to sex, although they occasionally can be spread from one sexual partner to the other. This is quite rare, though, and the partner of someone who has a yeast infection does not automatically have to be treated but must be checked also by the physician since there is a chance that he/she might have the infection also, treatment of both partners is important to eradicate totally the infection). A doctor won’t be able to tell how you got a yeast infection, but will be able to tell you if you really have one, and if so, how to treat it. There may be known home remedies but seeking the help of a professional is still the best thing to do.
Common signs and symptoms of yeast infections include:
- Penile and vaginal itching and irritation
- Itching, swelling, and redness in the vulva and the labia (folds of the vagina)
- a thick, white discharge that may look like a cottage cheese and is usually odorless, although it might smell like a bread or yeast
- dysuria or pain and burning sensation when urinating or during sexual intercourse