The fungal infection in the vagina is commonly referred to as Vulvovaginal or Vaginal Candidiasis that mainly causes itching, redness and yeast infection swelling in the vulvar region, and also causes a cottage cheese like discharge from the vagina. Most women experience such conditions at least once in their lifetimes.
In a book called ‘Neuroradiology’, a study looked into the swelling of the spinal cord of a Cancer patient who had died; it was discovered from the autopsy that the cause of the swelling was due to Candida yeast infection that he had. This finding of this study highlight that yeast infections do have the tendency to cause internal swelling. Moreover, cancer patients or any other immunosuppressed patients are at a greater risk of this swelling, so it becomes vital to have early diagnosis and treatment, to avoid complications in the future.
Another study in the journal: ‘Current Opinion in Microbiology’ in 2011, found that in the research of various animal models, a large level Candida yeast colonization are linked with several diseases of the intestinal tract, and when inflammation and Candida colonization occur, it further delayed the healing time of inflammatory lesions. Also, inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract is shown to increase further colonization of Candida. So the process of inflammation then Candida, and then inflammation, and then Candida again can be a constraint back and forth occurrence. This study again highlights the importance of seeking remedies early when someone does have yeast infection, as by leaving the yeast infection untreated, it has the potential more and more inflammation and swelling.
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Some Important facts about Yeast Infection:
Overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast in the body causes Candidiasis.
It is a very common infection and almost 75% of adult women suffer from such infection once in their lifetime.
Men suffering from yeast infection are seen in some rare cases.
People who have a suppressed immune system are more likely to suffer from yeast infection.
Men who have yeast infection get symptoms like rashes on their penis which most of the time are very itchy.
Many types of anti-fungal creams are available which can treat the yeast infection swelling, and vaginal suppositories are also available which are effective in curing the infection.
Women can cure their vulvovaginal yeast infections easily by using over-the-counter treatments, but it is very important to be sure about the medication and diagnosis before any anti-fungal treatment.
What Causes Yeast infections?
Candida yeast is the normal resident in the vagina, but imbalance in hormones during the menstrual cycle, and misbalance in the pH levels of the vaginal area provides a friendly environment for the overgrowth of Candida albicans to occur, which can lead to yeast infection swelling, itching, redness and cottage cheese like discharge from the vagina. The good bacteria that are lactobacillus acidophilus are present in the vaginal tract but overuse of antibiotics and other drugs for some different ailment kills these healthy bacteria along with the harmful ones. But these healthy lactobacillus bacteria help in keeping the number of Candida under check, so recent antibiotic use may be one the main reasons why the body has developed a yeast infection in the first place.
Woman can easily get pre-disposed to vaginal infections, and the risk factors which contribute to this are as follows:
Antibiotics and corticosteroids that cause imbalance in the pH and hormones in our body leading to yeast infection swelling and discomfort.
Pregnancy and Menstrual cycle.
Suppressed immune system.
Douching harsh perfumes/sprays on the vagina can lead a woman to get yeast infections as it changes the normal healthy flora of the vagina.
A person suffering from genital yeast infection could experience high levels of swelling and redness during and after sexual intercourse, which is mainly due to the inflammation and high sensitivity that a yeast infection of the skin can create. For this reason, sexual intercourse should be avoided when one has genital yeast infections.
Vaginal Yeast Infection Swelling Can Be Associated With the Following Symptoms:
Itching the vulvar and vaginal region.
Burning, pain in the vagina and soreness.
Pain during sexual intercourse and a burning sensation is felt during urination.
Thick and white cottage cheese like discharge with a yeasty odour is observed from the vagina.
Treatment of Vaginal Yeast Infection Swelling and Itching
There may be several reasons for which yeast infection swelling and itching can be caused, which include sexually transmitted diseases, bacterial infection and hormonal problems. Oral medication or vaginal suppositories are sometimes prescribed by doctors; however, these can have a few side effects as well. Hormone deficiency can also cause yeast infection swelling and itching and this can be cured by Hormone Therapy.
Avoid applying harsh soap to the infected area and abstain from taking bubble bath while the infection is healing as that can lead to irritation. The detergent used should be fragrance free, and it’s also important to avoid scratching. Scratching can prolong the healing process and irritate the tender tissues of the vaginal area. It can also cause secondary infection and thus it is also very important to keep off from having sexual intercourse during the treatment.
To reduce the swelling, a cold compress can be used and apart from that, rinsing with lukewarm water can also give relief from the pain and swelling. Rough toilet paper should be avoided and try to sleep without wearing anything on the infected area so that the air can circulate freely. Scented tampons and pads should be avoided and cotton underwear should be worn.
In case of yeast infection it is very important to find out whether his/her sexual partner is also infected or not and whether they need a treatment as yeast infections are contagious. The yeast infection can travel back and forth, so eat natural yoghurt and drink a lot of water to prevent the infection. Learn more about yeast infection remedies here>
Swelling and candidiasis – Neuroradiology – 1982 – By Khang-cheng Ho, G. Gronseth and M. Aldrich
Inflammation and Candida colonization – Current Opinion in Microbiology Journal 2011 – By Carol A. Kumamoto
Neuroradiology – Book by Mauricio Castillo – 2002
Candida Albicans: Remedies – Book by Leon Chaitow – 2016