Yeast Infection
Yeast infections can occur almost anywhere in an immune- compromised person (such as one with H.I.V.): in the throat and esophagus, in the bloodstream, etc. In a person with a normal immune system, when we say “yeast infection”, we are usually referring to a yeast growth in the female genital area, specifically the vulva and vagina. In male patients the inguinal region and genitalia are affected. It is not entirely clear why this area is so prone to outbreaks of yeast. We do know that yeast is opportunistic, that is, they grow in infectious numbers due to change in normal bacteria, elevated blood sugar or other chemical conditions, or due to changes in environmental circumstances. A small number of yeast are virtually always found in the vagina, but with these chemical or biological changes, growth is greatly enhanced and reaches the stage of an infection.
What is a yeast infection like? Well, often times it itches, the affected area is red, and miserably burns. There is usually a clotty discharge which resembles cottage cheese. The discharge is usually not malodorous, rather smelling like brewing beer or bread being made. The delicate tissues inside and out can be red and swollen, and there can be a problem with painful urination.
A person normally does not “catch” a yeast infection, though it is possible to pass it back and forth with a couple having unprotected sex. It is probably wisest to abstain from sex until the infection has cleared. It’s usually the case that the yeast organisms are just there, and whatever defense has kept them in check, is compromised. One example is the yeast infection women can get after taking an antibiotic. The problem is that the normal dominant and benign lactobacillus organisms are killed by the antibiotic. As lactobacilli are lost, the yeast grow opportunistically and takes place with a vengeance. Another opportunistic situation would be the wearing of tight, non-breathing (i.e., not cotton) underwear. This would certainly create an unusually moist environment. Bubble baths with soaps that irritate the genitalia, or douches with certain perfumes, might be a causative agent. Sometimes the spermacide on a latex condom, or even the latex itself, can cause an irritative state which is conducive to yeast. It is not uncommon for women to get a yeast infection just prior to their period due to progesterone hormone increases about that time in their cycles.
Treatments for yeast infection basically boil down to prescription versus non-prescription. The FDA has deregulated several topical medicines which were previously only by prescription. The first to be deregulated was ticonazol, or Monostat. It is available as one or three day creams, or as suppositories. The next available OTC was butaconazole, or Femstat. Of note: both of these medicines break down latex, another reason for abstention during an infection. Prescription drugs include fluoconazole, or Diflucan, and ketoconazole known as Nizoral; these are oral medicines and care must be given not to use them under certain medical conditions.
It is kind of intriguing to study and consider the old home remedies out there that are not typically used today. These are all not recommended. One is the application and insertion of yogurt which contains lactobacillus twice a day. Another is a garlic clove wrapped in gauze with a dental floss string for removal inserted once a day for twelve hours at a time. Other remedies include a dilute solution of tea tree oil, boric acid (ouch), or potassium sorbate. No recommendation is made concerning these alternative therapies, except one may have to go to the doctor to have their missing garlic clove retrieved!
In conclusion, wear loose cotton underwear. Don’t apply harsh soaps to your vaginal area and stay away from douches. Even though taking a nice bubble bath after a long day at work is nice, it’s not good for your vaginal area. That’s one of the many ways women get yeast infections. If you get a yeast infection, try the over the counter products first. If it doesn’t clear up, see your doctor as it may be a different kind of infection. The infection could be drug-resistant yeast, in which case the doctor may wish to prescribe one of the stronger oral agents. Sometimes if you are really prone to get yeast infections after an antibiotic, he may decide to put you on an oral antifungal while you’re taking the antibiotic to prevent an ensuing yeast infection.
J. Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurusonis was conferred his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1983 and has been actively taking care of patients since completing his Internal Medicine residency in 1987 in the Garden State of New Jersey. Dr. Laurusonis has been licensed in four states but ultimately chose to permanently relocate to Georgia with his family and begin a private practice. Through his extensive experience in Internal Medicine, as well as in Emergency Rooms throughout the United States, Dr. Laurusonis saw how traditional Emergency Rooms were often overwhelmed by patients suffering medical conditions that were urgent but may not need the traditional “Level I Trauma Center”. Patients often waited six to twelve hours to be seen by a physician, were riddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, and were generally unhappy with the system.
Dr. Laurusonis decided to open an Urgent Care Center instead of a 9-5 doctor's office. Through the last fifteen years he has received accolades from the community and his patients. He has expanded his practice to include many cosmetic therapies that have previously been treated with painful and extensive plastic surgery. He has been invited to the White House numerous times, has been named Physician of the Year from GA, as seen in the Wall Street Journal, and has served as Honorary Co-Chairman on the Congressional Physicians Advisory Board
Dr. Laurusonis and his practice, Doctors Medical Center, is open 7 days a week from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm offering such services as lab, x-ray, EKGs, aesthetics (Botox, dermabrasion, sclerotheraby and veins etc.), cold/flu, sore throats, fractures, sprains, lacerations, GYN, Pediatrics, Phlebology Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression Treatment, skin tag/mole removal, veins, allergies, asthma, physicals--just to name a few. Dr. Laurusonis welcomes you to either make an appointment or just walk-in to see him. Dr. Laurusonis will take the time to speak with you about your concerns--no problem is too big or too small. If you need additional services we have specialist referrals available or we can refer you to the neighborhood hospital emergency room. Give Doctors Medical Center a call--Dr. Laurusonis will be happy to speak with you.

John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 110
Duluth, GA 30096