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Candida

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
scholarstica
Sat, 08/19/2017 - 19:46

you have really helped me with these tips i have problems whenever i play sex i feel uncomfortal down there when i go for the test they say bacteria infection after treatment the contion disappears for sometime whenever i do sex it comes again recent tests idicated that i have both fungal and bacterial infection whenever i tell my husband to go for the test he tells me he has no problem and it has come to a state of me ignoring him this is from since 2002 when my problem was diagonised what can i do?

Hi Scholarstica, So sorry about the painful intercourse. Sex should be enjoyed by both partners. If the reinfection keeps occurring because of the unprotected sex with your husband, he needs to also get tested and treated otherwise you will have to use protection always. You need to talk to him so he gets to know that this causes you physical pain and he has a role to play in lessening this pain. He needs to know it is not about accussations but it is about getting better. You can both go see a specialist so that this is addressed once and for all. We wish you well.

I have aproblem with private parts, it happens when i attend my period, my mouth start itching and turn reddish . I have tried several treatments but iam an able pli help

Hi I gav a problem too with vaginal odour its smells fishy like I notice this 5 months ago I have been given diffrnt pills and the spectrum insert meds I have used but then no change its getting worse

Hi Lizzy, one of the causes of vaginal odour is the presence of an infection. It maybe help to check if there is an infection and treat that as opposed to trying to address the odour. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/safe-sex/stds-stis/bacterial-vaginosis

I also have a problem on my private part.sometimes i feel the itching then it disappears.after sometimes i may have discharge that makes me uncomfortable.how can u help?thanks.

Hi Sharon, communication! Only if you communicate your needs, and your partner does as well, you will have great sex! It doesn't matter if you know of 300 positions- if you don't communicate, this won't give you great sex.

Hi Roba, everybody is different, so there could be a 100 different ways to tell. In general, look for a few things: does she call or text you? Does she make plans with you? Does she talk about a future that includes you? Does she introduce you to her friends, or even her family? And then... do you have any reason to believe that she doesn't love you?

i have a son met with this guy at my grandpas burrial introduced by my cousin n yeah sartd dating he claims he loves me n ma son n even adds he cant be kidding arnd wit my feelings bcoz he respcts ma son n ma cousing.he wants to introduce me to his parents ,does this mean he realy loves me?

Hi Annie, Love is elusive. It is hard to describe but you know it when you feel it. The same goes for your partner, there is no way to know for sure but it’s a feeling. Trust your gut, you know more than you think. Just remember that everyone expresses and feels love a bit differently.

Dear Eunice, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Most women have trouble having an orgasm without the clitoris being stimulated- and most men don't know this. This has nothing to do with size, as the in-and out movement of sex alone won't get you enough clitoral stimulation. Check out this section to learn more about the clitoris, and have your man stimulate it during foreplay and intercourse: http://lovematters.co.ke/resource/vulva

Hi Alex, Love is elusive. It is hard to describe but you know it when you feel it. The same goes for your partner, there is no way to know for sure but it’s a feeling. Trust your gut, you know more than you think. Just remember that everyone expresses and feels love a bit differently.
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