Do your yeast infections keep coming back? Have you tried to treat them but it didn't work? Have you had more than four yeast infections in the last year? If so, don't try to fight the infections alone! Ask your doctor for help.
Your doctor can help you get rid of stubborn or frequent yeast infections. The first step is to get a proper diagnosis. This is important because what you think is a yeast infection may, in fact, be something else, requiring a different treatment. Some studies showed that over half of women with vaginal irritation misdiagnosed themselves! Or, you might be infected with a particularly stubborn yeast that requires stronger treatment. To diagnose your infection, the doctor will do a physical examination and take a sample of your discharge. Your doctor will also need to know about any medications you may be taking and any health conditions you may have, as these may be increasing your risk of yeast infections.
If your doctor confirms that your current symptoms are due to a yeast infection, the doctor will recommend a medication to get rid of the infection. If you have been having frequent infections, your doctor may recommend that you follow a "maintenance treatment" to prevent the infections from coming back.
Maintenance treatment involves using a yeast infection medication regularly for up to 6 months. Some treatments are taken daily, while others are taken twice weekly, weekly, or even monthly. The maintenance treatment can cut your risk of another infection in half. If you continue to suffer from frequent yeast infections after you stop the maintenance treatment, your doctor may recommend you take the medication for a longer period of time, usually up to 12 months.
Gynecologist Dr. Charlene Lyndon says it's important for a woman with frequent yeast infections to become an active participant in her own health and well-being. By discussing lifestyle issues and other factors that may be contributing to the frequent infections, the affected woman can help her healthcare team find the treatment that will work best for her. Dr. Lyndon explains that the exact medication, frequency, and duration of treatment are extremely varied and highly dependent on the individual person being treated. When choosing a preventative treatment, Dr. Lyndon considers a number of factors, including the woman's symptoms and their effect on her life, and what treatments have been successful in the past.
If you've had "one too many" yeast infections this year, make an appointment and talk to your doctor about what you can do. Whether you have a resistant strain of yeast or have several risk factors, your doctor can help you get a treatment that's right for you. If you are suffering from frequent infections, it may be caused by a type of yeast that is tougher to treat. Ask your doctor about whether there is a treatment that will cover a broader range of yeasts.
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