Hello, and welcome back to Sex Ed With Beth™️. So, you think you might have a yeast infection? First of all, you should know that having a yeast infection doesn’t make you gross or weird; yeast infections are one of the most common things people with vaginas will experience!
All vaginas have yeast; however, when yeast overgrows (generally to antibiotic use, oral contraception, or anything that can change the pH balance of the vagina), it becomes an infection.
But how do you know if you have one? Below, we’re listing the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection. Waste less time WebMD-ing your symptoms and more time talking to your doctor if something seems off! Don’t consider this list an official diagnosis, obviously. Take these symptoms, and get yourself checked out if you feel like something might not be right down there.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
You might not have all of these symptoms; only a few might present themselves, and they could be mild or severe.
This is one of the biggest symptoms of a yeast infection. If you’re experiencing itchiness on the vulva or inside the vagina, a yeast infection might be the culprit.
Redness or swelling
Itchiness combined with redness or swelling of the vulva is a big indicator of a yeast infection. Take a look down there, and take note if anything looks off.
Thick, white discharge
This is probably the biggest indicator of a yeast infection. The color and texture of your vaginal discharge can show that there’s something going on (like yeast or B.V.) that shouldn’t be. Pay attention to how your discharge changes.
Also, overgrown yeast shouldn’t have a scent.
Along with redness and swelling, if you notice soreness and discomfort of the vulva or inside the vagina, talk to your doctor.
This is a less common symptom, but it can happen. If you notice things looking a little different down there, pay attention. Little red bumps, patches of red skin, and more could be a rash from the yeast overgrowth.
Burning sensation, especially during sex
A yeast infection isn’t an STI, but it can make sex feel uncomfortable (and sex, especially semen inside the vagina, can cause yeast to grow because the pH is different from that of the vagina!). If you notice burning inside the vagina, on the vulva, or during sex, it might be yeast.
Watery vaginal discharge
While “cottage cheese” looking discharge is common in your underwear with a yeast infection, a watery vaginal discharge is also common. With a yeast infection, you might notice a clear, liquid discharge along with your other symptoms.
If multiple symptoms present themselves, it’s time to see a doctor!
How to prevent it
So, you already got rid of the infection. Go you! Now, there’s a few things you can do to prevent it from coming back again in the future.
First and most importantly, make sure to wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear. Don’t worry — you don’t have to throw out all your favorite lace pairs! As long as it has a cotton crotch, you’re good to go.
Also, refrain from using any scented feminine washes or douches. Stay out of wet clothes, meaning you should change out of bathing suits as soon as possible.
Pay attention to your body. If things feel off, they probably are. Be comfortable enough with your body to not let apparent issues fall to the wayside.