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Myths and Misconceptions About Yeast Infections

The myth : Itchiness, burning sensations, and red blotches in the external genitalia and the vagina are symptoms of yeast infection.

The truth : Most women might assume that they have yeast infection if they're itching, burning, having vaginal discharges, or finding it painful to urinate. But this should not always be the case. You might be suffering from more serious vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis if you are experiencing such symptoms. Women with sexually-transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia might also suffer from vaginal sores and irritation. Doctors always recommend that you undergo clinical examinations to confirm if you have yeast infection or other types of vaginal infection or sexually-transmitted diseases.

The myth : Only women can suffer from yeast infections

The truth : Although yeast infection is not mainly a sexually-transmitted disease, men can acquire yeast infections through sexual contact with an infected female. Men who have higher risks of developing yeast infection are those who: 1) have weakened immune system, like those who already have AIDS; 2) have been using antibiotics for a prolonged period; 3) have been suffering from elevated blood sugar level or diabetes.

Newborn babies can also acquire yeast infection. An infected mother can pass the fungus to her baby upon delivery through the birth canal. The baby might develop oral thrush, which is the manifestation of whitish deposits inside the baby's mouth. As the fungus can travel through the digestive tract and the rectum, the baby might also develop diaper rash as a symptom of yeast infection. A baby's immune system is not yet well-developed, so infections should pose a significant concern for the mother.

The myth : Yeast infection is not a serious condition

The truth : For those who are suffering from weakened immune system, yeast infection can become systemic; this means that other parts of the body other than the mouth or the genitals can infested by the Candida fungus. People with weak immune deficiency diseases (e.g. AIDS) may develop yeast infection in their esophagus and in their skin on other parts of the body.

Once the Candida fungus gets into digestive tract, it hooks itself into the intestinal walls. This can cause punctures or holes in the intestinal tract, allowing food particles and toxins to leak into the bloodstream. The fungus can invade the liver, the lungs, the urinary tract, and even the brain. This is how systemic yeast infection carries very high mortality rate among patients.


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