Vaginal itching is an almost sure sign of a female yeast infection or what's known as Candida albicans. The feeling of an itchy vulva is something no woman wants to experience again once it's over. Sometimes it can seem that symptoms come out of the blue. That's one of the reasons it's so difficult to nail down exactly how vaginal discomfort comes about. Generally, the symptoms of a yeast infection will include:
Although the symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to bacterial vaginosis, they are very different conditions. Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection whereas a female yeast infection involves yeast/fungus overgrowth. If an over the counter cream that fights fungus is used on a bacterial vaginosis infection, it will be ineffective. Another difference is bacterial vaginosis may have an unusually stronger fishy smell than a yeast infection would have. The smell is due to volatile amines being released which gives off the odor.
The reasons mentioned above are why it's important for a proper diagnosis to be done prior to a female taking an over the counter medication. In some cases, if the wrong medications or creams are used, it can make the symptoms worse. Or cause the infection to reoccur. It turns out that more women who think they have a yeast infection actually will be diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis.
If this is the first time you've had any symptoms of vaginal itching, the first thing to do is make an appointment to see your doctor. A doctor will need to perform a vaginal examination and take a wet-mount which involves taking a specimen of vaginal secretions and view it under a microscope to see if the yeast will overgrow. Higher than normal levels of yeast would suggest a yeast infection. This yeast overgrowth is the reason for the intense vaginal itching.
If you have already been down this route before and have recurring or systemic infections, that will involve more attention to treatment. The normal protocol is to immediately stop eating all sugars which includes the sweetest fruits and vegetables (such as bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, corn) and table sugar and artificial sugars like Splenda and Sweet N' Low. This yeast diet will need to be attained for the next three months for more. Probiotics such as acidophilus will need to be used in conjunction with antifungals and a diet change.
People with recurring yeast infections may also have other underlying conditions such as diabetes. Other complaints of Candida albicans sufferers are:
Because of a woman's physical makeup, she is more likely to experience a yeast infection than a man. A woman's vagina naturally houses yeast but it is kept in balance by other beneficial bacteria that also live in the area. But, at times, whether it be due to antibiotics or some other scenario, the balance can become disrupted and there is more room for yeast to grow. In contrast, a man's penile area does not accumulate yeast in this same fashion and does not posses the perfect environment to harbor yeast fungus.
Other factors that are said to contribute to the infection and vaginal irritation are birth control pills. Any substance that alters a woman's natural cycle and tampers with naturally occurring hormone levels is bound to cause problems.