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Yeast infection basics

Maybe it would be a relief to just yell out — What’s a vaginal yeast infection and why do I have one? We’re not necessarily advising that, but if you did, you might be surprised at how many women have been in the same situation.

That’s because about 75% of women will have at least 1 vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. About half of these women have more than one. Fortunately, most yeast infections aren’t serious — especially if you get the right treatment. But symptoms of a yeast infection — which may include vaginal itching, burning, abnormal discharge — can easily be confused with those of other vaginal infections. So don’t hesitate to call your doctor for an appointment. If your doctor has diagnosed you with a yeast infection, ask about Diflucan, a 1 pill, 1 time, no-mess medication for yeast infections. A yeast infection, in fact, is one of the most common reasons women see their healthcare providers.

What’s going on?

Where do yeast infections come from? The answer is — from you. Vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by Candida, a type of yeast. Candida is usually a harmless part of the vaginal environment, and doesn’t bother you at all. But once in a while, the chemical balance inside the vagina is upset, and an overgrowth of Candida can occur. This is what causes a yeast infection.

Why did this happen — and what can you do?

It’s still uncertain why some women get vaginal yeast infections and others don’t. Certain risk factors — such as taking antibiotics and using oral contraceptives — may make a yeast infection more likely. And in fact, you can’t always avoid these possible risk factors, but understanding the condition may help you prevent future yeast infections.

Only your doctor can provide a diagnosis. It’s very important to see your healthcare professional, because many women misdiagnose themselves with a yeast infection. One recent study focused on 95 women who were about to buy an over-the-counter yeast infection medication. The women were intercepted at pharmacies and asked if they would be willing to see a physician about their condition. The clinical examination showed that a high percentage of these women had misdiagnosed their condition.

Treatment options

If your doctor does diagnose a yeast infection, ask about Diflucan, the only oral treatment for vaginal yeast infections. Diflucan is as effective as Monistat® 7 — but with no mess. And a survey showed that 9 out of 10 (n=120/134) women who tried Diflucan and vaginally inserted treatments preferred Diflucan. Diflucan is accepted by 97% of managed care formularies nationwide. And even if Diflucan is not covered by your insurance plan, Diflucan may be competitively priced with cream treatments, so ask your pharmacist.

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