Any concern in the genital region can cause quite some panic. Women experience more infections in their genitals than men do, due to the build of the vagina. Yeast infections are easily the most common form of infection experienced, but how do you really tell the difference between a routine yeast infection or something more serious, like gonorrhea? Below is a break down of both infections and what makes them so different.
Facts About Yeast Infections
A vaginal yeast infection occurs because there is an excess growth of yeast. A healthy vagina naturally has yeast present, certain factors can disrupt this balance and cause a yeast infection. They are typically not serious and are very common, with 75 percent of all woman experiencing one at least once in their lifetime.
There are many different things that can put you at risk for developing a yeast infection. The use of antibiotics is among the most common reason. These medicines kill too much of the good bacteria in the vagina and results in too much yeast growth. Another common cause is a disrupted immune system. Diseases such as HIV or diabetes can lead to reoccurring yeast infections.
Yeast infections can be very bothersome and uncomfortable with symptoms such as painful urination, irritated skin around the labia, and painful intercourse. The two big symptoms that cause the most problems are vaginal itching. Itching occurs because of the yeast itself. When looked at underneath a microscope they look like tiny little spike balls. When too much of these gather they can cause some serious itch. Discharge is another tell tale sign of a yeast infection. Thick, clumpy, white discharge from the vagina is another effect of the yeast overgrowth.
Yeast infections are extremely common, because of this many over the counter medication options are available. The usual treatment is in the form of a cream that is inserted into the vagina and typically left overnight. There are treatment options ranging from 1 to 7 days in duration. Your doctor can also prescribe you a one time oral medication for the treatment of yeast infections.
What You Need To Know About Gonorrhea
1. What It Is
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that effects both men and women. Infections can occur in the throat, rectum, and genitals and is very common in people between the ages of 15 and 24 and is curable with treatment.
The symptoms of a gonorrhea infection vary slightly depending on the location infected. Women typically show no symptoms or they are so mild that they can be mistaken for common vaginal infections, however symptoms can develop and include a burning with urination, increase in vaginal discharge, and bleeding between periods. In men symptoms can include a yellow or green discharge from the penis, swollen testicles, and burning with urination. Infections of the rectum have the same symptoms in both men and women. These symptoms are anal itching, bleeding, painful bowel movements, and discharge.
3. How It’s Spread
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease so it is spread through sexual contact. This does not mean simply intercourse but also oral sex and anal sex as well. A pregnant woman can also give gonorrhea to her child during vaginal child birth.
If you suspect you may have a gonorrhea infection it is important to see a doctor right away. Untreated gonorrhea infections can cause serious issues, such as infertility, if not treated. The doctor will test either the urine or swab wherever you think you may have an infection. If the test comes back positive, your doctor will prescribe you medications that will clear the infection.
Differences Between Yeast Infections and Gonorrhea
There is no evidence that a vaginal yeast infection can be spread to sexual partners. Gonorrhea, however, is highly contagious and is likely spread if proper treatment is not completed before intercourse.
A yeast infection has many bothersome and obvious symptoms that are impossible to ignore, this makes it much more likely for a person to seek treatment. Gonorrhea infections can lay silent in women for a very long time, and cause some serious problems before being detected and treated.
Genital yeast infections in men are fairly rare, and usually only effect those who are not circumcised. Gonorrhea effects both genders equally and shows no discrimination.