Symptoms of a Vaginal Yeast InfectionSymptoms of a yeast infection are often persistent and can range from mild to severe.
vaginal and vulvar itching and/or burning
white, clumpy odorless discharge
- painful sexual intercourse due to vaginal irritation
Some women may have all or only one or two symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection. It is important to let your doctor when you do begin to notice symptoms.
Preventing Yeast InfectionsDuring chemotherapy, it is difficult for the body to ward off infections, so preventing yeast infections is very important for women. You can prevent yeast infections by:
wearing cotton panties - nylon and lycra should be avoided
- avoiding pantyhose - if you do wear panty hose, wear cotton panties underneath
not wearing swimsuits or leotards for extended periods of time
avoiding tight pants
not using douche unless directed by your doctor
not using petroleum jelly-based vaginal lubricants, like Vaseline - instead try water-based lubricants for vaginal dryness and intercourse
- wipe front to back after using the bathroom to prevent bacteria from entering the vagina
Some women have found yeast infection relief with probiotics, foods or supplements that contain live, "friendly" bacteria. Probiotic foods include yogurts that contain live acidophilus and some milk and juices. Check the product labeling for keywords like "probiotic" or "acidphilus" as not all yogurts, milk, and juice contain probiotics.
Probiotics are also sold as a supplement in capsule form. They are labeled as "probiotic supplement," "acidophilus," or "lactobacilus." You can find probiotic supplements at your local pharmacy or health food store. Don't forget to inform your physician of any supplements you are taking.
What To Do If You Have the Symptoms of a Yeast InfectionBefore you run to the drugstore to pick up an over-the-counter (OTC) yeast infection treatment, call your doctor. It is important so that he knows what side effects you are experiencing. So many infections can arise during chemotherapy, it is important to confirm that it is indeed a yeast infection before beginning treatment, even it if it OTC. If you are prescribed treatment, remember to finish all the medication, even if symptoms go away.
Source:American Cancer Society. Side Effects of Chemotherapy on Reproduction & Sexuality in Women.