Are Bacterial Infection and Yeast Infection the Same?

Bacterial Infection vs Yeast Infection - Sriramakrishnahospital

A woman’s vagina is a habitat for different microorganisms, including both good and bad. While the good ones help maintain the pH and also keep the vagina away from infections that can occur. The bad ones are responsible for both bacterial infections and yeast infections.

The most common type of bacterial infection is bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections can mimic the symptoms, but both are different as bacterial vaginosis is caused due to bacteria, and the other is the result of yeast. The difference between yeast and bacterial infection is not quite distinct as they both can mimic the signs, and the right diagnosis is important.

Fortunately, both infections can be treated effectively without any complications.

What is referred to as a yeast infection?

Infection with yeast is referred to as a fungal infection. Vaginal yeast infections, also referred to as vaginal candidiasis, are highly common, with most women experiencing them at least twice in their lifetime.

What is referred to as bacterial infection?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria known as aerobes. Possessing BV can raise your risk of contracting further STDs.

What are the signs and symptoms that indicate both bacterial infection and yeast infection?

Both bacterial and fungal diseases can induce abnormal vaginal discharge. Nevertheless, yeast discharge is typically thick and white. On the other hand, the discharge from bacterial vaginosis is thin, yellow or gray and has an unpleasant and strong odour. At least fifty per cent of women do not exhibit visible bacterial vaginosis symptoms. 

The following table compares and contrasts the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Signs and Symptoms Yeast infection Bacterial infection
Odour No possible odour  Stronger fishy odour that usually is stronger after periods or sexual intercourse.
Burning or inflammatory sensation Strong burning or stinging feel while urinating or during an intercourse. Severe burning sensation only while urinating.
Vaginal Discharge White and thick watery discharge from the vagina. Thin discharge from the vagina usually yellow, gray, or greenish.
Pain Discomfort, soreness, and pain Discomfort
Itching  Vaginal itching and irritation There may or may not be vaginal itching

Through the phase of pregnancy, a woman’s body is subjected to various changes; similarly, the hormonal levels can also be extremely high and lead to bacterial infections and yeast infections during pregnancy.

What are the different causes and risk factors that might lead to bacterial infection and yeast infection?

While they are extremely different, the causes of bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection are also very different. Yet, an abrupt change in vaginal flora may be caused by various circumstances.

How are yeast infections caused?

  • If you take antibiotics on a regular basis, the good (or lactobacillus) bacteria in the body may go down, which could make yeast grow.
  • Yeast infections can sometimes be caused by birth control pills that have estrogen in them. 
  • A yeast infection can happen when your hormones change in a drastic way, like when you’re pregnant.
  • Most people can get affected by the infection if they have high blood sugar levels or diabetes.
  • People with a weak immune system can also be affected by yeast infections.

What might be the causes of a bacterial infection or bacterial vaginosis?

  • Most of the time, douching or rinsing the vagina with cleansing agents or water changes the normal environment of the vagina. 
  • It could get rid of the good bacteria and create a habitat for the bad bacteria to grow. 
  • This is the most common reason that women can get affected by bacterial infections.
  • Changes in the hormones that happen quickly, like during your pregnancy, menopause, or period, can change your vaginal pH and cause bacterial vaginosis. 
  • Intercourse with a partner, especially without a condom, has chances to bring in bacteria or change the pH of the vaginal area. 
  • Bacterial vaginosis can also be caused due to smoking. 

How do gynaecologists diagnose bacterial and yeast infections?

It is always advisable to visit a doctor if you notice any signs that might indicate a vaginal infection. As the signs and symptoms of vaginal infections caused by bacteria and yeast are quite similar, it is important to get properly diagnosed to completely recover. 

During the diagnosis of the infection, the doctor might,

  • Ask for the signs and symptoms you might be experiencing.
  • Recommend a pelvic examination to help diagnose the infection effectively
  • Take a vaginal sample to check for yeast or bacterial growth.

What are the treatment actions to treat bacterial infection and yeast infection?

Because different things cause bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, they must be treated with different medications. The dosage and medication type generally depend on the infection severity. 

No matter the type of treatment recommended, ensure to follow the instructions from the doctor and complete the full course of treatment, as stopping the course midway cannot help in complete recovery.

Yeast infection treatment:

Yeast infection treatment generally involves medicines that eliminate yeast growth. Unlike bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections can be treated with both over-the-counter medications and also prescribed medication can help.

Bacterial vaginosis:

Antibiotics come in gel, pill, or cream form and treat bacterial vaginosis. The gynaecologist may give the prescription depending on the severity of the infection.

What are the tips to help prevent bacterial and yeast vaginal infections?

Vaginal infections are quite common, but you can take small steps to make them less likely to develop or recur. 

The following tips can help in the prevention of yeast infections and bacterial infections:

  • Wear cotton inners and clothing that don’t fit too tightly and create fiction due to fiction.
  • Don’t spend too much time in hot showers and hot tubs.
  • Avoid the usage of scented soaps or intimate washes. 
  • Eat healthy foods packed with probiotics.
  • Ensure to wear clean and dry clothes.
  • Regular women’s health checkups can help in identifying these infections earlier.

Are bacterial infection and yeast infection the same?

Usually, they are not the same type of infections that can cause vaginal infections. Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria and yeast, as the name suggests. Although both may cause similar symptoms, only the right diagnosis can help identify the causative infection.

Can you get affected by both yeast infection and bacterial infection at the same time?

Although they can be very rarely possible, they can be quite possible. If you feel like you have both the signs, seek medical help immediately.

Can yeast and bacterial infections usually go away on their own?

Both yeast and bacterial infections need medical help as this can relieve the signs much earlier and treat them completely; also, they may not tend to go away on their own as, when left untreated, they can become worse or even recur after a few months.

Can you pass bacterial and yeast infections to your partner?

There are high chances for bacterial infection and yeast infection to pass from one infected individual to another while involved in sexual intercourse.

Important Takeaway:

Yeast infections and bacterial infections have many of the same symptoms, so they are easy to mix up. But the way to get rid of the infection is very different. Antifungal medicines are generally recommended by the doctor, depending on the severity of the infection.

If you feel the infection has recurred, consult the best gynaecologist in Coimbatore to avoid different complications.

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