Veterans Health – Starting With YUpdated: March 24, 2021
Find common veterans health and medical topics starting with the letter Y that are related to military service history. The guide covers health topics from A to Z. Read on for more information about medical issues that begin with “Y”.
Note: What follows should not be taken as medical advice and is not intended as a diagnosis. This page is general information related to common veterans conditions and should not replace advice from your health care provider.
Yeast Infection (Vaginal Infection)
There are many places where a yeast infection can occur, but the most well-known is the vaginal yeast infection.
The official site for Planned Parenthood reminds us, “Most healthy vaginas have yeast. But sometimes your yeast grows too much and leads to an infection. Yeast infections can be very irritating and uncomfortable.”
Yeast infections can affect men, women, and infants–it is not a medical condition limited to women, but is a common problem for women veterans depending on circumstances, conditions, and other variables.
The VA official site says “three out of four women will get a vaginal yeast infection during their life.” While such infections are a concern for reproductive health, a yeast infection is not a considered a sexually transmitted disease or STD.
How Yeast Infections Work
Yeast is present in the human body – it’s not “spread” from one body to another. Yeast infections are basically the result of a growing colony of yeast due to any number of factors spurring that growth including:
- Illnesses including immune disorders and diabetes
- Birth control pills
- Cortisone-type drugs
- Certain chemotherapy drugs
- Lack of sleep
- Menstrual cycles
- Itching in the vaginal area
- Vaginal discharge, described by the VA official site as “mostly white…watery to thick, and even chunky. It does not have a bad smell”
- Redness, swelling, and/or burning in the vaginal area
- Pain with urination or during sex
Treatment includes medication such as topical cream, ointments, and/or pills. It can take as long as a full week for the medication to work, but those with compromised immune systems, chronic illnesses, or undergoing certain kinds of medical treatment may require longer recovery times.
VA Advice For Avoiding Yeast Infections
The first piece of advice you’ll get from the Department of Veterans Affairs about avoiding yeast infections? In no uncertain terms the VA advises women veterans, “Do not douche.”
It’s also important to avoid “scented products” that can come in contact with the genital area including bubble bath formulas, scented epsom salt soaks, feminine hygiene products with scent added, etc. Other VA health care advice in this area includes:
- Change pads and tampons often during your period
- Do not wear tight clothing, which may bring irritation and sweating in the vaginal area
- Wear cotton underwear on a regular basis, and use pantyhose with a cotton crotch
- Change out of wet clothing and swimsuits as soon as possible
- Diabetics who monitor their blood sugar carefully may have better results in avoiding such infections compared to those with diabetes who do not manage their sugar levels
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News