Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & More

“If you get recurring vaginal yeast infections, it’s best to see a medical doctor for a proper diagnosis,” says Dr Lee.

What’s key is if you experience other hallmark symptoms too, such as redness, burning, and itchiness. If you’re having recurring yeast infections or problems getting rid of a yeast infection with conventional treatment, then a different version of Candida might be the cause. Vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, occurs when there is an overgrowth of the fungus, candida albicans. If your symptoms continue, you can use nonprescription medicine. An apple cider vinegar bath is not the same as douching, which aims to flush out all bacteria (good and bad) from your vagina.

  • Have lower abdominal pain and a fever higher than 101°F (38.)
  • That was a well-done, randomized controlled trial.
  • It can make irritation worse or cause cuts in your skin, which can spread germs and lead to more infection.
  • The groin area is especially prone to Candida overgrowth because of skin folds and moisture.
  • You can use an antifungal cream or a suppository that you put into your vagina.

It is not easy to control and often comes back in uncircumcised males. If not, it could be a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics and a chat with your ob-gyn, like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Vaginal boric acid capsules are available over-the-counter. Coconut oil is available to purchse online. They may also ask if you’ve ever had an STI.

But eating foods that contain lactobacillus can be part of a healthy diet. About 3 out of 4 women will experience at least one yeast infection during their lifetimes. You might also have a creamy, whitish coating in and around your vagina. You may also see them if you continue to get yeast infections before your period every month. Known etiologies of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis include treatment-resistant Candida species other than Candida albicans, frequent antibiotic therapy, contraceptive use, compromise of the immune system, sexual activity and hyperglycemia. Vaginal candidiasis is common, though more research is needed to understand how many women are affected.

It is used in various pharmaceutical products and is also available without a prescription.


Choosing an over-the-counter cream with "actual antifungal medication" is essential, says Margaret Sullivan, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist at Tufts Medical Center. A yeast infection is a common type of fungal infection. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2020. If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor.

Are yeast infections contagious? Topical boric acid is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as treatment for vaginal infections. Look for oil of oregano made from wild oregano, or Origanum vulgare, like the one here. Treatment may take from 1 to 7 days days.

The exact opposite can happen too, where a man might develop a penile yeast infection from a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection. ” Here’s the thing: Itraconazole is also commonly used. The warm, moist folds of the foreskin are the perfect environment for yeast to thrive. DO pamper your skin.

A lab test can identify what type of Candida you have.


Change out of a wet swimsuit right away. You may have other tests if you have vaginal yeast infections that are severe or that keep coming back (recur), such as: Yeast also can grow a lot if a girl’s blood sugar is high. My pap smear was abnormal. should i be worried? These products all treat your infection, but different people prefer different treatment options. BV Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common type of vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44. Among the complications include fertility issues and premature delivery (if you get infected while pregnant), and a higher risk of contracting STIs. Trouble breathing. Do these old wives tales really work?

Not only will you alleviate uncomfortable symptoms, but you can also reduce the chances of the infection becoming more widespread in your body. If left untreated, it can increase the risk for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy complications. Doing so leaves you more prone to a reoccurrence of the yeast infection. He recently published a paper examining how a majority of women with such problems use alternative treatments—primarily out of desperation. Fungal infections in dogs, and, if your dog does smell like a bag of corn chips, he more than likely has a yeast infection. Creams, tablets, and suppositories often come with an applicator to help you place the medicine inside your vagina, where it can begin to work.

These are available over-the-counter or with a prescription. Experts at the Department of Urogynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) tell you all you need to know. Oral thrush (for parents), oral hygiene and topical antifungals are usually adequate for uncomplicated oral candidiasis. One study demonstrated a positive relationship between the monthly frequency of sexual intercourse and the incidence of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.

You are more likely to use a treatment correctly and complete the treatment if you get to choose the type you prefer.

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One-day, three-day, and seven-day treatment formulas are available. Tea tree is an essential oil and, as such, needs to be mixed with a carrier oil. When this yeast increases it can cause an infection. Vaginal itching that is often severe. These may increase body heat and moisture in your genital area. Use the following guidelines for seeking medical care when you have vaginal symptoms. Hydrogen peroxide is produced by Lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina and is part of the biological activity against yeast, according to the CDC. If you have risk factors for an STI, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before using a nonprescription medicine.

There’s no noticeable discharge, but you might see a small amount of blood in your urine. How common is it for a woman to try an alternative therapy at home before she goes to the doctor? “These cure the infection 90 percent of the time,” says Dardik. Are there any over-the-counter products that will treat my condition? After using the toilet, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading yeast or bacteria from your anus to the vagina or urinary tract.


For the past 11 years, I've been the director of the Drexel Vaginitis Center. Chronic vaginal yeast infections could be a sign of immune system depression, such as that which occurs in diabetes or HIV/AIDS. This is mostly white. How is a yeast infection diagnosed? Vaginal discharge that is usually white, thick, clumpy, and odorless. Oftentimes, vaginal yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams and pessaries. There’s a strong cadre of women on the Internet who swear that inserting a garlic clove into the vagina will clear a yeast infection. If the symptoms don’t go away after treatment, it may be a different kind of infection and should be checked by a healthcare provider.

Most women are likely to have a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. 16 foods to eat + avoid to overcome candida overgrowth, this compound forms a sludge in the wine brewing process and has to be removed. This is especially important when considering sensitive areas such as the vagina. So long as you're not experiencing symptoms that are causing you to be uncomfortable, it's okay if it's treated later.

Complicated Infections

Both can make yeast infections more likely. 8 The role of sexual transmission is controversial. OTC and prescription medications include: Taking an antifungal medication for three to seven days will usually clear a yeast infection. Some women will have it more than once. We see women with all sorts of complicated problems, including but not limited to recurrent yeast infections. Your doctor can give you the right diagnosis so that you can be treated appropriately. Infection occurs in about 30% of women who are taking a course of antibiotics by mouth.

  • Ask questions about your medical history.
  • There are other conditions with similar symptoms, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • The symptoms of a yeast infection can be similar to other common vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, so talking to a healthcare provider is a good idea to make sure the proper treatment is provided.
  • Vaginal suppositories containing tea tree oil have been shown to treat vaginal fungal infections.
  • 6 Although antifungal resistance can cause treatment failure, other factors may contribute to recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (Table 1).
  • However, some men may develop symptoms after having sexual contact with an infected partner.
  • On physical examination, the patient with vulvovaginal candidiasis usually has vulvar erythema and a thick, white to yellow discharge in the vaginal vault.

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It’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying them to larger areas of the body. These include some birth control pills and steroids. Alternatively, it can be applied to a tampon before insertion. Just add 2 teaspoons of fresh aloe gel to any fruit juice and blend it together. If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. Most large drugstores and supermarkets sell them. You can help prevent a yeast infection by wearing condoms during sex. Itching, burning, redness -- a yeast infection can be a total pain.

A yeast infection causes itching or soreness in the vagina and sometimes causes pain or burning when you urinate or have sex. Eight home remedies for a yeast infection, always see a doctor to confirm you have a yeast infection and not a sexually transmitted or bacterial infection, which may have similar symptoms. Although yeast infections may spread from one sexual partner to the other, it's rare. Vaginal yeast infections can be treated with medicines such as pills or creams, ovules, or ointments. If you're using a vaginal treatment and are sexually active, you should not have sex until the infection has been completely treated because these medicines can weaken condoms and diaphragms.

The claim: Using a different type of birth control can prevent future yeast infections.

Too much sugar can up your risk. Sometimes a menstrual period will relieve the symptoms of a mild yeast infection. Penis yeast infection, the lesions appear as well-circumscribed, red, sometimes itchy patches of varying sizes and shapes. Switching underwear can help prevent a yeast infection. Antifungal medicines that you take as a pill by mouth affect the entire body (so it can also treat any yeast infection elsewhere in the body).

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But sex partners with red, itchy, or painful skin in the genital area should be seen by a doctor and treated if needed. If you have had a yeast infection before and can recognize the symptoms, and you aren't pregnant, you can treat yourself at home with medicines you can buy without a prescription. A yeast called candida albicans is the most common cause of these infections. For chronic yeast infections, prescription strength boric acid is sometimes recommended, but it has to be obtained from a pharmacy that compounds drugs. The OWH helpline does not provide medical advice.

What are signs of vaginal yeast infections?

However, extreme caution must be used when using tea tree oil, as it can irritate the skin, and the vaginal walls are particularly sensitive. According to Women's Health, about 5% of women experience four or more vaginal yeast infections in a single year. A blood test to find out if you may have diabetes or another health problem that makes you more likely to get yeast infections.

Antifungal medications — which are available as creams, ointments, tablets and suppositories — include miconazole (Monistat 3) and terconazole.

Check If You Have Thrush

MMWR, 64(RR-03): Other antifungals, such as amphotericin B and flucytosine, are also available for the treatment of non-albicans yeast infections. Perhaps most unusual is an alternative therapy that uses a common culinary ingredient—garlic. These bacteria normally help to limit yeast colonization. Sexual contact can spread it, but women who aren’t sexually active can also get them. In many cases, yeast infections can be easily and successfully treated at home.

Not only can sex hurt (because vaginal tissue is already sensitive and irritated), a yeast infection can be passed on to your partner, Birkholz says.

Unfortunately, there is no reliable clinical method of differentiating the various Candida organisms. Your doctor may also take a sample of the vaginal discharge for quick examination under a microscope in the office. Characteristic budding mycelia are seen in fewer than 30 percent of positive candidal cultures. Some studies suggest that the use of pads and tampons, or wearing tight synthetic clothing increases the risk for yeast infections, while other studies suggest there is no link between these and yeast infections (2,5). And whether they do or not, can they be dangerous? If you have risk factors for an STI , discuss your symptoms with your doctor before using a nonprescription medicine.

The oil has many health benefits, including antifungal properties. The oil in some medicines weakens latex, the material often used to make these devices. The approach that seems to work the best right now is putting patients on maintenance therapy. In vitro studies have shown that imidazole antifungal agents such as miconazole and clotrimazole are not as effective against non– C. But sometimes your yeast grows too much and leads to an infection. This won’t cure a yeast infection—it may just help lower the odds you’ll develop one in the first place. They will first collect a sample of vaginal discharge with a cotton swab, which will then be sent off to a lab for study under a microscope.

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So, how's a girl to know the difference between a yeast infection or something else? It is caused by a type of fungus called yeast. In addition, many symptoms are similar to those of vaginal infections caused by bacteria or trichomonas. When you use a vaginal cream that’s oil-based, you may need to use birth control that’s not a condom or diaphragm, or skip sex. What is a vaginal yeast infection? And repeat infections can be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue, such as diabetes. Tea tree oil should never touch the skin undiluted.

Using scented sanitary products and douching can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections more likely. These infections are very common. Some common symptoms include: Yeast loves to grow in damp places. Tampons can absorb medicine, so use pads if you are being treated with vaginal medicines during your period.

It does not have a bad smell. Sexually transmitted infections (stis), use a hormonal birth control method. Vaginal candidiasis is a type of yeast infection in the vagina that is caused by the Candida fungus. Always follow the package directions exactly. Perspiration associated with tightly fitted clothes or poorly ventilated underwear increases local temperature and moisture. Yeast infections can happen to any girl. Another benefit of tablets or suppositories is that you use the doses for fewer days, so you get symptom relief sooner.

Yeast Infection Essential Oils

HuffPost is part of Verizon Media. There isn't a critical need to rush to your gyno if you think you might have a yeast infection. Which one is right for you? These infections, although mostly harmless, can be very uncomfortable and frustrating. Some unlucky women get recurrent yeast infections, meaning they get to deal with the symptoms four or more times a year.

Yeast infections can come back if not treated correctly. Nurse practitioners. However, recent research suggests that eating garlic has no effect on the levels of yeast in the vagina. Remember to use barrier methods, such as condoms, when having sex if you suspect either of you has a yeast infection. Instead, there are other factors at play that can throw off Candida balance in the vaginal area. It’s best to not have sex until a yeast infection is gone because sex can cause more discomfort, and the vaginal creams and suppositories may weaken latex condoms. As an alternative to eating garlic, some women have tried using garlic internally. Mobile Apps

Also, a vaginal cream containing garlic and thyme was found to be as effective as clotrimazole vaginal cream in the treatment of yeast infection. The next step is a pelvic exam. You’ll find it in yogurt and kefir with live active cultures, or in tablet or pill form. It’s important to know that the creams may weaken latex condoms, causing them to break. When life (and yeast infections) happen, tackle them by arming yourself with these picks for the best creams to treat vaginas and beyond.

Vaginal boric acid capsules can work for women with a yeast infection. Some products like Vagisil only "numb the area but don’t treat the yeast," she warns. These products often come packaged with a plastic "inserter" that helps you get the medication to the right place. It is often found in small amounts in the vagina, mouth, digestive tract, and on the skin. This can then lead to diaper rash and oral thrush in your baby. If your symptoms are severe, or you have frequent yeast infections, your doctor might recommend:

  • Some vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea , or chlamydia , may increase your risk of complications during pregnancy.
  • The main concern would be that if you put anything in your vagina, there's a chance you'll get irritation and burning from whatever you put in there.
  • The symptoms of a yeast infection in men may not be as prominent, though you might see redness and white patches along the penis as well as burning and itchy sensations.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Oral antifungal medicines are available with a prescription and are easy to use. Sometimes thrush causes no symptoms at all. While the pill is less messy, the creams start relieving symptoms faster. Essential oils should not be taken orally. It’s also possible to transmit the infection via sex toys and by kissing someone with oral thrush (yeast infection of the mouth). You can also dip a tampon in the yogurt, let it soak for a few minutes, and then insert it. Your doctor may want to do a vaginal exam.