Vaginal Yeast Infections

Do you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a yeast infection or something else entirely?

Not all these symptoms are present in every woman with a vaginal yeast infection. If you are a healthcare provider, please refer to: Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area, or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria. If this environment changes, the balance between fungus and bacterial growth can lead to fungal overgrowth and inflammation.

You can help prevent a yeast infection by wearing condoms during sex. For infrequent recurrences, the simplest and most cost-effective management is self-diagnosis and early initiation of topical therapy. Infections of the urethra can cause discharge that tends to be yellowish-green and thick or clear and thin, the Merck Manual says. You don’t need to be sexually active to get a UTI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains. Your doctor might take a urine sample — to rule out a urinary tract infection — and swab some discharge from your vagina to examine under a microscope. Most of these itchy infections are due to an overgrowth of Candida albicans, but sometimes other Candida species or other yeasts are to blame. Studies have shown that as many as two-thirds of all OTC drugs sold to treat yeast infections were used by women who didn't actually have a yeast infection. BV is said to have a strong fishy odor too.

An example is estrogen, which controls the function of female reproductive organs. Three out of four women will get a vaginal yeast infection during their life. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are more likely to occur during the week before a menstrual period. What are signs of vaginal yeast infections? If it develops in your vagina, it’s a vaginal yeast infection.

Or your doctor may prescribe a medicine to treat the infection.

The Takeaway

How are vaginal yeast infections diagnosed? If you know that it is a yeast infection from past experience and are familiar with the symptoms, try MONISTAT®. Some women notice a vaginal discharge often described as a thin, white, or watery or a thicker discharge resembling cottage cheese. Diseases that result in suppression of the immune system, such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS, can also be risk factors. The main symptom is increased discharge with a strong fishy odor. Remember to use barrier methods, such as condoms, when having sex if you suspect either of you has a yeast infection. This causes intense itching, swelling, and irritation.

Severe yeast infections may also cause redness and tears or cracks (fissures) in the wall of the vagina. You struggle to control your diabetes As far as we know, yeast is not generally sexually transmitted. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms.

Yeast infections happen. Oral antifungal medicines are available with a prescription and are easy to use. Once you recognise your own symptoms and you know they’re not serious, we’ll help you to deal with the vaginal yeast infection independently at home. If this is your first yeast infection or you are unsure as to whether or not you have one, consult your healthcare professional. Who gets vaginal candidiasis?

  • Although not a sexually transmitted disease, women are more prone to them after becoming sexually active.
  • Tea tree oil and garlic both have antifungal properties, but there is not enough research to show that they are effective at treating a yeast infection (9,11).
  • Candida can normally live in small numbers in the vagina, as well as in the mouth and digestive tract of both men and women.
  • Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years.
  • Avoid irritating soaps (including bubble bath), vaginal sprays and douches.
  • Though yeast infections can happen to anyone at any time, there are certain things that make getting them more likely.

Other Treatment

In more severe cases, it may take up to 2 weeks. If you have had many yeast infections, talk to your doctor about using a medicine you can buy without a prescription. If you have a vaginal yeast infection, your doctor can prescribe treatment to clear up the symptoms in a couple of days and cure the infection within a week. A blood test to find out if you may have diabetes or another health problem that makes you more likely to get yeast infections. 2020 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), misdiagnosis is common. Some girls may react to certain dyes or perfumes in soaps, bath gels or lotions, sanitary products, and laundry detergents. Candida & m.e., depending on your symptoms, your doctor might also take a sample of other affected body parts or a blood sample to test for Candida. Have symptoms return within 2 months, and you have not been taking antibiotics.

In contrast, complicated VVC can be intractable and cause considerable psychological morbidity. “If [you have] discomfort in one place, it’s hard for your brain to say, ‘This is my vagina’ versus ‘This is my bladder,’” she explains. It is spread through sex. Stress, pregnancy, and illnesses that affect the immune system may allow yeast to multiply. This is because vaginal medicine isn't absorbed into your body and only affects the genital area. Men do not cause yeast infections in women, study finds, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a weaker immune system can result in more infections. Other treatments may be needed for infections that are more severe, that don’t get better, or that keep coming back after getting better.

There may be severe redness, swelling, and itching, leading to skin fissures or sores. Whether oral or vaginal medicine is recommended. Who is affected? Yeast infections can come back if not treated correctly.

Vaginal Yeast Infection Medical Treatment

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. Normally, candida doesn’t cause a problem. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You won’t be able to take oral antifungal medications due to possible birth defects.

There are OTC medications in the family of drugs called "azoles," which are used to treat yeast infections. Copyright by Harvard University. Avoid deodorant sanitary pads or tampons, or bubble bath, and avoid using colored or perfumed toilet paper. When oral thrush spreads to the esophagus, it makes swallowing difficult or painful. How to diagnose and treat 12 yeast infection symptoms at home. This means that approximately 3 million women in the United States alone have recurrent candidial infections (Wilson 2020). The information provided is not a substitute for consultation with a healthcare provider.

So far there is no evidence for this connection.

Taking corticosteroid medicines sometimes also weakens the immune system and increases the risk for yeast infections. Don’t take leftover antibiotics or someone else’s antibiotics if you think you have an infection. If you are taking the anticoagulant medicine warfarin and you use a nonprescription vaginal yeast-fighting medicine, you may have increased bruising and abnormal bleeding. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office on Women's Health: How can you avoid vaginal yeast infections? They will ask you about other symptoms you’re experiencing, such as burning and painful urination.

Consequences of an Untreated Yeast Infection?

This balance of organisms in your vagina can be changed by: The most common symptoms of a yeast infection are itching and vaginal discharge. If you're pregnant, take care when using an applicator to insert a pessary or intravaginal cream, as there's a small risk of injuring your cervix (neck of the womb). For a severe infection or one that doesn’t respond to OTC treatments, your doctor may prescribe a topical antifungal cream or suppository, such as terconazole or butoconazole. Use mild, unscented soap and water. Make an appointment with your doctor if: Under normal circumstances, a vaginal yeast infection is not serious and can be treated with medications. Here are the main types of yeast infections:

Q: What about the other treatments I have heard about for yeast infections? Do they work?

Lactobacilli may play a protective role against the development of yeast infections. Used with permission of StayWell. There are alternative approaches to treating a yeast infection. Infection occurs when too much yeast begins to grow. A yeast infection causes itching or soreness in the vagina and sometimes causes pain or burning when you urinate or have sex. Swelling of the vulva Yeast infections are so common that three out of four women will have one at some time in their lives. Wear underwear with a cotton crotch.

There are other conditions with similar symptoms, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). These two conditions don’t always cause symptoms, but when they do, they can manifest as a frequent urge to pee (especially torturous because you’re usually producing very little urine with a UTI), cloudy urine, blood in your urine, and pelvic pain or pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. If symptoms continue after treatment, see your doctor. If you have fewer than four yeast infections in a year, you should: Although RVVC is more common in women who have diabetes or weakened immune systems, most women with RVVC have no underlying medical illness that would predispose them to recurrent Candida infections. Ask your health care provider about safe and effective treatments. She started to feel better soon after she took the medication.

If you have a disease, like HIV or AIDS, your medications can suppress your immune system.

They're not considered sexually transmitted infections.

Should I call my doctor or nurse if I think I have a yeast infection?

Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. Common diaper rash in infants and toddlers is most often a superficial infection caused by the same fungi as other yeast infections in moist parts of the body. 10 home remedies for vaginal yeast infection: what you can do now. The external female genital area. They’re itchy and uncomfortable, and no one really likes to talk about them. This is a type of cutaneous candidiasis. This test can confirm that you have a yeast infection. These can include bacterial vaginosis , chlamydia , or gonorrhea.


And after exercising, quickly change out of damp gear and into dry, looser fitting clothing. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent these uncomfortable infections if you know the conditions they thrive in. Sometimes there is pain during urination. If you are diabetic, try to keep tight control over your blood sugar levels. It might also help to avoid: To prevent yeast infections:

Candida is always present on the vulva and in the vagina, but it usually lives in a mutually beneficial relationship with good bacteria in the area called Lactobacillus. There are a number of reasons for treatment failure. If you have recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan. Thrush is common in babies whose immune systems are still developing. These can increase body heat and moisture in your genital area. Trichomoniasis is a condition caused by the microscopic parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. But there are some things that may increase the chance of developing a yeast infection, including pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, taking estrogen, and being in an immunocompromised state due to something like HIV or cancer (2,5).

All of this might make it sound like UTIs should be classified as sexually transmitted infections, but they’re not.

Vaginal Yeast Infection Diagnosis

Vaginal yeast infections, also called vaginal Candidiasis or vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC), are experienced by as many as 3 out of 4 women during their lifetime. Some women have tried treating a yeast infection by inserting yogurt directly into their vaginas. Cause A vaginal yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast organisms that normally live in small numbers in the vagina. Exams and Tests Your doctor may be able to diagnose your vaginal symptoms based on your medical history and a vaginal exam. A more severe infection may need prescription medicine. If your symptoms are mild, you may want to wait to see if they clear up on their own. Or if you’re taking antibiotics, such as for strep throat, the antibiotics can kill “good” bacteria that also live in the body and normally keep the growth of candida in the vagina in check.

More than 75% of all women suffer from a vaginal yeast infection at some time during their lives, and it is common for these infections to reoccur even when treated properly. A small number of people will have repeat infections. Using scented sanitary products can irritate the vagina, and douching can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina. Other vaginal infections and discharges can be mistaken for a vaginal yeast infection. Other anti-yeast vaginal creams need a prescription. Cotton keeps you drier and doesn’t hold in warmth and moisture.

Symptoms Of Vaginal Thrush

What is atrophic vaginitis? There are two ways to cure a yeast infection—vaginally (an over-the-counter or prescription topical treatment) and orally (a pill, only available by prescription). If you think you have an infection, call your doctor for advice.

What are the symptoms? 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). A yeast infection in the vagina is known as vulvovaginal candidiasis (pronounced: )

Signs of infection may get worse without treatment.

HIV and AIDS in Women

Candida and the many other germs that normally live in the vagina keep each other in balance. Yeast is a fungus that normally lives in the vagina in small numbers. Your GP will probably suggest using pessaries or an intravaginal cream. Can you have sex with a yeast infection?, note that topical yeast infection medications (like miconazole cream, aka Monistat) are oil-based products that can weaken latex condoms and limit their effectiveness as birth control, says Dr. Nurse practitioners. Vulvovaginal candidiasis.

The evidence on taking a probiotic supplement to treat yeast infections is sparse and not very rigorous. However, some men may develop symptoms after having sexual contact with an infected partner. Yeast infections: symptoms, diagnosis & treatment, in all cases of yeast infections of the skin, the possible yeast within the body should also be treated. Most yeast infections lead to itching, burning, and/or redness in or around the vagina. Vaginal yeast infections usually are caused by tiny yeast organisms that normally live in small numbers on your skin and inside your vagina. Maintenance medications may be recommended. This ensures that your symptoms are definitely related to Candida overgrowth and not another more serious condition. A slightly erythematous base is visible close to the center of the image, where some of the plaque was scraped off. Vaginal yeast infection.


If it has a cottage cheese-like consistency, it’s likely to be yeast. If you're not feeling better within a few days of finishing treatment, call your doctor. It could be something as simple as a run away script or learning how to better use E-utilities, http:

So can certain medicines, including some birth control pills and steroids. There are over-the-counter creams that you can use on your vulva to help calm the irritation. A sample of vaginal discharge can be taken during a wet mount test. Additionally, your doctor may also prescribe a single dose oral pill or a topical cream. The MONISTAT® 1 Ovule® Treatment on the other hand, begins to relieve symptoms in 4 hours because it works at the site of the infection.

A tea tree tampon needs to remain in situ overnight. Frothy, grayish discharge suggests it’s bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common type of vaginitis. Doctors often diagnose yeast infections based on a woman’s medical history and findings from her pelvic exam. It’s important to treat yeast infection early, especially if you’re pregnant, so that you can prevent any such complications.

If Thrush Keeps Coming Back

Yeast infections usually are treated with medicine that you put into your vagina. Is it okay to 'tough out' a yeast infection? self-diagnosing below the belt isn't always a smart decision. The symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include: Vaginal discharge. Sorry, we could not find any Health Center for your search. You should see your doctor the first time you have symptoms of a yeast infection. Watchful waiting If you are sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection, waiting several days to see if the symptoms clear up on their own is not harmful, especially if you expect your menstrual period within that time. What to think about Antifungal creams and suppositories that you put into your vagina have fewer side effects than antifungal pills you take by mouth.

If you can, wear cotton underwear to bed or don’t wear any, and always wash and thoroughly dry your underwear before wearing them. Your best bet is to steer clear of perfumed products and to use mild and fragrance-free products when possible. When it affects the penis, this is known as a penile yeast infection. Candida (thrush) infection of breasts, wearing damp breast pads or bras also offers an introductory breeding ground. Otherwise, use a water-soluble lubricating jelly (such as K-Y Jelly) to reduce irritation. The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections.

One issue with essential oils is that some people might be allergic to them. When there’s an overgrowth of this fungus, it can lead to yeast infection. We are reimagining diversity and inclusion to promote and cultivate an inclusive environment that celebrates the differences and similarities of our patients, families, students, workforce and the communities we serve to achieve an equitable culture. Yeast is not spread from person to person. A healthy immune system and some "good" bacteria keep the amount in a person's body under control. A yeast infection, also known as candidiasis (pronounced: )Sometimes candida overgrowth happens after a girl has taken antibiotics for a bacterial infection (such as strep throat) because antibiotics can kill off the “good” bacteria that keep the candida from growing. Babies can get infections in their mouths, and men on their penises.

  • If the patient’s sexual partner has yeast symptoms, they might want to consider treatment, too.
  • Most yeast infections are caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans.
  • Some studies show that applying yogurt topically around and inside the vagina can help prevent yeast infections.
  • A vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is a common condition.
  • Yeast infections are among the most common medical annoyances.
  • Vaginal candidiasis is usually treated with antifungal medicine.
  • Candida can overgrow for many reasons.

Learn About Your Body And Women’s Health

Stress, pregnancy, and illnesses that affect the immune system may allow yeast to multiply, as can certain medicines. 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. For example, if the infection is a different kind, such as bacterial vaginosis (the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge), rather than thrush. Vaginal candidiasis is common. Your doctor will examine your vaginal walls and cervix. This is sometimes only clear after eradication and even then symptoms can be very slow to settle. Yeast infections are not considered to be sexually transmitted—someone can get a yeast infection without ever having had sex— but frequent and recent penis-in-vagina or oral-vulva sex may increase the risk of getting a yeast infection (5).

Examining a swab of vaginal discharge under a microscope can reveal if high levels of yeast are present. Treatment will depend on the cause of the vaginitis. Possible side effects include irritation, a stinging sensation or itching.

Yeast infections are the most common cause of diaper rash in babies.


Small cuts or tiny cracks in the skin of the vulva because of friable skin in the area. You are more likely to use a treatment correctly and complete the treatment if you get to choose the type you prefer. You are taking antibiotics used to treat another infection. If you have used an over-the-counter medication and your symptoms do not go away, see your health care professional. The use of probiotics in the vagina or by mouth along with using an antifungal medication may slightly increase the chance of curing a yeast infection, compared to using an antifungal medication alone (10). A female hormone produced by the ovaries. This is another name for the common vaginal yeast infection. Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria.

The same reason, overgrowth of Candida, causes a yeast infection (thrush) while breastfeeding but it is different. Not only will you alleviate uncomfortable symptoms, but you can also reduce the chances of the infection becoming more widespread in your body. The most common symptoms of a yeast infection are itching and burning of the area outside the vagina called the vulva. UTIs most often affect the bladder (this type of infection is more formally known as cystitis) and the urethra (urethritis).

But when these fungi overproduce, they can cause infection. In the United States, it is the second most common type of vaginal infection after bacterial vaginal infections. Candida is a yeast (a type of fungus) commonly found on the skin and in the body, including the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina. If you are pregnant, don't use medicine for a yeast infection without talking to your doctor first. Emollients and antifungal skin cream can weaken latex condoms and diaphragms, so you may want to avoid having sex, or use another form of contraception during treatment and for up to five days afterwards. A UTI can also cause frequent urination along with pelvic and abdominal pain. We do not recommend stopping your birth control method because of recurrent yeast infections unless you have first made an alternative plan for pregnancy prevention.