Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms, Causes, Remedies & Treatments

It’s found naturally in your body, but your immune system keeps it from growing out of control. Enter the dreaded yeast infection: You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements. But if you’re uncertain whether or not you have a yeast infection, public health officials stress the importance of meeting with your doctor first for an accurate diagnosis. The human body normally contains a small amount of fungus, but in some cases, a particular type of fungus may overwhelm your body, leading to uncomfortable health issues. Keep your vaginal area clean. Vulvovaginal candidiasis section of Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2020. If you do get BV, remember you’re not alone.

Yeast (candida) is a fungus that can live almost anywhere.

Other than a physical examination, other non-laboratory tests, such as imaging, are usually not required for diagnosing vaginitis or vaginosis. You say the phrase and it immediately conjures images of itching, burning, and lots of wiggling around in your seat. It is used in various pharmaceutical products and is also available without a prescription. Vaginal discharge that is usually white, thick, clumpy, and odorless. In the majority of the studies reviewed, tea tree oil was tested on candida albicans, one of the most common yeasts in vaginal infections. One of the reasons is that it can be hard to tell that there is anything wrong in the first place. The number of cases of vaginal yeast infection is not entirely clear because it is not a reportable disease and it is commonly diagnosed clinically without laboratory confirmation.

The creams and suppositories in this regimen are oil-based and might weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. The presence of yeast cells can also be detected with a Gram stain, while the parasite Trichomonas is not detected by this method. In men, a yeast infection may be called penile candidiasis or balanitis.

But if you’re not sure, see your doctor or go to a Planned Parenthood health center.

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How is bacterial vaginosis treated? The test is performed by placing a test paper against the wall of your vagina and comparing the color change against a reference chart. They’re also quite common: A change in the balance of the yeast and bacteria that normally live in the vagina can result in vaginitis. However, the following people should not try to treat themselves: Vaginitis is usually easy to cure.

When there’s an overgrowth of this fungus, it can lead to yeast infection. Candida is a fungus that normally lives on the skin. An increased pH (such as greater than 5. )If you don’t really have a yeast infection, antifungals won’t help you get better.

A thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge is a common symptom of vaginal yeast infections. 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. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are more likely to occur during the week before a menstrual period. Do not allow the pH paper to come into contact with anything.

Diagnosing and Treating Yeast Infections

If your vaginitis is caused by an allergy or irritation, the symptoms will usually go away when you stop using whatever’s causing the problem. In rare cases of really bad allergic reactions, you may need emergency medical help. One good choice is cotton underwear. In many cases, you can safely treat a vaginal yeast infection with an over-the-counter medication. Yeast naturally lives on the skin and in the body of humans. Once you mail off your tests to the certified labs, you’ll get your results in 2-5 days and can take the appropriate steps towards treatment. In your cart, save the other item(s) for later in order to get NextDay delivery.

A healthy immune system and some "good" bacteria keep the amount in a person's body under control. The parasite is passed from an infected person to an uninfected person during sex. Think you have a yeast infection? It’s also possible that the yeast infection is purely coincidental. If you are thinking about using nonprescription treatment, see: By ingesting probiotic supplements or eating foods such as yogurt, you can avoid having yeast infections. Male yeast infection symptoms involve the penis. How is trichomoniasis treated?

— you might want to think again. Having high estrogen levels (hyperestrogenemia), such as during pregnancy, hormone therapy (HT or ET) use, high-dose birth control pill use, and the menstrual cycle. The tip can get red, inflamed, and rashy. Candida is not spread from person to person and seems to be more common in: Fluconazole (Diflucan): A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida. You might think using scented soaps, douching, and washing your laundry — delicates, in particular — is good for your nether regions, but that's not the case, says the Cleveland Clinic. It's important to see a doctor for your diagnosis because if you actually have another type of infection, it could get worse if not properly treated.

  • Complicated thrush is four or more episodes of thrush in a year or when severe symptoms of vulvovaginal inflammation are experienced.
  • The rapid yeast test can be used to identify, confirm, or rule out disease in symptomatic patients and thereby lead to accurate therapy.
  • Antifungal cream or suppository OTC medications for yeast infections usually come in the form of a cream, ointment, or suppository.
  • Others may need to be used from three to seven days.
  • Obviously, more accurate diagnosis will reduce inappropriate over-the-counter antifungal therapy for other forms of diagnosis, such as bacterial vaginosis.
  • Also, over-the-counter medicine should not be used by anyone younger than 12 or girls who might be pregnant without talking to a doctor first.

Yeast Infections During Pregnancy

There are a number of things you can to do help prevent yeast infections. How do you treat a yeast infection? 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. The groin area is especially prone to Candida overgrowth because of skin folds and moisture. DO pamper your skin. The test covers all infectious causes of abnormal vaginal discharge:

How Are Yeast Infections Diagnosed?

Vaginal yeast infections are not sexually transmitted. Overgrowth of yeast also can occur if the body’s immune system, which protects the body from disease, is not working well. They may even cause other problems, such as allergic reactions, in some women. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office on Women's Health: Tests like Monistat's Vaginal Health Test are sold over the counter, and they check your vaginal pH to help you distinguish whether something's a yeast or bacterial infection.

Yeast thrives in warm, moist areas of the body, such as the mouth, throat, vagina, groin, and buttocks.

The vagina is a healthy ecosystem of microorganisms, like good bacteria and yeast, that keeps the vagina well-balanced. This can then lead to diaper rash and oral thrush in your baby. A white vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese, mostly odorless. If you have your period, it’s okay to use tampons or menstrual cups, unless it’s the kind of medicine you put into your vagina. A yeast infection is a common type of fungal infection. They then inserted one every third night for 3 weeks. Both the vaginal and oral treatments have similar cure rates— around 80-90% (6,8). Yeast is believed to be present in the vagina of 20%-50% of healthy women.

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But if you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, you should see a healthcare provider who can recommend next steps and possibly prescribe treatment. Single-dose oral medication. Bacterial vaginosis—the presence of "clue cells," which are cells from the lining of the vagina that are coated by bacteria. Vaginal yeast infection: A review of research on this essential oil confirmed its ability to kill a range of yeasts and fungi. Itching is not common, but may be present if there is a lot of discharge.

The type of vaginitis treatment that’s best for you depends on: Vaginal yeast infections may be set off by hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, during breastfeeding, or around menstrual periods, for example. However, this isn’t uncommon. Vaginal boric acid capsules can work for women with a yeast infection.

Your healthcare practitioner will want to know about your symptoms, symptom duration and frequency, prescribed medications (such as antibiotics or oral contraceptives), and any over-the-counter treatments you may have tried.

  • Yeast infections can be diagnosed during a medical exam.
  • Although yeast infections may spread from one sexual partner to the other, it's rare.
  • And definitely skip a more, ahem, direct application.
  • In general, it is best to get screened regularly for STIs and BV, especially when you introduce a new sexual partner or have multiple sexual partners.

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A yeast infection is a treatable medical condition caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the body. But there are downsides, too. Available as a cream administered three or seven days or suppositories used one, three, or seven days.

What Causes A Yeast Infection?

Thin white or gray vaginal discharge, odor, pain, itching or burning in the vagina. Oral thrush is usually treated with antifungal medication. Need symptom relief? As such, you should not use this test if you are menopausal. When you get home, follow all the directions on the package carefully.

Although they can bother you a lot, they are not usually serious. It’s no wonder why you might not want to head to the doctor to treat a yeast infection. 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. It is not easy to control and often comes back in uncircumcised males.

It may be a good idea to take an at-home yeast infection test if: The physician or nurse practitioner will do a pelvic exam to detect swelling and unhealthy discharge. Just because a medication once sold only by prescription is now available over the counter does not mean that patients know how and when to use it properly. They will examine the vulva (external genitalia) and may perform a speculum exam to examine the inside walls of the vagina. The 3 most common are: Three out of four women are diagnosed with a yeast infection at some point in their life, according to a recent survey.

Preparing For Your Appointment

Oral thrush can cause white or yellow patches on the tongue, mouth, or throat. Yeast infections are simple to diagnose. Yeast infection vs. If your doctor has diagnosed you with a vaginal yeast infections before and you’re having the same symptoms, you can try an over-the-counter yeast infection medicine. A type of vaginal infection caused by the overgrowth of a number of organisms that are normally found in the vagina. Yeast infections are most likely to occur in women during the final days leading up to their period. Practice healthy hygiene American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises women against douching.

While the pill is less messy, the creams start relieving symptoms faster. Other tests will only read "normal" (white) or "abnormal" (blue/green). Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis if you think you have a penile yeast infection. Make a list of questions to ask your doctor. Side effects can include nausea, headaches, and belly pain. Tea tree oil has long been prized for its antifungal properties. Do not use Canesten if you are pregnant, think you are or are nursing without speaking to a doctor first.

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Anecdotal reports suggest that many women experience relief from such home treatments. One study found that boric acid suppositories are an effective alternative to other treatments. Women with weakened immune systems (such as due to HIV) have an increased risk of developing vaginal yeast infections. But taking a pill is convenient and is not messy.

Change pads and tampons often during your period. We do know that diabetes is associated with yeast infections, and a small study showed that women with recurrent yeast infections have higher blood glucose levels after taking a high-sugar drink. Use the kit instructions to collect your sample in as little as 5 minutes.

When To See A Doctor

When something happens to change the balance of these organisms, yeast can grow too much and cause symptoms. Yeast can be present in the vagina and cause no problem or symptoms, but occasionally it overgrows and invades the vaginal tissue, leading to a yeast infection (2). Without treatment, a UTI can lead to more serious complications of the kidneys. Yeast infection of the mouth is called thrush. Women may also experience vaginal discharge, pain with urination, vulvar soreness or irritation, pain with intercourse, or reddened and swollen vulvar and vaginal tissues. Yeast already live on and in your body. The discomfort you’re having could be caused by something entirely different, and starting medication for a yeast infection incorrectly could delay your treatment.

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

Yeast, BV, and trich infections may also put you at risk for serious problems if they are not diagnosed and treated. A complicated infection (one that has severe symptoms or keeps coming back, a rare strain of yeast or any infection in a diabetic or pregnant patient) will likely need longer treatment, including over a week of a vaginal cream or two to four rounds of an oral medication. Medications used to treat yeast infections typically come from an antifungal class of drugs called azoles, and vary from one- to three- to seven-day regimens. Scratching the vaginal area can leave open or raw areas. This test would help alleviate the problems, such as increased cost, an increase in vestibulitis/ vulvar dermatitis, and excess time spent by the clinician, that are associated with misdiagnosis and subsequently incorrect treatment. This most typically involves the yeast Candida albicans, explains Dr.

However, if the balance is disrupted by any number of things—sex, antibiotics, stress, even diet—one group can overrun the other and your vagina pays the price in the form of an infection. Doctors often prescribe a weekly dose of fluconazole (Diflucan) taken for six months. Antifungal pills that are taken by mouth affect your entire body. So can certain health problems, like diabetes or HIV infection. Candida thrives in moist, warm areas of the body. In these cases, a medication for a yeast infection will not work and may cause a delay in proper diagnosis and treatment of the actual problem. After using the toilet, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading yeast or bacteria from your anus to the vagina or urinary tract.

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The most common yeast infection in a baby is a diaper rash. The discharge may have a fishy odor. Yeast infections happen. If the baby also has thrush, it’s a good bet that the rash is caused by an overgrowth of yeast. However, a rash that persists may be due to an overgrowth of Candida yeast. Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area or when there is an overgrowth of the yeast already present in the vagina, for example, when the normal protective bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics taken to treat another infection. However, if a serious complication such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is suspected, then a pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound may be performed.


For mild to moderate symptoms and infrequent episodes, your doctor might recommend: Change out of wet clothing and swimsuits right away. Nonprescription treatments. Avoid using at-home treatments for yeast infections if you are pregnant. This can cause irritation and sweating in the vaginal area. Don't take leftover antibiotics or someone else's antibiotics or medicine. As easy as 1-2-3. This is because vaginal medicine isn't absorbed into your body and only affects the genital area.

Bacterial vaginosis refers to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria that are normally present in the vagina and is not a sexually-transmitted infection (STD). To be sure this product is right for you, always read and follow the label. In addition, “maintenance” yeast infection medication may be recommended to prevent future infections. However, you should inform any current female sex partners, so they can be tested and, if necessary, treated as well. Fluctuations in hormones are thought to be a cause of yeast infections before your period, causing imbalances in healthy bacteria in the vagina. If you're not feeling better within a few days of finishing treatment, call your doctor. You need to be sure you have a yeast infection and not something else. Severe yeast infections may also cause redness and tears or cracks (fissures) in the wall of the vagina.

Babies whose diaper area is not kept clean and dry or who have more frequent stools are at greater risk of developing a yeast infection diaper rash, as are babies taking antibiotics or whose breastfeeding mothers are taking these medicines.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

It is estimated that 3. Men whose female partners have a yeast infection may be at greater risk of developing an infection. Treating a yeast infection is simple, but it's important to visit your doctor for the right diagnosis, because other infections can cause similar symptoms but require different treatments.

Hold the swab handle between your thumb and forefinger so that the test strip is facing your thumb. To diagnose a yeast infection, a healthcare provider will ask about symptoms and do a pelvic exam. You can insert a cream or suppository antifungal cream into your vagina or take a pill by mouth. Anyone who has suffered the wrath of a yeast infection knows how insufferable they can be. Two of the most common causes of vaginitis are yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. Please consult a doctor for a diagnosis of a yeast infection or if you are unsure of your symptoms. MMWR, 59(RR-12): Yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted disease.


The main symptom of yeast infections is itchiness, though it's not the only one. However, other types of yeasts can also be responsible. Several factors can cause an elevated pH and the test should therefore not be used under the following circumstances: Variable data exist. Antifungal treatments in the form of creams or pessaries can be purchased over the counter to treat yeast infections. Talk to your doctor about all of your yeast infection treatment options. Taking antibiotics sometimes causes this imbalance.

It’s used as a suppository for yeast infections, usually once a day for seven days. An added advantage is the potential for use by patients for self-diagnosis over the counter, which will result in time and cost savings. As such, sometimes longer treatment is necessary, like a course of treatment that lasts 14 days. What are the treatments for vaginitis? Please consult a doctor for diagnosis of BV or if you are unsure of your symptoms. Essential oils should be mixed with carrier oils before use and never applied directly to the skin. Actually, yes.

Family medicine doctors. They can be taken by mouth or inserted into the vagina as a cream or gel. Yeast thrives in a moist, warm environment, so keep things airy and dry to prevent a yeast infection from coming back. Guys can get an infection of the head of the penis that is caused by the same Candida that causes vaginal infections in girls. However, she notes that other strains of yeast can also cause yeast infections, and Candida albicans has developed some resistance to azoles. Researchers believe that eating yogurt or taking probiotic supplements may help maintain the proper balance of good bacteria and keep yeast from overgrowing. What causes a vaginal yeast infection?

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Yeast infection symptoms can be very uncomfortable, but are usually not serious if diagnosed and treated early on. Your doctor will examine your vaginal walls and cervix. If your test comes with a color reference chart, compare the color of the strip to obtain the pH value. Your doctor can give you the right diagnosis so that you can be treated appropriately. What are the symptoms? Why did I get a yeast infection? This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

A lab test can identify what type of Candida you have. Although a yeast infection can be detected during a routine Pap test, this type of test is not typically done to diagnose vaginal infections. We don’t recommend any of these products, as many herbal products can cause more irritation than improvement. And consult your health care provider if your symptoms are not improving after treatment. When this yeast increases it can cause an infection. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of the bacteria that occur natually in the vagina. Probiotics contain healthy bacteria, which might help keep yeast levels in balance. Sex, STIs, and failure to urinate regularly can all lead to UTIs.

Factors that can change the normal balance of the vagina include the following: Lopez JEM (2020). These may increase body heat and moisture in your genital area. If present, discharge is typically white and clumpy.