Vaginal Yeast Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & More

BV often goes away on its own, but if it doesn’t, talk to your doctor. Other vaginal infections (such as bacterial vaginosis) and some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may have similar symptoms, but require different treatment. If you think you could have contracted an STI, get tested. A vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, genital candidiasis, or vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), is an infection involving a type of fungus, or yeast. People should not leave a medicated tampon in for more than 6 hours. 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 most common symptoms of a yeast infection are itching and vaginal discharge. A one-dose treatment that kills the infection within a few days usually suffices, though women may also opt for a three-day or seven-day treatment course, Steier says. A woman who gets a yeast infection every time she takes an antibiotic, for example, may suspect yeast is the culprit of her symptoms. Can I give it to anyone else? To check for a vaginal yeast infection, your health care provider looks for signs of infection and collects a sample of vaginal fluid for lab tests.

These treatments include more doses of fluconazole taken by mouth or other medicines applied inside the vagina, such as boric acid, nystatin, or flucytosine.

Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are more likely to occur during the week before a menstrual period. The discharge also can be cultured. Yeast infection in babies While yeast infections are commonly associated with vaginal infections, babies can also get them. Its primary causes are bacterial imbalances from douching and sex — it’s not a fungal infection like a typical yeast infection is. The creamy white patches typical of thrush cling to the tongue and sides of the mouth and may be painful. A 2020 research review found boric acid to be a safe alternative remedy for yeast infections. Are not sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection.

Alternatively, it can be applied to a tampon before insertion.

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Before purchasing any suppositories, consult with a doctor. For example, if the infection is a different kind, such as bacterial vaginosis (the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge), rather than thrush. You can also raise your risk of getting a UTI by not wiping front to back, since wiping back to front can give G.

Do not wear tight clothing. Although yeast infections can occur in different parts of the body, such as the mouth, esophagus, skin and bloodstream, they don't lead to other infections throughout the body. You might also have a creamy, whitish coating in and around your vagina. Complicated thrush is four or more episodes of thrush in a year or when severe symptoms of vulvovaginal inflammation are experienced. While the pill is less messy, the creams start relieving symptoms faster. What if your vagina is itchy, your discharge is different than usual, or you start experiencing pain when you pee or have sex (all symptoms of a yeast infection), but your home test shows it's not a yeast infection? Infants and children can also get yeast infections. It is caused by a type of fungus called yeast.

All are more or less equally effective.

What About My Partner(s)?

Vaginal yeast infections are extremely common, and there are many ways to treat them. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms. Usually, if the itching is due to one of these STDs, the feeling will progress to burning when you pee and cause pain during sex.

Risk for infection may be greater when a woman is pregnant or using hormonal birth control with higher levels of estrogen, since hormonal changes may upset the balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina. It could be something as simple as a run away script or learning how to better use E-utilities, http: Yeast infections are most likely to occur in women during the final days leading up to their period.

1 Fluctuating hormonal levels, bacteria, and sexual activities are just a few of the most common reasons women experience vaginal infections and discomfort.

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Still, there are a few distinct symptoms to have on your radar: Vaginal yeast infections are irritating and uncomfortable. But if you’re less used to it, or it’s your first one and you’re wondering what the hell is going on, things may be more confusing. What causes a yeast infection? Therefore, it is important for you to have previously had at least one yeast infection diagnosed by a health care provider so that the provider can prescribe an appropriate medication for your symptoms. Even though yeast infections can be really itchy, try not to scratch.

How do I treat yeast infections?

In addition, your normal vaginal discharge will change consistency and color. How is a yeast infection diagnosed? Urrutia recommends watching your symptoms for a few days before taking any action.

However, not all diaper rashes are the result yeast overgrowth.

What Can Happen If You Don't Get Treated For A Yeast Infection?

You are not sure that you have 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. You can help prevent a yeast infection by wearing condoms during sex. There are a bunch of other things that can cause these symptoms. In most cases, antifungal medicines are the go-to remedy.

These are available over-the-counter or with a prescription. In either case, if your symptoms aren’t improving within a week of starting medication, follow up with your doctor, as he or she may need to reexamine the diagnosis or try a different treatment. There’s evidence to suggest that a yeast infection may be able to spread between sexual partners, but it’s rare. You may prefer to take pills rather than use medicine that is inserted into the vagina. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for the first time, consult your healthcare professional for a diagnosis. Call the OWH HELPLINE:

You need a prescription from your doctor to get the yeast infection pill. Data, though, is actually lacking to determine the true rate of vaginal yeast infections (4). A vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD), since Candida may be present in the normal vagina, and the condition does occur in celibate women. The symptoms of vaginal thrush include vulval itching, vulval soreness and irritation, pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse (superficial dyspareunia), pain or discomfort during urination (dysuria) and vaginal discharge, which is usually odourless. A diaper rash caused by a yeast infection is usually diagnosed by physical examination. The symptoms of a UTI are also different from a yeast infection. The rash can be controlled by frequent changing and, if needed, medicated powders.

The Takeaway

These may require a steroid ointment such as hydrocortisone for treatment. A yeast diaper rash causes a bright red rash bordered by red pimples or pus-filled bumps and surrounded by smaller “satellite” patches of rash. Some women have many yeast infections.

Avoid tight-fitting clothing, such as panty hose, and tight-fitting jeans. Never self-treat unless you’ve talked to your health care provider. But yours may be slightly different. While there is no evidence to say this works, it is a low-risk home remedy for yeast infection. One of the most common causes of vaginitis is an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus often found in the vagina in small quantities.

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A tampon should be soaked in this mixture for a few minutes, then insert and change every 2-4 hours during the day. This is especially important when considering sensitive areas such as the vagina. You can pass a yeast infection during oral or vaginal intercourse. Douching is not effective for treating yeast, and can actually increase the risk of getting STIs, HIV, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and other vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis (9,11,12). It's on our skin; it can be cultured from any place.

Penile inflammation (balanitis): Risk factors for an STI include having sex without a condom or having more than one sex partner. How are yeast infections diagnosed? But if these symptoms come back often (or don’t respond to the usual treatments), it’s time to visit a doctor for a firm diagnosis. Several approved vaginal antifungal products are available without a prescription either as a cream or suppository inserted into the vagina for a specified number of days. Want more women's health coverage? Medications for yeast infections:

Watchful Waiting

However, a positive fungal culture does not always mean that Candida is causing symptoms because some women can have Candida in the vagina without having any symptoms. I just got what I think is a yeast infection. For example, when the normal, protective bacteria are eradicated by antibiotics (taken to treat a urinary tract, respiratory, or other types of infection) or by immunosuppressive drugs, the yeast can multiply, invade tissues, and cause irritation of the lining of the vagina (vaginitis). Yeast thrives in warm, moist areas of the body, such as the mouth, throat, vagina, groin, and buttocks. Yeast infections are among the most common medical annoyances. What is a Yeast Infection? Using antibiotics.

Vaginal dryness (Beyond the Basics)," "Overview of Candida infections," "Balanitis in adults," "Patient education: Yeast vaginitis is an infection caused by a fungus called Candida. You can pass a yeast infection to any sexual partner. If these products are not effective in the time specified on the instructions, a doctor should be contacted for follow-up. Candida thrives in moist, warm areas of the body.

That’s right, it exists, and it’s over the counter. In fact, it’s estimated that 3 out of 4 women will get more than two vaginal yeast infections in their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infections, also called "Candida vaginal infections," typically are caused by the Candida albicans fungus. You may also pass on a yeast infection to your baby’s mouth during breastfeeding if Candida overgrowth is present in the breast area. There are some skin conditions that can cause skin changes, such as whitening and itching.

Vulvovaginal Candidiasis and Pregnancy

BMJ Clinical Evidence. It’s important to treat yeast infection early, especially if you’re pregnant, so that you can prevent any such complications. Although going to the doctor might feel like a pain, keep in mind that self-diagnosing isn't always the right call. Some guys might have a slight discharge or pain with urination as well. What are the symptoms? A UTI can also cause frequent urination along with pelvic and abdominal pain. 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. That's because the signs – itching and burning of the vulva, pain during sex and a white, lumpy, odorless discharge – are similar to bacterial vaginosis, an STI that can increase your risk for contracting other STIs, including HIV, and may lead to problems with pregnancy.

Vaginal lubricants or a small dose of estrogen can help in this case. If you are a woman and get vaginal yeast infections often, you may want to take probiotics. It’s also possible for a baby to get a fungal diaper rash at birth if the mother has a vaginal yeast infection during delivery. The medical name for a yeast infection is "candidiasis," because they’re usually caused by a type of yeast called candida. Yeast infections are treated with medicated ointments or other anti-yeast (antifungal) preparations. There are over-the-counter creams that you can use on your vulva to help calm the irritation. Having small amounts of Candida on the skin and inside the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina is normal.

The 3 most common are:

Enter the yeast infection test! This is important. Yeast infections occur when the normal balance of yeast on the skin and in the body becomes thrown off. Yeast can cause an infection for anyone with a vagina, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The groin area is especially prone to Candida overgrowth because of skin folds and moisture. Vaginal yeast infections can also occur as a result of injury to the inner vagina, such as after chemotherapy. Your doctor may also prescribe oral antifungal medication.

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A guy with a yeast infection may not have any symptoms or the tip of the penis may become red and sore or itchy. Symptoms of these infections include a white or yellow cheeselike discharge from the vagina and burning, itching, and redness along the walls and external area of the vagina. Symptoms of yeast infections in women can include itching and burning. Yeast infections can be very irritating and uncomfortable. Vaginal candidiasis (vulvovaginitis, yeast infection—see Overview of Vaginal Infections) is common, especially among women who are pregnant, have diabetes, or are taking antibiotics. Your doctor will examine your vaginal walls and cervix. (Coast, Safeguard, Irish Spring, Dial, Lever 2020, etc.)

If you suspect a yeast infection that doesn’t get better quickly or BV, talk to your primary care doctor or OB-GYN. 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). Although most women have no underlying health problems that lead to a yeast infection, some have greater risk factors. Tea tree oil has long been prized for its antifungal properties. Also know what the side effects are. Boric acid suppositories can sometimes cause side effects, including vaginal burning and discharge.

Yeast already live on and in your body. If you have a weak immune system, treatment might be more difficult. Ask your health care provider (HCP) if you should be checked for the other types if your symptoms do not get better. Unfortunately, all of these require going to the doctor to check out, because they don't have home tests, and most also require medications to clear up. A long-term BV infection can affect your fertility. Yeast can be passed from one individual to another, but this is not a clinical problem unless there is some other factor at work that allows the yeast to overgrow and cause an infection.


Vaginal itching that is often severe. Family medicine doctors. To use tea tree oil for a yeast infection, pour a few drops across the top and sides of a tampon and insert the tampon into the vagina. What are yeast infection symptoms?

The supplements are taken orally or inserted vaginally. These infections are very common. Guys who have diabetes or are on antibiotics for a long time are more prone to this infection. Scientists estimate that about 20% of women normally have Candida in the vagina without having any symptoms. If your symptoms continue, you can use nonprescription medicine.

Inside Children's Health:

Taking antibiotics, wearing dentures, having a health condition such as diabetes, undergoing treatment for cancer, or having dry mouth are also associated with increased risk of thrush. A secondary bacterial infection can happen, so monitor for spreading redness, or swelling, or pain. While yeast infections in babies are usually harmless, they can lead to more serious infections when left untreated. If you have risk factors for an STI, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before using a nonprescription medicine.

Using antibiotics, oral contraceptive pills, and IUDs may increase the risk of getting a yeast infection for some people but not in others (5). Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse. Talk to your health care provider about whether you should use a polyurethane condom or not have sex. You can also find a testing center near you at http: Most uncomplicated vaginal yeast infections can be treated with nonprescription antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories. A yeast infection can happen if your skin gets damaged. OK, now let's learn about the other things that itchiness and unusual discharge might be. Yeast infections often also occur during the week preceding a menstrual period.

Herbs and Alternative Remedies

Yes, you can use an at-home test to detect for a yeast infection, but the most important thing for anyone with a vagina is to find a gynecologist who you like and who is pretty available, so that when you feel that first tickle or notice that weird discharge, you can get it treated ASAP. X in a circle Think you may have a yeast infection? Sometimes women think they have a vaginal yeast infection when symptoms are caused by a different condition, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Neither is typically cause for concern.

Here's what you need to know about identifying a yeast infection — and how to tell when it might be something more.


Do not douche. How is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed? Medicine choices Vaginal antifungal medicines, such as miconazole (Monistat) and tioconazole (Vagistat), are available in 1-day, 3-day, and longer courses, depending on the strength of the medicine. You won’t “catch” the infection by air or by using the same shower as someone with the infection, for example.

But there are other kinds of yeast infections that can affect skin all over the body. BV Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common type of vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44. The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include: If you do, you'll be given an antifungal prescription like fluconazole, or told to purchase an over-the-counter cream or ointment, or a suppository that's inserted into the vagina.

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Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing: A yeast infection during pregnancy isn’t always treated in the same way as in nonpregnant women. A 2020 review of research found that certain types of probiotics may combat some of the yeasts that cause vaginal yeast infection. 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.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Usually, your immune system keeps yeast under control. Signs of infection may get worse without treatment. Available as a one-, three-, or seven-day suppository or three- or seven-day cream. For example, do not douche. The fungus most commonly associated with vaginal yeast infection is called Candida albicans, which account for up to 92% of all cases, with the remainder due to other species of Candida. 2 Sometimes, Candida can multiply and cause an infection if the environment inside the vagina changes in a way that encourages its growth. Or the type of yeast infection you have may respond better to one method than to the other.