Yeast Infection (Vaginal): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

These drugs are taken regularly to prevent the infection returning. And it may seem like more of a hassle than taking a pill. You can pass a yeast infection during oral or vaginal intercourse. Have unusual vaginal itching. The vagina normally contains a healthy balance of bacteria and yeast.

A healthcare provider can tell you if you have vaginal candidiasis and how to treat it. So if you have the classic symptoms — fishy odor, abnormal discharge, and/or itching or burning — use the strip test to check your vagina's acidity level. It’s also possible that the yeast infection is purely coincidental. Complicated yeast infection In the case of a complicated yeast infection, treatment will include the use of long-course vaginal therapy or multi-dose oral formulations. 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. A change in the balance of the yeast and bacteria that normally live in the vagina can result in vaginitis. The FDA has approved the active ingredient in two of the most commonly prescribed antifungal drugs for nonprescription use:

  • Symptoms include redness, irritation, and discharge.
  • Candida vulvovaginitis, or yeast infection, is one of the most common diagnoses in American women.
  • There isn't a critical need to rush to your gyno if you think you might have a yeast infection.
  • If you have recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan.
  • One day you're peeing without a care in the world and the next it becomes one of those moments that you dread (and may even try to avoid).
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.

Antibiotics destroy good bacteria in the body. Candida is a yeast (a type of fungus) commonly found on the skin and in the body, including the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina. Or the type of yeast infection you have may respond better to one method than to the other. Sometimes an oral anti-yeast medicine is used. If you are in a sexual relationship, there is no need to treat your partner too unless they also have symptoms. Wearing a wet swimsuit for many hours may keep your genital area warm and moist. Although it can affect any woman, candidiasis is more frequent among women who are pregnant, diabetic or obese.

If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor. Candidiasis is often hard to get rid of and recurrences are common. Thrush does not damage the vagina and it does not spread to damage the womb (uterus). A thorough history should include questions about the nature, quantity and color of the discharge, as well as about irritation, itching, burning and dyspareunia. A vaginal yeast infection isn't considered a sexually transmitted infection. Try sleeping without underwear. However, this number may represent an overestimate because patients in this study had been initially screened by telephone and were only evaluated and included in the study if they had symptoms consistent with vulvovaginal candidiasis. Candidiasis (yeast infection), if the thrush is mild, natural healers suggest coconut oil or yogurt to improve symptoms. In extreme cases, you can get fissures or sores on your vagina or vulva.

Some people say this discharge looks like cottage cheese.

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Talk to your doctor if you have more than four yeast infections per year. After sex, wipe yourself so you are clean and dry. Yes, your partner can catch it from you. However, other types of yeasts can also be responsible. 2 An estimated 1. Yeast infections may also be presented in other folds of the skin, such as under the armpits. It can also inform the doctor which type of candida you have.

Thrush is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection, although occasionally it is passed on during sex. What treatments are available for vaginal yeast infection? Vaginal boric acid capsules are sometimes used. Wider says, but not every woman with a yeast infection experiences it. 5 has a limited differential diagnosis (Table 2). A new study by University of Michigan Health System researchers finds that the presence of yeast in male sex partners do not make women more prone to recurrent yeast infections.

For More On Vaginal Yeast Infections

You can obtain these treatments on prescription; you can also buy fluconazole without a prescription from pharmacies. If you are sick or taking antibiotics, it can multiply and cause an infection. How is it spread?

Also know what the side effects are. Thrush should clear up within a week, after 1 dose of medicine or using the cream daily. If you’re concerned about transmission, talk to your doctor about all the ways yeast infections could be contagious in your situation. Dietary sugar and a defect in milk sugar (lactose) metabolism may predispose some women to yeast infections. Getting your first period is a right of passage for women, and guess what? You may also pass on a yeast infection to your baby’s mouth during breastfeeding if Candida overgrowth is present in the breast area. A yeast infection during pregnancy isn’t always treated in the same way as in nonpregnant women.

Who Gets Thrush?

Vaginal boric acid capsules can work for women with a yeast infection. Ask your health care provider (HCP) if you should be checked for the other types if your symptoms do not get better. Yeast can be irritating to the sensitive mucus membranes of your vagina and labia. You say the phrase and it immediately conjures images of itching, burning, and lots of wiggling around in your seat.

A test strip is placed into the vagina and then the colour change indicates if thrush is likely or not.

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. Another possibility is having vaginal intercourse with a man who has a penile yeast infection. Some women (about 5%) have recurrent yeast infections. A large number of antifungal agents are currently available for the treatment of vulvo-vaginal candidiasis. It can give you the illusion that you’re treating it while another problem continues to develop. But many women think that they have a yeast infection when they actually have another problem. Treatments that are applied internally have been shown to cure more than 80 percent of vaginal yeast infections.

Red, irritated skin around the opening to the vagina (labia). Other treatments after more than four episodes per year, may include ten days of either oral or topical treatment followed by fluconazole orally once per week for 6 months. Avoid washing underwear in biological washing powder and using fabric conditioners. Most women are likely to have a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. It may take up to two weeks for the treatment to work, and your doctor may also prescribe the same treatment for your partner to prevent re-infection. How much you experience these symptoms ultimately depends on you. Vaginal yeast infections can cause pain, itching, redness, a thick white vaginal discharge, pain during urination (peeing), and sometimes whitish patches on the skin of the vaginal area. The discharge may have a fishy odor.

BV is characterized by a foul odor.

Thrush Is Not Sexually Transmitted

Penile inflammation (balanitis): This balance of organisms in your vagina can be changed by: Tests for other infections. Essential oils should be mixed with carrier oils before use and never applied directly to the skin. Symptoms for all three can include some form of vaginal discharge, itching, and irritation, so it is important to understand how they are different so you can get the right treatment.

  • Women are more prone to genital yeast infections, with 75 percent experiencing at least one in their lives.
  • You may also be more prone to recurring episodes (recurrent thrush) although some women develop repeated episodes of thrush with no obvious triggers.

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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. Because of that, Mason says they could experience an itching or burning sensation, redness, and small white spots on the skin. You can also treat yeast infections with a single pill that you swallow (called Diflucan or Fluconazole). Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: If you suspect that you’re struggling with a vaginal yeast infection, you can use over-the-counter antifungal medication to try to clear it up, Dr.

Raw organic coconut oil can be applied internally or externally to ease symptoms. But if that didn't actually happen — and there are no other obvious reasons behind your pain — then that could be a sign of a yeast infection, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s easy to simply reach for the anti-fungal treatments at the first sign of irritation — and usually this does do the trick. They'll recommend how often you should use treatment. If you are on antibiotics, be sure to replenish the good bacteria by taking natural yogurt containing friendly bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus. The supplements are taken orally or inserted vaginally. A slightly erythematous base is visible close to the center of the image, where some of the plaque was scraped off.

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Keep areas where skin rubs up against skin dry and try to reduce friction. This condition may occur any time when female hormone levels are low, such as during breastfeeding and after menopause. Taking corticosteroid medicines sometimes also weakens the immune system and increases the risk for yeast infections. Creams available include brand names such as Monistat, Femstat, Gyne-Lotrimin, and Mycostatin. 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. 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. Thrush is much more common in the "reproductive years", ie the years between starting to have periods and stopping for menopause when it is possible to have a baby. It’s not overly common, but since men also have candida on their skin, having unprotected sex can cause an overgrowth that results in an infection called balanitis, or inflammation of the head of the penis.

Whether you should avoid sexual intercourse if you are using vaginal medicine. If you have lots of irritation, it may sting when you pee. These include trichomoniasis, herpes and genital warts. Capsules aren't recommended because they could harm your baby. If you think your daughter has an infection, call your doctor for advice.

It doesn't help that fungus thrives in warm, moist environments (like your vagina), so it's important that you start treating a yeast infection right away before your symptoms get worse.


Do not wear tight clothing. Yeast infections of the vagina or penis can be treated with creams or medicated suppositories. Have an unusual vaginal discharge, and this is the first time you have had an infection that might be a vaginal yeast infection. Otherwise, use a water-soluble lubricating jelly (such as K-Y Jelly) to reduce irritation.

Vaginal suppositories containing tea tree oil have been shown to treat vaginal fungal infections. You have a vaginal and/or vulval itch. What is a yeast infection? Many others don't cause any harm, or any symptoms, unless they multiply too much.

Infection occurs in about 30% of women who are taking a course of antibiotics by mouth. That's good news for women with recurrent yeast infections who must pay for each office visit. And taking antibiotics when they are not needed can make yeast infections more likely. But yeast in the vagina can sometimes "overgrow" and lead to symptoms of a yeast infection. This is especially important when considering sensitive areas such as the vagina. How is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed? Sexual intercourse typically makes the irritation worse.

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But they can't be blamed for those nasty recurrent yeast infections, contrary to popular belief. There are significant differences between occasional, easily treatable yeast infections and recurrent infections that seriously affect a woman's life. What are the treatments for vaginal thrush? Even untreated, it often goes away by itself, but it can sometimes spread to the scrotum, inner thighs and buttocks. Some women think that eating foods with lactobacillus organisms, such as yogurt or acidophilus milk, will help prevent yeast infections. The smartest course is to use non-prescription medication only if you are familiar with yeast infection symptoms from previous attacks. So long as you're not experiencing symptoms that are causing you to be uncomfortable, it's okay if it's treated later.

Cause A vaginal yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast organisms that normally live in small numbers in the vagina. The itching generally associated with hemorrhoids can also cause itching or irritation in the vaginal area. A sample of the vaginal discharge may be taken for laboratory examination under a microscope, or for a yeast culture, test to see if candida fungi grow under laboratory conditions.

Do not treat yourself with over-the-counter medication if you've never been diagnosed with at least one prior yeast infection by your physician. If you take antibiotic medication. Some anti-yeast vaginal creams are sold over the counter (without a prescription) in pharmacies. Garlic is a known antifungal and antibiotic. The groin area is especially prone to Candida overgrowth because of skin folds and moisture. 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). The wet mount can also help rule out other infections, including bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Do not use anti-yeast medications without seeing your health care provider, unless you’ve been diagnosed by an HCP more than once, so you’re really sure of the symptoms and signs.

There are other conditions with similar symptoms, such as bacterial vaginosis or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Prevention Of Vaginal Thrush

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. 3 For most infections, the treatment is an antifungal medicine applied inside the vagina or a single dose of fluconazole taken by mouth. Some women report relief from adding diluted tea tree oil to a tampon and inserting this into the vagina overnight. Most women have one or more of these yeast infection symptoms:

The symptoms of a UTI are also different from a yeast infection.

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Maintenance medications may be recommended. An estimated 75 percent of all women will develop a yeast infection during their lifetime; 90 percent of these infections are caused by Candida albicans. A lab test can identify what type of Candida you have. Anything that alters your hormone levels—like changing to a new hormonal birth control pill (that increases your estrogen levels) or too much stress (high cortisol) is a risk factor. Your doctor can also give you tips on relieving burning and itching. What causes a vaginal yeast infection? Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.

Yeast infection after sex While it’s possible to develop a yeast infection after having sex, a yeast infection itself is not an STI. For another, it takes a larger buildup of yeast to cause those symptoms. Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. A smelly or coloured discharge. The rash may not be so obvious on darker skin. The researchers found these women were no more likely to develop recurrent infections by the end of the one-year study period. They then inserted one every third night for 3 weeks.

Exercise, meditation and getting enough sleep can relieve stress. There's a burning sensation during sex. How do you prevent vaginal thrush? Some women with yeast infections notice an increase or change in discharge. Call your doctor to be sure you’re addressing any problems with appropriate treatment. Your health care provider will explain to you what your choices are and if one is better than another for you. You may need tests such as vaginal swabs (samples taken using a small ball of cotton wool on the end of a thin stick) to clarify the cause of the symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms?

Still, penile yeast infections are most commonly caused by having unprotected vaginal intercourse with a woman who has the infection too. The symptoms of a yeast infection depend on where it happens on your body. 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. Using corticosteroids, such as prednisone. You can lower your risk of getting a yeast infection by:

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of the bacteria that occur natually in the vagina. Most yeast infections are caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans. The following treatments are typically recommended: But if it smells fishy, it may instead be bacterial vaginosis (BV), and if you have only burning and pain during urination, that suggests a urinary tract infection. See your doctor if you aren't sure what you have or if this is the first time you have had these symptoms.

If the burning sensation worsens, people should discontinue use. Luckily, most can be cured or controlled with clean habits and OTC (over-the-counter) drugs. Some things that can cause changes in your vagina’s environment are: Women who have recurring yeast infections should be evaluated for other causes (such as diabetes, hormone therapy, or treatment-resistant strains of yeast) so that the cause can be treated or reversed. The first time you experience symptoms, it's important to see your doctor (or hit up an urgent care center if you can’t score an appointment) because if it turns out you don’t have a yeast infection, at-home treatments can make inflammation worse or not provide any relief at all, Dr. There does, however, seem to be two distinct types of patients with this condition. Mason says painful urination is one of the most telltale yeast infection symptoms in women. As an alternative to eating garlic, some women have tried using garlic internally.

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Also, thrush can occur at the same time as another infection. Young girls who haven't gone through puberty yet are less likely to get yeast infections, but they can happen. Although they can bother you a lot, they are not usually serious. Yeast infection, ask your pharmacist for advice. Please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Given that millions of women contract vaginitis, it is not surprising that a subpopulation of women with chronic vaginitis (defined here as some type of chronic vulvar or vaginal symptom lasting more than six months) exists. It's usually harmless but it can be uncomfortable and keep coming back. Therefore, it may be best to wash just with water and unscented soap and not to douche the vagina. Sometimes, two to three doses of oral fluconazole may be recommended instead of direct vaginal therapy.

Alternative Yeast Infection Treatments

Yeast infections (also called yeast vaginitis or vaginal candidiasis) are one of the most common causes of vaginitis, an inflammation of the vagina characterized by discharge and irritation. They will ask you about other symptoms you’re experiencing, such as burning and painful urination. If you are unfamiliar with your symptoms, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. A water-soluble lubricant also may be helpful during intercourse. A blood test to find out if you may have diabetes or another health problem that makes you more likely to get yeast infections. How a medicine can be administered. Most infections can be cleared up quickly and easily.

When taking the medical history, it is important to understand that the symptoms related to vaginitis include a broad spectrum of manifestations, which go well beyond changes in the vaginal discharge. Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which kill a range of bacteria, also kill healthy bacteria in your vagina, leading to overgrowth of yeast. If you are pregnant, do not use vaginal boric acid treatment. If the physical exam and lab tests reveal the presence of candidiasis, your doctor will prescribe medication to destroy the fungus causing the problem.

Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

Talk to your health care provider about whether you should use a polyurethane condom or not have sex. For one woman who's really sensitive, a small colonization can cause a lot of itching and burning. A range of treatments is available for yeast infections, including many self-administered home remedies. Side effects can include nausea, headaches, and belly pain.