Yeast Infection

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Vaginal yeast infection facts

  • Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by the organism Candida albicans.
  • Yeast infections are very common and affect up to 75% of women at some point in their lifetime.
  • The main symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is itching, but burning, discharge, and pain with urination or intercourse can also occur.
  • Treatment involves topical or oral antifungal medications.
  • It is possible for a woman to transmit a yeast infection to a male sex partner, even though yeast infection is not considered to be a true sexually-transmitted disease because it can occur in women who are not sexually active.
  • Treatment of yeast infection in men, like in women, involves antifungal medications.
  • Keeping the vaginal area dry and avoiding irritating chemicals can help prevent yeast infections in women. Consuming foods with probiotics may also help.

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

A vaginal yeast infection is an infection caused by yeast (a type of fungus). Vaginal yeast infection is sometimes referred to as yeast vaginitis, Candidal vaginitis, or Candidal vulvovaginitis. The scientific name for the yeast that causes vaginitis is Candida. Over 90% of vaginal yeast infections are caused by the species known as Candida albicans. Other Candida species make up the remainder of yeast infections.

Candida species can be present in healthy women in the vagina without causing any symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that 20% to 50% of women have Candida already present in the vagina. For an infection to occur, the normal balance of yeast and bacteria is disturbed, allowing overgrowth of the yeast. While yeast can be spread by sexual contact, vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually-transmitted disease because it can also occur in women who are not sexually active, due to the fact that yeast can be present in the vagina of healthy women.

Vaginal yeast infections are very common, affecting up to 75% of women at some point in life.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2014

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Vaginal Yeast Infection - Home Remedies Question: What home remedies have you found effective in soothing a vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal Yeast Infection - OTC Medications Question: What OTC medications have you found effective in treating a vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal Yeast Infection - Prescription Medications Question: What prescription medications were effective in treating your vaginal yeast infection?
Yeast Infection - Symptoms in Men Question: Have you contracted a yeast infection from a female sexual partner? If so, what were the symptoms?
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Yeast infection

Yeast Infection Symptoms

What are vulvitis and vaginal yeast infection symptoms and signs?

Symptoms of yeast infection are similar to those of other causes of vaginitis (inflammation or irritation of the vaginal canal), including Trichomonas infection and bacterial vaginosis. Itching, which can be severe, is a common symptom. Burning and irritation usually accompany the itching. Pain during sexual intercourse may be present as well as pain or burning with urination. A vaginal discharge is often present. With a yeast infection, the discharge is most often described as whitish-gray, thick, and having a consistency similar to cottage cheese. There may be redness, swelling, irritation, and itching of the vulva in addition to the vaginal symptoms.