Table of Contents
- Vaginal yeast infection facts
- What is a vaginal yeast infection?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?
- What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
- What may increase my risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection?
- Which specialties of doctors treat yeast infections?
- How is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed?
- Are there home remedies to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
- What over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
- When are oral prescription medications used to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
- How can a yeast infection be treated if I am pregnant?
- Can a man get a yeast infection from his sexual partner?
- What are the symptoms of a yeast infection in men?
- What is the treatment for yeast infection in men?
- How can vaginal yeast infections be prevented?
- What about recurrent yeast infections?
- How can you protect yourself from contracting a yeast infection from your sexual partner?
What causes a vaginal 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. 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).
Vaginal yeast infections can also occur as a result of injury to the inner vagina, such as after chemotherapy. Also, women with suppressed immune systems (for example, those taking cortisone-related medications such as prednisone) develop vaginal yeast infections more frequently than women with normal immunity.
Other conditions that may predispose women to developing vaginal yeast infections include
The use of douches or perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays may also increase a woman's risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection.
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.
However, it is possible for men to develop symptoms of skin irritation of the penis from a yeast infection after sexual intercourse with an infected partner, although this is not always the case.
Eckert, L. Acute Vulvovaginitis. New N Engl J Med 2006; 355:1244-1252.
Medscape. Medscape, Vulvovaginitis
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter