- What Is It?
- Signs and Symptoms
- Treatment Options
The vaginal environment is acidic (pH: 3.8 to 4.5), which naturally prevents yeast growth. However, a change in the environment may cause an overgrowth of yeast leading to an infection.
It is estimated that every three out of four (75 percent) women will get at least one yeast infection in their lifetime.
If you suspect you might have a vaginal yeast infection, you may try an at-home vaginal pH test, but they do not confirm yeast infection. However, they may help you rule out other infections, including bacterial vaginosis (bacterial infection of the vagina), dermatitis (skin irritation), and trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted infection).
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans, a fungus that lives on the skin, mouth, and genitals. These infections usually occur as infrequent episodes but can recur frequently and may cause chronic persistent symptoms.
Vaginal yeast infections are also called:
- Vulvovaginal candidiasis
- Yeast vaginitis
What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal yeast infections are common in women aged 20 to 40 years and are often linked to the use of:
- Antibiotics, birth control pills, or steroids
- Contraceptive devices
- Hormonal changes from regular periods and pregnancy
- Diabetes (high blood sugar makes you more prone to yeast infection)
- Clothing, such as tight undergarments
- Vaginal douche products
- Weak immune system (due to conditions, such as human immunodeficiency virus, chemotherapy, or organ transplant)
What are the signs and symptoms of vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal yeast infections are very uncomfortable, often nonserious, and not transmitted sexually.
The signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:
How is vaginal yeast infection diagnosed?
Your doctor may ask a few questions to confirm yeast infection, such as:
- Medical history: Past vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Pelvic examination: The doctor may use an instrument, called a speculum, to open and hold the vaginal walls and examine the vagina and cervix (narrow end of the uterus).
- Vaginal swab test: A sample of vaginal secretion will be collected and analyzed for the causative organism.
What is the fastest way to get rid of a yeast infection?
Treatment may depend on the severity of the infection.
- In mild to moderate severity, antifungal medications, such as miconazole and terconazole, are prescribed for three to seven days.
- A few of these medications are over-the-counter (without a prescription) drugs.
- Antifungal medications are available as pills, creams, ointments, and suppositories.
The doctor may prescribe a single, oral dose of antifungal medication, such as fluconazole to control the infection.
You can prevent yeast infection using the following simple tips:
- Avoid tight-fitting, synthetic clothes and pantyhose
- Use cotton panties
- Keep the vaginal area dry after a shower
- Change wet clothes as soon as possible
- Avoid using sprays, scented sanitary pads, or tampons
- Maintain a good glycemic control
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Academy of Family Physicians. Yeast infections. https://familydoctor.org/condition/yeast-infections/
Brennan D. What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection?MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/the_fastest_way_to_get_rid_of_a_yeast_infection/article.htm
Johnson T. Yeast infections: Should you treat yourself, or See a Doctor? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/yeast-infections-should-you-treat-yourself-or-see-a-doctor
OASH. Vaginal yeast infections. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/vaginal-yeast-infections
Top How Do I Check Myself for a Yeast Infection Related Articles
9 Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast InfectionVaginal yeast infection is also called vaginal candidiasis. It is caused when there is an overgrowth of a germ called Candida albicans that is a normal resident of the vagina.
What Are the Best Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching?What Is Vaginal itching? Learn what remedies you can use at home to help to relieve your symptoms.
Female Sexual ProblemsFemale sexual dysfunction symptoms can limit a woman’s sex life. Female sexual dysfunction treatment aims to address any psychological and physical causes of the problem. Sometimes doctors prescribe drugs to treat female sexual dysfunction symptoms.
Home Remedies for Yeast InfectionsYeast infection is caused when there is an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans, which naturally lives in the oral cavity, vagina, and skin. It causes conditions like oral candidiasis or vaginal candidiasis. It is characterized by irritation, inflammation, itching, and painful discharge.
Is a Yeast Infection Contagious?Yeast are a fungi that has many types. A type of yeast that can cause infection in humans is called Candida. Candida can infect the mouth, vagina, penis, or other areas of the body. Symptoms of yeast infections depend on the area infected, however, may include itching, bumps on the skin, a reddish rash, or patches of skin that ooze a clear or yellow liquid. Most yeast infections are not contagious even though they are caused by a fungus.
What Does It Mean If I’m Having a Lot of Vaginal Discharge?It's normal for women to have some amount of vaginal discharge. Learn more about what it can mean if you have more vaginal discharge than usual or if your discharge has an unusual appearance.
Women's SecretsThere are secrets women would love for you to know. These relationship secrets are based on the study of healthy, happy couples, and changing gender roles.
What Is the Fastest Way To Get Rid of a Yeast Infection?Learn what medical treatments can help ease your yeast infection symptoms and speed up your recovery.
Vagina PictureThe vagina is an elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. See a picture of the Vagina and learn more about the health topic.
Vaginal Health Quiz: Test Your Medical IQTake this Vaginal Health Quiz to learn about about common problems that women experience, and when to see a doctor about problems down there.
What Is the Main Cause of a Yeast Infection?Yeast infections are mainly caused by yeast-like fungus named Candida or Monilia. Yeast infections may affect the skin, mouth or vagina. Your doctor will use different methods of testing yeast infections depending on the area of your infection or symptoms.
Women's Health: Tips for Dealing With DrynessLots of parts of your body can become dry, especially as women get older. Find out the different causes and what you can do about them.
Vaginal Yeast Infection in Women
Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include vaginal pain with urination, vaginal discharge, odor, and itching.
Treatment is generally OTC medications. A man can contract a yeast infection from his female sexual partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include penile itching. Treatment is with oral or topical medication.
Yeast Infection QuizHow much do you know about vaginal yeast infections? Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments of a yeast infection with the Vaginal Yeast Infection Quiz.
Yeast Infection vs. Diaper Rash in Infants, Toddlers, and ChildrenDiaper rash in infants, babies, toddlers, and children is caused by Candida, the most common type of fungus. Signs and symptoms of diaper rash is red, elevated skin that may be visible under and in the creases of the skin, groin, or anus. Yeast diaper rash is not painful. Treatments for diaper rash include antibiotic creams, lotions, natural home remedies, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, and oral antibiotics.
Yeast infections in infants, babies, toddlers, and children can cause diaper rash, thrush. Signs and symptoms of thrush include thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base can form on the tongue, palate, or elsewhere inside the palate. Treatment for yeast infections caused by Candida fungi are similar to the treatments for diaper rash.
If Candida gets into the blood stream of an individual they may get sick with or without a fever. If the Candida infection spreads throughout the body up to 45% of people may die. Even with common mouth thrush can cause critical illness and may be more resistant to normal treatment.
Yeast infections vs. STDs in Men and Women