- Who Gets It?
- Complications and Side Effects
- Yeast Infection While Pregnant
- Pregnancy Complications
- Pregnancy Treatments
What is a yeast infection?
Yeast infections are more common than you might think. Yeast is a fungus that is normally found on your skin and digestive system. If you are a woman, you will also find yeast in your vaginal area. Yeast grows normally in those body parts, but it can develop into an infection if it grows out of control. It may also occur on your penis or scrotum if you are male, but it is not as common.
Types of yeast infection
A yeast infection is a condition that occurs when too much yeast grows in certain areas of your body, causing an infection called candidiasis. This condition may cause symptoms that greatly affect your quality of life, including complications leading to other medical conditions. In some cases, a yeast infection may spread from one area of your body to another.
Yeast infections may affect different parts of your body in different ways:
- Thrush: This is a type of yeast infection that affects the mouth and throat. You may notice white patches in your mouth, a loss of taste, or pain while eating or swallowing.
- Vaginal yeast infection: As the name suggests, vaginal yeast infections affect the vagina. These yeast infections cause itching and discomfort and may bring about complications like vaginitis.
- Yeast infections of the skin: This type of yeast infection affects the skin and may cause your skin to itch and develop a rash.
- Invasive yeast infection: This is a serious infection of the bloodstream that can impact many major organs and may develop into a life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of a yeast infection
Depending on where your yeast infection is based, the symptoms may include the following:
- White patches in your mouth
- Pain when swallowing food
- Shiny, white areas on your penis
- Irritation and itching of the vagina
- A burning feeling when urinating or during sex
- Swelling and redness of the vulva
- Thick, white, and odorless vaginal discharge which is commonly described as looking like cottage cheese
- Vaginal discharge that appears watery
Causes of a yeast infection
Yeast infections are usually caused by yeast overgrowth in the parts of the body where it is normally found. Infections have a variety of causes, including:
Who can get a yeast infection?
Some people are more likely to get a yeast infection than others, including those who:
Diagnosing a yeast infection
If you are seeking treatment for a vaginal yeast infection, your doctor will first complete a vaginal exam to ensure proper diagnosis. They may take a sample of vaginal discharge for examination. You should always be sure to get a doctor’s opinion when experiencing vaginal discomfort because at-home diagnoses are often faulty.
Treatments for a yeast infection
After you have been diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe medication to get rid of the yeast infection. The medications used to treat yeast infections are antifungals either applied topically as a cream, taken orally as a pill, or used as suppositories placed in the vagina.
Oral treatment in the form of Fluconazole is available by prescription. However, it may take one week for the complete resolution of symptoms.
There are several ways you can prevent a vaginal yeast infection or reinfection. These include:
- Keeping the vaginal area clean and dry
- Avoiding the use of harsh soap and perfumed feminine hygiene products
- Not douching
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes and avoiding pantyhose
- Wearing underwear made of cotton
- Wiping from the front to the back after using the toilet
Complications and side effects of a yeast infection
If your yeast infection remains untreated for a long time it could develop into complications. Here are some signs that may show you are developing a complication:
- Symptoms like redness, swelling, and itching become so severe that it causes tears or sores
- A recurrence of a yeast infection four or more times in one year
How long does it take to get rid of a yeast infection while pregnant?
Vaginal yeast infections are common during pregnancy. You’re significantly more likely to get one while pregnant due to rising estrogen levels. These hormonal changes cause an environment where the candida yeast can flourish.
You can also get a yeast infection from:
- Your period
- Douching or using perfumed vaginal sprays
- Sexual intercourse
- Birth control pills
Possible complications of a yeast infection while pregnant
If you have a vaginal yeast infection when you give birth, the baby can catch it. When the baby passes through the birth canal, it comes into contact with all the yeast fungi.
You can usually see symptoms of an oral yeast infection in infants by looking in their mouth. White, pillowy sores can be found on the tongue and inside the cheeks of infants infected with yeast fungi, also known as oral thrush.
This can cause issues, especially if the infant is breastfed. Oral thrush can cause your baby to resist feeding due to pain in the mouth. They can also spread it to the mother, causing extreme discomfort and pain in the nipples and breasts.
While uncomplicated oral thrush in infants is relatively common and easy to treat, it can be difficult to totally eliminate the fungus. That’s because the mother and infant can reinfect each other if one still carries the fungus, even after taking medication.
Getting rid of a yeast infection while pregnant
You can buy over-the-counter medications to relieve the symptoms of a yeast infection while pregnant. However, you should first confirm with a physician that the symptoms you’re experiencing are in fact due to a yeast infection.
Medication for yeast infections
Most yeast infections can be cured within two weeks with over-the-counter medication. Treating a yeast infection while pregnant can take longer because your medication options are more limited.
Oral medications to treat vaginal yeast infections aren’t recommended when you’re pregnant.
When you’re pregnant, you can safely use cream and ointments containing:
The ointment is applied directly on the affected area.
If you’re fighting a yeast infection, taking these precautions will help promote a fast recovery and avoid reinfection.
- Wear cotton underwear. Candida fungus thrives in damp environments, so it’s important to keep yourself as dry as possible. Cotton is breathable and helps avoid sweating.
- Don’t use scented soaps or feminine hygiene sprays ‘down there’. Scented products can mess with your vagina’s delicate pH balance.
- Wipe from front to back. Don’t help bacteria travel to your vagina.
- Change out of damp clothes right away. Staying in wet swimsuits or gym clothes for too long can promote fungus growth.
Yeast infections happen when your bacterial balance is off. Eating foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt can help restore the balance.
You should consult your doctor before introducing new foods to your diet while pregnant.
Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Yeast Infection."
Mayo Clinic: "Yeast Infection (vaginal)."
National Cancer Institute: "Yeast Infection."
PennState Student Affairs: "Yeast Infection."
University of Michigan: "Vaginal Yeast Infections."
UCDAVIS: "Yeast Infections (vaginal)."
Birth Injury Help Center: "Pregnancy and Yeast Infections."
CDC: "A Diagnostic Test to Detect Different Vaginal Yeast Infection Types."
CDC: "Vaginal Candidiasis."
Family Doctor: "What is a vaginal yeast infection?"
Intermountain Healthcare: "Preventing Vaginal Yeast Infections With Lifestyle and Diet Changes."
Mayo Clinic: "Yeast infection during pregnancy: Over-the-counter treatment ok?"
The Pharmaceutical Journal: Oral Candidiasis: Causes, types, and treatment.
Top The Fastest Way To Get Rid of a Yeast Infection Related Articles
Female Screening TestsWhat is a health screening? Why is it important to know your blood pressure? How long will your health screening take? Learn about wellness screenings for women for breast cancer, HIV, diabetes, osteoporosis, skin cancer, and more.
Exercise & PregnancyPregnancy exercises and workouts for moms-to-be include Kegel exercises and prenatal yoga. A prenatal workout is an important part of healthy living. Try these safe exercises for pregnancy.
25 Hormone Imbalance Symptoms and SignsHormone imbalance involves changes in estrogen, progesterone, and other hormone levels. Hormonal imbalance in women may cause symptoms like weight gain, hot flashes, fatigue, and acne. Hormonal changes happen in menopause and at other times. Women with hormone imbalances can seek treatment from medications like triptans and SSRIs.
How Long Does it Take for a Vaginal Suppository to Absorb?Vaginal suppositories take between 15 and 30 minutes to dissolve and get absorbed into the body. The absorption of a vaginal suppository depends on several factors, including the type of suppository, active ingredient, pH and moisture level of the vaginal environment, and the size and shape of the suppository. The time for the absorption process of a vaginal suppository to complete can vary widely and is difficult to determine.
Is a Yeast Infection Contagious?Yeast is a fungus 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.
Pregnancy Diet (Menu Plans)When a woman is pregnant, she needs more vitamins, minerals, and other foods in her diet to stay healthy and deliver a healthy baby. A healthy pregnancy diet menu plan should consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats (unless you are vegan or vegetarian), and dairy. Examples of healthy pregnancy diet meal plans include holistic pregnancy diet, vegan or vegetarian diet, and low-carb diets. Begin your healthy eating plan around three months before you begin trying to conceive, and follow the same eating plan until after you have stopped breastfeeding. If you are overweight or obese, being pregnant is not the right time to try to lose weight. Discuss your options with your health care professional.
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.
Side Effects of Nutritional YeastNutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, meaning the yeast cells are killed while being processed and the inactive yeast is the final product. Nutritional yeast may cause digestive problems, migraines and facial flushing.
Oral Thrush in ChildrenYeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida. Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth and throat. Oral thrush and yeast infections are treated orally or topically with an antifungal antibiotic called nystatin.
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 Happens if You Don't Treat a Yeast Infection?Yeast infections are contagious. They can be transmitted through sexual contact. Those with weak immunity have a high risk of the infection. Yeast infections can be vaginal (candidiasis), oral (thrush) or penile. Untreated yeast infections may spread to other areas, cause symptoms or pass to others.
Women's health is an important topic area to guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur. Educating yourself so that the transitions into different phases of life is key to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
Vaginal Yeast Infection
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 includes 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 and thrush. Signs and symptoms of thrush include thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base that 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 bloodstream 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 WomenSTDs, also termed sexually transmitted diseases, are infections that are mainly transmitted to others during direct sexual contact. A yeast infection is the invasion and multiplication of a fungus (yeast) in or on the body.