What Is A Yeast Infection
Up to 75% of women or people assigned female at birth (AFAB) will have at least one vaginal yeast infection in their life, and over half will get two or more in their lifetime. Yeast infections are the second most common cause of vaginitis (bacterial vaginosis is the most common).
what is a yeast infection
Symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to the symptoms people feel when they have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or other vaginal infection. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms so they can examine you.
Antifungal medications treat most vaginal yeast infections. The specific medication depends on the severity of the infection. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the best treatment based on your symptoms and condition.
Antifungal medications work by fighting yeast overgrowth in your body. Medications are either oral (usually given in one dose of fluconazole by mouth) or topical (used daily for up to seven days). You may apply topical medications to your vaginal area or place them inside your vagina (suppository) using an applicator. Some common antifungal medications are miconazole (Monistat) and terconazole.
Your healthcare provider will use your test results to make sure you receive the right treatment. It can be important to treat the underlying cause while treating your yeast infection. Managing the reason for the infection can help prevent future vaginal yeast infections.
A vaginal yeast infection isn't considered a sexually transmitted infection. But, there's an increased risk of vaginal yeast infection at the time of first regular sexual activity. There's also some evidence that infections may be linked to mouth to genital contact (oral-genital sex).
Candida albicans is the most common type of fungus to cause yeast infections. Yeast infections caused by other types of candida fungus can be more difficult to treat, and generally need more-aggressive therapies.
Candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida. Candida normally lives on skin and inside the body such as in the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing any problems. Candida can cause an infection if conditions change inside the vagina to encourage its growth. Things like hormones, medicines, or changes in the immune system can make infection more likely. The common term for candidiasis in the vagina is a vaginal yeast infection. Other names for this infection are vaginal candidiasis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, or candidal vaginitis.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms. These symptoms are similar to those of other types of vaginal infections. A healthcare provider can tell you if you have vaginal candidiasis and how to treat it.
Wearing cotton underwear might help reduce the chances of getting a yeast infection.2 Because taking antibiotics can lead to vaginal candidiasis, take these medicines only when prescribed and exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. Learn more about when antibiotics work and when you do not need them.
Scientists estimate that about 20% of women normally have Candida in the vagina without having any symptoms.2 Candida can cause an infection if the conditions change inside the vagina to encourage its growth. Infection can happen because of hormones, medicines, or changes in the immune system.
If you have vaginal candidiasis, likely you will use antifungal medicine to treat it.3 Often, the treatment is an antifungal medicine applied inside the vagina or a single dose of fluconazole taken by mouth. You may need other treatments if your infection is:
Vaginal candidiasis is common. In the United States, it is the second most common type of vaginal infection after bacterial vaginal infections.2 An estimated 1.4 million outpatient visits for vaginal candidiasis occur annually.4 The number of vaginal candidiasis cases is unknown.
Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida. Some species of Candida can cause infection in people; the most common is Candida albicans. Candida normally lives on skin and inside the body, such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing problems. Candida can cause infections if it grows out of control or if it enters deep into the body. For example, it can cause infections in the bloodstream or internal organs like the kidney, heart, or brain.
Candida auris is an emerging, multidrug-resistant type of Candida. It presents a serious global health threat, including in the United States. C. auris can cause severe infections and spreads easily in healthcare facilities.
Most of the time this infection is caused by a tiny fungus called "Candida albicans," "Candida," or yeast. It is normal to have a small amount of Candida in your vagina. Most people also have Candida in their mouth and lower intestinal tract. This fungus usually causes no symptoms.
A healthy vagina has a balance between healthy bacteria and unhealthy organisms. An infection occurs when something happens to allow the Candida fungus to outnumber the healthy bacteria in your vagina. When a woman has too much Candida in her vagina, then we say she has a yeast infection. A yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD) because you don't have to have sex to get it.
To know for sure, you should visit a health care provider. He or she will give you a pelvic exam and take a sample of your discharge. A microscope will be used to look at your discharge in the office, or it will be sent to a lab for testing. There are other types of vaginal infections with symptoms similar to a yeast infection, but they will not respond to medicine for a yeast infection. This is why it is important to visit a health care provider so you can be sure what infection you have.
Usually, your sex partner(s) does not need to be examined. However, if your infection keeps coming back, or if your partner has symptoms, your health care provider will also want to examine your partner(s).
If you have more questions about yeast infections, or you want to know how to find a clinic near you, call your local health department or family planning program. You can also find a testing center near you at
Most yeast infections lead to itching, burning, and/or redness in or around the vagina. Vaginal itching usually gets worse the longer you have the infection. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful. In extreme cases, you can get fissures or sores on your vagina or vulva. If you have lots of irritation, it may sting when you pee.
Yeast infections can usually be cured easily in a few days with anti-fungal medicine. You can get medicated creams or suppositories for yeast infections (like Monistat and other brands) at a drugstore, over-the-counter without a prescription.
Make sure you follow the directions and use all of the medicine, even if your symptoms go away before you finish. You can also treat yeast infections with a single pill that you swallow (called Diflucan or Fluconazole). You need a prescription from your doctor to get the yeast infection pill.
Even though yeast infections can be really itchy, try not to scratch. It can make irritation worse or cause cuts in your skin, which can spread germs and lead to more infection. There are over-the-counter creams that you can use on your vulva to help calm the irritation. Your doctor can also give you tips on relieving burning and itching.
In the United States, around 90 percent of vaginal yeast infections are caused by the species C. albicans. Most other cases are caused by C. glabrata. Less frequently, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, and C. krusei cause vaginal yeast infections. (6,7)
To diagnose a yeast infection, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history, perform a pelvic exam, and take a sample of vaginal discharge. A lab technician will examine the discharge to determine if there is an overgrowth of candida.
But up to 8 percent of women develop recurrent or chronic yeast infections (at least four infections per year). These infections are typically due to non-albicans species and may require different treatment. (3,7)
Vaginal yeast infections are treated with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal creams, ointments, tablets, suppositories, or oral medications. You will need to take the medication for 1 to 7 days, depending on which medication you are using.
If you have recurrent yeast infections, you may require multiple doses of fluconazole in the first week of infection, followed by at least six months of maintenance therapy (periodic fluconazole doses depending on the presence of symptoms). (11,12,13)
Can home remedies and natural cures help treat and prevent vaginal yeast infections? Many women wonder what else they can do to deal with yeast problems. Outside over-the-counter products and prescription medication for vaginal yeast infections, some women choose to treat their ailments with natural or home remedies.
Some remedies, at least, appear to be helpful for vaginal yeast infections, though more research is needed. For example, using probiotics as an adjuvant therapy could help cure yeast infections, but the quality of evidence is low or very low, according to a 2017 review. (14)
Yeast infections are not considered sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as most are not transmitted person to person and they can occur in people who have never had sex. But having sex with a vaginal yeast infection can be, well, complicated.
As many as 75 percent of women will get a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lives. And 50 percent of these women will experience more than one infection. (17) As many as 8 percent of women experience recurrent or chronic yeast infections, with four or more infections in a single year. (3,7)
Both the increased candida colonization and yeast infection rates during pregnancy appear to be caused by several pregnancy-related factors, including increased estrogen levels, reduced immunity, and increased concentrations of sugar (a food source for yeast) in vaginal secretions. (18) 041b061a72