Vaginal Yeast Infections (Candidiasis)

A vaginal yeast infection, which is also sometimes called vulvovaginal candidiasis, happens when the healthy yeast that normally lives in your vagina grows out of control. Thrush is very common in pregnant women as a result of high levels of reproductive hormones. Itching and redness of the vulva can also be caused by a reaction to vaginal products such as soap, bath oils, spermicidal jelly, or douches. Most yeast infections are on the surface (superficial) and easily treated; however, serious life-threatening yeast infection can develop throughout the body (systemic) in people with very weak immune systems.

  • Overtreating yeast infections can actually increase your resistance to treatments, and by self-diagnosing and treating, you could delay getting the treatment you really need.
  • Is candida vulvovaginitis contagious?
  • The symptoms of a yeast infection can be similar to other common vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, so talking to a healthcare provider is a good idea to make sure the proper treatment is provided.
  • Vaginal yeast infections are irritating and uncomfortable.
  • Your doctor may take a sample for examination.
  • Infants may develop a candidal diaper rash in the diaper area.
  • One of the studies found the yoghurt and honey mixture provided better relief from symptoms such as itching (26).

This condition mostly affects young babies, elderly adults, and people with weakened immune systems. You may have a physical examination, which includes a pelvic and vaginal examination. Signs and Symptoms: Vaginal candidiasis is usually treated with antifungal medicine. To help, we've summarized three common signs of a yeast infection, signaling it's time to see a doctor. This can help relieve your symptoms and causes fewer side effects than antifungal cream. The wet mount can also help rule out other infections, including bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.

You do not always need a test to diagnose thrush. Women with vaginal yeast infections can have swelling and redness in the vaginal area accompanied by a thick, white discharge. In adults, oral yeast infections become more common with increased age. Yeast infections aren’t an STD.


Have any other symptoms that may point to a vaginal infection. How do you prevent vaginal thrush? Tight underwear made of material such as nylon or Lycra that traps moisture and heat, especially in the summer. They are often less expensive than brand-name medicines. Even something as simple as a small cut can itch and feel irritated as it is healing. At least three out of four women will experience thrush at some point in their lives, but do you know what it is and how to deal with it? Guys who have diabetes or are on antibiotics for a long time are more prone to this infection. If you have never been diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection, see your doctor.

One in five people who are treated for trichomoniasis will get the condition again within three months (32). Yeast already live on and in your body. The level of acidity gives an indication of whether a discharge is due to thrush or to bacterial vaginosis.

Symptoms which suggest your symptoms are NOT due to thrush include: It is quite uncommon in prepubertal and postmenopausal females. Otherwise, you should see your GP for advice. And when that happens, the symptoms are too aggravating to ignore. If you practice good genital hygiene, you can help prevent infection. Yeast infections can be very irritating and uncomfortable. Alternatively a lower dose is used for several days.

  • To help avoid them, follow your doctor's advice, wear cotton underwear, and try to wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • The rash itself is bright red, raised, and bordered by small red bumps.
  • A doctor will examine the genital area to look for signs of other conditions and take a swab of the vaginal discharge for laboratory testing.
  • However, women who have recurrent thrush infections, women who wish to avoid antifungal creams and those who can’t afford them, might benefit from trialling a yoghurt and honey remedy.
  • Treatment for thrush involves the use of anti-fungal creams inserted in the vagina with an applicator, vaginal pessaries and/or oral medication.

Medical Dictionary

Boric acid capsules used vaginally for 2 weeks are about 70% effective at curing a yeast infection, but can cause irritation (6,9). What causes vaginal thrush? (2) Vulvovaginitis or Vaginitis caused by Candida. One small study showed that among women who believed they had a yeast infection, only 1 out of 3 of them actually had one, and women who had been diagnosed in the past by a healthcare provider weren’t any better at correctly making the diagnosis (7). A man who has not had treatment for thrush previously should see a doctor before treating themselves. Some types of “yeast” infections are harder to treat and are caused by other species.


Most of the time, vaginitis symptoms are treatable. Candidiasis (yeast infection), cutaneous candidiasis can be effectively treated with a variety of topical antifungal drugs such as powders, lotions and creams. Windham is a Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist in Tennessee. What causes vaginal discharge?

You can diagnose yourself at home. I have oral thrush, which treatment is best for me?, a female might have unusual menstrual cramping whereas gentlemen might have prostatitis. A healthcare provider can tell you if you have vaginal candidiasis and how to treat it. Yeast infections, also called candidiasis, are caused by an overabundance of Candida albicans.

The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. Vaginal discharge is a normal process which keeps the mucosal lining of the vagina moist. Yeast is a fungus normally found on your skin. Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. As with women experiencing symptoms for the first time, when symptoms occur, women who have already had the condition should consult a doctor, when symptoms occur, rather than attempting to self-diagnose.

Conditions That Can Mimic A Yeast Infection

In addition to an examination and a discussion of the affected person’s medical history, those experiencing recurrent bouts of candida vulvovaginitis are likely to have a swab sample taken from their vagina. This powerful single-dose product is available in the Ovule® form for use day or night and will stay in place during daily activities, even during exercise. You can buy effective treatments without a prescription from pharmacies. Watchful waiting If you are sure your symptoms are caused by a vaginal yeast infection, waiting several days to see if the symptoms clear up on their own is not harmful, especially if you expect your menstrual period within that time. Have pain during sex or urination. It can begin suddenly, and the symptoms are often intermittent. BMJ Clinical Evidence. Not all women will experience noticeable symptoms of a yeast infection.

It is important to get treatment if you have an infection. Vaginal yeast infection, burke suggests several potential reasons:. Sex hormones coordinate neutrophil immunity in the vagina by controlling chemokine gradients. For those women who have been tested for chlamydia, it is important to have another test three months following treatment, to check you have not been re-infected (29,30).

This kind of yeast infection is actually quite frequent and occurs in 10-42% of people that have been immuno-compromised by diabetes, renal failure, and immuno-suppressive therapies such as corticosteroids. These are available over the counter or by prescription, but it is not recommended that you self-treat without first consulting with a doctor to confirm that you definitely have a yeast infection. Ask your health care provider (HCP) if you should be checked for the other types if your symptoms do not get better. Possible side-effects include: Around 50% of women with BV will be asymptomatic (experience no symptoms) (11). Some things that can cause changes in your vagina’s environment are:

When To See Your Doctor

Have had a previous sexually transmitted infection (or your partner has). Avoiding friction during sexual activity: A vaginal swab test or a sample of your discharge may be sent to a laboratory for further testing. Sometimes thrush causes no symptoms at all. You are not sure that you have a yeast infection. Since your vagina is sensitive, using perfumed or heavily-scented products might actually be the reason your yeast infection showed up. Change out of a wet swimsuit and exercise clothes as soon as you can. He or she may use a cotton swab to get a sample of vaginal secretions for examination under a microscope.

  • However, they can be messy and often take longer to work than systemic treatments.
  • Which explains why Monistat, the makers of a treatment cream for yeast infections, launched their Time for TMI campaign — with it being such a common infection, there's no reason for you to not understand what's happening with your vagina.
  • (5) Candida infection around the nails (Candidal Paronichia).
  • Most often, the condition is caused by changes in the environment of the vagina and gastrointestinal tract, which may be triggered by factors such as the use of certain medications or contraceptive devices, pregnancy and conditions including diabetes and HIV.
  • These are extreme cases indeed but yeast, candida, and fungi have the capability to cause serious problems in the body if allowed to get out of control.
  • The best strategy to avoid being infected with Trichomoniasis is to always practice safe sex.

How Is a Yeast Infection Diagnosed?

There’s some evidence suggesting that Lactobacillus acidophilus (a type of bacteria found in yogurt) and other probiotics help restore beneficial bacteria. In this yeast picture of the spine, you can see where it is marked like the above two pictures. Make sure your sexual partner is clean. Loose-fitting, natural-fibre underwear may be better. How is vaginal thrush diagnosed? Vaginal yeast infections are often self-diagnosed based on symptoms and medical history.

Wearing cotton underwear might help reduce the chances of getting a yeast infection. Antibiotic therapy, hormonal changes, and chronic conditions that weaken the immune system are typical causes of vaginal yeast infections. They look like little white dots against the black of the interior of the lung. This means condoms and diaphragms may break, and you may not be protected from STI or pregnancy. Ask your doctor about using cream topically to relieve itching and burning as well as a one-dose oral medication to clear it up as quickly as possible. Women with HIV—especially women with low CD4 counts—are particularly prone to getting them. Topical antifungal medications, such as clotrimazole or miconazole, are considered safe for use during pregnancy. These infections can be sexually-associated infections because they occur more frequently in women who are sexually active.

Needing to pass urine more often. However, if it does not go away, and if treatment does not remove the infection, it is important to see a doctor to rule out other possible problems, such as diabetes, which can make infection more likely. Symptoms of these infections include a white or yellow cheeselike discharge from the vagina and burning, itching, and redness along the walls and external area of the vagina. Thrush may also be a problem in those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly or persons with AIDS. Your vaginal discharge can say a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Simple changes in daily routines can help prevent future vaginal yeast infections. You have itching, irritation, a burning sensation, and vaginal discharge. Yeast infection symptoms: 5 things you might mistake for a yeast infection. Again, see your GP if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Recurring Thrush

A healthy vagina has many bacteria and a small number of yeast cells. This is not yet certain, however. If the skin around the entrance to your vagina (vulva) is also sore or itchy, you may find it helpful to use an antifungal skin cream in addition to one of the treatments above. When you have your period, change your pads and tampons frequently. A vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, is an inflammation of the vaginal tissue usually caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus commonly found in the vagina.

Your doctor may want to do a vaginal exam. When yeast is the culprit of a diaper rash, it will have a distinctive appearance. The pictures with no white discharge are caused by spore forming yeasts such as candida glabrata.

It can be irritating and is toxic , so s hould be stored safely away from children and animals. But if these symptoms come back often (or don’t respond to the usual treatments), it’s time to visit a doctor for a firm diagnosis. If, after diagnosis, your infection doesn't get better with treatment or comes back several more times within a year (a condition called recurrent or chronic yeast infection), your doctor may order a culture test of your yeast.


If more than the normal amount of yeast grows in the sample over a short period of time (a few days), then your symptoms are likely caused by a yeast infection. This is because vaginal medicine isn't absorbed into your body and only affects the genital area. You may feel more comfortable if you wear breathable cotton underwear and clothes and avoid vaginal sprays and douches. Using corticosteroids, such as prednisone.

Crusts may form on the scalp, possibly causing hair loss.

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Vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidal vulvovaginitis and vaginal thrush, is excessive growth of yeast in the vagina that results in irritation. Just because you don't have symptoms doesn't mean you don't have an infection. Refer to the ‘Vulval Conditions’ fact sheet for more information on these conditions. Avoid washing underwear in biological washing powder and using fabric conditioners. Reasons why treatment may fail include: All are more or less equally effective. What are yeast infection symptoms?

Is It Sexually Transmitted?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 75% of women get at least one yeast infection during their lifetime and 40-45% will have two or more. Don’t use bubble bath or colored/perfumed toilet paper. The scans were done by different medical means. The discharge from thrush is usually creamy white and quite thick, but is sometimes watery. The infection can cause itching, pain, or burning. Stockings rather than tights are preferable.

2020 Jul 1;188(1): The affected person may also be asked about their medical history and whether they have had the condition before. Candida & yeast infections, i’d like to start with a disclaimer… I know I have so many amazing readers and followers who found me during and even before my eating disorder recovery journey (which you can read all about here if that is total news to you!). Since the symptoms of vaginitis can be similar regardless of the cause, it is important that a doctor’s examination and laboratory testing of the discharge are used to confirm the diagnosis of Candida when the initial infection occurs so the correct therapy can begin. The symptoms of vaginal thrush include vulval itching, vulval soreness and irritation, pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse (superficial dyspareunia), pain or discomfort during urination (dysuria) and vaginal discharge, which is usually odourless. Girls who have diabetes that isn't controlled are more likely to get yeast infections.

Vaginal Yeast Infection Signs and Symptoms

You can obtain topical treatments on prescription, or you can buy some of them without a prescription at pharmacies. Some studies suggest that the use of pads and tampons, or wearing tight synthetic clothing increases the risk for yeast infections, while other studies suggest there is no link between these and yeast infections (2,5). When antibiotics fight infections, an unfortunate outcome is that they can sometimes simultaneously kill good bacteria that keeps yeast in balance, Noreen B. Vaginal thrush can be unpleasant and cause significant distress, but can often be effectively managed with treatment. Who is at risk for yeast infections?