If you think you have a vaginal infection, your best bet is to see your doctor. Most women opt for a visit to a gynecologist, but a primary care physician can also diagnose infections. Your doctor will do a pH test and assess your symptoms and may take a simple swab for examination under a microscope before providing a diagnosis. If you have a yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication or recommend an over-the-counter treatment. If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Make sure you use all of the medicine your doctor prescribes, even if you start to feel better.
Vaginal Yeast Infections are caused when there is an overgrowth of yeast, a fungus (ew!) that lives in the vagina. Typically, beneficial vaginal bacteria like Lactobacillus help keep other organisms (like the yeast) under control. But, when the beneficial bacteria cannot keep up and yeast overgrows, you can get a yeast infection. So how do you know if it is a Yeast Infection? Yeast Infections are usually signified by itching and burning in the vagina and around the vulva. A white vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese and may be odorless or have a yeasty smell (like bread or beer).

This resonates with me so much. I have been to two doctors in the past 4 1/2 months trying to get relief with negative yeast tests but yeast symptoms. Is there a specific kind of GYN dr that I should look for? Is there specific training or professional affiliation that share the same school of thought? Ones that are advocates and really look at all possibilites?


In today’s age of unpredictable waiting rooms and swamped doctors, online services like PlushCare save you time and stress. All our visits with patients are confidential and convenient and require as little as a phone or video consultation. This can be especially helpful for addressing personal health problems, especially when they are of a sensitive nature.
While it’s completely normal for your vagina to harbor some bacteria and yeast, certain factors can cause a fungus called Candida to grow out of control. This results in itching, burning, swelling, pain when you pee, and thick cottage cheese-like discharge—the telltale signs of a yeast infection. So it makes sense, then, that you’d want to do everything you can to get rid of one ASAP.
Vaginal yeast infections are due to excessive growth of Candida.[1] These yeast are normally present in the vagina in small numbers.[1] It is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection; however, it may occur more often in those who are frequently sexually active.[1][2] Risk factors include taking antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS.[2] Eating a diet high in simple sugar may also play a role.[1] Tight clothing, type of underwear, and personal hygiene do not appear to be factors.[2] Diagnosis is by testing a sample of vaginal discharge.[1] As symptoms are similar to that of the sexually transmitted infections, chlamydia and gonorrhea, testing may be recommended.[1]
Hi Doc.I am quite impressed with this article. I find it very informative and it gives one a clear understanding about issues we or I have come as a woman. Clearly your article reveals the great possibility of being misdiagnosed when thorough examination is not done. This means one has to visit the doctor again to be treated for the same infection. Another issue thatis of concern to me is when health practioners don’t bother to explain to their patients about whatever infection or sickness that affects them(patients). Understanding a sickness allows patients to take necessary protective measures to prevent reinfection.

A yeast infection is simply an overgrowth of candida, a fungus found naturally in your vagina, says Pari Ghodsi, M.D., an ob-gyn and women’s health expert practicing in LA. A fungus? In your lady bits? Yep, it’s all part of the delicate microbiome of organisms that keeps things running smoothly downstairs. When all is working properly, the bacteria in your vagina keep the fungus in check, but if something throws off the balance you can end up with an overgrowth of bacteria (bacterial vaginosis) or candida (a yeast infection), she explains.
Although there isn't any conclusive scientific research proving that eating yogurt every day stops Candida albicans from every multiplying into an infection, a lot of women swear by it. If you want to look into it for yourself and see if yogurt helps keep your vagina happy, you can either treat yourself to a little cup of all-natural, unsweetened yogurt each day, or you can dip your tampon in a little yogurt before insertion during the middle of your period, to give your vagina an extra boost of yummy bacteria.

Short-course vaginal therapy. Antifungal medications are available as creams, ointments, tablets and suppositories. An antifungal regimen that lasts one, three or seven days will usually clear a yeast infection. A number of medications have been shown to be effective, including butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat 3), and terconazole (Terazol 3). Some of these are available by prescription only, while others are available over-the-counter. Side effects might include slight burning or irritation during application. You may need to use an alternative form of birth control. Because the suppositories and creams are oil-based, they could potentially weaken latex condoms and diaphragms.
Studies find up to an 89 percent error rate in self-diagnosis of yeast infections. Thus, if you think that you have a yeast infection, there's a high chance you're wrong. If your symptoms don't ease after a few days of self-treatment with OTC medicine, or if they return promptly, see your health care professional. Keep in mind, however, that vaginal and vulvar irritation may persist for two weeks.
Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic that some women claim is useful for treating yeast infections that are resistant to other remedies. According to a 2009 study, topical boric acid showed encouraging results as a treatment for vaginal infections. Some health websites claim boric acid vaginal suppositories may also be effective in treating vaginal yeast infections.
When you do develop a yeast infection, it’s not comfortable, says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD. However, yeast infections can be confused with other vaginal issues like STIs, a skin allergy to latex or feminine hygiene products, a lack of estrogen in the vagina, or tears in the vagina, says Sherry A. Ross, MD, a women's health expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period. Still, there are a few distinct symptoms to have on your radar:

Another source of viral vaginitis is the human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that is also transmitted through sexual contact. HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. This virus also causes painful warts to grow on the vagina, rectum, vulva, or groin. However, visible warts are not always present, in which case, the virus is generally detected by a test for HPV done with a Pap test.


If you are using a vaginal cream or suppository for treatment, refrain from using tampons, as they can block or remove the medication. Opt for a deodorant-free pad or liner if menstruating or just to protect your clothes from leakage, and change it often to prevent additional moisture build-up. Douching is never advised and it is especially to be avoided while you clearing a yeast infection.
When it comes to hormones, the female sex hormone progesterone can increase yeast infections in the vaginal area because it increases the production of glycogen, a natural starch that’s converted into sugar easily. Yeast can thrive off of these starch molecules, and because women have naturally higher progesterone levels than men, they’re more susceptible to yeast overgrowth.
So, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. To summarize our point: vaginal discharge is a normal physiological part of our bodies. It is important to know what’s normal for you so that if something changes, you know when to see a doctor. We encourage you to get the dialogue going and share your knowledge about vaginal discharge with your friends, family, and loved ones. The more you know, the healthier you are!

Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic that some women claim is useful for treating yeast infections that are resistant to other remedies. According to a 2009 study, topical boric acid showed encouraging results as a treatment for vaginal infections. Some health websites claim boric acid vaginal suppositories may also be effective in treating vaginal yeast infections.
This resonates with me so much. I have been to two doctors in the past 4 1/2 months trying to get relief with negative yeast tests but yeast symptoms. Is there a specific kind of GYN dr that I should look for? Is there specific training or professional affiliation that share the same school of thought? Ones that are advocates and really look at all possibilites?
One housekeeping point. When I write posts like this I invariably get nasty comments from women or sometimes even doctors telling me I’m wrong/stupid/don’t know their body/asking if I am a real doctor. Those comments will not be accepted because it will be clear that you have not read the post, that you are rude, or both. The point of this post is to explain how everyone who thinks a chunky white = yeast has been duped.
The OTC products available for vaginal yeast infections typically have one of four active ingredients: butoconazole nitrate, clotrimazole, miconazole, and tioconazole. These drugs are in the same anti-fungal family and work in similar ways to break down the cell wall of the Candida organism until it dissolves. These products are safe to use if you are pregnant.

In today’s age of unpredictable waiting rooms and swamped doctors, online services like PlushCare save you time and stress. All our visits with patients are confidential and convenient and require as little as a phone or video consultation. This can be especially helpful for addressing personal health problems, especially when they are of a sensitive nature.

You can treat a yeast infection with over-the-counter antifungal medications (creams, ointments, or suppositories for your vagina), or your doctor may opt to give you a prescription for a one-day oral antifungal like fluconazole. Changing up habits to ones that support vaginal health—like staying away from tight clothing, using an unscented body wash, changing pads and tampons often, and changing out of workout clothes after exercise—can help lessen the aggravation of symptoms or decrease the likelihood of recurrence, Dr. Atashroo says.
Birth control and yeast infections: What's the link? Both hormonal and barrier methods of birth control can increase the risk of a yeast infection. Symptoms include itching, redness, and swelling around the genital area. Over-the-counter antifungal medication may help, but they can also decrease the effectiveness of birth control. Get some tips on how to avoid infection. Read now
Yeast likes warm, wet places to grow and prefers to nestle into folds of redundant skin. Fungal overgrowth on skin can appear as ringworm, a ring-shaped, red rash, with a wavy, wormlike border on the scalp, extremities, chest and back. Besides ringworm, the same fungus is also responsible for athlete’s foot, jock itch, diaper rash and vaginal infections. This rash can cause itching, burning, small blisters, inflammation and cracked, scaly skin especially between fingers and toes and within skin folds. Itching and burning may worsen as the infection spreads. Yeast can also spread if you scratch the infection and then touch yourself elsewhere, especially moist areas like the feet, groin and underarms. The fungus can also be transmitted to other parts of the body from contaminated bedding, towels or clothing.
Condoms: The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) lists spermicide — including the kind found on condoms — as a leading cause of vaginal irritation, which can lead to vaginal yeast infections. Also, beware of using condoms if you’re already treating a yeast infection: Some medications make condoms more likely to break, ruining their effectiveness at preventing disease and pregnancy, according to Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that runs sexual health and family planning clinics.

The fungus candida causes a vaginal yeast infection. Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria produce acid, which prevents yeast overgrowth. That balance can be disrupted and lead to a yeast infection. Too much yeast in your vagina causes vaginal itching, burning and other classic signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.
Maintenance plan. For recurrent yeast infections, your doctor might recommend a medication routine to prevent yeast overgrowth and future infections. Maintenance therapy starts after a yeast infection is cleared with treatment. You may need a longer treatment of up to 14 days to clear the yeast infection before beginning maintenance therapy. Therapies may include a regimen of oral fluconazole tablets once a week for six months. Some doctors prescribe clotrimazole as a vaginal suppository used once a week instead of an oral medication.
Antibiotic and antifungal medications are effective in eradicating the major infectious causes of vaginal discharge. Both gonorrhea and Chlamydia, when untreated, may progress to more severe infections involving the internal genital organs, known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause damage to the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and related structures and lead to ectopic pregnancies, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and other serious consequences.
Vaginitis can also be complicated. Women can have yeast and it not be the cause of their symptoms, just like people can have an abnormal MRI and have no back pain. If the treatment takes away the yeast but not the symptoms then the yeast was not the cause. This is why follow-up is important and cultures offer more precision. If you think you are suffering from recurrent yeast you need a cuture as 2/3 of women diagnosed with “chronic vaginal yeast” have negative cultures and thus have something else.
Yeast infections are treated with a pill that you swallow, or with a vaginal cream or vaginal suppository (a partially solid material that you insert into your vagina, where it dissolves and releases medicine). Your health care provider will explain to you what your choices are and if one is better than another for you. The pill is especially good if you don’t want to put cream inside of your vagina. Some anti-yeast vaginal creams are sold over-the-counter (without a prescription) in pharmacies. Other anti-yeast vaginal creams need a prescription. If you use a cream, then you should not use tampons during the treatment since it will absorb the medication and make it less effective.
Try it: If you have a yeast infection that won’t quit, talk to your doctor about going on fluconazole. Two 150-milligram pills taken three days apart “is a common treatment” for a yeast infection, says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn in Santa Monica and author of She-ology. For milder infections, your doctor may recommend one 150-milligram dose, but “for severe or chronic infections, treatment regimens using fluconazole can be taken daily or weekly for six months,” she says.
“Yeast infection” is the term typically used to describe vaginal candidiasis. At some point in their lives, three out of every four women will experience vaginal candidiasis. But vaginal yeast infections are not the only type of infection caused by an overgrowth of yeast. When C. albicans proliferates in the mouth or throat, it’s called thrush or oral candidiasis. This condition mostly affects young babies, elderly adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Candida overgrowth in babies can also cause diaper rash.
Aside from the discomfort of persistent itching, you can’t assume that a yeast infection will simply go away. “Untreated yeast infections can lead to long-term vaginal irritation and discomfort,” says Dr. Quimper. A yeast infection is likely not dangerous, she says, but that “yeast infection” might also be something else, like a sexually transmitted infection, that could cause bigger problems. Here are healthy secrets your vagina wants to tell you.
If you've had a yeast infection before and now have the same symptoms—vaginal discharge that has a yeast-like smell,with burning, itching and discomfort—self-treatment with an over-the-counter antifungal treatment is generally acceptable. However, many vaginal infections, including some that can cause serious reproductive health conditions, such as premature birth or increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, have similar symptoms. If you're not sure, have never had a yeast infection before, are pregnant or have a health condition, consult a health care professional for an evaluation of your symptoms before treating yourself with OTC medications.
Normal vaginal discharge is a healthy bodily function. It is mostly the means taken by your body system to clean and protect the vagina. When you work out or engage in other physical activities, the tendency is for your discharge to increase. Also you would tend to experience additional discharge sexual arousal, ovulation, when you use birth control pill, and when you are suffering from emotional stress.
Breast Yeast Infection – Also known as Mammary candida, appears especially in women who are breastfeeding. Irritation of the nipple can lead to a yeast infection of the areola. This can be uncomfortable and hard to deal with, as the yeast infection may transfer to your baby’s mouth, and then back to you. If you are breastfeeding and experience these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately to begin a treatment regimen for both you and your baby. Usually, you can continue to breastfeed your baby as normal throughout the treatment process. Symptoms of a breast yeast infection are: Bright red nipples or areolas; Small cuts around the nipple; and Burning sensation around the nipple during and after breastfeeding.
Another source of viral vaginitis is the human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that is also transmitted through sexual contact. HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. This virus also causes painful warts to grow on the vagina, rectum, vulva, or groin. However, visible warts are not always present, in which case, the virus is generally detected by a test for HPV done with a Pap test.

Birth control and yeast infections: What's the link? Both hormonal and barrier methods of birth control can increase the risk of a yeast infection. Symptoms include itching, redness, and swelling around the genital area. Over-the-counter antifungal medication may help, but they can also decrease the effectiveness of birth control. Get some tips on how to avoid infection. Read now

Jump up ^ Mendling W, Brasch J (2012). "Guideline vulvovaginal candidosis (2010) of the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics, the Working Group for Infections and Infectimmunology in Gynecology and Obstetrics, the German Society of Dermatology, the Board of German Dermatologists and the German Speaking Mycological Society". Mycoses. 55 Suppl 3: 1–13. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0507.2012.02185.x. PMID 22519657.
Getting your first period is a right of passage for women, and guess what? So is your first yeast infection. The issue, which doctors also call candidal vulvovaginitis or vaginal thrush, is incredibly common, affecting 3 out of 4 women in their lifetimes. Some even experience it 4 or more times in a year. (Though we really, really hope that doesn't happen to you.)
Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance in the vaginal flora (the natural bacteria in the vagina), and things that can cause that imbalance are changes in diet, medications you may be taking that wipe out natural bacteria in the vagina (like antibiotics), or other illnesses like diabetes and autoimmune disorders that raise your risk for infection. The most common antibiotics that tend to lead to a yeast infection are those used to treat urinary tract infections, though McHugh said that's likely because doctors just prescribe those antibiotics to women more often.
Some study reviews have found no benefit of this approach, while others say there may be some. Studies are ongoing in the use of a slow-release vaginal product that has specific lactobacilli. However, it should be noted that people with a suppressed immune system or recent abdominal surgery should avoid probiotic supplements. Supplements aren't regulated by the FDA. However, enjoying yogurt or kefir as part of a balanced diet poses little risk.
It’s possible that eating one cup of yogurt (which contains acidophilus bacteria) a day is helpful in preventing yeast infections. However, eating yogurt alone will not cure or prevent vaginal yeast infections. If you have to take antibiotics and are getting lots of yeast infections, talk to your health care provider about using an anti-yeast cream or pill.
Try it: You can generally buy these online or at your local pharmacy. Like OTC vaginal yeast infection medications, you simply insert them vaginally, often for 14 days in a row, Dr. Ross says. This “has been an effective alternative to traditional medication,” she adds. However, it’s worth pointing out that these suppositories can irritate your skin.
Burning while urinating can be an excruciating experience. Luckily, it’s less common among yeast infection symptoms, but it’s still something that patients may notice, says Megan Quimper, MD, an ob-gyn at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Urine can aggravate already raw, irritated tissues. Burning is a common symptom of a urinary tract infection, which also includes a persistent urge to go and cloudy urine, according to the Mayo Clinic. Talk to your doctor about what may be going on with you and brush up on these 9 symptoms of a UTI.
Vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidal vulvovaginitis and vaginal thrush, is excessive growth of yeast in the vagina that results in irritation.[5][1] The most common symptom is vaginal itching, which may be severe.[1] Other symptoms include burning with urination, white and thick vaginal discharge that typically does not smell bad, pain with sex, and redness around the vagina.[1] Symptoms often worsen just before a woman's period.[2]
Burning while urinating can be an excruciating experience. Luckily, it’s less common among yeast infection symptoms, but it’s still something that patients may notice, says Megan Quimper, MD, an ob-gyn at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Urine can aggravate already raw, irritated tissues. Burning is a common symptom of a urinary tract infection, which also includes a persistent urge to go and cloudy urine, according to the Mayo Clinic. Talk to your doctor about what may be going on with you and brush up on these 9 symptoms of a UTI.
It's not clear whether vaginal yeast infections can be transferred during sexual intercourse. However, if your sexual partner has the symptoms of candida—redness, irritation and/or itching at the tip of the penis in a male—he may need to be treated. In rare cases, treatment of partners of women with recurrent yeast infection is recommended. Additionally, recurrent yeast infections may be representative of a different problem. Thus, it is important to see your health care provider for an evaluation.
You can ask your physician for a prescription for Diflucan (fluconazole) if you'd prefer taking a single oral dose of medication over using a vaginal cream or suppository. The drug is appropriate for uncomplicated cases and had only mild to moderate side effects—including headache, dizziness, diarrhea, heartburn, and stomach pain—in clinical trials. However, oral fluconazole should not be taken if you are pregnant, as it can cause birth defects.
Let’s say you’ve had a diagnosed yeast infection in the past, you self-treated a recent one in the last month or two, and it seems like the infection didn’t go away—or it went away but now it’s back. That might mean the treatment simply masked the symptoms rather than eradicating the overgrowth completely. “If your symptoms aren't better and they don't stay better, then you really have to go in and get checked,” Dr. Eckert says.

Essential oils should be mixed with carrier oils before use and never applied directly to the skin. People can mix 3-5 drops of oil of oregano essential oil in 1 ounce of sweet almond oil, warmed coconut oil, or olive oil. A tampon should be soaked in this mixture for a few minutes, then insert and change every 2-4 hours during the day. People should not leave a medicated tampon in for more than 6 hours. It is a good idea to test for allergies to oil of oregano on the forearm before use.
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