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
Vicariotto, F., Del Piano, M., Mogna, L., & Mogna, G. (2012, October). Effectiveness of the association of 2 probiotic strains formulated in a slow release vaginal product, in women affected by vulvovaginal candidiasis: A pilot study [Abstract]. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 46 supp, S73-80. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22955364
Candida albicans is the most common type of yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina, and it may affect skin and other mucous membranes. If the immune system is functioning optimally, this type of yeast infection is rarely serious. However, if the immune system is not functioning properly, the candida infection can migrate to other areas of the body, including the blood and membranes around the heart or brain, causing serious candida symptoms. (1)
According to the Department of Clinical Research at Merck Research Laboratories, candidiasis can become invasive in cancer patients and present a serious complication. (3) In this study, one-third of patients being treated for cancer had “invasive” candidiasis. Chemotherapy and radiation can both work to kill cancerous cells and tumors; however, they also kill off the healthy bacteria that naturally fight candida.
Sarah Harding has written stacks of research articles dating back to 2000. She has consulted in various settings and taught courses focused on psychology. Her work has been published by ParentDish, Atkins and other clients. Harding holds a Master of Science in psychology from Capella University and is completing several certificates through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.
Martinez, R. C. R., Franceschini, S. A., Patta, M. C., Quintana, S. M., Candido, R. C., Ferreira, J. C., . . . Reid, G. (2009, March). Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 48(3), 269–274. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2008.02477.x/full
Taking steps to reduce moisture in the genital area can reduce the chances of developing a yeast infection. Wearing cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch, wearing loose-fitting pants, and avoiding prolonged wearing of wet workout gear or bathing suits are all measures that can help control moisture, and may help reduce the chance of getting a yeast infection.
To diagnose your vaginal symptoms, your health care professional will perform a gynecological examination and check your vagina for inflammation and abnormal discharge. A sample of the vaginal discharge may be taken for laboratory examination under a microscope, or for a yeast culture, test to see if candida fungi grow under laboratory conditions. Looking under a microscope also helps rule out other causes of discharge such as BV or trichomoniasis, which require different treatment.
An infant can develop a vaginal yeast infection from an overgrowth of the fungi that thrive naturally in and on the body. Oral thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth, can lead to vaginal yeast infection when the fungi is passed through the feces and makes contact with the vagina. Caregivers should confer with a health care provider before attempting treatment of an infant yeast infection.
The most common symptoms of a yeast infection are itching and vaginal discharge. The discharge is often thick, white and, curd-like (almost like cottage cheese). The discharge will be odorless. Other signs are burning, redness, and irritation of the vaginal area. Severe yeast infections may cause swelling of the labia (lips) outside of the vagina. Sometimes, women have pain when they pee as the urine passes over the sore tissues.

The healthy vaginal ecosystem requires just the right balance of bacteria flora. The vaginal mucosa, which protects against pathogens, is made up predominantly of healthy bacteria called lactobacillus. These bacteria make hydrogen peroxide, which keeps unhealthy bacteria from getting out of hand. This, in turn, keeps the amount of yeast at a normal level. Too much douching can disrupt the bacterial balance and lead to infection.


If you’ve had a yeast infection before and you’re totally certain you’ve got one again, trying an over-the-counter medicine before checking with your doctor could be an acceptable treatment option. At best, you’ll be back in optimal vaginal health in a few days. At worst, if symptoms return, you’ll need to set up an appointment and pursue better treatment. The choice is yours—may the Lactobacilli be with you.
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.
Is it legit? Sure. “Wearing breathable underwear has always been recommended in preventing yeast infections,” Dr. Ross says. “Any type of clothing, including bathing suits or exercise clothing, for extended periods of time can trap unwanted bacteria, chemicals, and sweat, disrupting the pH balance of the vagina and leading to a yeast infection.” Here’s the thing: This won’t cure a yeast infection—it may just help lower the odds you’ll develop one in the first place.
Anti‐fungals are available for oral and intra‐vaginal treatment of uncomplicated vulvovaginal candidiasis (thrush). The primary objective of this review was to assess the relative effectiveness of oral versus intra‐vaginal anti‐fungals for the treatment of uncomplicated vulvovaginal candidiasis. The secondary objectives of the review were to assess the cost‐effectiveness, safety and patient preference of oral versus intra‐vaginal anti‐fungals. No statistically significant differences were observed in clinical cure rates of anti‐fungals administered by the oral and intra‐vaginal routes for the treatment of uncomplicated vaginal candidiasis. No definitive conclusion can be made regarding the relative safety of oral and intra‐vaginal anti‐fungals for uncomplicated vaginal candidiasis. The decision to prescribe or recommend the purchase of an anti‐fungal for oral or intra‐vaginal administration should take into consideration: safety, cost and treatment preference. Unless there is a previous history of adverse reaction to one route of administration or contraindications, women who are purchasing their own treatment should be given full information about the characteristics and costs of treatment to make their own decision. If health services are paying the treatment cost, decision‐makers should consider whether the higher cost of some oral anti‐fungals is worth the gain in convenience, if this is the patient's preference.
Expert Working Group on Canadian Guidelines for Sexually Transmitted Infections (2014). Canadian guidelines on sexually transmitted infections: Supplementary statement for recommendations related to the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of vaginal discharge. Public Health Agency of Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/std-mts/sti-its/cgsti-ldcits/disc-pert-eng.php. Accessed May 22, 2015.

Candida yeasts are generally present in healthy humans, frequently part of the human body's normal oral and intestinal flora, and particularly on the skin; however, their growth is normally limited by the human immune system and by competition of other microorganisms, such as bacteria occupying the same locations in the human body.[34] Candida requires moisture for growth, notably on the skin.[35] For example, wearing wet swimwear for long periods of time is believed to be a risk factor.[36] In extreme cases, superficial infections of the skin or mucous membranes may enter into the bloodstream and cause systemic Candida infections.
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What you wear can make a difference. Underwear with a cotton crotch, rather than one made from synthetic fabric, is recommended. Skirts and pants that are loose-fitting can help keep you cooler and drier. Avoid wearing tight pantyhose and any pants that are tight in the crotch. Change out of wet or damp clothes as soon as possible, including swimsuits and exercise clothing.

More than 20 types of Candida can cause infection with Candida albicans being the most common.[2] Infections of the mouth are most common among children less than one month old, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems.[4] Conditions that result in a weak immune system include HIV/AIDS, the medications used after organ transplantation, diabetes, and the use of corticosteroids.[4] Other risks include dentures and following antibiotic therapy.[4] Vaginal infections occur more commonly during pregnancy, in those with weak immune systems, and following antibiotic use.[10] Individuals at risk for invasive candidiasis include low birth weight babies, people recovering from surgery, people admitted to an intensive care units, and those with an otherwise compromised immune systems.[11]

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Three out of four women will experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetimes. If you’ve had one, you know the signs: severe vaginal itching and irritation accompanied by a thick, white discharge. Sometimes you might feel a burning sensation during urination or sex. Yeast infections certainly aren’t pleasant, but under most circumstances, they’re easy to treat.
A systemic yeast infection refers to invasion into the bloodstream with subsequent spread throughout the body. This type of yeast infection is very rare in babies, typically occurring only in those who have existing health problems. Infants who are born prematurely or with a low birth weight, have a weakened immune system or who are already hospitalized for another reason are at increased risk. Other risk factors include bladder catheterization and long-term antibiotic or chemotherapy treatment. Signs and symptoms may include a low or high temperature, poor feeding, irregular breathing and low blood pressure. Although rare, systemic yeast infections are very serious. They are a major cause of death in settings such as the neonatal intensive care unit, according to a March 2011 article in "Early Human Development."
If you need to take antibiotics, you may wind up with a yeast infection. The use of antibiotics will frequently tip the balance among the normal microorganisms of the vagina, allowing harmful bacteria to dominate vaginal flora. Antibiotics suppress the growth of protective vaginal bacteria, which normally have an antifungal effect. Before rushing to the drugstore for an over-the-counter treatment, it's wise to consult your health care professional. Many self-diagnosed yeast infections turn out to be other vaginal problems.
If this is your first yeast infection, you may have to go see your gynecologist. “Patients will call and say, ‘I’m not sure what’s wrong; can you diagnose me?’ But it’s difficult to make a diagnosis over the phone unless a patient has a documented pattern of recurrent yeast infections,” Dr. Atashroo says. Find out the 10 foods you should eat for a healthier vagina.
Some of the medicines used to treat yeast infections are available without a prescription, but you shouldn't just buy one if you think you have a yeast infection. It's important to see a doctor for your diagnosis because if you actually have another type of infection, it could get worse if not properly treated. Also, over-the-counter medicine should not be used by anyone younger than 12 or girls who might be pregnant without talking to a doctor first.

How does thrush affect men? Thrush is a fungal infection caused by Candida yeasts. There are two types: genital thrush, which, in men, can cause irritation and swelling at the head of the penis, and oral thrush that occurs in the mouth. Mild infections may not require treatment, but medications and home remedies may help to relieve symptoms. Read now
If your infant is extra fussy during feedings and you notice white patches in her mouth, she may have an oral yeast infection known as thrush. You've probably experienced a vaginal yeast infection at some point in your life, so you can imagine the discomfort your little one is feeling. What exactly is thrush, and how can you help your baby feel better? Here’s the deal.
First, women who are pregnant or have diabetes or HIV have a higher risk of developing a yeast infection. Second, and most important, these woman, as well as nursing mothers, should always see their health care professional if they suspect a yeast infection rather than self-treat because yeast medications may interfere with medications needed for their other health problems (HIV, diabetes) or pose risks for the baby.
Thrush is usually whitish oral, velvety lesions that appear on the tongue and mouth. Underneath the whitish material lies the red tissue which bleeds easily. The size and number of lesions can increase slowly in untreated cases. Thrush may be widespread (to involve large parts of tongue, mouth’s roof and inside of cheeks) and may mimic oral ulcers. These white patches cannot be rubbed off like bits of milk.
Fermented vegetables contain microflora that help to protect the intestines. Regular consumption of fermented foods can help improve the immune system, making the body less hospitable for candida. Begin with a half cup per day of sauerkraut, kimchi or other fermented vegetables as part of a new eating plan dedicated to bringing your body back into a healthy balance.

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.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect the First Year. Health information on this site is based on peer-reviewed medical journals and highly respected health organizations and institutions including ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), as well as the What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff.
Candida normally lives inside the body (in places such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina) and on skin without causing any problems. Scientists estimate that about 20% of women normally have Candida in the vagina without having any symptoms.2 Sometimes, Candida can multiply and cause an infection if the environment inside the vagina changes in a way that encourages its growth. This can happen because of hormones, medicines, or changes in the immune system.
First, women who are pregnant or have diabetes or HIV have a higher risk of developing a yeast infection. Second, and most important, these woman, as well as nursing mothers, should always see their health care professional if they suspect a yeast infection rather than self-treat because yeast medications may interfere with medications needed for their other health problems (HIV, diabetes) or pose risks for the baby.

Taking steps to reduce moisture in the genital area can reduce the chances of developing a yeast infection. Wearing cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch, wearing loose-fitting pants, and avoiding prolonged wearing of wet workout gear or bathing suits are all measures that can help control moisture, and may help reduce the chance of getting a yeast infection.

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