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]
Typically, yeast infection discharge doesn’t have an odor to it. It’s bacterial vaginosis (BV), another common vaginal infection, that does—and it may be “fishy.” But here’s the catch: “Some patients will have a yeast infection and BV at the same time,” Dr. Atashroo says. So your discharge may very well smell “off.” If you treat a yeast infection at home and it doesn’t get better, you need an evaluation to see if you have another (or entirely different) infection, she says. Find out the 8 silent signs of cervical cancer.
The most telltale sign of a yeast infection is thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge, which is often described as looking like cottage cheese. It may or may not be accompanied by watery discharge as well. Sounds confusing? This is why it’s so important to know what’s normal for you and your vag. Some women naturally have more vaginal fluids than others so if yours changes suddenly—in color, amount, or odor—it’s time to get it checked out, Ghodsi says.
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.)
Watson, C. J., Grando, D., Fairley, C. K., Chondros, P., Garland, S. M., Myers, S. P., & Pirotta, M. (2013, December 6). The effects of oral garlic on vaginal Candida colony counts: A randomised placebo controlled double-blind trial [Abstract]. BJOG, 121(4), 498–506. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.12518/abstract
Another possibility: Your “yeast infection” is persisting because it’s actually a different condition, such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. This is why it’s especially important to prioritize heading to the doctor ASAP if you’re pregnant and your self-treated yeast infection comes back. Some issues that can masquerade as yeast infections can be dangerous during pregnancy. For example, bacterial vaginosis can increase the risk of preterm labor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Oral candidiasis is called thrush. Thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base can form on the tongue, palate, or elsewhere inside the mouth. These patches sometimes look like milk curds but cannot be wiped away as easily as milk can. If the white plaques are wiped away with a blade or cotton-tipped applicator, the underlying tissue may bleed. This infection also may make the tongue look red without the white coating. Thrush can be painful and make it difficult to eat. Care should be given to make sure a person with thrush does not become dehydrated. Thrush was formerly referred to as moniliasis, based upon an older name for Candid albicans (Monilia).
The most telltale sign of a yeast infection is thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge, which is often described as looking like cottage cheese. It may or may not be accompanied by watery discharge as well. Sounds confusing? This is why it’s so important to know what’s normal for you and your vag. Some women naturally have more vaginal fluids than others so if yours changes suddenly—in color, amount, or odor—it’s time to get it checked out, Ghodsi says.
Topical antibiotic (antifungal) treatments (applied directly to the affected area) are available without a prescription. These include vaginal creams, tablets, or suppositories. Regimens vary according to the length of treatment and are typically 1- or 3-day regimens. Recurrent infections may require even longer courses of topical treatment. These topical treatments relieve symptoms and eradicate evidence of the infection in up to 90% of those who complete treatment.

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.
Oral thrush is another common type of yeast infection that occurs frequently in babies, especially during the first 6 to 12 months of life. This yeast infection appears as white or yellowish patches in a baby’s mouth. They may appear on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth or the inside of the cheeks. Patches caused by a yeast infection in the mouth cannot be wiped away easily, unlike formula or breast milk that may coat the tongue. With thrush, bleeding may occur if the patches are wiped off. A baby may experience some discomfort or difficulty eating as a result of oral thrush, leading to poor feeding or fussiness during feeding. An antifungal solution may be prescribed to treat oral thrush.
Breastfeeding doesn't have to be interrupted if one or both of you have been diagnosed with thrush, but the condition can make feeding excruciating for you — another reason why prompt treatment for both of you is needed. One thing that can help, provided you have the privacy and cooperative weather, is exposing your nipples to sunlight for a few minutes each day, since yeast hates sun. Probiotics may help speed recovery and keep yeast at bay too, and they're safe to take while you're breastfeeding.
C. albicans was isolated from the vaginas of 19% of apparently healthy women, i.e., those who experienced few or no symptoms of infection. External use of detergents or douches or internal disturbances (hormonal or physiological) can perturb the normal vaginal flora, consisting of lactic acid bacteria, such as lactobacilli, and result in an overgrowth of Candida cells, causing symptoms of infection, such as local inflammation.[42] Pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives have been reported as risk factors.[43] Diabetes mellitus and the use of antibiotics are also linked to increased rates of yeast infections.[43]
A: It sounds like your baby may have a yeast infection diaper rash, which can happen if a mild diaper rash gets infected with yeast. This is especially likely if your baby recently took antibiotics. If your baby's had the rash for more than a few days and go-to diaper rash treatments (like Desitin or A+D ointment) haven't helped clear it, call your pediatrician. You'll probably need an anti-fungal cream (there are over-the-counter and prescription versions, but you shouldn't use them without your doctor's approval), which usually helps beat the rash quickly. Your baby should also be evaluated to make sure it isn't something more aggressive than diaper rash.
There are several approaches that will be helpful in eradicating and preventing a yeast infection in the diaper area. Air exposure (no diapers) of the skin region is invaluable. The backyard is often a site where the child can be without diapers. The establishment of toilet training is also very helpful. As the child is developmentally ready, the transition from diaper to cotton underwear is beneficial. If diapers are needed, utilizing an absorbent disposable product is superior to either cloth or nonabsorbent disposable diapers. Keeping the diaper area skin clean by rapid diaper changing as indicated is also helpful. Lastly, application of a topical preventative barrier cream such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or zinc oxide (A+D Ointment) are helpful preventive measures.

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.
Garlic is another buzzed about remedy, but again, the science hasn’t proven itself, and there are significant problems with people sticking whole cloves into their vaginal cavities. “Raw garlic is actually quite caustic,” Dr. Nathan says. On the other hand, no vampires? (Seriously, though, don’t do this. The Mayo Clinic recommends always seeing a doctor before you try any kind of alternative yeast infection treatment, because you don’t want to make things worse.)
The content on this website is made available for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To get a medical diagnosis for your condition, book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor or your own primary care physician. This blog and all contents herein are the intellectual property of PlushCare and may not be used or copied without written permission.
Since thrush is easily passed back and forth, it’s best if both you and your baby get treated. For your baby, your pediatrician may prescribe an antifungal medication (such as Nystatin), which is applied topically to the insides of the mouth and tongue multiple times a day for 10 days. Be sure to get it on all the white patches in your baby's mouth if that's the remedy your doctor has given you. In a tough case, fluconazole (brand name Diflucan), an oral medication given by dropper, may be prescribed.

The fungus Candida is normally found on and in the body in small amounts. It is present on the skin and in the mouth, as well as in the intestinal tract and genital area. Most of the time, Candida does not cause any symptoms. When these organisms overgrow, they can cause infections (candidiasis), which sometimes can become chronic. If the fungus enters the bloodstream, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. Bloodstream infections are most common in newborns, children with long-term intravenous catheters, and children with weakened immune systems caused by illnesses or medicines.


^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j Pappas PG, Kauffman CA, Andes DR, Clancy CJ, Marr KA, Ostrosky-Zeichner L, Reboli AC, Schuster MG, Vazquez JA, Walsh TJ, Zaoutis TE, Sobel JD (2016). "Executive Summary: Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Candidiasis: 2016 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America". Clin. Infect. Dis. 62 (4): 409–417. doi:10.1093/cid/civ1194. PMID 26810419.
The most common treatment for yeast infections is a one-, three-, or seven-day course of antifungal medicines called azoles, which are in medications such as Monistat. “The over-the-counter treatments work well for the most common yeast [that causes infections], Candida albicans,” Linda Eckert, M.D., professor in the Women's Health Division of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington, tells SELF. However, she notes that other strains of yeast can also cause yeast infections, and Candida albicans has developed some resistance to azoles. As such, sometimes longer treatment is necessary, like a course of treatment that lasts 14 days.
It is important to note that the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are like those of other STIs and genital infections. To be sure that you are experiencing a yeast infection, you should contact your doctor. Treatment for yeast infections are relatively straightforward, but by self-treating, you may inadvertently make the problem worse. A PlushCare doctor can help advise by phone or video chat which steps to take (yes, an online doctor can prescribe medication!).
Efforts to prevent infections of the mouth include the use of chlorhexidine mouth wash in those with poor immune function and washing out the mouth following the use of inhaled steroids.[5] Little evidence supports probiotics for either prevention or treatment even among those with frequent vaginal infections.[12][13] For infections of the mouth, treatment with topical clotrimazole or nystatin is usually effective.[5] By mouth or intravenous fluconazole, itraconazole, or amphotericin B may be used if these do not work.[5] A number of topical antifungal medications may be used for vaginal infections including clotrimazole.[14] In those with widespread disease, an echinocandin such as caspofungin or micafungin is used.[15] A number of weeks of intravenous amphotericin B may be used as an alternative.[15] In certain groups at very high risk, antifungal medications may be used preventatively.[11][15]

Efforts to prevent infections of the mouth include the use of chlorhexidine mouth wash in those with poor immune function and washing out the mouth following the use of inhaled steroids.[5] Little evidence supports probiotics for either prevention or treatment even among those with frequent vaginal infections.[12][13] For infections of the mouth, treatment with topical clotrimazole or nystatin is usually effective.[5] By mouth or intravenous fluconazole, itraconazole, or amphotericin B may be used if these do not work.[5] A number of topical antifungal medications may be used for vaginal infections including clotrimazole.[14] In those with widespread disease, an echinocandin such as caspofungin or micafungin is used.[15] A number of weeks of intravenous amphotericin B may be used as an alternative.[15] In certain groups at very high risk, antifungal medications may be used preventatively.[11][15]
Garlic is another buzzed about remedy, but again, the science hasn’t proven itself, and there are significant problems with people sticking whole cloves into their vaginal cavities. “Raw garlic is actually quite caustic,” Dr. Nathan says. On the other hand, no vampires? (Seriously, though, don’t do this. The Mayo Clinic recommends always seeing a doctor before you try any kind of alternative yeast infection treatment, because you don’t want to make things worse.)
Vaginal candidiasis is common. In the United States, it is the second most common type of vaginal infection after bacterial vaginal infections.2 More research is needed to determine the number of women who are affected and how many have vaginal candidiasis that keeps coming back after getting better (more than three times per year). The number of cases of vaginal candidiasis in the United States is difficult to determine because there is no national surveillance for this infection. Vaginal candidiasis can be more frequent in people with weakened immune systems.
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.
A yeast infection, also known as candida vulvovaginitis, is a common infection that 3 out of every 4 women will experience throughout their lives. Yeast infections are not considered Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). They can develop for a variety of reasons. Yeast infections most commonly refer to vaginal infections, but can also occur in other places in your body, such as your mouth or armpits. For our purposes, we’ll stick to vaginal yeast infections (though men can get yeast infections too).
This is because vaginal infections caused by bacteria, as well as some sexually transmitted infections (STI), may have symptoms very similar to those caused by yeast, but they require different treatments. Since yeast infection treatments have become available over the counter (OTC), many women simply visit the closest drugstore and buy an antifungal cream.
“[My son] got yeast right off the bat because I had antibiotics after delivery. It totally sucks! I feel your pain. At the time, I just used some Monistat (at the pediatrician's recommendation). He also had oral thrush, so he was on Nystatin. I've since learned that the magical cure is to mix Monistat, Maalox and a barrier cream (I used A+D). I just used that on it, and it cleared things mostly up within a day and completely within three.”
Despite the lack of evidence, wearing cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing is often recommended as a preventative measure.[1][2] Avoiding douching and scented hygiene products is also recommended.[1] Treatment is with an antifungal medication.[4] This may be either as a cream such as clotrimazole or with oral medications such as fluconazole.[4] Probiotics have not been found to be useful for active infections.[6]
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.
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
The MONISTAT® 7 suite of products is the original prescription formula (100 mg of miconazole nitrate per dose), with smaller doses of the active ingredient evenly distributed throughout the week at bedtime. MONISTAT® 7 meets CDC Treatment Guidelines for pregnant women and is appropriate for women with diabetes. (Consult a healthcare professional before use.) Use as directed.
×