Some women get yeast infections every month around the time of their menstrual periods. Your health care provider may tell you that you need to take medicine every month to prevent yeast infections. This is done to stop the symptoms from developing, or if you get a lot of infections you may be told that you need to take oral pills for up to 6 months. Never self-treat unless you’ve talked to your health care provider.
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.
If you have a yeast infection, treatment of sexual partners is usually not generally recommended, since it's not clear if vaginal yeast infections are transmitted sexually. However, if a woman has recurrent infections and her male sex partner shows symptoms of candida balanitis—redness, irritation and/or itching at the tip of the penis—he may need to be treated with an antifungal cream or ointment.
Once thrush or a vaginal yeast infection are detected, take precautions so that thrush doesn't reoccur or spread to other family members. Wash your hands carefully, especially after diaper changes and using the restroom. Boil all artificial nipples for 20 minutes a day, including all breast pump parts. Use paper towels and disposable nursing pads, and discard after one use. Finally, launder everything that comes in contact with mom and baby in very hot water and wear a clean bra every day.
Candida can be very serious. Recently, a “superbug” candida species known as Candida auris has emerged as a dangerous health threat in several countries and many health care facilities in the U.S. This version of candida — which often spreads through candida biofilms on surfaces such as catheters and bedrails — has proven resistant to multiple drugs, resulting in serious illness.
Vaginal infections can also be caused by bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common cause of vaginitis in women of childbearing age, and trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection. BV and trichomoniasis are associated with more serious reproductive health concerns, such as premature birth and increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Because these infections can have symptoms similar to those of yeast infections, yet can have more serious reproductive effects, it's important to see a health care professional to evaluate and diagnose any vaginal symptoms. A variety of medications can treat vaginal infections, but proper diagnosis is key.
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.
It could also mean you’re experiencing recurrent yeast infections (more than four yeast infections a year), according to the Mayo Clinic. Your doctor can work with you on identifying your triggers and provide more effective treatments to help manage the yeast overgrowth, such as a longer course of drugs or a preventive antifungal regimen to use even when you don’t have any symptoms.
If you see a health care professional, he or she may prescribe a single dose of oral fluconazole (Diflucan) or a generic equivalent, although this treatment is not recommended during pregnancy. Also, do not take fluconazole if you are taking cisapride (Propulsid) because this drug combination could cause serious, even fatal, heart problems. There have been reported drug interactions between warfarin, an anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication, and topical miconazole nitrate products (such as Monistat) and oral fluconazole (Diflucan). Additionally, fluconazole may cause liver damage in rare instances, particularly in conjunction with alcohol use. Discuss all the medications you may be taking when you discuss your symptoms with your health care professional.
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.
Many girls find that yeast infections tend to show up right before they get their periods because of the hormonal changes that come with the menstrual cycle. Clothing (especially underwear) that's tight or made of materials like nylon that trap heat and moisture might make yeast infections more likely. Using scented sanitary products and douching can upset the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections more likely.
During my pregnancy, I developed terribly uncomfortable vaginal yeast symptoms that just about drove me crazy. I knew it was a yeast infection, but since I was pregnant, I just didn't want to do anything I shouldn't. So I went for a quick check, and my midwife sent me right off to get some over-the-counter cream. She told me that even though I'd been right about my diagnosis, I'd done the right thing to see her first. Sometimes it isn't what you think it is, and you never know what medicines are safe when you're pregnant.
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.
Azole medications are a family of antifungal drugs that end in the suffix "-azole." They block the manufacture of ergosterol, a crucial material of the yeast cell wall. Without ergosterol, the yeast cell wall becomes leaky and the yeast die. Fortunately, ergosterol is not a component of human membranes, and azoles do not harm human cells. Examples include miconazole, tioconazole, clotrimazole, fluconazole, and butoconazole.
An overgrowth of candida albincans---the fungus responsible for yeast infections---can lead to vaginal yeast infections and also thrush in the breastfeeding mother. Found in the vagina, nipples, mouth and baby's diapered area, candida albicans thrives in moist, dark environments. Though candida albicans is always present in the body, illness, pregnancy or antibiotic use can cause an surplus of this yeast. When a nursing mother develops a yeast infection, chances are this infection will be present in other ares of the body, such as the nipples, which can lead to an infection in baby as well.
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
Your doctor or nurse can also give you a single dose of antifungal medicine taken by mouth, such as fluconazole (floo-CON-uh-zohl). If you get more than four vaginal yeast infections a year, or if your yeast infection doesn't go away after using over-the-counter treatment, you may need to take regular doses of antifungal medicine for up to six months.