It's one of the more gag-worthy comparisons out there, but anyone who's experienced this yeast infection symptom firsthand knows it's accurate. "Generally, women will come in and complain of an odorless discharge — something that’s thick, whitish, and looks like cottage cheese," Mason says. Normal discharge is typically somewhere between clear and milky white, so you'll notice a distinct difference.

But how do you know if what you're seeing — or feeling — is actually a yeast infection? These surefire signs signal that it's time to schedule a visit with your OBGYN. That way you'll know if an over-the-counter treatment will actually work, or if you need to grab a prescription for something stronger. Either way, you'll be on your way to a healthy, back-in-balance vagina.

Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area, or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria. For example, when the normal, protective bacteria are eradicated by antibiotics (taken to treat a urinary tract, respiratory, or other types of infection) or by immunosuppressive drugs, the yeast can multiply, invade tissues, and cause irritation of the lining of the vagina (vaginitis).
Most diaper rashes have to do with impairment of skin integrity rather than any specific bacterial or fungal infection. Urine and stool acidity (the latter seen in diarrhea) and chronic wetness coupled with a warm barrier environment are all factors proposed as causes of diaper dermatitis (diaper rash). However, sometimes a superficial skin infection is a factor in diaper rash. The most common infectious cause of diaper rash is Candida albicans (yeast, a fungus).
Factors that increase the risk of candidiasis include HIV/AIDS, mononucleosis, cancer treatments, steroids, stress, antibiotic usage, diabetes, and nutrient deficiency. Hormone replacement therapy and infertility treatments may also be predisposing factors.[37] Treatment with antibiotics can lead to eliminating the yeast's natural competitors for resources in the oral and intestinal flora; thereby increasing the severity of the condition.[38] A weakened or undeveloped immune system or metabolic illnesses are significant predisposing factors of candidiasis.[39] Almost 15% of people with weakened immune systems develop a systemic illness caused by Candida species.[40] Diets high in simple carbohydrates have been found to affect rates of oral candidiases.[41]

The most common bacteria found in a healthy vagina are Lactobacillus acidophilus and help keep yeast levels in check. These bacteria moderate the growth of yeast cells and help susceptible parts of your body fight off infection. You will most likely notice when this balance is thrown off because overproduction of yeast can cause an array of uncomfortable symptoms further listed below, which indicate a yeast infection. Treatments for yeast infections are easy to access and use. While yeast infections may go away on their own, treatment is usually a preferable option, as the symptoms can be uncomfortable to deal with. Treatments for yeast infections are easy to access and use. By choosing not to treat your yeast infection, it may worsen and create a bigger problem.
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.
Birth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill.
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This exam includes a speculum exam, using a specialized instrument to hold open your vagina. The exam can be uncomfortable because of pressure against the tissues. The health care practitioner will take a swab of the discharge and may obtain other cultures to rule out other diseases. The swab for yeast will be mixed with a drop of potassium hydroxide and will be placed on a slide. If yeast are present, a specific branching pattern will be seen through the microscope.
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.

^ 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.

If the discharge is foul-smelling, yellowish, and frothy, you may be infected by a one-celled protozoa called Trichomonas, or "trick." If you have a heavy discharge without much irritation and notice a fishy odor, particularly after intercourse, your symptoms may be due to a bacterial infection that doctors call "bacterial vaginosis." Indeed, bacterial infections are the most common cause of vaginitis. Both of these infections require treatment with prescription medication.
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.

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.
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.
Another thing that is a major godsend is coconut oil. Yeah, the same kind you use in cooking. Honestly, I don't even buy diaper rash products because coconut oil trumps them all. It's good as lotion for the family (and the oily feeling disappears in a minute or two, unlike with other oils), it smells good, and it's totally safe if baby puts his lotioned hands in his mouth. Tasty, makes skin soft, helps diaper rashes, healthy, and kills yeast! It's ALMOST as cool as breast milk ... almost. If baby is old enough to eat solids, mixing a little coconut oil in with some (low sugar!) food can help, too.
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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.
Your genital health can be a sensitive subject. You should only opt out of treatment if you have experienced a yeast infection before and are comfortable with your body’s response, or if your symptoms are very mild. Even in these cases, it is best to be cautious and ask your doctor about your yeast infection and how you should treat it. The sooner you know, the sooner you can get back to a healthy life.
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.
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]

This exam includes a speculum exam, using a specialized instrument to hold open your vagina. The exam can be uncomfortable because of pressure against the tissues. The health care practitioner will take a swab of the discharge and may obtain other cultures to rule out other diseases. The swab for yeast will be mixed with a drop of potassium hydroxide and will be placed on a slide. If yeast are present, a specific branching pattern will be seen through the microscope.
Infections of the mouth occur in about 6% of babies less than a month old.[6] About 20% of those receiving chemotherapy for cancer and 20% of those with AIDS also develop the disease.[6] About three-quarters of women have at least one yeast infection at some time during their lives.[7] Widespread disease is rare except in those who have risk factors.[16]
Imidazoles are best but pregnant women may need longer (7 not 4 day) courses. Thrush is a common vaginal infection in pregnancy causing itching and soreness. There is no evidence that this yeast infection harms the baby. Antifungal creams are effective. Imidazoles (such as clotrimazole) are more effective than older treatments such as nystatin and hydrargaphen. Longer courses (7 days) cured more than 90% of women whereas standard (4 day) courses only cured about half the cases.
Jump up ^ Choo ZW, Chakravarthi S, Wong SF, Nagaraja HS, Thanikachalam PM, Mak JW, Radhakrishnan A, Tay A (2010). "A comparative histopathological study of systemic candidiasis in association with experimentally induced breast cancer". Oncology Letters. 1 (1): 215–222. doi:10.3892/ol_00000039. ISSN 1792-1082. PMC 3436220. PMID 22966285. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16.

When an infant develops a Candida infection, symptoms can include painful white or yellow patches on the tongue, lips, gums, palate (roof of mouth), and inner cheeks. It can also spread into the esophagus, causing pain when swallowing. Candidiasis can make a diaper rash worse, producing a reddening and sensitivity of the affected area and a raised red border in some cases. Teenaged girls who develop a yeast infection of the vagina and the surrounding area may have symptoms such as itching; pain and redness; a thick, “cheesy” vaginal discharge; and pain when urinating. Infection of the bloodstream occurs in children who are hospitalized or at home with intravenous catheters. A yeast infection often follows antibiotic therapy. Infections occur in children with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy. In these cases, the fungus in the gut gets into the blood system. Once in the blood, the yeast can travel throughout the body, causing infection of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, and skin. The early signs of infection are fever and blockage of the intravenous catheter.
Mostly, eat fresh, organic vegetables that have been steamed. For this cleanse stage, keep away from any starchy vegetables like carrots, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes and white potatoes, which may contribute to sugar levels and feed the candida. Continue to drink plenty of pure water, a minimum of 72 ounces per day, to help flush the candida and byproducts from your system.
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Over-the-counter antifungal creams, ointments or suppositories (with miconazole or clotrimazole) are the most common ways to treat yeast infections. These can take from 1 to 7 days. Your doctor may also prescribe a single-dose pill with fluconazole (an antifungal medicine) for you to take. If you’re pregnant, it’s safe to use creams or suppositories, but not the fluconazole you take by mouth.
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