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).
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.
Good news! If you recognize your symptoms as those of a yeast infection, there are over-the-counter treatments available. Brands like Monistat sell anti-fungal creams and suppositories that can wipe a yeast infection out in one to three days. While there are home remedy ways to help prevent a yeast infection (things like eating yogurt, taking a probiotic and avoiding irritating scents in soaps), McHugh said that by the time you have a yeast infection, you need an actual medication.
References: 1. ISSVD. (2016). Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (Candida, Yeast): Tips for Diagnosis and Treatment (Version 1.0) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com. 2. Richter SS, et al. Antifungal susceptibilities of Candida species causing vulvovaginitis and epidemiology of recurrent cases. J Clin Microbiol. 2005;43(5):2155-2162. 3. Mølgaard-Nielsen D, Svanström H, Melbye M, Hviid A, Pasternak B. Association between use of oral fluconazole during pregnancy and risk of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth. JAMA. 2016;315(1):58-67. 4. Lowes R. Low-dose fluconazole in pregnancy worries FDA. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/862447. Published April 26, 2016. Accessed August 26, 2017. 5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vulvovaginal candidiasis. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/candidiasis.htm. Updated June 4, 2015. Accessed August 26, 2017. 6. May M, Schindler C. Clinically and pharmacologically relevant interactions of antidiabetic drugs. Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2016;7(2):69-83. 7. Diflucan [prescribing information]. New York, NY: Roerig; 2013. 8. Goswami D, Goswami R, Banerjee U, et al. Pattern of Candida species isolated from patients with diabetes mellitus and vulvovaginal candidiasis and their response to single dose oral fluconazole therapy. J Infect. 2006;52(2):111-117. 9. Nyirjesy P, Sobel JD. Genital mycotic infections in patients with diabetes. Postgrad Med. 2015;125(3):33-46.
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
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.
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.
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
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.

Oral hygiene can help prevent oral candidiasis when people have a weakened immune system.[4] For people undergoing cancer treatment, chlorhexidine mouthwash can prevent or reduce thrush.[4] People who use inhaled corticosteroids can reduce the risk of developing oral candidiasis by rinsing the mouth with water or mouthwash after using the inhaler.[4]
Fortunately, most yeast infections are not serious. Left untreated, yeast infections will usually go away on their own, but the severe itching can be hard to tolerate for some. Fortunately, the infections respond well to over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories, so if you’re sure you have a yeast infection, go ahead and try an OTC yeast infection medication like Monistat or yeast arrest suppositories, which contain boric acid, a mild antiseptic. However, pregnant women should avoid boric acid.
In adults, oral yeast infections become more common with increased age. Adults also can have yeast infections around dentures, in skin folds under the breast and lower abdomen, nailbeds, and beneath other skin folds. Most of these candida infections are superficial and clear up easily with treatment. Infections of the nailbeds often require prolonged therapy.
Essential oils should not be taken orally. They are meant to be inhaled as part of aromatherapy. While some studies are examining other ways to use oregano essential oils, at this time it’s recommended that you use it diluted in a carrier oils, such as olive or sweet almond oil. Mix three to five drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Then, apply it to the skin in massage or inhale it through a diffuser. Do not apply essential oils near your vagina.
Signs and symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the area affected.[17] Most candidal infections result in minimal complications such as redness, itching, and discomfort, though complications may be severe or even fatal if left untreated in certain populations. In healthy (immunocompetent) persons, candidiasis is usually a localized infection of the skin, fingernails or toenails (onychomycosis), or mucosal membranes, including the oral cavity and pharynx (thrush), esophagus, and the genitalia (vagina, penis, etc.);[18][19][20] less commonly in healthy individuals, the gastrointestinal tract,[21][22][23] urinary tract,[21] and respiratory tract[21] are sites of candida infection.

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.
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.
When using one of these products, you may want to talk to your doctor about alternatives to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Some of these OTC options can weaken condom material and spermicide, so be sure to read the directions. In addition, vaginal intercourse during treatment could displace medication from the vagina, lessening effectiveness, and cause irritation.
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.
For severe or frequent Candida vaginal yeast infections, a doctor may prescribe two to three doses of Diflucan given 72 hours apart. Another oral medication that can be used in these cases is Nizoral (ketoconazole), which is taken for seven to 14 days, either once or twice daily, depending on your physician's recommendations. Women with diabetes may need this longer course of treatment to clear the infection.
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.
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]
Oral thrush: All you need to know Oral thrush is typically caused by a fungal infection that develops on the mucous membranes of the mouth. Symptoms include creamy or white deposits in the mouth. Treatment usually involves antifungal drugs, but some home remedies might help reduce the risk of the thrush worsening. Read about types and risk factors. Read now
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.
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.
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.

Even though the signs and symptoms of yeast infection may point to the cause, vaginal itching and discharge can be caused by other conditions including bacterial vaginosis and Trichomonas infections. To most accurately make the diagnosis, a sample of the discharge is tested in the laboratory, either by culture or by direct examination under a microscope, to identify the yeast organisms and to help rule out other causes such as bacterial vaginosis or sexually-transmitted diseases.
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