The health condition is so, err, popular because every woman naturally has yeast (aka candida) brewing in their vaginas. But sometimes an overgrowth can occur, and that's when problems pop up. "Anything that can throw off the environment of your vagina can cause yeast infections, whether it's medication, excess moisture, condoms, IUDs, or even tampons," says Angelique Mason, a family nurse practitioner at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. Other common causes: Douching, using vaginal products that have fragrance chemicals, hanging out in wet or sweaty clothing and swimsuits, and wearing underwear that's too tight.

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.


Here are some simple steps you can take that may help you avoid yeast infections: Don't douche or use feminine hygiene sprays, bubble bath or sanitary pads or tampons that contain deodorant. These items seem to affect the balance of acidity of the vagina, which can lead to an infection. Wearing cotton panties, avoiding tight-fitting clothing, avoiding regular use of panty liners and wiping from front to back after using the toilet can help you avoid yeast infections. Since the microorganisms responsible for yeast infections thrive in warm, moist environments, be sure to dry your genital area well after bathing and before getting dressed.
Try it: If you’re having recurrent yeast infections and you’re on hormonal birth control, talk to your doctor. They “may try to change the type of birth control to see if that helps,” Dr. Wider says. If you need to change your hormonal birth control for whatever reason and you’re prone to yeast infections, your doctor may recommend a preventative round of fluconazole just to be safe, Dr. Ross says.

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.
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).
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.
Frequently change the diaper of baby and cleaning gently the affected area with water and cotton ball or soft cloth piece can help in decreasing the duration of illness. Avoid rubbing the area too hard and avoid using alcohol wipes. Water filled squirt bottle can also be used for cleaning the area if it appears extremely sensitive or irritated. If you are consuming soap for cleaning then it should be fragrance-free and mild. After cleaning pat the area so that it got dried or let it dry by air. Leave your baby without diaper for a few hours daily.
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.
Candida is a fungus that occurs naturally in the vagina at low levels without issue, but in large numbers, it can lead to the uncomfortable symptoms of a yeast infection, like irritation of the vulva and vaginal opening, a burning sensation during sex or while peeing, a vulvar or vaginal rash, and a thick, lumpy discharge that resembles cottage cheese. (Keep in mind that you may not always have all of these symptoms.)
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.
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.
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]
A small percentage of women (less than 5 percent) experience recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), defined as four or more yeast infections per year. Treatment involves a longer course of treatment—between 7 and 14 days of a topical cream or suppository or oral fluconazole followed by a second and third dose three and six days later. Your health care professional may also recommend a preventative treatment after the infection has resolved. This treatment may involve a 150 mg dose of fluconazole or 500 mg of topical clotrimazole once a week.
This fungal overgrowth can happen for many reasons. Things that increase your estrogen, such as pregnancy, combined hormonal contraceptives, and hormone therapy, can raise the glycogen (a type of sugar) in the vagina. Wouldn’t you know it: Yeast happen to love sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes can also contribute, due to the excess sugar circulating in your blood. Antibiotics that disrupt the balance of Lactobacillus bacteria, which can prevent yeast overgrowth, are another factor, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are also lifestyle-related reasons, like spending too much time in damp workout clothing or swimwear, or wearing non-cotton underwear that doesn’t allow for much airflow.
Moist diaper environment. Yeast occurs as a natural commensal on the body of humans (which is harmless in most cases unless the growth of yeast exceeds the normal range). Typically fungus thrives in wet and warm places such as bowels, vagina, skin and mouth. If a child has diaper rash (which is left untreated) then it can easily trigger yeast infection, regardless of the gender of baby. Moist diaper environment is perfect breeding ground for yeast infection.
Non-prescription vaginal creams and suppositories – Common brands are **Monistat, Vagisil, ** and AZO Yeast, which contain ingredients designed to kill yeast upon contact. (Refrain from using condoms as a main form of birth control while on these such regimens, as the ingredients may also weaken latex). Creams are applied topically while suppositories are inserted into the vagina where they dissolve. These medicines can be purchased at any drug store and come in a variety of strengths to lengthen or shorten a treatment period.
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.

A sexy romp should leave you feeling a little flushed afterward, but if you feel a painful heat in your vagina during sex, it could signal a bigger problem. A burning sensation during intercourse, or a constant burning feeling in your vaginal area at any time, is a telltale sign of a yeast infection, Ghodsi says. This symptom isn’t one you should ignore as it could also be a sign of an STI or bacterial infection, so call your doctor right away, she adds.
Moist diaper environment. Yeast occurs as a natural commensal on the body of humans (which is harmless in most cases unless the growth of yeast exceeds the normal range). Typically fungus thrives in wet and warm places such as bowels, vagina, skin and mouth. If a child has diaper rash (which is left untreated) then it can easily trigger yeast infection, regardless of the gender of baby. Moist diaper environment is perfect breeding ground for yeast infection.
“If you've been clinically diagnosed by a physician with a yeast infection on ... prior occasions, and the symptoms that you have are consistent with the symptoms that you had before, I do think that it's reasonable to try some of these over-the-counter remedies,” Chantel Cross, M.D., assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine, tells SELF.
The brand name products mentioned in this publication are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or TLC.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be used in the manner described in this publication.
Some dermatologists and pediatric infectious disease specialists point out that the effectiveness of these topical creams has been waning over the last few years. An alternative oral medication (fluconazole [Diflucan]) taken once a day for two weeks can be very effective. Many pediatricians will initially recommend one of the topical medications for ease and simplicity and use fluconazole if topical treatment is not effective.

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]
If you suspect that you’re struggling with a vaginal yeast infection, you can use over-the-counter antifungal medication to try to clear it up, Dr. Wider says. But if that doesn’t do the trick or you think you’re struggling with recurrent yeast infections, talk to your ob/gyn. They can do a vaginal culture to confirm that you do, in fact, have a yeast infection and recommend next steps from there.

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.

Shino, B., Peedikayil, F. C., Jaiprakash, S. R., Bijapur, G. A., Kottayi, S., & Jose, D. (2016, February 25). Comparison of antimicrobial activity of chlorhexidine, coconut oil, probiotics, and ketoconazole on Candida albicans isolated in children with early childhood caries: An in vitro study [Abstract]. Scientifica, 7061587. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/7061587/abs/
Applying plain yogurt to the area may help to restore balance and reduce irritation. Using only plain yogurt with active cultures, once or twice a day, rub a few tablespoons’ worth around the outside of the vagina to quell irritation, or insert the same amount into the vagina. You can also dip a tampon in the yogurt, let it soak for a few minutes, and then insert it.
In people with weakened immune systems, oral, vaginal, and skin candida infections usually can be diagnosed by visual infection. When a person becomes sick, the health care practitioner may perform more invasive tests to confirm the diagnosis. Specimen collection may be necessary to check for Candida in the blood and urinary tracts. People with catheters may have their catheters changed and the catheter tips sent for culture. If a CT scan or MRI indicates candidiasis of the brain, health care practitioners may take a biopsy to distinguish between Candida and other diseases. Usually health care practitioner give IV medications for serious systemic infections.
Antibiotic treatment. Babies exposed to antibiotic treatment (even if the nursing mother is consuming antibiotics) are more prone to develop yeast infection. The reason is that consumption of antibiotic kill good bacteria (besides the disease causing bacteria) present in body that keeps the excessive yeast growth in check. In the absence of good bacteria, yeast can grow excessively.
Because yeast can be present normally in the vagina of healthy women, not all yeast infections can be prevented. However, it is possible to take preventive measures that may reduce your risk of getting a yeast infection. These include always cleaning the genital area from front to back and changing out of wet bathing suits or damp clothes as soon as possible. Wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear can help reduce moisture and prevent yeast infections. Since chemical irritants can influence the balance of bacteria in the vagina, avoiding products with potential irritants like douches or scented tampons can also help. Regular baths or showers are an adequate way to cleanse the vagina, and douching is not recommended and may actually increase your risk of yeast infection.
×