A Pap smear (Pap test) is a medical procedure to screen for abnormal cells of the cervix. A woman should have her first Pap smear (in general) three years after vaginal intercourse, or no later than 21 years of age. The risks for women at increased risk for having an abnormal Pap smear include: HPV (genital warts), smoking, a weakened immune system, medications (diethylstilbestrol), and others. Some of the conditions that may result in an abnormal Pap smear include: absence of endocervical cells, unreliable Pap smear due to inflammation, atypical squamous cells (ASCUS), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and carcinoma in situ.
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.

In people with weakened immune systems, candidal infections can affect various internal organs and cause pain or dysfunction of the organ. People with suppressed immune systems due to AIDS, chemotherapy, steroids or other conditions may contract a yeast infection called esophagitis in their upper gastrointestinal (GI) systems. This infection is similar to thrush but extends down the mouth and esophagus to the stomach. Candida esophagitis can cause painful ulcers throughout the GI system, making it too painful to swallow even liquids. If the infection spreads into the intestines, food may be poorly absorbed. People with this condition are in danger of becoming dehydrated. There may be associated pain in the area of the sternum (breast bone), pain in the upper abdomen, and/or nausea and vomiting.
If things are tingling downstairs in a not-so-pleasant fashion, the Mayo Clinic says this is a common symptom of an active yeast infection. But here's a doozy: If you have one, it's possible to spread it to your partner. It’s not overly common, but since men also have candida on their skin, having unprotected sex can cause an overgrowth that results in an infection called balanitis, or inflammation of the head of the penis. Because of that, Mason says they could experience an itching or burning sensation, redness, and small white spots on the skin. If that happens, he'll need to see the doc too so he can be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications.
In women, yeast infections are the second most common reason for vaginal burning, itching, and discharge. Yeast are found in the vagina of 20% to 50% of healthy women and can overgrow if the environment in the vagina changes. Antibiotic and steroid use is the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. However, pregnancy, menstruation, diabetes, and birth control pills also can contribute to getting a yeast infection. Yeast infections are more common after menopause
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.

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.
Yeast infection is not usually detected in mild cases; however in severe cases, the rash may appear beefy red with well-defined little raised borders and active lesions. The skin of child becomes scaly. Another clue to identify yeast infection is a yeast rash that doesn’t respond to any traditional treatment and will hang around more than 2 days. It can also appear on skin folds of groin area.
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.
It goes without saying that the need to wear a diaper is probably the major contributing factor. Cotton underwear is much better suited to breathing and preventing the environment in which yeast thrive -- dark, warm, and moist skin surfaces. Cloth diapers and nonabsorbent disposable diapers both contribute to a favorable environment for yeast growth. Many specialists believe that a yeast infection in the infant's mouth (thrush) is a risk factor for the development of yeast diaper dermatitis. Lastly, recent receipt of oral antibiotics may also encourage overgrowth of intestinal yeast.

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.
For infrequent recurrences, the simplest and most cost-effective management is self-diagnosis and early initiation of topical therapy.[23] However, women whose condition has previously been diagnosed with candidal vulvovaginitis are not necessarily more likely to be able to diagnose themselves; therefore, any woman whose symptoms persist after using an over the counter preparation, or who has a recurrence of symptoms within 2 months, should be evaluated with office-based testing.[4] Unnecessary or inappropriate use of topical preparations is common and can lead to a delay in the treatment of other causes of vulvovaginitis, which can result in worse outcomes.[4]

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

In people with weakened immune systems, candidal infections can affect various internal organs and cause pain or dysfunction of the organ. People with suppressed immune systems due to AIDS, chemotherapy, steroids or other conditions may contract a yeast infection called esophagitis in their upper gastrointestinal (GI) systems. This infection is similar to thrush but extends down the mouth and esophagus to the stomach. Candida esophagitis can cause painful ulcers throughout the GI system, making it too painful to swallow even liquids. If the infection spreads into the intestines, food may be poorly absorbed. People with this condition are in danger of becoming dehydrated. There may be associated pain in the area of the sternum (breast bone), pain in the upper abdomen, and/or nausea and vomiting.
But yeast in the vagina can sometimes "overgrow" and lead to symptoms of a yeast infection. Stress, pregnancy, and illnesses that affect the immune system may allow yeast to multiply. So can certain medicines, including some birth control pills and steroids. If you're taking antibiotics, such as for strep throat, the antibiotics can kill the "good" bacteria that normally keep the Candida in check. Yeast also can grow a lot if a girl's blood sugar is high. Girls who have diabetes that isn't controlled are more likely to get yeast infections.
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.)
As with any food, however, it’s always important to monitor how you feel after consuming a meal when you have candida. Some people who suffer stomach distress after eating any kind of starch, for instance, should avoid starchy vegetables like corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and yams. Instead, they should eat non-starchy vegetables — typically the flowering parts of the plant — like lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes.
Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are also present in the more common bacterial vaginosis;[45] aerobic vaginitis is distinct and should be excluded in the differential diagnosis.[46] In a 2002 study, only 33% of women who were self-treating for a yeast infection actually had such an infection, while most had either bacterial vaginosis or a mixed-type infection.[47]

Vaginal candidiasis is usually treated with antifungal medicine.3 For most infections, the treatment is an antifungal medicine applied inside the vagina or a single dose of fluconazole taken by mouth. For more severe infections, infections that don’t get better, or keep coming back after getting better, other treatments might be needed. These treatments include more doses of fluconazole taken by mouth or other medicines applied inside the vagina such as boric acid, nystatin, or flucytosine.


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.
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.
For most girls, there's no way to prevent yeast infections. Girls may feel more comfortable and have less irritation if they wear breathable cotton underwear and loose clothes and avoid vaginal sprays and douches. But there's no scientific proof that doing these things prevents yeast infections. If your daughter has diabetes, keeping her blood sugar levels under control will help her avoid getting yeast infections.
All of these types of medicine can clear up your symptoms in a couple of days and cure the infection within a week. It's important that you take the medicine for the whole time that your doctor prescribes. If you stop taking it too soon, the infection could come back. If you're not feeling better within a few days of finishing treatment, call your doctor.
To tell whether or not your baby’s white tongue is caused by milk or this kind of fungal infection, try to wipe it off gently using a soft, damp cloth or a gauze-covered finger. If the tongue is pink and healthy-looking after wiping, no further treatment is necessary. If the white patch doesn't come off very easily, or it does and you find a raw, red patch underneath, it's likely thrush, and you should contact your pediatrician.
Take antibiotics only when prescribed by your health care professional and never for longer than directed. In addition to destroying bacteria that cause illness, antibiotics kill off the "good" bacteria that keep the yeast in the vagina at a normal level. If you tend to get yeast infections whenever you take an antibiotic, ask your doctor to prescribe a vaginal antifungal agent at the same time.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you think your baby has a yeast infection of any type. Seek immediate medical attention if your baby is having difficulty eating. Also contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care if your baby has a fever or low body temperature, is drowsy or difficult to awaken, or experiences rapid, labored or irregular breathing.

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.)
That said, you can still see a doctor for confirmation of your yeast infection even if you’ve had one diagnosed in the past. In general, people don’t seem to be particularly good at self-diagnosing their vaginal health issues. A 2010 study of 546 people published in Nursing Research found that study participants with yeast infections misdiagnosed themselves around 30 percent of the time, and those with bacterial vaginosis or the sexually transmitted infection trichomoniasis misdiagnosed themselves around 44 percent of the time. A lot of these conditions can share the same symptoms, so it’s not your fault if you can’t always tell them apart. So, if you’re at all unsure, see a doctor.
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.
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.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f Martins N, Ferreira IC, Barros L, Silva S, Henriques M (June 2014). "Candidiasis: predisposing factors, prevention, diagnosis and alternative treatment". Mycopathologia. 177 (5–6): 223–240. doi:10.1007/s11046-014-9749-1. hdl:10198/10147. PMID 24789109. Candida species and other microorganisms are involved in this complicated fungal infection, but Candida albicans continues to be the most prevalent. In the past two decades, it has been observed an abnormal overgrowth in the gastrointestinal, urinary and respiratory tracts, not only in immunocompromised patients but also related to nosocomial infections and even in healthy individuals. There is a wide variety of causal factors that contribute to yeast infection which means that candidiasis is a good example of a multifactorial syndrome.
You’ve probably heard that, among all the yeast infection symptoms, “cottage cheese–like” discharge is common. However, “many yeast infections don’t have any,” Dr. McDonald says. “Yeast doesn’t always replicate in abundance to cause that type of discharge,” she adds. The lesson: Don’t brush off itching and assume it’s not a yeast infection just because you’re not saddled with this symptom. Learn about more ways your vaginal discharge is a clue to your health.

Remember: Do not use anti-yeast medications without seeing your health care provider, unless you’ve been diagnosed by an HCP more than once, so you’re really sure of the symptoms and signs. The medicine(s) that is prescribed for yeast infections will not cure other kinds of vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You would need another prescription medicine to treat the infection.
Side effects of OTC medications for yeast infections are generally minor and include burning, itching, irritation of the skin and headache. However, as with any medication, more serious side effects are possible, though rare, and may include hives, shortness of breath and facial swelling. Seek emergency treatment immediately if any of these symptoms occur.
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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