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.
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.)
You may not need to take your baby to the doctor in order to treat yeast diaper rash. In many cases, such infections can be cleared up with the simple application of some over-the-counter topical treatments. Three easy-to-find anti-fungal creams are Mycostatin (nystatin), Lotrimin (clotrimazole), and Monistat-Derm (miconazole micatin). Ask your pediatrician if she has a preference if you aren't sure which to use.
It is important to note that the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are like those of other STIs and genital infections. To be sure that you are experiencing a yeast infection, you should contact your doctor. Treatment for yeast infections are relatively straightforward, but by self-treating, you may inadvertently make the problem worse. A PlushCare doctor can help advise by phone or video chat which steps to take (yes, an online doctor can prescribe medication!).
To diagnose your vaginal symptoms, your health care professional will perform a gynecological examination and check your vagina for inflammation and abnormal discharge. A sample of the vaginal discharge may be taken for laboratory examination under a microscope, or for a yeast culture, test to see if candida fungi grow under laboratory conditions. Looking under a microscope also helps rule out other causes of discharge such as BV or trichomoniasis, which require different treatment.
A recurrent yeast infection occurs when a woman has four or more infections in one year that are not related to antibiotic use. Recurrent yeast infections may be related to an underlying medical condition such as impaired immunity and may require more aggressive treatment. This can include longer courses of topical treatments, oral medications, or a combination of the two.
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.
It’s no wonder why you might not want to head to the doctor to treat a yeast infection. Waiting to see the doctor can extend your itchy vagina experience, and actually following through with the appointment can be time-consuming. Plus, isn’t that the entire point of all those at-home yeast infection treatments at the drugstore? We spoke with ob/gyns to find out: When the going gets cottage cheesy, is it OK to just treat a yeast infection at home?
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.
The most telltale sign of a yeast infection is thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge, which is often described as looking like cottage cheese. It may or may not be accompanied by watery discharge as well. Sounds confusing? This is why it’s so important to know what’s normal for you and your vag. Some women naturally have more vaginal fluids than others so if yours changes suddenly—in color, amount, or odor—it’s time to get it checked out, Ghodsi says.
To reduce the risk of candidiasis in your baby’s diaper area, keep the skin as clean and dry as possible, changing diapers frequently. Fungal infections (thrush or vaginitis) often follow courses of antibacterials. To avoid this, it is important to use antibiotics only when necessary. Oral nystatin and fluconazole are often used to prevent candidiasis in children with weakened immune systems.
A Candida skin infection can come from the upper gastrointestinal tract, the lower gastrointestinal tract, or exposure from a care provider. A Candida diaper rash can be accompanied by Candida infection of the mouth (thrush). A breastfeeding infant with a thrush infection may inadvertently infect the mother's nipple/areola area. If such an infection is suspected, simple topical medications may be prescribed by her doctor.
Typically, yeast infection discharge doesn’t have an odor to it. It’s bacterial vaginosis (BV), another common vaginal infection, that does—and it may be “fishy.” But here’s the catch: “Some patients will have a yeast infection and BV at the same time,” Dr. Atashroo says. So your discharge may very well smell “off.” If you treat a yeast infection at home and it doesn’t get better, you need an evaluation to see if you have another (or entirely different) infection, she says. Find out the 8 silent signs of cervical cancer.
About 5-8% of the reproductive age female population will have four or more episodes of symptomatic Candida infection per year; this condition is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). Because vaginal and gut colonization with Candida is commonly seen in people with no recurrent symptoms, recurrent symptomatic infections are not simply due to the presence of Candida organisms. There is some support for the theory that RVVC results from an especially intense inflammatory reaction to colonization. Candida antigens can be presented to antigen presenting cells, which may trigger cytokine production and activate lymphocytes and neutrophils that then cause inflammation and edema.
If you need to take antibiotics, you may wind up with a yeast infection. The use of antibiotics will frequently tip the balance among the normal microorganisms of the vagina, allowing harmful bacteria to dominate vaginal flora. Antibiotics suppress the growth of protective vaginal bacteria, which normally have an antifungal effect. Before rushing to the drugstore for an over-the-counter treatment, it's wise to consult your health care professional. Many self-diagnosed yeast infections turn out to be other vaginal problems.
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.
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.
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.
One day you're peeing without a care in the world and the next it becomes one of those moments that you dread (and may even try to avoid). Mason says painful urination is one of the most telltale yeast infection symptoms in women. When you're experiencing it, you'll most likely notice other symptoms, including redness and swelling in the vulva, reports the Cleveland Clinic.
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.
According to the Department of Clinical Research at Merck Research Laboratories, candidiasis can become invasive in cancer patients and present a serious complication. (3) In this study, one-third of patients being treated for cancer had “invasive” candidiasis. Chemotherapy and radiation can both work to kill cancerous cells and tumors; however, they also kill off the healthy bacteria that naturally fight candida.
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.
One of the most common symptoms is intense itchiness in both the vaginal opening and the vulva, so feeling like you constantly have to scratch is a solid indicator that something isn't right, Mason says. It doesn't help that fungus thrives in warm, moist environments (like your vagina), so it's important that you start treating a yeast infection right away before your symptoms get worse.
Candidiasis is a fungal infection due to any type of Candida (a type of yeast). When it affects the mouth, it is commonly called thrush. Signs and symptoms include white patches on the tongue or other areas of the mouth and throat. Other symptoms may include soreness and problems swallowing. When it affects the vagina, it is commonly called a yeast infection. Signs and symptoms include genital itching, burning, and sometimes a white "cottage cheese-like" discharge from the vagina. Yeast infections of the penis are less common and typically present with an itchy rash. Very rarely, yeast infections may become invasive, spreading to other parts of the body. This may result in fevers along with other symptoms depending on the parts involved.
A yeast infection results from an overgrowth of yeast (a type of fungus) anywhere in the body. Candidiasis is by far the most common type of yeast infection. There are more than 20 species of Candida, the most common being Candida albicans. These fungi live on all surfaces of our bodies. Under certain conditions, they can become so numerous they cause infections, particularly in warm and moist areas. Examples of such infections are vaginal yeast infections, thrush (infection of tissues of the oral cavity), skin, including diaper rash, beneath large breasts, and nailbed infections.
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.
The MONISTAT® 7 suite of products is the original prescription formula (100 mg of miconazole nitrate per dose), with smaller doses of the active ingredient evenly distributed throughout the week at bedtime. MONISTAT® 7 meets CDC Treatment Guidelines for pregnant women and is appropriate for women with diabetes. (Consult a healthcare professional before use.) Use as directed.