The vagina always contains small amounts of yeast. When you’re healthy, that yeast (technically, a fungus known as Candida albicans) exists in harmony with your immune system and your other normal vaginal microorganisms. But when something disrupts this balance, the yeast can grow quickly, becoming dense enough to cause the symptoms of a full-blown infection.

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.


Azole medications are a family of antifungal drugs that end in the suffix "-azole." They block the manufacture of ergosterol, a crucial material of the yeast cell wall. Without ergosterol, the yeast cell wall becomes leaky and the yeast die. Fortunately, ergosterol is not a component of human membranes, and azoles do not harm human cells. Examples include miconazole, tioconazole, clotrimazole, fluconazole, and butoconazole.
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.
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.
Medications in vaginal creams (such as clotrimazole and miconazole) may also be available as vaginal tablets or suppositories. You put these into your vagina and let them dissolve. Some brands call them "ovules" because they're oval-shaped. These products often come packaged with a plastic "inserter" that helps you get the medication to the right place.

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.
Also helpful: allowing your breasts to completely dry between feedings to prevent the growth of bacteria, changing nursing pads after feedings, wearing cotton bras that don't trap moisture and washing those bras frequently in hot water (drying them in the sun may also provide extra protection). Since antibiotics can trigger a yeast infection, they should be used only when needed — and that goes for both you and baby.
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.
If you have fatigue or exhaustion that you simply cannot shake, regardless of the number of hours you sleep, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome. The disease is characterized by fatigue that lasts a minimum of six months and is often accompanied by other candida symptoms, including headaches, joint pain, difficulties with memory and concentration, and sore throat. (5)
The OTC products available for vaginal yeast infections typically have one of four active ingredients: butoconazole nitrate, clotrimazole, miconazole, and tioconazole. These drugs are in the same anti-fungal family and work in similar ways to break down the cell wall of the Candida organism until it dissolves. These products are safe to use if you are pregnant.
No matter what you do, or what you feed them, sometimes babies get diaper rashes. One of the more painful types is a yeast infection rash. We've all got yeast in our bodies, but just like many things, sometimes normal processes get out of whack and create issues. Yeast rashes suck and make big red patches with lots of spots. It spreads out into folds and looks painful (and often is). Yeast infections can happen to boys as well. Your pediatrician might tell you to go to the lady's section at the store and grab some of the same cream you'd use if you had the dreaded yeast infection, but there are a lot of other natural, tried-and-true ways to help treat it at home without meds.
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.

Efforts to prevent infections of the mouth include the use of chlorhexidine mouth wash in those with poor immune function and washing out the mouth following the use of inhaled steroids.[5] Little evidence supports probiotics for either prevention or treatment even among those with frequent vaginal infections.[12][13] For infections of the mouth, treatment with topical clotrimazole or nystatin is usually effective.[5] By mouth or intravenous fluconazole, itraconazole, or amphotericin B may be used if these do not work.[5] A number of topical antifungal medications may be used for vaginal infections including clotrimazole.[14] In those with widespread disease, an echinocandin such as caspofungin or micafungin is used.[15] A number of weeks of intravenous amphotericin B may be used as an alternative.[15] In certain groups at very high risk, antifungal medications may be used preventatively.[11][15]

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.


A girl usually notices certain things if she has a vaginal yeast infection. She may have itching and irritation in the vagina; swelling and irritation of the vulva (the folds of skin outside the vagina); pain or burning when peeing or having sex; or thick, white vaginal discharge that looks a bit like cottage cheese. Some girls will have several of these symptoms; others may only notice one or two.
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.

Some studies have indicated that preventing diaper rash may be done by applying barrier creams like zinc oxide (A+D Ointment, Desitin, Diaparene) or petroleum jelly (Vaseline, Aquaphor) to the diaper area after bathing. These products may help to decrease the ambient moisture in the diaper area after bathing or changing a diaper. Gentle cleaning to minimize skin breakdown may also be helpful. Air exposure (for example, no diaper) is also therapeutic.
How to get rid of a yeast infection Many treatments are available for a yeast infection, some of which a person can administer at home. This article looks at 8 home remedies, including probiotics, natural yogurt, and tea tree oil. However, these remedies are not suitable for everyone. Also, learn about symptoms, prevention, and when to see a doctor. Read now
Martinez, R. C. R., Franceschini, S. A., Patta, M. C., Quintana, S. M., Candido, R. C., Ferreira, J. C., . . . Reid, G. (2009, March). Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 48(3), 269–274. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2008.02477.x/full
The creams and suppositories in this regimen are oil-based and might weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. Treatment for vagina thrush using antifungal medication is ineffective in up to 20% of cases. Treatment for thrush is considered to have failed if the symptoms do not clear within 7–14 days. There are a number of reasons for treatment failure. For example, if the infection is a different kind, such as bacterial vaginosis (the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge), rather than thrush.[9]
If few C. albicans organisms are present, they may not be significant. However, symptoms are aggravated with more extensive infection. One study noted C. albicans was present in 37%-40% patients with diaper rash, suggesting that C. albicans infection from the gastrointestinal tract plays a major role in diaper rash. Another study noted that 30% of healthy infants and 92% of infants with diaper rash had C. albicans in the stool. This reveals a definite relationship between Candida colonization of the stool and diaper dermatitis. However, such information does not reveal the entire picture. The actual presence of C. albicans in the stool in and of itself is not the entire story since a majority of healthy adult intestinal tracts are colonized by C. albicans. These generally asymptomatic (having no symptoms) adults may also develop groin Candida infections should they become immune compromised or suffer from extremely poor hygiene. Several studies have shown promising results of lessening the incidence and severity of Candida infection when probiotics (for example, yogurt with "active cultures") are taken whenever antibiotics are necessary.
The first time you experience the symptoms of a yeast infection, you should see your doctor to rule out any other conditions. Even if you’ve had a yeast infection before, you should consult your physician if the condition isn’t improving despite using medication, or if you experience four or more yeast infections per year. You might need something stronger than what’s available over-the-counter. Finally, if your discharge has a bad odor, if you have a fever, or if you have other serious medical problems, you should definitely seek medical attention.
C. albicans was isolated from the vaginas of 19% of apparently healthy women, i.e., those who experienced few or no symptoms of infection. External use of detergents or douches or internal disturbances (hormonal or physiological) can perturb the normal vaginal flora, consisting of lactic acid bacteria, such as lactobacilli, and result in an overgrowth of Candida cells, causing symptoms of infection, such as local inflammation.[42] Pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives have been reported as risk factors.[43] Diabetes mellitus and the use of antibiotics are also linked to increased rates of yeast infections.[43]
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.
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.
The healthy vaginal ecosystem requires just the right balance of bacteria flora. The vaginal mucosa, which protects against pathogens, is made up predominantly of healthy bacteria called lactobacillus. These bacteria make hydrogen peroxide, which keeps unhealthy bacteria from getting out of hand. This, in turn, keeps the amount of yeast at a normal level. Too much douching can disrupt the bacterial balance and lead to infection.
The OTC products available for vaginal yeast infections typically have one of four active ingredients: butoconazole nitrate, clotrimazole, miconazole, and tioconazole. These drugs are in the same anti-fungal family and work in similar ways to break down the cell wall of the Candida organism until it dissolves. These products are safe to use if you are pregnant.
Hi, My 11 month daughter is usually free of diaper rash. But she got diaper rash two months ago. We tried the usual diaper rash cream and it did not help. We then went to see her pediatrician who diagnosized it as yeast infection and prescribed a NYSTOP powder (which is a MYCOSTATIN powder). We kept using it for one week and it was under control. However it never went away. Now more than a month passed and we still have to apply the powder every day three times a day (although the prescription says for one week) and the red patches are still there. We also tried Lotrimin AF which also helped but didn't clear it up. We tried to switch back to diaper creame or use cornstarch powder and they made it worse. I am concerned about the continuous usage of the anti-fungal powder. Is there any alternative we can try? Yi
As with many of these other candida symptoms, sinus infections are common today, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the root of the cause. Candida does affect the sinuses and can result in a persistent cough, post-nasal drip, an increase in congestion, seasonal allergies, and general flu-like symptoms. If you experience consistent problems with your sinuses, it’s time to check for a candida infection!
A small percentage of women (less than 5 percent) develop recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), defined as four or more symptomatic vaginal yeast infections during a 12-month period. Although RVVC is more common in women who have diabetes or problems with their immune system, most women with RVVC have no underlying medical illness that would predispose them to recurrent candida infections.

To treat thrush in the baby’s mouth, the doctor will prescribe a liquid medication called Nystatin. Follow the package directions to gently rub the medication on your baby’s tongue, cheeks and gums. This is usually done after a feeding, four times a day for two days. If you are using a breast pump, pacifier or bottle nipple, you must boil it for 20 minutes, run it through a dishwasher or use a micro-steam sanitizer each day. Note that boiling may wear down bottle nipples and pacifiers, so you may have to use new ones after one week of boiling.


Yeast infections are caused by an imbalance in the vaginal flora (the natural bacteria in the vagina), and things that can cause that imbalance are changes in diet, medications you may be taking that wipe out natural bacteria in the vagina (like antibiotics), or other illnesses like diabetes and autoimmune disorders that raise your risk for infection. The most common antibiotics that tend to lead to a yeast infection are those used to treat urinary tract infections, though McHugh said that's likely because doctors just prescribe those antibiotics to women more often.
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.
C. albicans was isolated from the vaginas of 19% of apparently healthy women, i.e., those who experienced few or no symptoms of infection. External use of detergents or douches or internal disturbances (hormonal or physiological) can perturb the normal vaginal flora, consisting of lactic acid bacteria, such as lactobacilli, and result in an overgrowth of Candida cells, causing symptoms of infection, such as local inflammation.[42] Pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives have been reported as risk factors.[43] Diabetes mellitus and the use of antibiotics are also linked to increased rates of yeast infections.[43]
Yeast infections are usually caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida, also known as yeast. Small amounts of yeast and other organisms are normally found in your vagina, as well as in your mouth and digestive tract. Yeast infections occur when the balance of organisms in your vagina is upset, and the amount of yeast grows too much, causing an infection. Yeast infections are most likely to be noticeable just before or just after your menstrual period. Some types of “yeast” infections are harder to treat and are caused by other species. Ask your health care provider (HCP) if you should be checked for the other types if your symptoms do not get better.

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

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