Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
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.
You’ve been potty trained since you were a toddler, but if you find yourself avoiding using the bathroom because it hurts to pee, you’ve likely got a much more adult problem. Pain during urination is one of the signs of not only yeast infections but also urinary tract infections and some sexually transmitted diseases. If this is your main symptom, get it checked by your doctor asap, she says.
Guys can get an infection of the head of the penis that is caused by the same Candida that causes vaginal infections in girls. Guys who have diabetes or are on antibiotics for a long time are more prone to this infection. A guy with a yeast infection may not have any symptoms or the tip of the penis may become red and sore or itchy. Some guys might have a slight discharge or pain with urination as well.
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.
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.
Boric acid. Boric acid — a vaginal insert (suppository) available by prescription — may be considered to help treat chronic, less common strains of candida and candida that are resistant to azole medications. Treatment is only vaginal and is applied twice daily for two weeks. However, boric acid can irritate your skin and can be fatal if accidentally ingested, especially by children.
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.
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.