Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition with signs and symptoms of vaginal discharge, vaginal odor, and vaginal pain. Bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. Although it may cause some disturbing symptoms (discharge and odor), it is not dangerous and cannot be passed by sex. Diagnosis becomes important to exclude serious infections like gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Many treatment options are available such as oral antibiotics and vaginal gels.
It’s possible that eating one cup of yogurt (which contains acidophilus bacteria) a day is helpful in preventing yeast infections. However, eating yogurt alone will not cure or prevent vaginal yeast infections. If you have to take antibiotics and are getting lots of yeast infections, talk to your health care provider about using an anti-yeast cream or pill.

You may see suggestions for using coconut oil; oregano oil, tea tree oil, other essential oils; or garlic supplements for yeast infections. Clinical studies are needed to show that they are safe and effective in humans, especially pregnant women. These either haven't been done or have shown that these options are not effective (in the case of garlic). A wide variety of plant oils and extracts have antifungal effects in the test tube, but many can be irritating or toxic to the body.
The fungus candida causes a vaginal yeast infection. Your vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria produce acid, which prevents yeast overgrowth. That balance can be disrupted and lead to a yeast infection. Too much yeast in your vagina causes vaginal itching, burning and other classic signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.
In addition to symptoms of vaginal yeast infections, such as burning or itching at the labia, a woman may experience sudden nipple pain that lasts through the feeding, or itchy or burning nipples with a candida albicus overgrowth that has also infected the nipples in the form of thrush. Affected nipples may look red, shiny, flaky or even have small blisters. "The Breastfeeding Answer Book" advises to watch for traces of white fungus in the folds of the nipple or breast, or cracked nipples. An infected breast-fed baby may also have white patches on his gums, cheeks, palate or tongue. Also, diaper rash, gassiness or general fussiness are all signs of thrush and that the yeast has spread to the baby.

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.
The most common bacteria found in a healthy vagina are Lactobacillus acidophilus and help keep yeast levels in check. These bacteria moderate the growth of yeast cells and help susceptible parts of your body fight off infection. You will most likely notice when this balance is thrown off because overproduction of yeast can cause an array of uncomfortable symptoms further listed below, which indicate a yeast infection. Treatments for yeast infections are easy to access and use. While yeast infections may go away on their own, treatment is usually a preferable option, as the symptoms can be uncomfortable to deal with. Treatments for yeast infections are easy to access and use. By choosing not to treat your yeast infection, it may worsen and create a bigger problem.
Vaginal yeast infections, also called candida vaginal infections or candidiasis, are common and easily treated in most women. Candida is a fungus. It commonly exists in small amounts in the vagina, mouth and gastrointestinal tract. When the fungus overgrows in the vagina, a yeast infection develops. This causes uncomfortable symptoms such as vaginal itching, burning and discharge. Uncontrolled diabetes and the use of antibiotics, the contraceptive sponge, the diaphragm and spermicides are associated with more frequent yeast infections. Women who use hormonal birth control—birth control pills, the birth control patch or the vaginal ring—may also have more yeast infections.
Such a diaper rash can begin with softening and breakdown of the tissue around the anus. The infected area is red and elevated, and fluid may be visible under the skin. Small, raised infected red bumps (satellite pustules) appear at the periphery of the rash. These satellite pustules are characteristic of Candida diaper rash and allow yeast diaper rash to be easily distinguished from other types of diaper rash such as a contact (irritant) diaper rash. Yeast diaper rash can appear on the thighs, genital creases, abdomen, and genitals.
This exam includes a speculum exam, using a specialized instrument to hold open your vagina. The exam can be uncomfortable because of pressure against the tissues. The health care practitioner will take a swab of the discharge and may obtain other cultures to rule out other diseases. The swab for yeast will be mixed with a drop of potassium hydroxide and will be placed on a slide. If yeast are present, a specific branching pattern will be seen through the microscope.
Yeast infection is treated using antifungal drugs. Both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) remedies are available that are effective in treating vaginal yeast infections. Nonprescription drugs are the best home remedy for yeast infections, and they can cure most yeast infections. However, homeopathic methods have not been adequately studied for doctors and other health care professionals to recommend them, and anti-itch medications treat only the itching symptoms, but do not treat the underlying cause (yeast infection).
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.
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?
A yeast infection is simply an overgrowth of candida, a fungus found naturally in your vagina, says Pari Ghodsi, M.D., an ob-gyn and women’s health expert practicing in LA. A fungus? In your lady bits? Yep, it’s all part of the delicate microbiome of organisms that keeps things running smoothly downstairs. When all is working properly, the bacteria in your vagina keep the fungus in check, but if something throws off the balance you can end up with an overgrowth of bacteria (bacterial vaginosis) or candida (a yeast infection), she explains.
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.

Studies find up to an 89 percent error rate in self-diagnosis of yeast infections. Thus, if you think that you have a yeast infection, there's a high chance you're wrong. If your symptoms don't ease after a few days of self-treatment with OTC medicine, or if they return promptly, see your health care professional. Keep in mind, however, that vaginal and vulvar irritation may persist for two weeks.
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.
Respiratory, gastrointestinal, and esophageal candidiasis require an endoscopy to diagnose.[23][49] For gastrointestinal candidiasis, it is necessary to obtain a 3–5 milliliter sample of fluid from the duodenum for fungal culture.[23] The diagnosis of gastrointestinal candidiasis is based upon the culture containing in excess of 1,000 colony-forming units per milliliter.[23]
Vaginal yeast infection is the most common yeast infection. Men can get yeast infections too, and people with diabetes or compromised immune systems may also get yeast infections. Some are not genital infections, but can affect the mouth or other parts of the body. Treatment is either a topical application or an oral medication. Learn more about yeast infections from our experts.

The most common bacteria found in a healthy vagina are Lactobacillus acidophilus and help keep yeast levels in check. These bacteria moderate the growth of yeast cells and help susceptible parts of your body fight off infection. You will most likely notice when this balance is thrown off because overproduction of yeast can cause an array of uncomfortable symptoms further listed below, which indicate a yeast infection. Treatments for yeast infections are easy to access and use. While yeast infections may go away on their own, treatment is usually a preferable option, as the symptoms can be uncomfortable to deal with. Treatments for yeast infections are easy to access and use. By choosing not to treat your yeast infection, it may worsen and create a bigger problem.
A vaginal yeast infection is an infection caused by yeast (a type of fungus). Vaginal yeast infection is sometimes referred to as yeast vaginitis, Candidal vaginitis, or Candidal vulvovaginitis. The scientific name for the yeast that causes vaginitis is Candida. Over 90% of vaginal yeast infections are caused by the species known as Candida albicans. Other Candida species make up the remainder of yeast infections.
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