Vaginal Yeast Infection Signs, Symptoms, Tests & Diagnosis

If you’ve ever had one, you know what it’s like.

We don’t recommend any of these products, as many herbal products can cause more irritation than improvement. Yeast infections can be uncomfortable, but they’re usually not serious. Candidiasis, candida-associated lesions are primary oral candidiases (confined to the mouth), where the causes are thought to be multiple. Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.

If there are an abnormally large number of Candida microbes and white blood cells (which indicate your body is fighting an infection), you have a yeast infection. Be honest with your partner if you have a yeast infection to avoid spreading the infection. Take a look down there, and take note if anything looks off. If you have had yeast infections in the past and feel comfortable identifying the problem when it persists, you can use over the counter (OTC) treatment options to get rid of the infection. Find a Health Center A right arrow in a circle Zip, City, or State We couldn't access your location, please search for a location.

Contact your doctor immediately should you experience this.

How can I prevent future yeast infections after I finish treatment? Still, over time, it is likely that more and more vaginal testing will move to these molecular methods. These changes in estrogen levels (compounded with lifestyle changes, presumably such as sleep and diet) can weaken the immune system and stimulate the growth of yeast. Unfortunately, this is less useful for a yeast infection than chlamydia or gonorrhea. Boric acid suppositories can sometimes cause side effects, including vaginal burning and discharge. He didn't connect his symptoms to my yeast infection, and instead, was concerned that he might have leprosy (to this day, this makes me LOL).

A yeast infection is when the yeast naturally present on your body, usually a type called candida, grows out of control and causes an infection in your vagina and/or vulva. Pat yourself dry with a towel after baths and showers, then wait a few minutes to "air dry" before getting dressed. Some types of “yeast” infections are harder to treat and are caused by other species. Creams are applied topically while suppositories are inserted into the vagina where they dissolve.

  • This can happen because of hormones, medicines, or changes in the immune system.
  • Yeast infections are more common in women with higher estrogen levels — such as pregnant women or women taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills or estrogen hormone therapy.
  • If you have recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan.

What Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection?

Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam, which will include inspecting your vagina and vulva to see if there are external signs of infection, such as swelling and redness, and cracks in the skin of the vulva. Most healthy vaginas have yeast. So if you have the classic symptoms — fishy odor, abnormal discharge, and/or itching or burning — use the strip test to check your vagina's acidity level. While yeast infections won’t hurt your baby, it’s possible to pass the Candida fungus to them during delivery. It’s estimated that 75% of women will have at least one yeast infection in her lifetime. Candida panel, the same test can also point us to bacterial infections in the gut as well, which were only mildly elevated in Helen’s case. The symptoms of a UTI are also different from a yeast infection. If you do, you'll be given an antifungal prescription like fluconazole, or told to purchase an over-the-counter cream or ointment, or a suppository that's inserted into the vagina.

While a nuisance, early treatment can help clear up your yeast infection before your period starts.

Home Remedies

You have a thick, cheesy discharge. A 2020 study found that tea tree oil is effective in fighting off all types of Candida fungus. According to the U. Your vagina is normally acidic, which helps prevent harmful bacteria from growing and maintains the level of beneficial bacteria called lactobacillus. If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit. But there are some things that may increase the chance of developing a yeast infection, including pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, taking estrogen, and being in an immunocompromised state due to something like HIV or cancer (2,5). Not to mention, intercourse will most likely be uncomfortable or painful when symptoms are flaring up. This is especially important when considering sensitive areas such as the vagina.

As long as it has a cotton crotch, you’re good to go. Vaginal yeast infections can also occur as a result of injury to the inner vagina, such as after chemotherapy. If you think you could have contracted an STI, get tested. Yeast infections are caused from an overgrowth of the Candida fungus. These may require a steroid ointment such as hydrocortisone for treatment. Antibiotics can kill off some of the good bacteria that normally keep things status quo in your vag, which can lead to an overgrowth of yeast.

  • Is it a yeast infection or a UTI?
  • Canesbalance is a bacterial vaginosis gel that effectively relieves the unpleasant odour and abnormal discharge of BV, and helps support healthy vaginal flora by restoring vaginal pH.


There are a number of things you can to do help prevent yeast infections. Your immune system has been weakened by anything from a cold or stress to chemotherapy treatments or HIV. Include yogurt with “lactobacillus acidophilus” in your diet. These medicines can be purchased at any drug store and come in a variety of strengths to lengthen or shorten a treatment period.

Labs and Tests

Some anti-yeast vaginal creams are sold over the counter (without a prescription) in pharmacies. There are also treatments that are not appropriate during pregnancy. But 53 percent of women don't have a clue on how to deal with them, and two-thirds don't know how to cure them. If you are sick or taking antibiotics, it can multiply and cause an infection.

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However, you should consult your doctor every time, to be sure that your symptoms are not actually indicative of a different, potentially serious problem. They aren’t contagious, and can’t spread to another person during sex. Compiled using information from the following sources: Either way, if you're super itchy down there and the symptoms don't ease up, it's a good idea to get it checked out by your doctor. Avoid deodorant sanitary pads or tampons, or bubble bath, and avoid using colored or perfumed toilet paper. You might not have all of these symptoms; only a few might present themselves, and they could be mild or severe.

Vaginal discharge. Yeast infections are simple to diagnose. Oftentimes, when we hear the word “infection,” we assume that antibiotics will remedy the problem. You can get medicated creams or suppositories for yeast infections (like Monistat and other brands) at a drugstore, over-the-counter without a prescription. Don’t douche or use deodorant tampons, feminine sprays, powders or perfumes. If not, you’re lucky. Other treatments may be needed for infections that are more severe, that don’t get better, or that keep coming back after getting better.

Fishy, white or gray discharge – A strong odor associated with thin white or grey discharge could indicate Bacterial Vaginosis, a bacterial infection of the vagina. For example, do not douche. In either case, if your symptoms aren’t improving within a week of starting medication, follow up with your doctor, as he or she may need to reexamine the diagnosis or try a different treatment. Also, refrain from using any scented feminine washes or douches.

If you have a more rare kind of yeast, your health care provider may also prescribe vaginal boric acid suppositories, which are specially made in a compounding pharmacy and used every night for 7-14 days.

Medical Encyclopedia

Yeast infections have symptoms—redness, itchiness, and burning—that overlap with vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis and some STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Just reading those words evokes a sense of disgust and panic in women (and probably men). Medicine in a pill form that you take by mouth is also available. If not, it could be a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics and a chat with your ob-gyn, like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Some girls will have several of these symptoms; others may only notice one or two. Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean. Your doctor will examine your vaginal walls and cervix.

You may have itching or irritation in or around your vagina, as well as a thick, white discharge.

How Is Yeast Infection Diagnosed?

Did I catch it somehow? Your doc can do a pelvic exam and vaginal culture to see what’s happening down there. Navigation, although treatments for VVC by conventional antifungal drugs are quite effective at providing clinical cure (no apparent vaginal symptoms), there is an increasing in resistance to the drugs and recurrence of VVC. Johnson, Robert V.

These bacteria kill harmful organisms in the vagina and keep you healthy. Her advice to women who think they have a yeast infection is to call their doctor or women's health nurse practitioner for an appointment. While yogurt may be effective, it may not be as fast acting as antifungal treatments. When should I contact my doctor? A healthy vagina contains bacteria and some yeast cells. Yeast infections are ridiculously common. Overgrowth of yeast can result from: Itchiness around the vulva mostly around the vaginal opening.

(1) a tampon applicator filled with yogurt, 2) a bulb syringe containing one tablespoon of liquid acidophilus, 3) an acidophilus capsule, or 4) a douche consisting of yogurt and water. If that happens, he'll need to see the doc too so he can be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications. Sometimes vaginitis—or vaginal inflammation—can be so mild you may not think anything out of the norm is happening. If you don’t really have a yeast infection, antifungals won’t help you get better. These bacteria produce hydrogen peroxide that kills the excess Candida. This infection is also called candidiasis.

How Are These Infections Treated?

This information will help you understand your treatment options if you have a yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections can be treated with medicines such as pills or creams, ovules, or ointments. Gunter says you have two options if your symptoms are internal – if you're experiencing pain during sex, for example. Other skin conditions: So, you think you might have a yeast infection? You can prevent some yeast infections by doing these things: A lab test can identify what type of Candida you have.

If you're not a yogurt fan, look for acidophilus in capsules or liquids. If the pH balance becomes less acidic however, this can affect the health of your vagina. Tea tree oil is another promising home remedy for yeast infections. A secondary bacterial infection can happen, so monitor for spreading redness, or swelling, or pain. While medications are designed to fight bacteria, some of the bacteria they kill can lead to the overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. The signs and symptoms of a yeast infection can be really, really uncomfortable. Completing treatment ensures that the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is restored. Non-urgent advice:

They’re itchy and uncomfortable, and no one really likes to talk about them. Call your doctor to be sure you’re addressing any problems with appropriate treatment. If you have the symptoms of a yeast infection, your doctor will probably want to talk to you about your symptoms and examine you to see if you have a yeast infection. There are high-tech tests for yeast infections. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you. It can make it hard or painful to swallow. If left untreated, yeast infections can pass to your baby’s mouth during delivery. What causes a yeast infection?

Any discomfort or pain in more sensitive parts of your body can be cause for concern.

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As such, without testing, it can be very difficult to tell whether someone is suffering from a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, or even another bacterial STD. Three out of four women are diagnosed with a yeast infection at some point in their life, according to a recent survey. The rash can be controlled by frequent changing and, if needed, medicated powders. – apple cider vinegar can be taken orally to strengthen your immune system. It's one of the more gag-worthy comparisons out there, but anyone who's experienced this yeast infection symptom firsthand knows it's accurate. Despite their prevalence, it’s important to treat vaginal yeast infections early. It’s best to not have sex until a yeast infection is gone because sex can cause more discomfort, and the vaginal creams and suppositories may weaken latex condoms.

If you think you may be experiencing a yeast infection, the following information will prepare you to discuss the possibility with your doctor. How can I keep from getting another infection? Yeast infection essential oils Essential oils have garnered a lot of attention in the last several years as “natural” remedies to common medical ailments. Schaffir says. An uncomplicated yeast infection can be treated with any one of the many available antifungal medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), which all have about the same success rate of 80-90%1.

Some people say this discharge looks like cottage cheese. According to the Mayo Clinic, the juice might help cure a yeast infection — but when consumed on a regular basis, it might also cause them to keep reoccurring. – Also a symptom of hemorrhoids. But when the balance of bacteria and yeast changes, the yeast cells can multiply. Tea tree oil is available for purchase online. This red form is often present on the tissues of the mouth that are covered by a denture or other prosthetic appliance. When this balance is thrown off, yeast cells can multiply, which often leads to a yeast infection. If you find that tight clothing leads to itchiness or discomfort in your genital area, consider wearing more breathable fabrics.

Yes, Your Partner Can Catch It From You.

Candida esophagitis is thrush that spreads to your esophagus, the tube that takes food from your mouth to your stomach. If you're experiencing anything beyond itching, or any these symptoms elevate in intensity, start with a call to your ob-gyn. It lowers your resistance to infection and raises the sugar content in your blood and urine, which encourages yeast to grow. If you think a yeast infection might be what's making you feel super itchy and mis down there, here are the key symptoms to look for.

After regular, thorough washing (using unscented, hypoallergenic or gentle soap), use your blow dryer on a low, cool setting to help dry the outside of your genital area. Douches remove the normal bacteria in the vagina that protect you from infections, sexually transmitted diseases and pelvic inflammatory diseases. Scratching the vaginal area can leave open or raw areas. What are the symptoms of a yeast infection? Itchiness combined with redness or swelling of the vulva is a big indicator of a yeast infection. As women age, lack of estrogen causes the skin to thin, and this sometimes leads to discomfort, itching or discharge. He/she will make a diagnosis, determine if a related health condition is also involved, and together with you, choose the best course of treatment so you can soon get relief and feel better. Is the condition contagious?

Tools & Resources

Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. How do you get rid of a butt rash? Using a yogurt without any added sugar is essential. New brands of detergent may irritate the sensitive skin in contact with your clothing. – because douching disrupts the balance of bacteria and yeast in and around the vaginal area, this may cause yeast infections. Nearly three times out of four, they're treating themselves or calling a doctor for a medicine to treat a problem they don't have, said Hoffstetter, who co-directs the SLUCare Vulvar and Vaginal Disease Clinic, which specializes in treating women who have chronic pain, unhealthy discharges or skin problems in their vaginal area. How do I treat yeast infections? At least once in their lives, most women have experienced the nearly intolerable itching caused by a vaginal yeast infection.

At the time, my S. You can't pass BV to a male partner, she adds, but two female partners may transfer it to each other, such as by sharing sex toys. Yes, your partner can catch it from you. A recent, small study4 of oral garlic pills (Garlicin™, three tablets, twice daily) did not show a reduction in vaginal yeast colonization. What are the signs/symptoms of a yeast infection? To diagnose a yeast infection, a healthcare provider will ask about symptoms and do a pelvic exam.

When this happens in the vagina, it's called a vaginal yeast infection.

For You

Sex with a yeast infection can be painful, and it may hurt when you pee. Or you can go the direct route and insert the acidophilus straight into your vagina using: Your doctor can help you determine what’s a yeast infection and what could be a different, more serious problem. Some women don’t notice them at all, Dr. Yeast infections are common in women who take antibiotics. Can I give it to anyone else? How can I prevent yeast infections? When you're experiencing it, you'll most likely notice other symptoms, including redness and swelling in the vulva, reports the Cleveland Clinic.

This treatment can be repeated once a day until the infection clears.

– a healthy diet will help protect your body against infection. 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. Douching, using vaginal products that have fragrance chemicals, hanging out in wet or sweaty clothing and swimsuits, and wearing underwear that's too tight. You have diabetes. Do not douche. BV Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common type of vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44. Keep areas where skin rubs up against skin dry and try to reduce friction. The symptoms of a yeast infection also can be symptoms of other infections, including some sexually transmitted diseases.

He/she will perform tests to see if your yeast infections are being caused by another health problem, such as diabetes.

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The symptoms of a yeast infection can be similar to other common vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, so talking to a healthcare provider is a good idea to make sure the proper treatment is provided. Some women experience several of these symptoms, while others may only notice one or two. You can help prevent a yeast infection by wearing condoms during sex. Our team of medical professionals has extensive experience consulting with patients about their treatment options, including both over the counter and prescription medicines, and can help you understand which method is right for you.

Enter the doctor’s visit. For yeast infections, try taking a warm bath with half of a cup of apple cider vinegar dissolved in the water. It is always a good idea to treat a yeast infection, even if it is mild. The issue, which doctors also call candidal vulvovaginitis or vaginal thrush, is incredibly common, affecting 3 out of 4 women in their lifetimes. Some STIs can cause irritation and present with an itchy discharge and a slight odor. Yeast infections are among the most common medical annoyances. Antifungal medicines get rid of yeast infections in most people. There’s no noticeable discharge, but you might see a small amount of blood in your urine.

How is a yeast infection diagnosed? Men rarely develop yeast infections, since the penis doesn't provide the warm moist environment in which yeast flourish. Avoid douching; feminine hygiene sprays or powders; and spermicidal foams, gels, or creams.

Concerned that you may have a yeast infection? Come see us.

Blame the irritation — when urine hits the inflamed skin down there, it might burn a little, kind of like getting lemon juice in a cut. Without treatment, a UTI can lead to more serious complications of the kidneys. This can be helpful for addressing personal health problems, especially when they are of a sensitive nature. Normally, cervical glands produce a clear mucous secretion that drains downward, mixing with bacteria, discarded vaginal cells, and Bartholin's gland secretions near the opening of the vagina. There are other office-based tests for evaluating vaginal discharge.

One issue with essential oils is that some people might be allergic to them.

How is yeast infection treated? Yeast infections may also be presented in other folds of the skin, such as under the armpits. The discharge is often thick, white, and curd-like (almost like cottage cheese). It’s often impossible to pinpoint the reason someone gets a yeast infection. If you experience white to yellow discharge in the week before your period, this isn’t automatically a yeast infection. Don’t worry — you don’t have to throw out all your favorite lace pairs! Change out of wet clothing and swimsuits right away.

The vagina normally contains a healthy balance of bacteria and yeast. Sleep without panties to give yourself a "breather. "Please consult a doctor for diagnosis of BV or if you are unsure of your symptoms. I knew the telltale symptoms (itching, burning, and cottage cheese-like discharge) and that hormonal birth control, antibiotics, or even wearing yoga pants all day might up your risk. The vaginal yeast infection is irritating and quiet uncomfortable so if you realize you have any of the mentioned symptoms, you should visit a doctor. The most common symptoms of a yeast infection are:

Get The Facts

Throughout your menstrual cycle the body provides clues as to what’s happening inside. All vaginas have yeast; however, when yeast overgrows (generally to antibiotic use, oral contraception, or anything that can change the pH balance of the vagina), it becomes an infection. You should see improvements in your symptoms within a day or two of starting treatment. How can a yeast infection occur under my denture? They can also lead to depression and feelings of low-self worth in people who experience one yeast infection after another, so a proper diagnosis and treatment are recommended.

Washing the area afterward with warm soapy water will also help.

Recurring thrush You might need to take treatment for longer (for up to 6 months) if you keep getting thrush (you get it more than twice in 6 months). 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. Vaginal yeast infections aren’t considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), commonly known as sexually transmitted disease (STD). There are over-the-counter creams that you can use on your vulva to help calm the irritation.

Yeast infections usually are treated with medicine that you put into your vagina. Can the Gynecologist Tell If You Just Had Sex? Your skin is irritated. To reduce your risk of vaginal yeast infections, wear underwear that has a cotton crotch and doesn't fit too tightly. What are the risk factors for yeast infection? But while a vaginal yeast infection doesn’t cause long-term complications, untreated BV can. This may help keep the bacteria that normally live in your rectum from getting into your vagina. Vinegar-and-water douches can turn a yeast-friendly alkaline vagina into a yeast-unfriendly acidic vagina.

Talk to your doctor if you have more than four yeast infections per year.

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But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. When you get a yeast infection, you probably follow the same routine: Even if you don't notice this cottage-cheesy discharge, if you're already itchy and irritated, talk to your gynecologist.