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Yeast Infection

What is Yeast Infection?

Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (yeast infection) is one of the most common causes of vulvovaginal itching and discharge. It is caused by candida albican and other species. Candida is a normal vaginal flora, yeast infection happens when there is overgrowth can lead to discomfort.


While yeast infections are not considered STIs, sexual activity can still contribute to their development or spread. Sexual activity can introduce new bacteria and other organisms into the vagina, disrupting the natural balance of bacteria and fungi and leading to an overgrowth of Candida.

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There are several steps that can help prevent yeast infections, including:
  • Keep the genital area clean and dry.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid irritants.
  • Limit sugar intake: Yeast thrives on sugar, so limiting your sugar intake can help prevent yeast overgrowth.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Use antibiotics judiciously: Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria and fungi in the body, leading to an increased risk of yeast infections. Only use antibiotics when necessary and as prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of a yeast infection can vary depending on the location and severity of the infection, but they typically include:

Symptoms include

  • Itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva
  • Burning sensation during urination or sex
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva
  • White, thick, clumpy discharge that resembles cottage cheese
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • A strong, unpleasant odor (less common)


Over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories: These medications are available without a prescription and are inserted into the vagina to treat the infection. Examples include miconazole (Monistat) and clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin).

Prescription antifungal medications: If the infection is severe or recurrent, a healthcare provider may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as fluconazole (Diflucan).

Short-term topical corticosteroids: These medications may be prescribed to help relieve itching and inflammation associated with the infection.

Common questions about Yeast Infection


Besides dietary adjustments, wearing loose, breathable clothing and underwear made from natural fibers like cotton can help keep the area dry and reduce the conditions that promote yeast growth. Additionally, avoiding scented hygiene products and douches can help maintain the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina.

Yeast infections are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. If you suspect a yeast infection while pregnant, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider before using any over-the-counter treatments. They can prescribe safe and effective treatment options that won’t harm you or the baby.

It can sometimes be challenging to distinguish a yeast infection from other conditions like bacterial vaginosis or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) based solely on symptoms. A healthcare provider may recommend lab tests, such as a vaginal swab, to accurately diagnose the condition and ensure appropriate management.

Yes, although more common in women, men can also develop yeast infections, typically around the genital area, known as a penile yeast infection. It's important for men experiencing irritation, itching, or a rash to consult a healthcare provider for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Yes, yeast infections can recur, even after successful treatment. Recurrences can be due to incomplete treatment, resistance to medication, or underlying factors that predispose one to yeast overgrowth. Discussing preventive strategies with a healthcare provider is crucial if recurrences are frequent.

Symptoms of a yeast infection usually begin to improve within a few days of starting treatment. Complete symptom resolution can take up to one week. If symptoms persist beyond this period, it's advisable to return to your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

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