What are vaginal yeast infections?
Yeast called Candida is a type of fungus. Some Candida live in your vagina all the time. Your vagina connects your uterus (where a baby grows when you're pregnant) to the outside of your body. Some people call it the birth canal. A vaginal yeast infection happens when too many yeast cells grow in your vagina.
These infections are very common and aren't usually serious
Yeast infections are most common when you’re pregnant, have diabetes Diabetes Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right. There are 2 types of... read more , or are taking antibiotics
Symptoms may get worse the week before your monthly period starts and include vaginal itching Genital Itching Genital itching is when your vagina (birth canal) or the area outside the opening to the vagina (called your vulva) feels scratchy and itchy. Most women have a little genital itching every once... read more and discharge Vaginal Discharge Vaginal discharge is fluid that comes out of your vagina (birth canal). All women have some vaginal discharge at times. Normal vaginal discharge is milky white or thin and clear, without any... read more
Antifungal medicines are used to treat yeast infections
Internal Female Genital Organs
What are the symptoms of yeast infections?
Itchiness Genital Itching Genital itching is when your vagina (birth canal) or the area outside the opening to the vagina (called your vulva) feels scratchy and itchy. Most women have a little genital itching every once... read more of your vagina and vulva (the area on the outside of your body at the opening of your vagina)
Symptoms may get worse the week before your monthly period starts.
How can my doctor tell if I have a yeast infection?
Your doctor will suspect a yeast infection based on your symptoms. To tell for sure, your doctor will do a pelvic exam. During a pelvic exam, your doctor looks at your vulva and inside your vagina. In order to see inside, your doctor will hold your vagina open with a small instrument called a speculum. During the exam, your doctor will use a cotton swab to take a sample of discharge from your vagina and test it.
How do doctors treat yeast infections?
Yeast infections are treated with antifungal medicines. These are available as:
Creams, ointments, or suppositories that you put in your vagina (you can get these without a prescription)
Prescription pills you take by mouth
The oils in antifungal creams and ointments can weaken condoms made of latex. If you plan to have sex while using one of these medicines, use a different form of birth control, like a diaphragm, but also use a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections How can I prevent STIs? STIs are infections that are passed from person to person through sexual contact, including oral sex. STIs may be caused by different types of germs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and... read more (STIs).
If you have a high risk of getting yeast infections, you may need to take an antifungal medicine by mouth to prevent them. Needing to take antibiotics for a long time puts you at a high risk for yeast infections.