Vaginal Yeast Infection

A vaginal yeast infection is irritation of the vagina and the outside area around it, called the vulva.

  • Causes

    A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungus that is normally found in small amounts in the vagina.

  • Definition

    A vaginal yeast infection is irritation of the vagina and the outside area around it, called the vulva.

    Vagina
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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A swab test of vaginal discharge will taken to confirm the diagnosis.


    It is important to see a doctor if you have symptoms. Other health conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases, have symptoms that are similar to a yeast infection. These can include
    bacterial vaginosis
    ,
    chlamydia
    , or
    gonorrhea
    .

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chance of getting a yeast infection, take these steps:

    • Dry the outside vaginal area thoroughly after a shower, bath, or swim.
    • Don't douche unless your doctor tells you to do so.
    • If you have
      diabetes, try to control your blood sugar.
    • Avoid frequent or prolonged use of antibiotics if possible.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of a yeast infection include:


    • Situations that can cause hormonal changes, such as
      birth control pills
      ,
      pregnancy,
      menopause
      , or steroid use
    • Broad-spectrum antibiotics
    • Douching
    • Diabetes
      , especially when blood sugar is not well-controlled

    • A compromised immune system from health conditions such as
      HIV

  • Symptoms

    A vaginal yeast infection may cause:

    • Mild to severe itching
    • A clumpy vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese
    • Soreness, irritation, or burning
    • Rash or redness on the skin outside the vagina
    • Painful urination
    • Painful sexual intercourse

  • Treatment