Overview

Vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that affects the tissues at the vaginal opening and causes irritation, discharge, and severe itching.

Up to 3 out of 4 women will have vaginal yeast infection, also known as vaginal candidiasis, at some point in their lives. Most women have two or more episodes.

The term “sexually transmitted infection” does not include vaginal yeast infections. However, the first regular sexual activity carries a higher risk of vaginal yeast infection. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that mouth-to-genital contact can cause infections (oral-genital sex).

Vaginal yeast infections can be successfully treated with medication. You may require a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan if you get four or more recurrent yeast infections within a year.

Symptoms

The following are signs of a yeast infection, which range from mild to moderate:

  • Rashes, soreness and pain of the vagina
  • Vaginal and vulvar itchiness and irritation
  • The vulva becomes red and swollen
  • The vagina has a watery discharge
  • A burning sensation, especially when urinating or having sex
  • Thick, white, odorless vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese

Complicated yeast infection

The following conditions will lead to complicated yeast infection:

  • You exhibit severe symptoms, like a great deal of redness, swelling, and itching that results in tears, fissures, or sores.
  • Experiencing four or more yeast infection within one year
  • Yeast infection that is caused by a rare fungus category
  • Being pregnant
  • Diabetes that is uncontrolled
  • Being immunocompromised due to specific medication consumption or having HIV infection.

Consult your doctor or gynecologist if you experience the sign and symptoms of vaginal yeast infection.

Causes

The most common of vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus candida albicans.

A healthy balance of bacteria and yeast, including candida, can be found in your vagina naturally. Several bacteria, including lactobacillus, work to stop yeast from growing too much.

However, that equilibrium could be upset. The symptoms and signs of a yeast infection are brought on by an overgrowth of candida or by the fungus’ penetration into deeper layers of vaginal cell tissue.

The following are the causes of yeast overgrowth:

  • The use of antibiotics, which disrupts the natural flora in the vaginal cavity.
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised)
  • Hormonal treatments that boost estrogen levels, such as oral contraceptives

The most typical fungus that causes yeast infections is Candida albicans. Other kinds of candida fungus can cause yeast infections, which can be harder to treat and typically require more aggressive medications.