Yeast infection occurs when yeast in the vagina increase and start attacking the vaginal tissues. Yeast is not bacteria, but a type of fungus. These infections are often caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans. Other species of yeast can also cause infections. Factors that may make infection more likely include recent antibiotic use, douching, or increased frequency of intercourse. Yeast infections are more common in women who are diabetic, obese, pregnant, or have a suppressed immune system.
Symptoms of yeast infection
- Clumpy or thin, white discharge, which may look like cottage cheese
- No odor or minimal odor
- Severe vaginal itching or burning
- Burning with urination
- Swelling, redness of vulva
Treating yeast infection
Yeast infection is treated with a vaginal antifungal cream. In some cases, antifungal pills are prescribed instead. During treatment:
- Finish all of your medication, even if your symptoms go away.
- Apply the cream before going to bed. Lie flat after applying so that it doesn't drip out.
- Do not douche or use tampons.
- Don't rely on a diaphragm or condoms, since the cream may weaken them.
- Avoid intercourse if advised by your health care provider.
- Call your health care provider if symptoms persist or come back after your medication is finished.
Should I treat a yeast infection myself?
Discuss with your health care provider whether you should use over-the-counter medications to treat a yeast infection. Self-treatment may depend on whether:
- You've had a yeast infection in the past.
- You're at risk for STDs.
Call your health care provider if symptoms persist after treatment.
March 12, 2015
Grantham, Paula, RN, BSN, MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician