Yeast Infection Overview
- Caused by a fungus
- Occurs when the normal environment of the vagina
- Common diagnosis in women with vaginal symptom
- Approximately 75% of all women will experience a
yeast infection at least once in their lifetime
- Prevalence is higher during pregnancy
How do you get it?
The following can cause yeast infections: changes in
hormone levels during menstruation; pregnancy; use of
oral contraceptives; use of antibiotics (which destroy
the normal bacteria in the vagina); use of vaginal
douches, perfumed or colored toilet paper, hygiene
sprays; and wearing of tight, poorly ventilated clothing
and nylon underwear. People who are diabetic or whose
immune systems are compromised are also at risk for
yeast infections. Sexual transmission accounts for only
10-27% of infections.
In females, symptoms include itching, swelling,
irritation or redness around the vaginal area, increased
discharge which may be thick, white and curdy (like
cottage cheese in appearance). There is no or minimal
odor. In males, symptoms include rash, redness and
itching or burning sensation of the penis (symptoms
frequently disappear after showering). Infections occur
in only approximately 20% of male partners of women with
yeast infections. Yeast infections are more common in
No known complications, just intense itching which may
lead to a skin infection if the skin is rubbed too raw.
Yeast infections can be diagnosed through a wet mount
(sample of discharge taken from the vaginal wall),
vaginal culture, or a pH test.
Treatment includes anti-fungal creams, suppositories,
and tablets available over the counter. It is important
to note that all creams and suppositories are oil-based
and may weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. Home
remedies such as yogurt preparations have not been shown
to be effective. Get professional medical treatment
early and avoid self-diagnosis, because it may not be
yeast but some other infection. Take all of the
medication as indicated.
Avoid tight, poorly ventilated clothing and nylon
underwear. Limit or discontinue use of commercial
vaginal douches, perfumed or colored toilet paper, and
feminine hygiene sprays.