Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
- Vaginal yeast infection facts
- What is a vaginal yeast infection?
- What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?
- What may increase my risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection?
- How is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed?
- Are there home remedies to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
- What over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
- When are oral prescription medications used to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
- How can a yeast infection be treated if I am pregnant?
- Can a man get a yeast infection from his sexual partner?
- What are the symptoms of a yeast infection in men?
- What is the treatment for yeast infection in men?
- How can vaginal yeast infections be prevented?
- What about recurrent yeast infections?
- How can you protect yourself from contracting a yeast infection from your sexual partner?
- Take the Yeast Infection Quiz
- What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain Slideshow
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Slideshow
- Yeast Infection FAQs
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Vaginal yeast infection facts
- Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by the organism Candida albicans.
- Yeast infections are very common and affect up to 75% of women at some point in their lifetime.
- The main symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is itching, but burning, discharge, and pain with urination or intercourse can also occur.
- Treatment involves topical or oral antifungal medications.
- It is possible for a woman to transmit a yeast infection to a male sex partner, even though yeast infection is not considered to be a true sexually-transmitted disease (STD) because it can occur in women who are not sexually active.
- Treatment of yeast infection in men, like in women, involves antifungal medications.
- Keeping the vaginal area dry and avoiding irritating chemicals can help prevent yeast infections in women. Consuming foods with probiotics also may help.
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
A vaginal yeast infection is an infection caused by yeast (a type of fungus). Vaginal yeast infection is sometimes referred to as yeast vaginitis, Candidal vaginitis, or Candidal vulvovaginitis. The scientific name for the yeast that causes vaginitis is Candida. Over 90% of vaginal yeast infections are caused by the species known as Candida albicans. Other Candida species make up the remainder of yeast infections.
Candida species can be present in healthy women in the vagina without causing any symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that 20% to 50% of women have Candida already present in the vagina. For an infection to occur, the normal balance of yeast and bacteria is disturbed, allowing overgrowth of the yeast. While yeast can be spread by sexual contact, vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually-transmitted disease because it can also occur in women who are not sexually active, due to the fact that yeast can be present in the vagina of healthy women.
Vaginal yeast infections are very common, affecting up to 75% of women at some point in life.
What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area, or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria. For example, when the normal, protective bacteria are eradicated by antibiotics (taken to treat a urinary tract, respiratory, or other types of infection) or by immunosuppressive drugs, the yeast can multiply, invade tissues, and cause irritation of the lining of the vagina (vaginitis).
Vaginal yeast infections can also occur as a result of injury to the inner vagina, such as after chemotherapy. Also, women with suppressed immune systems (for example, those taking cortisone-related medications such as prednisone) develop vaginal yeast infections more frequently than women with normal immunity. Other conditions that may predispose women to developing vaginal yeast infections include diabetes, pregnancy, and taking oral contraceptives. The use of douches or perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays may also increase a woman's risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection.
A vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD), since Candida may be present in the normal vagina, and the condition does occur in celibate women. However, it is possible for men to develop symptoms of skin irritation of the penis from a yeast infection after sexual intercourse with an infected partner, although this is not always the case.
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