Vaginal Yeast Infection
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.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Vaginal yeast infection facts
- What is yeast?
- What is vaginitis?
- What is vulvitis (inflammation of the vulva)?
- What causes yeast infections in men?
- What causes vaginal yeast infections?
- What may increase my risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection?
- What are vulvitis and vaginal yeast infection symptoms and signs?
- What about recurrent yeast infections?
- What other vaginal infections have similar symptoms as a yeast infection?
- When should I see a health care professional if I think I have a yeast infection?
- Can I pass a yeast infection to my sexual partner (male or female)?
- How are vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis?
- How can a yeast infection be treated if I am pregnant?
- If yeast is commonly present in normal women, who should be treated?
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Vaginal yeast infection facts
- Yeast vaginitis is an infection of the vagina caused by a fungus known as Candida.
- Yeast vaginitis is characterized by itching, burning, soreness, pain during intercourse and/or urination, and vaginal discharge.
- Yeast infection can be spread to a male or female partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in a man are itching and irritation of the penis after sexual contact with an infected woman.
- Yeast vaginitis can be treated with antifungal medications applied to the affected area or taken by mouth.
- Candida may be normally present in small amounts in some women and not cause disease.
- The presence of Candida without symptoms of infection does not require treatment.
What is yeast?
Yeast is a type of fungus; when one speaks of a yeast infection this is referring to the fungus scientifically known as Candida. The specific type of fungus most commonly responsible for vaginitis is Candida albicans. Yeast is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina. In fact, it is estimated that between 20% to 50% of healthy women normally carry yeast in the vaginal area.
What is vaginitis?
Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis is very common and is reported by as many as 75% of women at some point in their lives. Vaginitis can be caused by a number of infections as well as noninfectious causes such as trauma or chemical irritation. Infectious vaginitis has numerous causes including bacteria (such as Gardnerella and gonorrhea), protozoans (such as trichomonas), and yeast (Candida). Vaginal yeast infection, which is the most common form of vaginitis, is often referred to as vaginal Candidiasis.
What is vulvitis?
Vulvitis is inflammation of the external genital organs of the female (the vulva). The vulva includes the labia, clitoris, and entrance to the vagina (the vestibule of the vagina). An inflammation of the vulva is referred to as vulvitis. Vulvitis, like vaginitis, may be caused by a number of different infections or noninfectious causes. Because the vulva is also often inflamed when there is inflammation of the vagina, vaginitis is sometimes referred to as vulvovaginitis.
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