Yeast Vaginitis (cont.)
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.
In this Article
- 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?
- Pictures of What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain - Slideshow
- Take the Yeast Infection Quiz!
- Pictures of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - Slideshow
- Yeast Infection FAQs
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What causes vaginal yeast infections?
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 mellitus, 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 infection (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.
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