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 may increase my risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection?
As mentioned previously, women who have conditions that result in decreased immune function are more likely than others to develop yeast infections. These include women with cancer or receiving cancer chemotherapy, those with diabetes, and women taking steroid medications. Pregnant women and women taking oral contraceptives are also at increased risk.
Taking antibiotics for any reason can alter the normal bacterial populations in the vagina and predispose to the overgrowth of yeast.
You can also take steps to reduce moisture in the genital area and reduce the chances of developing a yeast infection. Wearing cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch, wearing loose-fitting pants, and avoiding prolonged wearing of wet workout gear or bathing suits are all measures that can help control moisture.
What are vulvitis and vaginal yeast infection symptoms and signs?
Vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis cause symptoms that are nonspecific, which means that aside from the yeast infection, other conditions can cause the identical symptoms. The most common symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is itching in the vaginal and/or vulvar area. Other symptoms of vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis include:
- pain during intercourse and/or urination, and
- vaginal discharge. (Vaginal discharge is not always present, but when it occurs, the discharge is odorless and typically has a whitish, thick appearance and texture, like cottage cheese.)
Vulvitis can also cause local pain in addition to the above symptoms. Pain in the vulvar area is referred to as vulvodynia.
In up to 5% of women, yeast vulvovaginitis may cause a recurrent problem. A recurrent yeast infection occurs when a woman has four or more infections in one year that are not related to antibiotic use. Recurrent yeast infections may be related to an underlying medical condition and may require more aggressive treatment.
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