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)?
- Can a man get a yeast infection from a sexual partner?
- 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
How are vaginal yeast infections and vulvitis diagnosed?
Vaginal yeast infection is suggested when a cheesy white discharge is noted over the walls of the vagina, but the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are nonspecific and may be a result of other conditions. To firmly establish the diagnosis and to rule out any other causes of the symptoms, your doctor may take a specimen scraped from the affected area for microscopic analysis or for culture in the laboratory. Identification of yeast under a microscope, when possible, is the least expensive and most rapid and accurate way to establish the diagnosis.
What is the treatment for vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis?
Vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis may be treated with antifungal medications that are applied topically in and around the vagina or with antifungal medications taken by mouth. Sometimes, mixed infections with more than one microbe can require combinations of treatments.
Topically applied antifungal creams include:
- butoconazole (Femstat 3),
- clotrimazole (Lotrimin),
- miconazole (Monistat), and
- terconazole (Terazol 3).
Learn more about: Terazol
The over-the-counter topical treatments are an option for some women when yeast is the cause of the infection. As previously mentioned, infection other than yeast can cause similar symptoms. These include bacterial vaginosis, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea. If symptoms are not eliminated by over-the-counter products, women should see their doctor for evaluation.
Antifungal medications that are also available as vaginal tablets include:
- clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex),
- miconazole (Monistat; Micatin),
- terconazole (Terazol), and
- nystatin (Mycostatin)
Oral medications for yeast vaginitis and vulvitis include fluconazole (Diflucan).
Learn more about: Diflucan
Most doctors prefer to treat vaginal yeast infections with vaginal tablets or suppositories rather than oral medications. Oral antifungal medication can cause side effects such as headache, nausea, and abdominal pain, while vaginal treatment is unlikely to cause these side effects.
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