- Basic facts about yeast infections
- Yeast infection symptoms
- Common causes
- When to see a doctor
- How a pharmacist can help
Frequently Asked Questions About Yeast Infections
- What is a vaginal yeast infection?
- How do I know if I have one?
- What are some common causes?
- Can hormones contribute?
- Can menstruation, pregnancy or menopause contribute to the occurrence of yeast infections?
- Are all yeast infection treatments the same?
- Do 1-day treatments cure faster than 3-day treatments?
- Can I get a yeast infection from having sex?
- Can I give a yeast infection to my sexual partner?
- Is it okay to have sex while I’m using Canesten®?
- I’ve had several yeast infections over the past year. Should I continue to use OTC preparations?
- I used an OTC product for my yeast infection, but the infection didn’t go away. What should I do?
- Can yeast infections be prevented?
- When should I see my doctor?
1. What is a vaginal yeast infection?
A yeast infection is a common type of vaginal infection caused most commonly by an overgrowth of yeast organisms called Candida albicans. Candida is normally present in your body, but when an imbalance occurs, such as when the normal pH of the vagina changes or when your hormonal levels change, Candida can multiply. When that happens, you can get a vaginal yeast infection.
2. How do I know if I have one?
You may experience itching, burning, and a thick, white vaginal discharge that might resemble cottage cheese. You may also notice redness or experience vulvar pain. If this is your first yeast infection, don’t try to diagnose or treat it yourself. The only way to know for sure is to see your doctor. It might be another kind of vaginal condition, and more than one infection can occur at the same time.
3. What are some common causes?
Certain antibiotics can create conditions for yeast overgrowth. If you take oral antibiotics, or are on a regular course of antibiotic therapy, a yeast infection can result. Steroid therapy can also cause yeast overgrowth. Yeast infections can occur in certain people with diabetes. When blood sugar is high, yeast can grow rapidly. Your lifestyle can make a difference, too. Wearing tight jeans, synthetic underwear, or a wet swimsuit can create a warm, moist environment where Candida thrives. Douching and wiping from rear to front after urination or a bowel movement can also negatively affect the vaginal environment. A compromised immune system can also result in yeast overgrowth. If you are currently experiencing vaginal infections that either don’t subside or are recurrent, see your doctor promptly to determine the cause of your symptoms and to receive proper medical care.
4. Can hormones contribute?
Yes. In a normal cycle, estrogen deposits glycogen, a form of sugar, in the cells in the lin