Vaginal Yeast Infection
(Vaginal Candidiasis; Candida Vulvovaginitis; Yeast Infection; Monilial Vulvovaginitis; Vulvovaginal Candidiasis; VVC)
DefinitionA vaginal yeast infection is irritation of the vagina and the outside area around it, called the vulva.
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CausesA yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungus that is normally found in small amounts in the vagina.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of a yeast infection include:
- Situations that can cause hormonal changes, such as birth control pills , pregnancy, menopause , or steroid use
- Broad-spectrum antibiotics
- Diabetes, especially when blood sugar is not well-controlled
- A compromised immune system from health conditions, such as HIV infection
SymptomsA vaginal yeast infection may cause:
- Mild to severe itching
- A clumpy vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese
- Soreness, irritation, or burning
- Rash or redness on the skin outside the vagina
- Painful urination
- Painful sexual intercourse
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A swab test of vaginal discharge will taken to confirm the diagnosis. It is important to see a doctor if you have symptoms. Other health conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases, have symptoms that are similar to a yeast infection. These can include bacterial vaginosis , chlamydia , or gonorrhea .
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