Vaginal Yeast Infection

(Vaginal Candidiasis; Candida Vulvovaginitis; Yeast Infection; Monilial Vulvovaginitis; Vulvovaginal Candidiasis; VVC)

Definition

A vaginal yeast infection is irritation of the vagina and the outside area around it, called the vulva.
Vagina
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Causes

A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungus that is normally found in small amounts in the vagina.

Risk Factors

Factors 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
  • Douching
  • Diabetes, especially when blood sugar is not well-controlled
  • A compromised immune system from health conditions, such as HIV infection

Symptoms

A 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

Diagnosis

Your 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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