Yeast Infection Symptoms

woman holding "candida" sign near genitals

What Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infection?

Yeast infection is a common issue affecting women throughout their lifetime and is not considered an STD. Yeast infections primarily occur in women who experience monthly periods (menstruation), and are much less common among young girls who have not started menstruating. In many cases it becomes a chronic issue with persistent symptoms.

“Yeast Infection it is the second most common type of vaginal infection in the United States.”


Yeast Infection is caused by a yeast called “Candida.” Normally, this yeast just lives inside our bodies—in the gut, mouth, throat and vagina—or on exterior skin, but does not typically cause any problems. However, when the conditions inside the vagina change enough to encourage a high growth rate of Candida, the excess yeast causes an infection.

Common symptoms of yeast infection include:

  • Pain while urinating
  • Pain during sex
  • Itching and soreness around the vulva and vaginal opening
  • Red, swollen or sore vaginal tissues
  • Vaginal discharge is common, but not guaranteed. When presenting, the discharge will be watery, white and clumpy

While Candida does not produce infection under “normal” circumstances, injuries, illness, certain medicines and stressful events can all trigger Candida overgrowth. Due to a similarity among other vaginal infections, yeast infection can be easily confused with symptoms caused by BV and common STDs.

As with all reproductive health concerns, a doctor should always be consulted to prescribe an appropriate treatment. Insufficient care can lead to recurrence of symptoms or chronic infections.

How Do I Treat Yeast Infection?

Treating yeast infection with over-the-counter remedies can prove effective in certain circumstances. However, patients are more likely to resolve their symptoms quickly, spend less money and experience less discomfort by seeing a doctor as soon as symptoms first appear. Typical infections will clear after a few days of treatment. However, itchiness or irritation around the vagina may linger after the infection is gone.

Vaginal Treatment of yeast infection can take the form of cream or tablet that is applied to the vagina at bedtime. Length of treatment can take 1-7 days to clear common symptoms. Oral Treatment of yeast infection takes effect immediately, but may require a secondary dose 72 hours after the initial depending on the severity of your infection.

  • Anti-Fungal Medication (Fluconazole*) is used to clear acute symptoms quickly
  • Boric Acid can be used to self-manage symptoms to avoid recurrence, or new yeast infections

*Oral Fluconazole interacts with several drugs and must be prescribed by a doctor. It is also not recommended to take during pregnancy due to potential harm it can cause the fetus.

Why Am I Getting A Yeast Infection?

Most of the time a yeast infection occurs, the exact cause remains unknown. However, there are some common factors that often predict the emergence of a yeast infection:

  • Use of Broad Spectrum Antibiotics can increase the likelihood of a woman developing a yeast infection in 25-33% of individuals
  • Increased Estrogen Levels appear to promote Candida overgrowth, specifically when using an oral contraceptive that is high in estrogen, during pregnancy as well as estrogen therapy
  • Individuals with a Compromised Immune System tend to higher rates of yeast infection, especially individuals with HIV or those taking corticosteroids
  • Because Diabetes Mellitus promotes poor glycemic control (blood sugar), women with Diabetes are more likely to acquire a vaginal infection than those with normal blood sugar
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