Vaginal Yeast Infections: Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal yeast infections (also known as candidal vulvovaginitis or vaginal candidiasis) can cause irritation, itchiness of the vagina and skin around it as well as whitish vaginal discharge. The infection is caused by a species of fungus known as Candida albicans and is referred to medically as candidiasis. This type of infection is common, affecting perhaps as many as 3 out of 4 women over their lifetimes.

Risk Factors of Vaginal Yeast Infections

The following raise the risk of developing vaginal candidiasis:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Antibiotic treatment
  • Oral to genital sex
  • Impaired immunity, such as from HIV or corticosteroid treatment
  • Pregnancy
  • Increased estrogen levels from birth control or other hormone treatment

How to Prevent Vaginal Yeast Infections

Prevention of vaginal yeast infections consists of:

  • Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic treatment, such as for viral infections (it won’t do any good anyway)
  • Wearing panties with a cotton crotch, and avoiding tight pantyhose
  • Not wearing wet swimsuits for too long
  • Avoiding scented products such as bubble bath, tampons, and pads
  • Avoiding hot tubs and overly hot baths
  • Controlling blood sugar levels if diabetic

Treatment of Vaginal Candidiasis

  • Diflucan (fluconazole) is taken orally at a dose of 150 mg once.
  • Monistat (miconazole) is applied as a vaginal suppository either once (Monistat 1) or three times (Monistat 3) at bedtime. Monistat cream is applied to affected skin around the vagina.
  • Terconazole is available as a cream or vaginal suppository. The cream is applied with a barrel-shaped applicator for 3 or 7 consecutive nights. The suppository is applied either with or without the applicator at bedtime for 3 consecutive nights.

Did you know? QuickMD can treat vaginal yeast infections from the convenience of your home, and provide you with a prescription for fluconazole online (or any of the other antifungal prescription drugs). 

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Articles on this website are meant for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not delay care because of the content on this site. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call your doctor immediately or call 911 (if within the United States).

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