Answers FAQ

Yeast Infection FAQs

Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Take the Yeast Infection Quiz First! Before reading this FAQ, challenge yourself and
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Q:What is the most common symptom of a vaginal yeast infection?

A:Itching. The most common symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is itching in the vaginal and/or vulvar area. Other symptoms of vaginal yeast infection and vulvitis include burning, soreness, pain during intercourse and/or during urination, and a thick, white vaginal discharge.

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Q:Yeast infections are considered sexually transmitted. True or False?

A:False. A vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection, since Candida may be present in the normal vagina, and the condition does occur in celibate women.

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Q:Should women douche regularly?

A:No. Because the body has a natural way of cleansing the vaginal canal by itself, most doctors recommend women avoid douching unless specifically prescribed by a doctor.

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Q:Vaginal yeast infections are caused by bacteria. True or False?

A:False. Yeast is a fungus scientifically referred to as Candida. The specific type of fungus most commonly responsible for vaginitis is Candida albicans.

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Q:Recurrent yeast infections may be related to an underlying medical condition. True or False?

A:True. A recurrent yeast infection occurs when a woman has four or more infections in one year that are not related to antibiotic use. Recurrent yeast infections may be related to an underlying medical condition and may require more aggressive treatment.

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Q:Chlamydia can be mistaken for a vaginal yeast infection. True or False?

A:True. Infections other than yeast infections can cause symptoms similar to those seen with vaginal yeast infections. These include bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. If symptoms are not eliminated by over-the-counter products, you should see your doctor for evaluation.

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Q:How can a vaginal yeast infection be prevented?

A:Wearing cotton or silk panties, Wash, dry, and change panties often and Eat yogurt. To prevent vaginal yeast infections, be aware of the following: Wear cotton or silk underwear to prevent excess moisture; Wash, dry, and change panties often; Avoid douching and feminine sprays, and eat yogurt with active cultures to replenish healthy bacteria.

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Q:What causes yeast infections?

A:Overgrowth of vaginal yeast and Lack of protective vaginal bacteria. Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area, or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria.

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Q:What is acidophilus?

A:Helpful bacteria. Acidophilus (acid-off-ill-us) is a type of "good" bacteria found in yogurt. Eating yogurt with acidophilus may be useful in preventing candidiasis (thrush), including in the vagina.

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Q:Women with HIV have no treatment options for vaginal yeast infections. True or False?

A:False. For women with HIV, vaginal yeast infection treatment options are the same as those for women without HIV, but treatment may take longer or need to be repeated.

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