Doctor's Notes on Vaginal Yeast Infection
A vaginal yeast infection is most commonly caused by Candida yeast. The condition can be referred to as vaginal candidiasis or yeast vaginitis. Inflammation or irritation of the tissues of the vagina cause the characteristic symptoms of a yeast infection. Although yeast is normally present in the healthy vagina, disturbances in the normal mix of bacteria in the vagina due to illness, hormonal changes, or taking antibiotics can create an environment in which a yeast infection can develop.
Symptoms and signs of a vaginal yeast infection include itching, which can be severe, along with burning and irritation. A white-gray, thick vaginal discharge is often present that has been described as having the consistency of cottage cheese. Other associated symptoms can include pain or burning with sexual intercourse and redness and swelling of the vulva.
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Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection. The causes of bacterial vaginosis are not clear. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include a foul vaginal odor and vaginal discharge. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis is generally with antibiotics.
Vaginal DischargeVaginal discharge is a fluid or semisolid substance that is normal and helps keep the vagina clean. Normal vaginal discharge is clear or milky white and does not have an unpleasant odor. Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including trichomonas, gonorrhea, or Chlamydia can cause a change in color or odor. Symptoms of infection may include yellow-green or gray discharge, strong odor, or irritation of the genitals. Treatment depends on the infection.
Vaginal InfectionsVaginal infections, or vaginitis, describe the most common medical concerns women have in the area of their reproductive organs. Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that creates discharge, odor, and other symptoms.
Vaginal Yeast Infection TreatmentsA vaginal yeast infection occurs when normal fungi in the vagina experience an overgrowth. Yeast infections can be caused by use of antibiotics, hormonal changes, diabetes, use of douches, and a compromised immune system, among other causes. Treatments are typically simple and can include oral and vaginal medications.
Yeast Infection (Candida, Candidiasis)Candidiasis is type of yeast infection, and is the most common type of yeast infection. Candidiasis yeast infections are caused by a fungus. Areas where candidiasis yeast infection can occur are vaginal, thrush (mouth), skin, diaper rash, nailbed, penile, and other genital organs. Treatment for candidiasis yeast infections are OTC and prescription medication. Rarely a candidiasis yeast infection can infect the internal organs and cause serious complications, even death.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.