©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Symptoms and Signs of Yeast Infection and Bacterial Vaginosis

Doctor's Notes on Yeast Infection and Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms

Two of the most common causes of vaginitis (inflammation of the vaginal area) are yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. Vaginal yeast infections caused by Candida albicans are most commonly responsible for vaginitis. Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area or when there is an overgrowth of the yeast already present in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis refers to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria that are normally present in the vagina.

Symptoms of both yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis include vaginal discharge. In bacterial vaginosis, discharge is usually gray to white in color but can be of any color and there is an unpleasant odor. In yeast infection, discharge is usually odorless, thick and whitish, with a consistency similar to that of cottage cheese. Other symptoms yeast infections include itching in the vaginal or vulvar area, a burning sensation and pain during intercourse or urination are also characteristic symptoms of a yeast vaginitis.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Yeast Infection and Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms Symptoms

Like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection may result in a vaginal discharge. In this case, if discharge is present, it is usually thick and whitish, with a consistency similar to that of cottage cheese. But the most common symptom is itching in the vaginal or vulvar area. A burning sensation and pain during intercourse or urination are also characteristic symptoms of a yeast vaginitis. Unlike the discharge of bacterial vaginosis, the discharge of a yeast infection is typically odorless.

If you have any of the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis or yeast vaginitis, it is important to contact your health care practitioner. The symptoms of both conditions are nonspecific and can also occur in more serious infections and conditions, so a correct diagnosis is important. By examination of the vaginal discharge under a microscope, the diagnosis can usually be established if it is not apparent from the symptoms alone. Both conditions can be effectively treated with antibiotics, and an accurate diagnosis ensures the choice of appropriate antibiotic treatment.

Yeast Infection and Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms Causes

Up to 75% of women will experience an inflammatory condition of the vagina at some point in their lives. Medically known as vaginitis, inflammation in the vaginal area is a common condition resulting from multiple causes. Two of the most common causes of vaginitis are yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis refers to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria that are normally present in the vagina and is not a sexually-transmitted infection (STD). The condition used to be referred to as Gardnerella vaginitis; because Gardnerella is a type of bacteria that sometimes causes the infection. While symptoms are not present in about half of women with bacterial vaginosis, those who do experience symptoms will have vaginal discharge, usually with an unpleasant odor. The discharge is usually gray to white in color but can be of any color.

Another common type of vaginitis results from vaginal yeast infections. Candida albicans is the type of fungus most commonly responsible for vaginitis. Yeast is believed to be present in the vagina of 20%-50% of healthy women. Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast is introduced into the vaginal area or when there is an overgrowth of the yeast already present in the vagina, for example, when the normal protective bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics taken to treat another infection. Yeast can also overgrow and cause infections in women with suppressed immune function.

Fungus Among Us What to Know About Fungal Infections in Pictures Slideshow

Fungus Among Us What to Know About Fungal Infections in Pictures Slideshow

Fungal skin infections can be itchy and annoying, but they're rarely serious. Common infections such as athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm are caused by fungus and are easy to get and to pass around. In healthy people, they usually don't spread beyond the skin's surface, so they're easy to treat. If you spend a lot of time at the gym, take steps to protect yourself against fungal infections.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW