A vaginal yeast infection vaginal candidiasis is caused by an overgrowth of a fungus that naturally lives in your vagina, called Candida albicans. This overgrowth triggers irritation, inflammation, itching, and painful discharge. Most women experience a yeast infection sometime during their lifetime.
In the United States, vaginal infections are one of the most common reasons women see their doctor, accounting for millions of visits each year. Vaginal infections are caused by microorganisms, but women can take precautions, such as wearing loose, absorbent underwear, to reduce their risk of getting infections. Doctors examine a sample of fluids from the vagina or cervix to check for microorganisms that can cause infections.
We respect your privacy. Vaginal infections and vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, are very common — so much so that most women will experience one or the other, and likely both, during their lifetime. Symptoms of either a vaginal infection or vaginitis may include vaginal dischargeitching, burning, pain, and a strong odor. While some vaginal infections are caused by sexually transmitted diseases, other very common ones are not.
The feisty warning signs of an oncoming yeast infection can strike at any time: irritation, burning, discharge. Yeast can grow out of check when a person is stressed, has recently used antibiotics or has a weakened immune system. Persistent infections, however, know no health, race or age boundaries.
Top of the page Decision Point. You may want to have a say in this decision, or you may simply want to follow your doctor's recommendation. Either way, this information will help you understand what your choices are so that you can talk to your doctor about them.
All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. Two out of three women who buy yeast infection medicine don't really have a yeast infection.
It might not be a yeast infection. Test before you treat with the same one-step test used by doctors. Every year, millions of cases of vaginitis vaginal inflammation affect women of all ages, but they are especially susceptible during the reproductive years. Fluctuating hormonal levels, bacteria, and sexual activities are just a few of the most common reasons women experience vaginal discomfort.
Vaginal infections can be caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses growing in and around your vulva and vagina. Infections of your vagina and vulva can cause symptoms such as soreness and itchiness around your vulva and vagina, and an unusual vaginal discharge. Most vaginal infections can be treated quickly and easily.
Candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast a type of fungus called Candida. Candida normally lives inside the body in places such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina and on skin without causing any problems. Sometimes Candida can multiply and cause an infection if the environment inside the vagina changes in a way that encourages its growth. Although most vaginal candidiasis is mild, some women can develop severe infections involving redness, swelling, and cracks in the wall of the vagina.