July 25, 2014
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Yeast Infection

 Health Home >> Yeast Infection >> The facts about yeast infection 


What are yeast infections?

Got that itchy feeling?

Do you think you might have a yeast infection? Three out of four women will have a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. It's a common condition. A yeast infection is an overgrowth of yeast in your vagina, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • itching and burning in and around your vagina
  • burning sensation when urinating (peeing)
  • vaginal pain or discomfort during sex
  • vaginal discharge that may look like cottage cheese (it may also be thinner or absent)

The truth about yeast!

Did you know that you can have yeast in your vagina even when you don't have a yeast infection? Yeast, also called Candida, is naturally found in a healthy vagina and on other body areas, along with a number of kinds of healthy bacteria. Normally the yeast and bacteria don't give you any problems unless they overgrow.

If you're wondering whether you've really got a yeast infection, see your doctor to be sure. Why take chances?

There are different types of Candida. If you've got a yeast infection, you most likely have the type called Candida albicans, which is responsible for about 90% of all yeast infections. A rarer type, Candida glabrata, causes most of the other 10% of infections and can be harder to treat. For this reason, and others, you should see your doctor before you start treating your own yeast infection. Fill out our "Doctor Discussion Guide" to help you prepare for your doctor visit.

Although yeast can infect other areas of your body, the term "yeast infections" is often used to refer to yeast infections in the vagina. These infections can also be called "female yeast infections," "vaginal yeast infections," or vaginitis. Vaginitis is a broader term that includes yeast overgrowth and other causes of inflammation in the vagina and surrounding area. This information focuses on yeast infections in the vagina. Want to learn more about yeast infections in other parts of your body? Visit the Disease or Condition library.

Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team


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