A vaginal yeast infection is irritation of the vagina and outer area called the vulva.
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This condition is caused by a fungus. The fungus is normally found in the vagina in small amounts. When too much of it grows and spreads, it causes symptoms.
Things that can raise the risk are:
A vaginal yeast infection may cause:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A vaginal swab will be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
Yeast infections are treated with medicine. It may be available as pills or creams.
Probiotics may also be helpful when used with medicine.
To lower the risk of a yeast infection:
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women's Health Matters
Blostein F, Levin-Sparenberg E. Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Ann Epidemiol. 2017 Sep;27(9):575-582.
Vaginal yeast infection. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/vaginal-yeast-infections.html. Accessed January 21, 2021.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/vulvovaginal-candidiasis Accessed January 21, 2021.
Yeast infections. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/yeast-infections.html. Accessed January 21, 2021.
1/21/2021 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. https://www.dynamed.com/condition/vulvovaginal-candidiasis : Xie HY, Feng D, Wei DM, et al. Probiotics for vulvovaginal candidiasis in non-pregnant women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;11:CD010496.
Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary Beth Seymour, RN Last Updated: 1/21/2021