Candidiasis: Vaginal Yeast Infection to Blame for Your Vaginitis?

Candidiasis is yeast infection caused by the species of yeast called Candida. It can occur in the mouth (oral thrush) or in any other mucous membrane, or even in the blood. A new or expectant mother may have a yeast infection of the nipple (link opens in a new window to a highly recommended breastfeeding site), which can transfer to her baby and cause pain and suffering to both mother and child.

When it causes a vaginal yeast infection, it is technically known as “vulvovaginal candidiasis” or "VVC"  It is sometimes also called "vaginal thrush".

Vaginal yeast infection is the second most common cause of vaginitis after bacterial vaginosis (BV). It is diagnosed in up to 40% of women with vaginal complaints who visit their general doctor. It is estimated that 70-75% of women report at least 1 vaginitis caused by yeast in their lives, and 40-50% of them have infections that occur again and again (recurrent). Learn how to recognize the symptoms and causes.

What Are the Symptoms of a Vaginal Yeast Infection?

The main symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are discharge that is whitish and like cottage cheese and/or an itchy vagina with redness and burning on the labia. The discharge usually does not have a foul odor. There may be pain and burning with urination and with intercourse.

What Causes Candidiasis?

When most women think of a female yeast problem, they immediately think of Candida albicans as being responsible for it. Candida albicans is the most common infectious yeast, but other Candida species can cause Candidiasis. Other types of yeast can be to blame for vaginitis, too.

It's also possible that the vaginitis you're experiencing is not from yeast at all, or is from yeast plus bacteria in a mixed infection. The only way to know for sure is through an accurate diagnosis.

Like most things in life, there is probably more than just one cause of your vaginal yeast infection.  Causes for vaginitis caused by yeast can be:

  • Lack of sufficient immune response in the vagina
  • Genetics
  • Allergy to yeast
  • Sensitivity to ingredients in feminine products
  • Diabetes and high blood sugar levels
  • Antibiotic use
  • Mental/social stress
  • Pre-menstrual period
  • Pregnancy
  • Oral contraceptive use
  • Hormone replacement
  • Obesity
  • Corticosteroid use
  • Lack of sufficient amounts of protective flora
  • Frequent sex
  • Spermicide use
  • Tight clothing and/or synthetic-fiber clothing

Go to information on diagnosis of female yeast problems.

Find out conventional treatments for a vaginal yeast infection.

See how probiotics can help with your yeast problems.

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