Symptoms, causes, and treatments for
Genital yeast infections, also called candidiasis, are a type of fungal infection that occurs in and around the genitals of both men and women.
Common symptoms of a yeast infection include:
Although men can contract a yeast infection, they’re more common in women. Pregnant women in particular highly susceptible to yeast infections because of changes in estrogen production over the course of a pregnancy. Shifts in estrogen levels affect the body’s balance of vaginal bacteria and naturally occurring yeast.
The bacteria candida albicans is one of the main contributors of vaginal yeast infections. Other bacteria can trigger an infection, but are much less common.
If the balance between your natural vaginal chemistry of bacteria and yeast is impacted, then you may experience an excess production of yeast in your vagina leading to a yeast infection.
Other common causes of yeast infections include:
Even though yeast infections can be triggered by sex, especially oral-to-genital sex, doctors don’t classify them as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
It’s likely for a woman to experience one or more yeast infections during her lifetime. Because environmental causes and changes in lifestyle can directly impact the balance of bacteria and yeast in the body, it’s not uncommon to have a yeast infection from time to time.
Some women are able to self-manage a yeast infection by applying non-prescription topical cream when they notice symptoms.
However, if you’ve had four or more yeast infections within a year, or your symptoms don’t disappear after using non-prescription treatments, you should see a doctor and discuss treatment options. Delaying medical care for persistent infections can cause complications and a more severe infection.
Generally you should see a doctor when:
Consider these tips to help prevent yeast infections: