Vaginal Yeast Infection
(Yeast Vaginitis)

Yeast Vaginitis Summary
Yeast vaginitis is a yeast infection of the vagina. Symptoms include itching, burning, soreness, pain during intercourse and urination, and vaginal discharge. Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter and prescription medications.
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Vaginal yeast infection facts

  • Yeast vaginitis is an infection of the vagina caused by a fungus known as Candida.
  • Yeast vaginitis is characterized by itching, burning, soreness, pain during intercourse and/or urination, and vaginal discharge.
  • Yeast infection can be spread to a male or female partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in a man are itching and irritation of the penis after sexual contact with an infected woman.
  • Yeast vaginitis can be treated with antifungal medications applied to the affected area or taken by mouth.
  • Candida may be normally present in small amounts in some women and not cause disease.
  • The presence of Candida without symptoms of infection does not require treatment.

What is yeast?

Yeast is a type of fungus; when one speaks of a yeast infection this is referring to the fungus scientifically known as Candida. The specific type of fungus most commonly responsible for vaginitis is Candida albicans. Yeast is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina.

What is vaginitis?

Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis is very common and is reported by as many as 75% of women at some point in their lives. Vaginitis can be caused by a number of infections as well as noninfectious causes such as trauma or chemical irritation. Infectious vaginitis has numerous causes including bacteria (such as Gardnerella and gonorrhea), protozoans (such as trichomonas), and yeast (Candida). Vaginal yeast infection, which is the most common form of vaginitis, is often referred to as vaginal Candidiasis.

What is vulvitis?

Vulvitis is inflammation of the external genital organs of the female (the vulva). The vulva includes the labia, clitoris, and entrance to the vagina (the vestibule of the vagina). An inflammation of the vulva is referred to as vulvitis. Vulvitis, like vaginitis, may be caused by a number of different infections or noninfectious causes. Because the vulva is also often inflamed when there is inflammation of the vagina, vaginitis is sometimes referred to as vulvovaginitis. Yeast infections of the vulva and vagina have been referred to as vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2014

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Vaginal Pain Symptoms

Pain in the vagina or the female external genital organs (the vulva, which includes the labia, clitoris, and entrance to the vagina) most commonly is a result of infection. Vaginal pain during sexual intercourse is referred to as dyspareunia. Infection of the vagina is referred to as vaginitis.

Yeast infection (Candida) is a particularly common form of vaginitis. Women are at increased risk for yeast vaginitis if they take antibiotics or cortisone medications, during pregnancy, and if their immune systems are suppressed by medications or disease.