Vaginal yeast infections are very common. Nearly 75 percent of all women have experienced at least one yeast infection.
A yeast infection is an overgrowth of Candida yeast. This type of yeast is normally present in the vagina. However, when too much Candida is present, uncomfortable symptoms can occur.
Talk with your doctor for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Dignity Health has three exceptional facilities in the Arizona area fully dedicated to women’s health services, including treating infections:
Use our online Find a Doctor tool to schedule an appointment today.
Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection
Signs and symptoms of a yeast infection are:
- A burning sensation, especially when urinating or having sex
- Genital itching and irritation
- Vaginal pain and soreness
- Watery vaginal discharge
- Thick whitish vaginal discharge
- Swollen, reddened vulva
Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infection
A number of factors can trigger yeast overgrowth and a yeast infection:
- Antibiotic use. Antibiotics can kill the “good” bacteria that help keep yeast in check.
- Corticosteroid use. Steroid medications depress the immune system, increasing susceptibility to yeast infection.
- Hormone use. Yeast thrive in a high-estrogen environment. Taking hormone supplements and birth control pills can increase your estrogen level and risk of yeast infection.
- Diabetes. Yeast eat sugar, so yeast infections are particularly likely in women with uncontrolled diabetes.
- Pregnancy. Women are more susceptible to yeast infections during pregnancy.
- Weakened immune system. Diseases such as HIV and medical treatments such as chemotherapy lower immunity and increase the risk of yeast infection.
Yeast Infection Treatment & Prevention at Dignity Health
If you have never been diagnosed with a yeast infection, it’s important to see your doctor if you think you might have one. Many vaginal infections have similar symptoms, and an appropriate diagnosis is key to effective treatment.
Treatment and prevention options are focused on restoring a normal vaginal environment. Treatment options for yeast infection include:
- Medication taken by mouth. Sometimes, a single prescription pill is sufficient. Your doctor may prescribe multiple doses over a period of days or weeks to treat severe or recurring yeast infections.
- Prescription creams or suppositories. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal vaginal medication that you apply on or insert into the vagina.
- Over-the-counter creams and suppositories. Many antifungal treatments can be purchased without a prescription, including one-dose treatments, three- and five-day regimens, and week-long treatments. Ask your doctor which treatment he or she recommends.
Additional strategies that can treat and prevent yeast infection include:
- Avoiding tight-fitting pants and underwear
- Wearing cotton underwear
- Changing out of wet clothing as soon as possible
- Avoiding or minimizing antibiotic use
With appropriate treatment, most yeast infections go away in a few days.
Dignity Health provides complete women’s health services, including treatment for yeast infection, in Arizona.