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Diagnosing & Treating Yeast Infection


A yeast infection occurs when too much Candida yeast is found in the vagina. Although this yeast is a normal part of the vaginal environment, too much of it can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Yeast infections are extremely common. Nearly three out of four women have had at least one.

At Dignity Health, our gynecologists are dedicated to providing healing, quality care. Find a Doctor who treats yeast infection in the Bay Area at one of our nearby locations.

What Causes Yeast Infection?

Yeast infections can be caused by:

  • Antibiotics that kill the “good” bacteria that normally keep yeast under control
  • Diabetes, high levels of sugar in the blood, which yeast use as a food source; frequent yeast infections can be a warning sign of diabetes
  • Increased levels of estrogen caused by birth control pills, hormone supplements, and natural hormonal swings, including those that occur during perimenopause, pregnancy, and puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • Weakened immune system from medical treatments and conditions that decrease immune system function, such as corticosteroids, chemotherapy, and HIV

Yeast Infection Symptoms

Yeast infections can cause:

  • A burning sensation, especially during intercourse or urination
  • Genital irritation and itching
  • Swollen, reddened vulva
  • Thick, whitish, or watery vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal soreness and pain

Yeast Infection Treatment at Dignity Health

Although yeast infections are a common nuisance, it’s important to be diagnosed by a medical professional. Other vaginal infections share symptoms with yeast infections, so a proper diagnosis is needed for effective treatment.

Treatment options for yeast infections commonly recommended by Dignity Health doctors include:

  • Oral medications, which can be prescribed as a single dose or, in the case of recurring or severe yeast infections, several doses over a period of days or weeks
  • Over-the-counter creams and suppositories, which may be taken in one dose or for three or five days or a week
  • Prescription creams or suppositories, which can sometimes cost less than over-the-counter options

You can help prevent yeast infections by:

  • Avoiding tight-fitting undergarments and pants
  • Changing out of wet clothes as soon as possible
  • Talking to your doctor about minimizing antibiotic use
  • Wearing cotton underwear

Most yeast infections go away in a few days with appropriate treatment. Talk to a Dignity Health doctor if you have persistent or recurring yeast infections.

Dignity Health offers treatment for yeast infections in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.