Vaginal yeast infection also called vaginal Candidiasis is a common fungal infection of the genitals.3 out of 4 women during their lifetime. Most women experience at least two infections.
Vaginal Candidiasis is a common type of fungus. It is often found in small amounts in the vagina, mouth digestive tract, and on the skin.
In women of child-bearing age, yeast infections due to Candida albicans are particularly common. This yeast normally resides on the skin or in the intestine. From these areas, it can spread to the vagina. Yeast infections are not transmitted sexually. They are common among pregnant women and women who have diabetes. Yeast infections are more likely to occur just before menstrual periods. Yeast infections are also more likely to develop if the immune system is weakened—suppressed by drugs (such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy drugs) or impaired by a disorder (such as AIDS).
Antibiotics taken by mouth tend to kill the bacteria that normally reside in the vagina and that prevent yeast from growing. Thus, using antibiotics increases the risk of developing a yeast infection.
After menopause, yeast infections are abnormal except in women who take hormone therapy.
The vagina and vulva may itch or burn, particularly during sexual intercourse. The genital area may become red and swollen. Women may have a white discharge, often thick and resembling cottage cheese.
Yeast infection symptoms may worsen the week before a menstrual period begins.
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