Information From Your Health Care Provider (Vaginal Yeast Infection)
• Some women may develop recurrent vulvovaginal BASIC INFORMATION
candidiasis (RVVC). This is when four or more episodesof vulvovaginal candidiasis have occurred in one year.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is an infection of the vagina
and vulva (external genitals). It can affect women of allages but occurs most often in the childbearing years.
Men may have candidiasis infection with no symptoms.
• Don’t assume you have a yeast infection and use anti- FREQUENT SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
fungal (yeast) drugs to self-treat without a diagnosis.
• The symptoms vary among women and from time to Also, a vaginal infection should not be self-treated with douches, deodorant sprays, or herbal remedies.
• White, “curdy” vaginal discharge (resembles lumps of • Your health care provider will usually do a physical cottage cheese). Odor may be unpleasant, but not foul.
exam and a pelvic exam and ask questions about your • Swollen, red, tender, itching vaginal lips (labia) and symptoms. Tests of the vaginal discharge may be done.
• Drug therapy is usually recommended.
• If urinating causes burning, urinate through a tubular • Change in vaginal color from pale pink to red.
device, such as a toilet paper roll or plastic cup with the • Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia).
bottom cut out, or pour a cup of warm water over the Most often, the cause is a yeast-like fungus called • To learn more: Women’s Health Information Center; Candida albicans. Healthy women have this yeast in (800) 994-9662; website:
their vagina (and the mouth and intestines). If the nor- MEDICATION
mal conditions of the vagina change, the yeast can over- • Antifungal drugs, either in vaginal creams or supposi- grow and cause infection. Rarely, Candida may be tories or in oral form, may be recommended. Some passed from person to person, by sexual intercourse.
nonprescription examples are miconazole nitrate RISK INCREASES WITH
(Monistat-7) and clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin, Mycelex- 7, and FemCare). Follow the instructions on the prod- uct. If you have tried one of these drugs and it has not • Drugs (antibiotics, corticosteroids, birth control pills).
worked for you, your health care provider may pre- • Weak immune system from drugs or disease.
• Recent illness, poor diet, or lack of sleep.
• Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis treatment usuallyinvolves two weeks of intensive antifungal drugs, then PREVENTIVE MEASURES
up to six months of a lower “maintenance” dose.
• There are no specific preventive measures. The fol-lowing steps may help to prevent vaginal disorders.
• Use condoms with new sexual partners to help pro- Delay sexual relations until symptoms clear up.
• Keep the genital area clean and dry. Use plain Some women find that eating yogurt or a low sugar diet unscented soap. Be sure sexual partner is clean. Avoid can help in preventing or treating yeast infections.
vaginal douching.
• Take showers rather than tub baths. If you take a CNOTIFY OUR OFFICE IF
bath, don’t add oils or bubble bath to the water.
• Wear cotton underwear or pantyhose with a cotton • You or a family member has symptoms of vulvovagi- crotch. Avoid tight fitting clothing (such as jeans).
• Don’t sit around in wet clothes, such as bathing suits.
• After going to the bathroom, wipe from front to back(vagina to anus).
• Change tampons or sanitary pads frequently.
• Take antibiotics only when prescribed for you.
Symptoms will normally clear up with treatment.
• May cause vaginitis (soreness, itching, and irritation).
Copyright 2011 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc.


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