This webpage is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
A yeast infection (also called a monilia, candida, or fungus infection) is caused by an overgrowth of candida albicans. Candida can be passed from an infected person to his or her partner through unprotected vaginal intercourse.
An overgrowth of candida albicans might not cause any symptoms.
A female with a yeast infection might experience:
- Mild to severe vaginal itching and burning.
- White, thick, dry, clumpy vaginal discharge.
- Red, sore and sometimes swollen labia (vaginal lips).
- Pain and/or burning when urinating and with sexual intercourse.
Males may experience:
- Irritation, redness or dry, flakey skin at tip of the penis or under the foreskin.
- Pain and/or burning when urinating.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Diagnosing a Yeast Infection
Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam to look for swelling and abnormal discharge then take a swab sample from your vagina. The sample will be sent to a lab, where a test will show if yeast is causing the problem.
Your doctor will examine your penis for redness or irritation.
You can buy anti-fungal creams and suppositories (ovules) at most drug stores without a prescription. These come in 1-, 3- or 7-day doses. Males and females can use the same creams.
Don’t have intercourse during treatment and the week after your treatment to allow your vagina or penis to heal. Also be aware that many anti-fungal creams reduce the effectiveness of latex condoms and diaphragms during treatment and for 3 days afterwards.
If you still have symptoms, return to your family doctor for more testing and/or treatment.
You can treat or prevent yeast infections with these home remedies:
Lactobacillus Acidophilus can help restore the healthy bacteria balance in the vagina. You can buy it at health food stores.
Swallow a capsule a day, or open a capsule and mix the powder with a small amount of water to form a paste. Insert the paste into your vagina with your finger or an applicator.
Eat Plain Yogurt
Eat plain unsweetened yogurt containing lactobacillus or insert it into your vagina at bedtime with an applicator.
Add a few drops of tea tree oil and 1 cup of vinegar (or baking soda) in a shallow sitz bath. (A sitz bath is a warm-water bath taken in the sitting position that covers only the hips and buttocks.) A sitz bath can help ease the symptoms of a yeast infection asuch as itching, burning and swelling, but will not cure a yeast infection.
Place a cold compress or ice pack (such as a bag of frozen peas or a frozen juice can wrapped in a tea towel) on your vulva to relieve burning and itching.