Frequently Asked Questions About Yeast Infections
About Yeast Infections
A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Candida albicans is a type of yeast that is normally present in areas of the body like the mouth, skin, digestive tract and vagina. When for some reason, an imbalance occurs and the pH level of the vagina becomes less acidic, Candida albicans can begin to multiply. This causes further upset to the normal vaginal condition and the result is a yeast infection.
Vaginal yeast infections are common. In fact, nearly 3 out of 4 women experience one at least once in a lifetime. This includes women of all ages from 12 years old to beyond menopause. However, it’s during the childbearing years that women are most susceptible.
Common symptoms of a yeast infection include:
- Mild to intense vaginal itching
- A lumpy, white vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese
- Vaginal soreness, irritation or burning, especially during intercourse
- Redness around the vagina
There are a number of things that can throw off the balance of the vaginal environment and increase your risk for developing a yeast infection:
- Antibiotics: An unpleasant side effect of taking antibiotics is that they may alter the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina, leading to an overgrowth in Candida.
- Menstruation: Frequent yeast infections may occur due to changes in hormone levels during a woman’s cycle. This will vary from woman to woman and should be treated the same way, whether or not it’s during menstruation.
- Menopause: Changes in normal vaginal tissue such as drying or thinning, which occur during menopause, can increase your likelihood of developing a yeast infection.
- Pregnancy: Because of increased levels of estrogen, a pregnant woman is more susceptible to recurring yeast infections up until the time of delivery. This may make it difficult to cure an infection completely during pregnancy; therefore, a doctor should be consulted.
- Diabetes: Abnormally high sugar levels create a breeding ground for yeast. People with diabetes must take measures to control their blood sugar levels to help prevent vulvovaginal candidiasis.
There are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection. These include:
- Avoid tight fitting underwear or panty hose as Candida thrive in warm, moist environments
- Avoid douching
- Change out of wet swim suits and exercise clothes as soon as you can
- Wear cotton underwear
- Avoid using items that may inflame the vaginal membrane or upset the normal balance of the vagina, such as:
- Scented detergents or feminine sprays
- Harsh vaginal deodorants
- Perfumed soaps, bubble baths
A fast and effective way to treat a vaginal yeast infection is in the form of antifungal preparations like MONISTAT® products. MONISTAT® products don’t just relieve the uncomfortable symptoms, they cure most vaginal yeast infections.
Talk to your doctor if:
- This is your first vaginal yeast infection
- You experience frequently recurring infections, abdominal pain, fever, foul-smelling or greenish-grayish vaginal discharges (as these may be symptoms of another type of infection)
- There has been no improvement in your symptoms within 3 days of starting treatment or if symptoms last more than 7 days or return within 2 months
- You develop a skin rash, hives, abdominal cramps, or new irritation
- You are taking an oral anticoagulant (blood thinning medication) such as warfarin
- You are pregnant or think you may be or if you are breastfeeding.
MONISTAT® is an antifungal preparation that cures yeast infections while relieving their uncomfortable symptoms.
No. MONISTAT® is available over-the-counter.
MONISTAT® is available in a variety of effective treatment options including soft, soothing ovules, fast-melting suppositories, and slim, disposable prefilled applicators that are designed to be fast and easy to use. For your convenience and comfort, MONISTAT® is available in 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day formulations.