Symptoms & Causes
Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms & Causes
A vaginal yeast infection, known as thrush or vaginal candidiasis, is caused by a fungus called Candida. Candida is a part of your vaginal microflora, along with bacteria. When the balance between yeast and bacteria is disturbed, yeast overgrows causing unpleasant symptoms.
5 most common signs of a vaginal yeast infection:
- Your vagina and vulva become red, itchy and swollen
- You may feel pain during sexual intercourse
- You may get a burning sensation while urinating
- Vaginal discharge, although not always present, is either transparent and watery or thick and white, like cottage cheese and it smells like yeast
- In severe cases, you will notice cracked, sometimes bleeding skin around your vulva and vagina
- Men with genital yeast infection may experience an itchy rash on the penis
The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are similar to those of many other genital infections, so you should see your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
A bacterial infection of the vagina is also itchy and painful, but the discharge is usually dark yellow, green, or brown. It’s got an unpleasant, fishy smell, particularly after having sex. Bacterial vaginosis is usually treated with prescription antibiotics.
Symptoms of yeast infection in men:
- Itchy and sore skin on the head of the penis
- Scattered bumps with white pus-looking heads
- White discharge
- Burning sensation after sexual intercourse
What causes vaginal yeast infections?
- Lack of sleep
- Taking antibiotics, estrogen-based birth control pills or steroid medications
- Consuming caffeine (energy drinks, chocolate, coffee)
- Injury to the vulva or vaginal tissue
- Wearing tight clothes made of synthetic fabrics, which prevent the air from circulating freely around your vagina
- Frequent sexual intercourses (more than 7 times a week)
- Using scented soaps, bubble baths, and feminine hygiene
- Using scented detergents or dryer sheets to wash your underwear
- Sexual transmission (however, some research suggests that Candida is not sexually transmitted)
- Consuming a lot of sugary foods (it applies to women with impaired glucose tolerance)
- Wearing sweaty underwear or a wet swimsuit creates a perfect, humid breeding ground for Candida
- Harsh chemicals in the swimming pool can change the pH in your vagina and make it more prone to a yeast infection
Candida has been quite the learning curve for a male like me, I’m battling and just letting men know out there that it is nothing to be ashamed of! The anxiety that it can create is quite humbling. What i’m now wondering if this will be something that ‘flares’ up once in awhile. I took too many antibiotics is how mine started and ever since it’s been a roller coaster ride. Thanks for all the insight.
wow, I didn’t know that there were so many things that could cause yeast infections? Swimming pool water? That would never occur to me. I think it’s the most complete list of vaginal list infection causes I’ve ever come across. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Helene, I’m very happy you find this info useful, after all, that’s what this website is for: informing women so they can make better choices and stay yeast infection free.