Women’s Health FAQs

What are Yeast Infections?

Publication Date: January 08, 2020

By: Evita Almassi


What are yeast infections, and why did I get one?


Yeast infections occur because the chemistry of your vagina is off balance. This is most commonly caused by Candida yeast cells over-multiplying [1]. Several factors can cause this type of infection, including [1]:

  • Antibiotics
  • A weak immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Cortisone

These infections are not sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, if you have recurring infections, your partner may have an infection being passed back and forth [1].

Some of the signs include [1]:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Burning when you pee
  • Swelling around the vaginal opening
  • Pain during penetrative vaginal sex
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Thick, clumpy vaginal discharge

Yeast infections are common and can usually be cured in just a few days! All major drug stores offer over-the-counter antifungal creams and suppositories (Monistat and other brands) and they can also be treated with a small one-time pill (fluconazole) that a doctor must prescribe [1]. Oral sex and penetration sex should be avoided during treatment to avoid irritation from friction, which delays the healing process.

Evita Almassi, MSW, served as the Communications and Digital Marketing Manager for the NWHN. Her 10+ years in nonprofit communications – especially with social media advocacy campaigns – enabled the NWHN to reach and empower more women in their health education and advocacy journeys.

Updated 2/13/2024 By Rachel Grimsley, RN, BSN, MSN, Nurse Writer

[1] Cherney, K. (2023, November 1). Everything you want to know about vaginal yeast infections. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/vaginal-yeast-infection

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