What Is a Yeast Infection?


What is a yeast infection and why did I get it?


Yeast infections occur because the chemistry of your vagina is off balance. This is most commonly seen as a hormonal imbalance. Several factors can cause a yeast infection, including poor eating habits, stress, weak immune system, diabetes, pregnancy, and antibiotics, cortisone and other drugs. Yeast infections are not sexually transmitted, however your body chemistry may have an adverse reaction to your sexual partner’s genitals resulting in infection. 

Some of the signs of a yeast infection include itchiness, burning, and overall discomfort in the vaginal area. You may also have redness and/or thick, white clumpy discharge and a white coating in or around the vagina. An untreated yeast infection may result in fissures, sores, swelling, and pain during urination.

Yeast infections are common and can usually be cured in just a few days! Over-the-counter antifungal creams and suppositories (Monistat and other brands) can be bought at all major drug stores. Yeast infections can also be treated with a small one-time pill (fluconazole) that must be prescribed by a doctor. It is important to remember oral sex and penetration of the vagina should be avoided in order 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.

Read more from Evita Almassi.

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information.

The continued availability of external resources is outside of the NWHN’s control. If the link you are looking for is broken, contact us at [email protected] to request more current citation information.