Yeast infections range from mild to moderate, with symptoms that include:
Complicated yeast infections often display multiple symptoms or these conditions:
Yeast infections start with an overgrowth of a fungus called candida, which usually exists in balance with other yeasts and bacteria in the vagina. Normally, lactobacillus bacteria produce enough acid to keep candida in check, but when it doesn’t, candida overgrows and a yeast infection results. Some causes of yeast overgrowth are:
Treatment varies for simple and complicated yeast infection cases. Over-the-counter and prescription antifungal medications can be administered over 1, 3, or 7 days, depending on the product, and may be enough to treat uncomplicated yeast infections. These medications may be available as a tablet, ointment, cream, or suppository. Some products may cause slight burning or irritation upon application, and since suppositories and creams are oil-based, users of latex-based condoms and diaphragms need to use alternate birth control methods during yeast infection treatment.
Complicated yeast infections require longer courses of treatment, typically 7-14 days in length. Fluconazole, effective as a single oral dose for simple infections, may be extended to 2 or 3 doses for complicated problems, but isn’t suitable for use during pregnancy. A yeast infection maintenance plan is possible for extreme cases.