Yeast infection – Causes, symptoms and other factors

Yeast infection

In the vagina there is small amount of yeast (it lives there). Yeast is a fungus. When women have vaginal yeast infection, then in this case they have too many yeast cells which grow in their vagina. These kinds of infections can happen in many cases. They can bother women. Women should not worry about this problem. Yeast infections are not serious. You can use simple treatments which will help you to win against this infection. Candida albicans is a type of yeast which causes the yeast infection. Women who have healthy vagina have small amount of yeast cells and much amount of bacteria. Lactobacillus acidophilus which is bacteria located in the vagina keeps your vagina under control which means the levels of yeast cells are also under control. But when there is a change of vagina organisms, then yeast can grow in large numbers which can lead to yeast infection symptoms. In some cases when women use antibiotics, then this leads to yeast infection [1]. Also when they are pregnant or if they take hormone therapy, then this can lead vaginal imbalance [2]. HIV infection and diabetes can cause yeast infection [3]. This kind of infection causes soreness or itching in the vagina. Also there are some cases when you have sex or when you urinate to feel burning or pain. Also some women can have clumpy, thick and white discharge that looks like cottage cheese and has no odor. These symptoms you can feel during the week in which you have to get menstrual cycle. Many women are having wrong opinion that they do not have yeast infection but in fact they do. If you feel these symptoms for the first time, then you must talk with your doctor. If you are pregnant woman, you must visit your doctor. He or she will make you vaginal exam to be sure for your condition. If you had a yeast infection in your past and now you can recognize the same symptoms, then you can use the prescribed medications. But you should talk with your doctor before you start using them. Women who have mild symptoms often leave this infection to go on its own. This kind of infection is common in pregnant women [2]. Women who are not pregnant should not use medications without talking with their doctor.

Causes of yeast infection

When in the vagina there is overgrowth of the yeast organisms which usually are in small number, then this lead to yeast infection. Here are the causes which can lead to increased number of yeast organisms:

  • Being overweight
  • Using antibiotics [1]
  • Using corticosteroids, here we can mention the prednisone
  • Having high estrogen levels (condition known as hyperestrogenemia) such as during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, high – dose birth control pill use and hormone therapy (HT or ET) [2]
  • Having an impaired immune system
  • Having diabetes especially if your blood sugars are not well controlled and tend to be high [4]

In most cases women who have yeast infection it involves Candida albicans. It can be treated with the standard yeast infection medicine and it is easy for controlling.

Symptoms of yeast infection

Here are the symptoms of yeast infection:

  • Irritated and red skin around the opening to the vagina (labia)
  • Vaginal itching that often is severe
  • Pain in the vagina during the sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal discharge that is usually thick, white, clumpy and odorless
  • Pain while urinating when urine touches irritated skin

Yeast infection

If you have vaginal yeast infection, then you can feel the symptoms of it during the week before you get your menstrual cycle. Also there are some conditions such as sexually transmitted infection (STI) and bacterial vaginosis which have similar symptoms. Soap, spermicidal jelly, douches and bath oils can cause redness and itching of the vulva. If you do not know what caused your symptoms, then you should talk with your doctor.

Risk factors: Number of medical and lifestyle factors can lead to increased risk of getting yeast infection such as use of antibiotics, wearing tight – fitting and nonabsorbent pants, douching, using feminine cosmetics in the vaginal area and problems with your immune system. [1,5] This is not sexually transmitted infection. If you have sex with someone who has yeast infection, then you can just have increased number of yeast organisms in your vagina. But if you have yeast infection after your had sex, then this is caused by other factors and you need to talk with your doctor.


[1] Otto A. Yeast infection four times as likely with penicillin use. MD Edge. 2013. Retrieved from

[2] Barzin A, Mounsey A. PURLs: Yeast infection in pregnancy? Think twice about fluconazole. The Journal of Family Practice. 2016;65(9):624–6.

[3] Suryana K, Suharsono H, Antara IGPJ. Factors associated with oral candidiasis in people living with HIV/AIDS: A case control study. HIV / AIDS – Research and Palliative Care. 2020;12:33-9.

[4] Rodrigues CF, Rodrigues ME, Henriques M. Candida sp. Infections in patients with diabetes mellitus. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019;8(1):76.

[5] Zeng X, Zhang Y, Zhang T, et al. Risk factors of vulvovaginal candidiasis among women of reproductive age in xi’an: A cross-sectional study. Biomed Research International. 2018;2018:9703754.


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