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Women's Health

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5 Common Symptoms of a Yeast Infection

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Anyone who's had a yeast infection knows the unbearable vaginal itching it can bring -- an excruciating, almost painful, nearly constant sensation -- until you treat it. Other vaginal infections share some of the same symptoms, so only your doctor can make a diagnosis by running a lab test on sample fluid and cells from the vagina.

While a vaginal yeast infection is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, the symptoms of a yeast infection -- vaginal itching, burning, and discharge -- can be signs of an STD (sexually transmitted disease). See your doctor to be sure your symptoms come from a yeast infection and not a more serious condition, unless you've been diagnosed by a doctor before and you're absolutely sure this is another yeast infection. In that case, self-care for a yeast infection may be appropriate.

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Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms

Vulvar and vaginal itching is the most common sign of a yeast infection. Often, it is severe and nearly constant. The discomfort and itching can spread from the vaginal opening to the labia and anus. Because yeast infection symptoms can affect the vagina and surrounding tissue (called the "vulva"), a yeast infection is technically called vulvovaginal candidiasis, or VVC.

Vaginal burning, soreness, redness, and inflammation of the vulva and labia are common, and may include swelling.

Unusual vaginal dischargecan range from clear to white, and appear lumpy or curd-like. While the discharge, if present, may look "chunky" or "cheesy," it rarely has a strong fishy odor like other vaginal infections.

Painful urinationcaused by urine hitting the irritated vulva is a common sign of a yeast infection.

Painful intercourse results if the vulva is sore and irritated, making sex uncomfortable. Painful intercourse can be caused by a yeast infection or a variety of other conditions.

Symptoms for Men

Up to 15% of men who have sex with a woman who has a yeast infection will develop symptoms. The most common signs of a yeast infection for men are a red rash on the end of the penis and itching. If your partner has any unusual symptoms such as itching, burning, or painful urination, he should see a doctor to rule out a urinary tract infection or other problem.

Wearing a condom can help minimize his chances of getting a yeast infection.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on January 14, 2015
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