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.
by Sari Harrar
Anna Albrecht was a fit 31-year-old mother of two when the Big Leak happened one day. "I was jumping rope at the gym when — splash! — I completely wet my pants," she recalls. "I was so embarrassed." So did Albrecht go to the doctor? "Not for seven years," she admits. "I just didn't jump rope."
The leaks have stopped, thanks to a class aimed at strengthening her pelvic floor — the hammock of muscles that supports the internal organs, including the bladder, bowels, and...
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.