Skip to content

    Women's Health

    Select An Article

    Understanding Vaginal Yeast Infections -- the Basics

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Vaginal yeast infections are common. About 75% of women will have a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. Yeast infections, sometimes called candidiasis, develop where a moist environment encourages growth of the yeast fungus, such as the genitals.

    Recommended Related to Women

    Martha Stewart Comes Clean

    By Jenny Allen The domestic diva opens up about the pain in her past, the love in her life, and how she bounced back big time. Martha Stewart takes a forkful of lemon pie and savors it. "Isn't this good?" she asks in that trademark low, plummy voice. We're lunching in her office at the Manhattan TV studio where she's just finished hosting a live broadcast of The Martha Stewart Show, her Emmy award-winning daily program. She sits at one end of the sleek rectangular table that...

    Read the Martha Stewart Comes Clean article > >

    What Causes a Vaginal Yeast Infection?

    Candida albicans causes 80% to 90% of vaginal yeast infections. This fungus thrives in the digestive tract, mucous membranes (such as in the vagina, mouth, and nose), and skin. Normally, bacteria in your body keep yeast in check. But when yeast grows too quickly, a vaginal yeast infection can occur. This can happen when you're weakened by illness or upset by stress. A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease.

    Your chance of getting a vaginal yeast infection is higher if you take antibiotics or use hormone contraceptives containing estrogen. Contraceptive diaphragms, intrauterine devices, and sponges may also raise the risk. Women who are pregnant, have diabetes, or who have weak immune systems also are at higher risk of vaginal yeast infections.

    About 10% to 20% percent of yeast infections are caused by non-albicans candida and may not respond to certain medications.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on March 14, 2015
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    period
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    estrogen gene
    Quiz
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz