Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Select An Article

Understanding Vaginal Yeast Infections -- the Basics

Font Size

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

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2008: Readers' Choice

Is everything OK down there? Could what happened to Heath Ledger happen to me? What are the signs of dry drowning? WebMD's expert bloggers took on some of the year's toughest issues and our readers responded. Those topics are among the most viewed blog posts on WebMD for 2008. What Are Those Little White Bumps? My Ultrasound Found an Ovarian Cyst Statins and Muscle Pain 6 Minutes to a Sharper Memory Vaginal Discharge: Normal o...

Read the Top 10 Blog Posts of 2008: Readers' Choice 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.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


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

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