Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

Vaginal Yeast Infections - Cause

A vaginal yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of yeast organisms that normally live in small numbers in the vagina. Things that may encourage an excess growth of vaginal yeast include:

  • Using antibiotics.
  • Having high estrogen levels (hyperestrogenemia), such as during pregnancy, hormone therapy (HT or ET) use, high-dose birth control pill use, and the menstrual cycle.
  • Having diabetes, especially if your blood sugars are not well controlled and tend to be high.
  • Having an impaired immune system.
  • Using corticosteroids, such as prednisone.
  • Being overweight.

Most yeast infections involve Candida albicans (C. albicans), a yeast that can be treated effectively with standard yeast infection medicine. Recurrent vaginal yeast infections tend to involve non–C. albicans types of yeast, which are more resistant to the standard treatments for C. albicans yeast infections.

Recommended Related to Women

Katie Couric Makes Health Headlines

When Katie Couric joined CBS Evening News as its anchor and managing editor last September after a 15-year run as co-anchor of NBC's Today show, she famously became the first woman to hold that solo anchor position. Behind the scenes, she also became a driving force behind CBS's newly enhanced health and medical coverage. "I told [my producers], 'We must have a strong medical unit,'" Couric says. In response, they've "really beefed it up, and I think we're getting ready to beef it up even...

Read the Katie Couric Makes Health Headlines article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    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