Yeast Infection Signs and Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on September 02, 2022
2 min read

It can feel like itching or maybe even burning. Or you may have swelling so extreme, it leads to sores. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, a yeast infection can be uncomfortable.

Also known as vaginal candidiasis, yeast infections are caused by a fungus. It generally causes your vagina and vulva (the tissues at the opening of the vagina) to itch. You may also have a discharge.

Yeast infections are common. Three of every four women get one in their lifetime. And many women have more than one.

Knowing how to spot the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection can help you get the most effective treatment.

If you have a vaginal yeast infection, you’ll most likely have extreme itching in and around your vagina; this is the most common symptom. Aside from itching, you might also have:

  • A burning feeling, especially when you urinate or during sex
  • Swelling and redness around your vulva
  • Pain and soreness in your vagina
  • A vaginal rash

You might also have a vaginal discharge. It could be:

  • Watery
  • Thick, white, and odorless, resembling cottage cheese


Men can get yeast infections too. They can happen when there’s an overgrowth of fungus (candida) on the skin. This can happen if a man has sex with a female partner who has a vaginal yeast infection. It’s more common in men who aren’t circumcised. The symptoms include:

  • Itching, burning, or redness on the penis
  • A thick, white substance in the skin folds of the penis, and moistness
  • Shiny, white areas on the penis


Sometimes the symptoms of a yeast infection can be more serious and require extra care. You might need a longer course of treatment or a plan to keep the infection from coming back.

You can get a more complicated infection if:

  • You’re pregnant
  • You have uncontrolled diabetes
  • Your immune system is weakened by medications you’re taking or a health condition like HIV

Your infection might also be more complicated if it’s caused by a different type of fungus than what commonly causes yeast infections.

Signs of a complicated infection include:

  • Symptoms (such as redness, swelling, and itching) so severe that it causes tears or sores
  • A recurrence of yeast infection four or more times in a year


Call your doctor if you have any signs of a complicated infection.

You should also make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • You’ve never had a yeast infection before.
  • Signs or symptoms of a yeast infection didn’t get better with after treatment with an over-the-counter cream or suppository.
  • You have new or unusual pain or discharge in your genital area.
  • You get other symptoms.
  • You have pain during sex.

If you think you have a yeast infection but aren’t sure, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. A doctor can also let you know if something else may be causing your problems.

Treatment can help relieve symptoms and prevent you from spreading any potential infections during sex.