Yeast Infection Signs and Symptoms

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.

Common Symptoms in Women

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

Common Symptoms in Men

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

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Signs of a Complicated Infection

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:

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

When to See a Doctor

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.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on August 17, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Yeast infection (vaginal).”

Mayo Clinic: “Male yeast infection: How can I tell if I have one?”

WomensHealth.gov: “Vaginal yeast infection.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Vaginitis.”

CDC: “Vaginal Candidiasis.”

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