Frequently Asked Questions

Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

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What is vulvovaginal candidiasis?

Vulvovaginal candidiasis, or yeast infection, is a common vaginal infection.

What causes vulvovaginal candidiasis?

Vulvovaginal candidiasis is caused by a fungus, or yeast-like germ. Fungi are normally found in your vagina. When there are too many fungi, it can cause an infection. The following may increase your risk of vulvovaginal candidiasis:

  • Pregnancy

  • Medical conditions that suppress your immune system, such as diabetes or HIV and AIDS

  • Medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, or steroid medicine

  • Contraceptive devices, such as diaphragms, sponges, and intrauterine devices

What are the signs and symptoms of vulvovaginal candidiasis?

  • Thick, white, cheese-like discharge from your vagina

  • Itching, swelling, or redness in your vagina

  • Burning when you urinate

How is vulvovaginal candidiasis diagnosed?

Your caregiver will ask about your medical history and examine you. He may also take a sample of your vaginal discharge.

How is vulvovaginal candidiasis treated?

With treatment, the infection is usually gone within a week:

  • Antifungal medicine: This medicine helps kill the fungus that is causing your vulvovaginal candidiasis. This medicine may be a pill. It may also be a topic cream or a suppository that you insert into your vagina.

  • Topical steroid medicine: This medicine decreases the itching, swelling, and redness that you may have in your vagina.

How can I manage my vulvovaginal candidiasis?

  • Wear cotton underwear.

  • Keep the vaginal area clean and dry.

  • Wipe from front to back after you urinate or have a bowel movement.

  • Do not have sex until your symptoms are gone.

  • Do not douche unless your caregiver says it is okay.

  • Do not use strong perfumes or soaps.

  • Do not use feminine hygiene sprays, powders, or bubble bath.

How can I prevent another infection?

  • Take showers instead of baths

  • Eat yogurt

  • Do not eat foods that contain sugar

  • Do not drink alcohol

  • Limit your time in hot tubs

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • Your signs and symptoms get worse, even after treatment.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care?

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have fever and chills.

  • You are bleeding from your vagina and it is not your monthly period.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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