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Vaginal Yeast Infection: Care Instructions


A vaginal yeast infection is the growth of too many yeast cells in the vagina. This is common in women of all ages. Itching, vaginal discharge and irritation, and other symptoms can bother you. But yeast infections don't often cause other health problems.

Some medicines can increase your risk of getting a yeast infection. These include antibiotics, birth control pills, hormones, and steroids. You may also be more likely to get a yeast infection if you are pregnant, have diabetes, douche, or wear tight clothes.

With treatment, most yeast infections get better in 2 to 3 days.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Ask your doctor about over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for yeast infections. They may cost less than prescription medicines. If you use an OTC treatment, read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Don't use tampons while using a vaginal cream or suppository. The tampons can absorb the medicine. Use pads instead.
  • Wear loose cotton clothing. Don't wear nylon or other fabric that holds body heat and moisture close to the skin.
  • Try sleeping without underwear.
  • Don't scratch. Relieve itching with a cold pack or a cool bath.
  • Don't wash your vaginal area more than once a day. Use plain water or a mild, unscented soap. Air-dry the vaginal area.
  • Change out of wet swimsuits after swimming.
  • If you are using a vaginal medicine, don't have sex until you have finished your treatment. But if you do have sex, don't depend on a condom or diaphragm for birth control. The oil in some vaginal medicines weakens latex.
  • Don't douche.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have unexpected vaginal bleeding.
  • You have new or increased pain in your vagina or pelvis.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You are not getting better after 2 days.
  • Your symptoms come back after you finish your medicines.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.