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Sexual and Reproductive Health

Yeast Infection


​​A yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans.

How do I get a yeast infection?

A yeast infection of the vagina is usually not sexually transmitted. But, sex can change the normal balance in the vagina, which can cause yeast to grow. Many healthy females have yeast in their vaginas. If there are changes to a person’s body chemistry, yeast may overgrow.

Some factors which can affect the overgrowth of yeast are:

  • pregnancy
  • stress
  • a weak immune system
  • health problems (e.g., diabetes)
  • taking antibiotics or birth control pills
  • wearing tight clothes that don’t breathe
  • using scented feminine hygiene products

How do I know I have a yeast infection?

Yeast infections can cause:

  • curdy, white vaginal discharge
  • itching and/or redness in the genital area
  • sores in the genital area that look like paper cuts
  • pain or burning when you pee
  • painful intercourse

If you have any of the above symptoms, see your nurse or doctor. You may have a swab taken from your vagina. This will show what type of infection you have. Yeast is one of many different types of vaginal infections.

How is a yeast infection treated?

Yeast is treated with over-the-counter medicine, but it’s a good idea to see your nurse or doctor to make sure you get the right type of treatment.

Can males get yeast infections?

Rarely, yeast can be spread to a male during intercourse. Uncircumcised males are more likely to get a yeast infection.

A male may have a yeast infection if he has genital itching and/or a rash on the penis. If a male has symptoms, he needs to see a nurse or doctor and will likely need treatment. Males are treated with the same medicine as females.

What if I still have symptoms following treatment?

Please contact your healthcare provider.

For More Information

  • Health Link – Health Advice 24/7: 811

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