Yeast Infections (Candidiasis) are a common condition resulting from an imbalance in vaginal bacteria and yeast due to the overproduction of yeast cells. Men can contract yeast infections during unprotected sexual intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection.
Common Symptoms: In women, common symptoms include intense itching, burning, redness, rash-like symptoms, tenderness, and swelling in and around the external area of the vagina (the vulva). There may also be pain or burning sensations during urination, painful intercourse, and white, cottage cheese-like discharge. In men, small white lesions, redness, rashes, itching, burning, and general irritation are common signs.
Causes: Many factors can throw off a woman’s healthy balance of vaginal bacteria and yeast, including the use of antibiotics, hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause), the use of feminine hygiene products, diabetes, a compromised immune system, stress, a poor diet (high in sugar), and sexual intercourse. Though yeast infections are not considered a sexually transmitted disease, an infection can be transmitted via oral sex and between partners.
Treatment: Yeast infections are easily treatable and a gynecologist can perform a pelvic exam to look for signs of infection. For recurring infections, a lab test might be necessary to determine any abnormalities. Many over the counter options are available to treat yeast infections but medications may also be prescribed, such as: Monistat, Lotrimin, fluconazole, terconazole, butoconazole. All typically follow a 1-3 day treatment that can include tablets, antifungal creams, ointments, or suppositories.