Candida is a fungus often present in the human body. It only causes problems with yeast infections when there’s too much of it. Candida yeast infections can occur not only in the vagina but in other parts of the body as well, and in both sexes. Though there are four different types of candida that can cause yeast infections, nearly 80 percent are caused by a variety called Candida albicans.
The biggest cause of Candida infections is lowered immunity. This can happen when you get run down, have a poor diet or don’t get enough rest. A candida yeast infection can also happen as a result of illness.
- The FDA requires that over the counter products that treat candida yeast infections to carry the following warning:
“If you experience yeast infections frequently (they recur within a two month period) or if you have vaginal yeast infections that do not clear up easily with proper treatment, you should see your doctor promptly to determine the cause and receive proper care. ”
“Candida infections are not usually thought of as sexually transmitted diseases,” says Dr. Renata Albrecht, of FDA/s division of anti-infective drug products. But, she adds, it is possible that they can be transmitted during sex.
Symptoms of a candida vaginal yeast infection include:
- Rash on outer lips of vagina
- Burning, especially during urination
Symptoms of candida yeast infection usually improve within a few days, but it is important to continue using the medication for the number of days directed, even if you no longer have symptoms When you visit the doctor for the first time you can ask which product is best for you and discuss the advantages of the different forms the products come in (vaginal suppositories and creams with special applicators). Remember to read the warnings on the product’s labeling carefully and follow the directions.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have the following:
- Abdominal pain, fever or a foul smelling discharge
- No improvement within three days
- Symptoms that recur within two months.
Candida infections in the mouth are often called “thrush.” Symptoms include creamy white patches that cover painful areas in the mouth, throat or on the tongue. Because other infections cause similar symptoms, it is important to get to a doctor for a correct diagnosis.
Knowing the causes and symptoms of candida and other yeast infections can help you take steps to reduce the chances of getting an infection. If you get a candida yeast infection, talk to your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Candida: A type of organism that occurs naturally in the vagina that can cause a yeast infection if it is present in substantial amounts.