Yeast infections, also called vaginal yeast infections and candidiasis, are the most common type of vaginal infection. Yeast infections occur when a fungus called Candida albicans, which is normally present in the vagina, overgrows and causes an allergic reaction. Yeast infection usually is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD); however, yeast infection symptoms are similar to those caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), and the condition can be passed between sexual partners.

Symptoms of yeast infection include severe vaginal itching and redness, pain during urination and intercourse, and thick, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge. Male yeast infections often do not cause symptoms. Yeast infection treatment involves antifungal medications that are administered orally, topically, or inserted as suppositories.

Here are some questions to ask your doctor (e.g., gynecologist, urologist) about yeast infections. Print this page, check off the questions you would like answered, and bring it to your doctor's appointment. Information about vaginal yeast infection transmission and treatment can help reduce your risk for this type of infection.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Yeast Infections

  • Why do you think I have a yeast infection?
  • How might I have contracted this infection? What causes yeast infections?
  • Is there a cure for vaginal yeast infection?
  • What factors might have increased my risk for developing a yeast infection?
  • Do you suspect that this yeast infection is associated with—or unrelated to—sexual activity?
  • How will you determine if I have a yeast infection or another type of vaginal infection, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV)?
  • What kinds of tests will be performed to determine if yeast (Candida) is causing my vaginal infection? What do these tests involve?
  • Should my sexual partner be tested and/or treated? Why or why not?
  • Does this infection increase my risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or other medical conditions and infections?
  • Are there any complications associated with yeast infections? If so, how can I reduce my risk for developing complications?
  • What should I do if my condition worsens or I develop complications?
    Telephone number to call:
  • What type of yeast infection treatment do you recommend? Why do you recommend this treatment?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and side effects associated with this medicine?
  • How is this medication administered?
  • How long is the course of treatment?
  • What should I do if my symptoms do not improve or I experience treatment severe side effects?
    Telephone number to call:
  • How long might it take for my yeast infection symptoms to resolve?
  • If this medication is ineffective, what other treatments are available?
  • Are there any long-term risks associated with yeast infections?
  • Am at increased risk for developing future yeast infections?
  • How can I help maintain normal vaginal flora to help reduce my risk for developing vaginal yeast infections in the future?
  • What other steps can I take to lower my risk for yeast infections?

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 03 Apr 2008

Last Modified: 19 Jul 2011