Candidiasis

What is it? Candida (kan-dih-duh) vaginitis (vah-jih-ni-tis) is also called a yeast infection. It is one of the most common vaginal infections that affect women. Candida vaginitis is usually not a serious infection. But it can make you quite uncomfortable. With treatment, this infection is usually gone within a week. Sometimes it may be hard to get rid of a yeast infection. Some women have many yeast infections in their lifetime.

Causes: This infection is caused by a fungus called yeast or candida. Yeast is normally found in your mouth, vagina, and anus (rear end). Sometimes the amount of yeast in your body may get out of control and cause an infection. Women who are pregnant or have diabetes (di-uh-b-tees) may get a yeast infection. You may be more likely to get a yeast infection if you take birth control pills. Antibiotic (an-ti-bi-ah-tik) medicine may also cause you to get a yeast infection.

Signs and Symptoms: You may have thick white, "cheesy" discharge from the vagina. Other signs may be itching, swelling, burning, or redness of the genital (between your legs) area. Or you may have burning when you pass urine.

Care: Your caregiver may check you and take a sample of the discharge. You may need to put medicine into your vagina to treat the infection. This medicine may be messy. You may want to wear a sanitary pad while using the medicine. Men do not usually get this infection so your partner does not need treatment.

Do's and Don'ts: Wear clean cotton underpants or pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Keep the vaginal area clean and dry. You should not have sex until your symptoms are gone. Do not douche (dew-sh) unless your have talked to your caregiver. Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a BM. Taking showers instead of baths may help keep you from getting another yeast infection.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about yeast and how it can be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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