Vaginal yeast infection

Alternative Names

Yeast infection – vagina; Vaginal candidiasis; Monilial vaginitis

Definition of Vaginal yeast infection

Vaginal yeast infection is an infection of the vagina, most commonly due to the fungus .

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Most women will have a vaginal yeast infection at some time. is a common type of fungus. It is often present in small amounts in the vagina, mouth, digestive tract, and on the skin. Usually it does not cause disease or symptoms.

Signs and tests

A pelvic examination will be done. It may show swelling (inflammation) of the skin of the vulva, in the vagina, and on the cervix. The health care provider may find dry, white plaques on the vaginal wall.


Medications for vaginal yeast infections are available in either vaginal creams or suppositories. Most can be bought without a prescription.

Expectations (prognosis)

The symptoms usually disappear completely with adequate treatment.


Linda Vorvick, MD, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, WA; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/1/2009

Candida, flourescent stain
Female reproductive anatomy
Yeast infections
Secondary infection
Normal uterine anatomy (cut section)

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.