Thrush Infection Symptoms Vaginal

Vaginal yeast infections affect millions of women. Vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida, which is also responsible for oral thrush. There are many different signs of yeast infection and many different yeast infection symptoms. Knowing the symptoms is important to ensuring proper treatment.

Women are most likely to notice vaginal yeast infection symptoms in the week prior to starting their period. The most common symptoms a woman will experience in the early stages of the infection are:

  • discomfort
  • itchiness
  • pain.

Specific Vaginal Yeast Infections Symptoms

Not all women will experience every vaginal yeast infection symptom, but the most common symptoms and signs of a vaginal yeast infection include:

  • burning sensation
  • increased urination
  • itching
  • pain and discomfort during urination
  • pain during intercourse
  • swelling of the skin around the vagina
  • thick, white, foul-smelling discharge.

Secondary Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms

In addition to the most common vaginal yeast infection symptoms, yeast infections may cause other, more severe conditions and symptoms in some women, including:

  • breathing difficulties
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • headache
  • lethargy
  • mood swings.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible to start a course of treatment.

Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

Approximately 5 percent of women develop four or more vaginal yeast infections in one year. When this occurs, the condition is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). While RVVC can afflict any woman, it is more common in women with diabetes and those with weakened immune systems.

To treat RVCC, doctors will often prescribe an antifungal medicine for up to six months.

Causes of Vaginal Yeast Infections

Certain conditions and lifestyle choices can increase a woman’s chances of experiencing vaginal yeast infection symptoms, such as:

  • certain diseases or illnesses, including poorly controlled diabetes and HIV infection
  • having a period
  • lack of sleep
  • poor diet or extreme intake of sugary foods
  • pregnancy
  • stress
  • taking antibiotics
  • taking birth control pills
  • taking steroid medicines.

Often, a woman can’t avoid all of the causes of yeast infections. However, by making a few simple lifestyle changes and by taking care of herself, a woman can help prevent future yeast infections.

When to See a Doctor

Women with symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection should see a doctor if they are experiencing symptoms for the first time or if the condition is lasting or recurring.

Your doctor will perform a pelvic examination to see if the skin of the vulva or the tissue inside the vagina or cervix is inflamed. The examining physician may find dry, white plaques on the vaginal wall. A microscopic evaluation of vaginal discharge will reveal the presence of the fungus Candida.

Women need to see a doctor to know for sure if they have a yeast infection, especially if they’ve never had one before. The signs of a yeast infection are similar to those of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including chlamydia and gonorrhea. Thus, it’s hard to be sure symptoms are the result of a yeast infection and not something more serious without having an exam.

Reducing Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms

Here are a few steps women can take to avoid yeast infections:

  • Avoid douching, feminine hygiene sprays, scented sanitary pads/tampons and perfumed soaps or toilet paper.
  • Avoid persistent and excessive moisture in the genital area by wearing loose-fitting slacks and underwear or pantyhose with cotton crotches.
  • Avoid wearing wet bathing suits or exercise clothing for long periods of time. After your swim or exercise, wash your clothing before wearing it again.
  • Eat yogurt, which contains beneficial bacteria.

Fortunately, vaginal yeast infection symptoms are easily treated. There are a number of over-the-counter antifungal creams and pills, including Monistat®, that work quickly and effectively to clear the infection and alleviate symptoms. A doctor can also prescribe prescription medication in extreme cases.


Locke, Robert Locke (n.d.). Coping With Yeast Infection. Retrieved July 12, 2007, from the Ezine Articles Web site: