ZocdocAnswersHow do you get a yeast infection?

Question

How do you get a yeast infection?

I'm a 22 y o girl and recently had a really bad yeast infection that I treated on my own. I'm not sure if it's gone away or how I got it in the first place.

Answer

First of all I am sorry to hear that you developed a bad yeast infection recently, and that you aren't sure if it has gone away at this point. First of all when most people refer to a "yeast" infection, they are talking about something called Candida vulvovaginitis. Candida is a family of yeast that causes most of the yeast infections affecting humans. The most common form is Candida albicans which is a common normal flora (meaning that it is common to find it naturally growing on the skin...and NOT causing an infection). In this case, Candida is also a common normal flora within the vagina. The yeast in your vagina are typically kept in check from overgrowing by competition from bacteria. This is why it is a relatively common for women to develop yeast infections after taking certain antibiotics that kill off a significant amount of the bacteria that are competing with the yeast. This is also why when you are given certain antibiotics your physician may recommend eating an active culture yogurt (which has a bacteria called Lactobacillus acidophilus) to replenish your normal flora. Yeast infections can be easily treated with an oral anti-fungal pill once accurately diagnosed. To determine exactly why you developed it in the first place, I would recommend making an appointment with your general physician to discuss it, as there are many different potential reasons. I hope that this information is helpful.

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