Yeast Infection is a fungal infection of any of the Candida species, of which Candida albicans is probably the most common.
Yeast organisms are always present in all people, but are usually prevented from “overgrowth” by naturally occurring microorganisms.
At least three quarters of all women will experience candidiasis at some point in their lives. The Candida albicans organism is found in the vaginas of almost all women and normally causes no problems.
However, when it gets out of balance with the other “normal flora”, such as lactobacilli, which can also be harmed by using douches, an overgrowth and symptoms can result. The use of oral contraceptives and some antibiotics, and diabetes mellitus can lead to an increased incidence in yeast infections.
The most common symptoms are itching and irritation of the vagina and/or vulva, and a whitish or whitish-gray discharge that may have a “yeasty” smell like beer or baking bread. It may resemble cottage cheese.
Many women mistake the symptoms of the more common bacterial vaginosis for a yeast infection. In a 2002 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and...