Vaginal Candidiasis (aka Yeast Infection)

Vaginal candidiasis (also known as yeast infection) is a fungal infection of the vagina which is so common that it affects more than half the women at least once in their lifetime.  Some women get recurrent episodes which can be troublesome.  The condition may be more common around the time of menstruation.


Common symptoms range from mild to severe and include;

  • Itching and irritation in and around the vagina
  • Burning sensation or pain which is often worse during passing urine or sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal discharge which is usually white thick cheese-like or sometimes watery
  • Redness or swelling of the vulva and around the vagina

Click to view TED video on What are yeast infections

Risk factors

  • Low immunity state such as on steroids treatment or chemotherapy
  • Mental stress, physical tiredness or lack of sleep
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Change in hormonal status such as pregnancy or some contraceptive pills
  • Associated with sexual intercourse or multiple sexual partners (where the sperm or lubricant used may change the pH of the vagina)
  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Poor hygiene or tight-fitting underwear which causes excessive sweating around the vagina
  • Scented feminine products such as bubble baths or tampons


Anti-fungal medications are used treat vaginal yeast infections.  For mild to moderate symptoms these are some treatment options;

  • Short-course Vaginal medication (such as cream, ointment or pessary) can be used for between 3-7 days.  These include Miconazole, Clotrimazole and Terconazole
  • Single-dose Oral medication (such as a single oral dose of Fluconazole (Diflucan) on a single day or 2 single doses three days apart

Oral medication in NOT recommended during pregnancy.  If you have recurrent yeast infections (defined as more than 4 infections in a single year), you should see a gynaecologist to have a vaginal examination, ultrasound scan or blood tests done.

Click to view Cleveland Clinic video on Treatment of Yeast Infection


  • Wear loose underwear preferable made of breathable material such as cotton 
  • Sometimes probiotics or yoghurt rich in Lactobacillus may alter the pH in the vagina and help to reduce the risk of yeast infection
  • Change out of your sweaty clothes after exercise or sports
  • After using the bathroom, always wipe from front to back 
  • Avoid communal hot tubs or onsen

Consult your Doctor or Pharmacist for treatment advice

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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