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Genital Yeast Infection

Yeast infection alternately referred to as Candidiasis, is a fungal infection due to any type of Candida (a type of yeast). It is a fungus that lives almost everywhere, including in your body. It is worth noting that a yeast infection is not always caused by Candida.   Yeast infections affect different parts of the body in different ways:

  • White patches in your mouth
  • This can spread to your esophagus, the tube that takes food from mouth to stomach especially in individuals who have a weakened immune system.
  • Vaginal yeast infections that cause itchiness, pain and discharge
  • Itching and rashes on the skin

If it affects the genital area, it is called a yeast infection. In women, it may be called a vulvovaginal yeast infection and in men, it’s called Balanitis.


  • Candidiasis or “yeast infection” is caused by a small fungus. Healthy women normally have small numbers of them in the vagina. Sometimes the numbers grow and cause such problems as vaginal itching, burning, a heavy, curdy, white discharge, and pain when having sex.
  • Women who use broad spectrum antibiotics will be at a higher risk of acquiring a yeast infection due to an imbalance in the normal flora of the vagina. This can then be transmitted sexually.
  • Men can get yeast infections, too, which can lead to a condition known as balanitis — inflammation of the head of the penis.
  • A yeast infection (or candidiasis) is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. In fact, they are a very common and normal part of women’s lives. An estimated three in four women will have a yeast infection in their lifetime, and many of these women will have recurring infections. In rare cases, a yeast infection can be spread through vaginal intercourse among partners who have unprotected sex, but the risk is low.

How common

Both men and women can get thrush, though it is more often associated with women. This infection is relatively common – some different studies found nearly 75% of all adult women have had at least one “yeast infection” in their lifetime. Although uncommon, men can get a yeast infection by having unprotected sex with a woman with yeast infection. It usually appears as small white spots, redness, or a dry, peeling rash on the penis accompanied by itching, irritation, or burning.

Chances of being infected

An estimated three in four women will have a yeast infection in their lifetime, and many of these women will have recurring infections. In rare cases, a yeast infection can be spread through vaginal intercourse among partners who have unprotected sex, but this risk is very low. Unfortunately, we are not able to find the study covered this area (female to male transmission rate).

In a study titled, Yeasts and circumcision in the male, yeasts were isolated at similar rates in both the circumcised (14%) and uncircumcised (17%) men. The circumcised men had significantly fewer symptoms. Therefore the female partners of both circumcised and uncircumcised men are exposed to similar rates of yeast infection despite the absence of symptoms in circumcised men. This study also found that 80% of the female contacts of yeast-positive men had yeast infection.

How to detect if someone has it

In women:

Genital Yeast Infection - detect Female

  • A vaginal discharge that is typically thick, odorless, and whitish-gray in color. The discharge has been described as having a cottage-cheese-like consistency.
  • Redness or soreness of the vagina or vulva in women; swelling of the vagina

In men:

Genital Yeast Infection - detect male

  • Moist skin on the penis, possibly with areas of a thick, white substance collecting in skin folds
  • Areas of shiny, white skin on the penis
  • Redness and rashes
  • Difficulty pulling back the foreskin (phimosis).


  • Probiotics
  • This is a measure of re-introducing the ‘good bacteria’ in the vagina. This aids in achieving a balance in the microorganisms present in the vagina thus reducing the risk of getting an infection from fungi.

According to an Italian study, women with chronic yeast infections who placed a probiotic tablet directly in the vagina (once a night for 7 nights, then every 3 nights for 3 weeks, and then once a week) saw their rates of yeast infection drop by 87%.

  • Oral antifungal medicine – prescription

For 5% of women, yeast infections are chronic, returning at least 4 times a year. In a study at Wayne State University School of Medicine, women with a history of recurrent episodes took the oral antifungal fluconazole (Diflucan) weekly for 6 months; during that time, the rate of recurring infection dropped 90%. Six months afterward, 43% were considered cured.

  • Non spermicide condom

Unfortunately we are not able to find reliable statistic of consistent condom use and its relation with yeast infection. However, according to Michigan State University, the spermicide Nonoxynol-9 was linked to the increased yeast infections. To avoid this risk, you can choose to use condoms that do not have spermicide.

Condom effectiveness

Unfortunately we are not able to find reliable statistics for condom effectiveness against genital yeast infection. This is probably because people (especially women) still can get yeast infection whether they are sexually active or not. As for men, the transmission rate for getting yeast infection through a sexual intercourse with an infected woman can’t be found yet.


Topical antibiotic (antifungal) treatments (applied directly to the affected area) are available without a prescription. These include vaginal creams, tablets, or suppositories (A small plug of medication designed to melt at body temperature within a body cavity other than the mouth, especially the rectum or vagina). Regimens vary according to the length of treatment and may be 1-, 3-, or 7-day regimens. Recurrent infections may require even longer courses of topical treatment.

Examples of over-the-counter drugs:  clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex), miconazole (Micatin, Monistat), terconazole (Terzol), and nystatin (Mycostatin).

Taken in pill or tablet form, can be used to treat recurrent yeast infections or infections that do not respond to topical treatment. Fluconazole (Diflucan) is typically used as the first-choice oral antifungal medicine. Other drugs, like itraconazole (Sporanox), may sometimes be used.

The risk chart is the heart of this guide, and it can be found here

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