What is a Yeast Infection (Candidiasis)?

what is a yeast infection"What is a yeast infection (candidiasis)?" is a pretty common question since approximately 75% of females will have a yeast infection during their lifetime.

If you have heard of the term before but are not really sure what it is or what it involves, hopefully this website will answer any questions you may have. And if it turns out you do have a yeast infection, you will also find the information here that you need to get rid of that irritating infection. Now on to answer to your question - what is a yeast infection?.

First, the more scientific terms for a yeast infection is Candidiasis or Monilia. Candidiasis is the more common term so I will be using candidiasis and yeast infection interchangeably throughout this website.

To Learn More About Yeast Infections, Including A Detailed Explanation of Why You Get Them and How to Treat Them, Click Here

In short, a yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by a species of fungus called the Candida species (yeast is a type of fungus). The most common of this species is the Candid albicans and it is responsible for most yeast infections.

Normally the fungus that causes the infection is harmless and, in fact, is usually present in the body in small amounts. Most people actually have a small amount of yeast on their skin and in their mouths, rectum, intestines and vagina. It is usually kept in check by the human immune system and microorganisms found on the body.

The problem occurs when the fungus begins to multiply. When the fungus overgrows, it usually becomes an infection. This overgrowth occurs because of an imbalance in the body.

There are many things that can cause such an imbalance in the body. Some of the more common causes include antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes, oral contraceptives, weakened immune system, stress, non-ventilating clothing and poor nutrition. You can read about the causes in more detail on our Cause of Yeast Infection page.

The most common type of yeast infection is a vaginal yeast infection. However, a yeast infection can occur in many other areas of the body. Other areas that are often subject to yeast infections include the mouth, skin and fingernails.

The symptoms of a yeast infections are varied. I will highlight some below, but for a more detailed discussion see our Symptoms of a Yeast Infection page.

Some of the symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection (the most common type in woman) include vaginal itching and irritation. It may also be accompanied by a thick, white discharge. This discharge is usually odorless. Other symptoms include redness or swelling in the genital area as well as a stinging sensation when urinating and pain during intercourse.

A person may not experience all of these symptoms but almost all people will experience itching if it is a yeast infection.

Yeast infections can also occur in the mouth, under fingernails and in skin folds. A candida infection in the mouth is also known as thrush.

What is a Yeast Infection and Who Gets Them?

If you have a yeast infection, rest assured you are not alone. It is a very common form of infection. In fact, as I stated above, it is estimated that just over 70% of women will have a yeast infection during their lifetime.

And approximately 40% of women will have more than one bout of infection. So you have alot of company when you wonder "What is yeast infection?"

A yeast infection is most common in teenage girls and women up to 35 years of age. However, it can occur in younger girls and older women but it is far less common. And, no, you do not have to be sexually active to get a yeast infection.

Yeast infections are also not limited to women. Men and babies can also get a yeast infection. Men's symptoms can include a redness or itching in the genital area, including the penis.

If you have never had a yeast infection before, you should consult with your doctor. Symptoms can be similar to other ailments and a doctor should be consulted to ensure you get a correct diagnosis.

Hopefully this has answered the question "What is a yeast infection?"

To Learn More About Yeast Infections, Including A Detailed Explanation of Why You Get Them and How to Treat Them, Click Here


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