Candidiasis, also known as yeast infection, thrush or VVC, is fungal infection caused by some of the Candida species, usually Candida albicans.
Candida species are usually present in human body but they are kept under control by other microorganisms and human immune system. Symptoms may appear when the balance between those microorganisms is lost.
Oral thrush affecting tongue and soft palate.It primary affects vagina and vulva, but also it can affect penis or foreskin, the nipples (during breastfeeding), mouth, the ear and folds of skin in diaper area.
It usually affects women although man can also be affected but much less commonly. It's one of the most common causes of vaginal irritation. Children can also develop chronic form of yeast infections characterized by white patches around the mouth.
It isn't dangerous or life-threatening but it can be hard to handle and very annoying.
In females symptoms usually include:
- burning sensations, itching and irritation of the vaginal area
- unpleasant feeling during or after sex
- burning sensations during urination
- redness and swelling of vulva
- abnormal vaginal discharge
- vulvar skin inflammation
Very commonly men don't experience any symptoms but if they occur they may include:
- burning sensations of the penis area
- burning during or after intercourse especially if condom not used
Also people with diabetes or some immune system disorders such as HIV or AIDS are most likely to develop yeast infection. Women during pregnancy are also at risk.
Although it isn't fully supported by science, its most likely that yeast can be spread between partners during sexual intercourse.
There are two methods for making diagnose: microscopic examination of vaginal discharge and culturing.
Treatments usually consist of antifungal drugs which can be taken orally or applied directly to the affected area. Those treatments may last for three or seven days. This will solve the problem in most number of cases but sometimes (especially in HIV positive women) long-term antifungal therapy may be necessary.
If not treated symptoms may get worse, but nothing serious can't occur in most number of cases.