Candidiasis (known more commonly as a yeast infection
) is caused by the Candida albicans
fungus. The fungus is always present in the body in small amounts. However, when an imbalance occurs, such as when the normal acidity of the vagina changes or when a person's hormonal balance changes, the fungus can multiply.
When this happens, symptoms of candidiasis appear. Common symptoms of candidiasis include genital itching or burning; sometimes, a cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge is also present. Overgrowths of Candida albicans are usually treated with antifungal medications. However, women are advised to get a proper diagnosis before self-treating with these or any over-the-counter medications.
(Click Candida Albicans to learn more, including details about ways the fungus is transmitted, statistics on its prevalence, and treatment options for candidiasis. You can also click on any of the links in the box to the right for more specific information.)