Most vaginal yeast infections
are caused by the fungus Candida albicans
. This organism 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 the hormonal balance changes, Candida
can multiply. When that happens, symptoms of candidiasis appear.
Women with a Candida yeast infection
usually experience genital itching or burning, with or without a "cottage cheese-like" vaginal discharge. Males with the condition may experience an itchy rash on the penis. Treatment typically involves antifungal medications, which can be obtained either by prescription or over-the-counter (OTC).
(To learn more about these yeast infections, click Candida. This article explains how this condition is diagnosed, common transmission methods and risk factors, and statistics on how often these infections occur.)