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How is vaginal yeast infection treated?

In uncomplicated (mild to moderate) infection:

  • A short course of vaginal antifungal therapy: An antifungal agent may be given for insertion into the vagina for one to seven days. They are available as creams, ointments, tablets and pessaries. Examples include clotrimazole, miconazole, butoconazole and terconazole.
  • Single dose oral antifungal therapy: You may be prescribed an oral antifungal pill either one dose or two doses taken three days apart. Example: fluconazole.

How is vaginal yeast infection treated?

In complicated (Severe) infection:

  • Long-course vaginal antifungal therapy: Antifungals are prescribed for a longer duration of seven to fourteen days.
  • Multi-dose oral antifungal therapy: Two to three doses of oral anti-fungal pills may be given.

The role of use of probiotics in the treatment of Vaginal candidiasis is also under research.

Usually, the male partner isn’t treated. But if the yeast infection is repeatedly happening in the woman or the male partner has a yeast infection of the head of the penis (balanitis), then your doctor may suggest treating him also. It may also be recommended that the male partner uses condoms during sex when the woman is undergoing treatment for vaginal yeast infection.

Next Steps

Seek medical attention when:

  • You are having vaginal yeast infection symptoms for the first time.
  • If you are less than 16 years or more than 60 years.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • If you have had two episodes of yeast infection within last 6 months.
  • If there are other symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, pain in the abdomen, coloured or smelly vaginal discharge, or rashes on the skin around the vulva.
  • If your symptoms have not resolved after treatment with over-the-counter antifungal treatment.

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References

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  • NHS choices. Vaginal thrush. Accessed at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Thrush
  • Ahmad A, Khan AU. Prevalence of Candida species and potential risk factors for vulvovaginal candidiasis in Aligarh, India. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2009 May;144(1):68-71.
  • Rathod SD, Klausner JD, Krupp K, Reingold AL, Madhivanan P. Epidemiologic features of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis among reproductive-age women in India. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2012;2012:859071

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