A woman with a yeast infection may notice that she has a white, clumpy discharge that looks something like cottage cheese. In addition, candidiasis is often associated with intense itching and soreness of the vaginal and vulval tissues, which typically become red and dry.

Treatment

A variety of treatments have proved effective in combating yeast infections. Traditional treatment strategies consist of vaginal suppositories or topical creams, such as clotrim­azole, miconazole, butoconazole, or terconazole. Over-the-counter intravaginal prepa­rations of clotrimazole and miconazole are now available for treatment of candidiasis; however, these medications are recommended only for women who have previously been medically diagnosed and treated and who have a recurrence of symptoms.

Two drugs taken by mouth, fluconazole and itraconazole, have also proven effective in treating candidiasis (Pitsouni et al., 2008). Because Candida albicans is a hardy organ­ism, treatment should be continued for the prescribed length of time (usually several days to 2 weeks), even though the symptoms may disappear in 2 days.

Practical tips to help women reduce the risk of a yeast infection include decreasing sugar intake, adding yogurt or a daily lactobacillus acidophilus supplement to their diet, and avoiding glycerin-based lubricants that can fuel a yeast infection (Fink, 2006).