Frequently Asked Questions About Yeast Infections

For your convenience, we're sharing frequently asked questions about yeast infections other MONISTAT® users
have posted to the site. And we always encourage you to talk to your own doctor if you have any further questions.

Causes of a Vaginal Yeast Infection

Q. What is a vaginal yeast infection?

A. A vaginal yeast infection is a common condition inside the vagina caused by an overgrowth of yeast (candida) that
normally lives in the vagina. Your doctor may call this infection “monilia” or “candidiasis”. Some women may have burning,
itching, or irritation on the skin outside of the vagina (vulva) at the same time that they have a vaginal yeast infection.


Q. What causes a vaginal yeast infection?

A. A yeast infection (candidiasis) is caused by an overgrowth of yeast that normally lives in the vagina. You can get a vaginal yeast infection at any age but it is most common during the childbearing years. Women who are pregnant, diabetic, taking antibiotics, birth control pills or steroids, or have a weakened immune system are more likely to get yeast infections. To help reduce the risk of getting a yeast infection, keep the genital area cool and dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes, change out of wet or damp clothes as soon as possible and change often minipads that are worn when you are not having your period. Avoid douches, scented hygiene products like bubble bath, sprays, pads and tampons, and avoid hot tubs and very hot baths. Also, change tampons and pads often during your period. Talk with your doctor about any drugs you are now taking — you are more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection if you are taking certain drugs such as antibiotics, steroids or birth control pills. Do not stop taking these drugs without first asking your doctor. A doctor may need to see you to make sure that you do not have other medical conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system.


Q. How can I tell if I have a vaginal yeast infection?

A. When you have a vaginal yeast infection, you may have one or more of the following symptoms: vaginal itching, vaginal discharge that may be thick, white and lumpy like cottage cheese, vaginal soreness, irritation or burning, rash or redness on the skin outside the vagina (vulva), burning upon urination, and painful vaginal intercourse (sex).

 

Vaginal yeast infections do NOT cause fever, chills, lower abdominal, back or shoulder pain, foul smelling vaginal discharge, or a missed period. These may be signs of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or a tubal pregnancy. If you have these symptoms, call your doctor right away.


Q. Why do I get vaginal yeast infections so often?

A. Women may get repeated vaginal yeast infections that may not clear up easily with proper treatment. Some of the causes of repeated yeast infections include hormonal changes occuring a few days before the monthly period, use of antibiotics, use of some birth control pills, pregnancy, diabetes (“sugar” or “high blood sugar”), wearing tight or moist clothing in the genital area and a weakened immune system, which can be due to certain drugs or a medical condition. If you get vaginal yeast infections often (such as once a month or 3 in 6 months), you should talk to your doctor.


Q. How can I prevent getting a vaginal yeast infection?

A. The following are some thing that have been associated with preventing yeast infection. Keep the genital area cool and dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes, change out of damp clothes or a wet bathing suit as soon as possible and change maxipads or panty liners often when you are not having your period. Avoid douches, scented hygiene products like bubble bath, sprays, pads and tampons, and avoid hot tubs and very hot baths. Also, change tampons and pads often during your period. Talk with your doctor about any drugs you are now taking — you are more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection if you are taking certain drugs such as antibiotics, steroids or birth control pills. Do not stop taking these drugs without first asking your doctor. A doctor may need to see you to make sure that you do not have other medical conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system.


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Treatment

Q. Do I have to go to the doctor?

A. Talk to your doctor before using the product if you:

1. have vaginal itching and discomfort for the first time or never had a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed by a doctor.

2. have lower abdominal, back or shoulder pain, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, as you may have a more serious condition.

3. have vaginal yeast infections often (such as once a month or 3 in 6 months). You could be pregnant or have a serious underlying medical cause for your symptoms, including diabetes or a weakened immune system.

4. have been exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.

5. are pregnant or breastfeeding.

6. are taking the prescription blood-thinning medicine warfarin (Coumadin).

Stop using the product and consult your doctor if:

1. symptoms do not get better in 3 days

2. symptoms last more than 7 days

3. you get a rash or hives, abdominal pain, headache, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, foul-smelling vaginal discharge or severe vaginal burning, itching, irritation or swelling.

You should also contact your doctor if you have any other medical questions


Q. What are different ways to treat a vaginal yeast infection?

A. There are two ways to cure a vaginal yeast infection — vaginally (topically) or orally (systemically). Prescription — oral or systemic therapies can cure a yeast infection, but because they need to be absorbed in your bloodstream, they can take longer to achieve symptom relief. A topical or vaginal treatment like MONISTAT® is applied directly over the site of the infection.


Q. Does Vagisil® treat vaginal yeast infections?

A. Vagisil® is sold for the temporary relief of external (outside the vagina) itching, but Vagisil® won’t cure the yeast infection. MONISTAT® contains an active ingredient that fights yeast and is applied inside the vagina to treat and cure the yeast infection. Most MONISTAT® products also come with an external itch relief cream for relief of symptoms.


Q. What is the difference between MONISTAT® and other OTC treatments?

A. MONISTAT® has a long term record of success — it has been in use for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections for over 35 years and is the #1 doctor recommended OTC brand. MONISTAT® has been clinically tested, and its safety and effectiveness has been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies.


Q. Should I use MONISTAT® 1, 3 or 7?

A. It is your preference as to which product you choose. MONISTAT® 1 is a one-day, one-dose product; the medication dose concentration is the highest compared to MONISTAT® 3 and 7. MONISTAT® 3 is a three-day, three-dose product that has a lower concentration of medication per dose. MONISTAT® 7 is a seven-day, seven-dose product that contains the lowest concentration of medication per dose. However, all three products are similarly effective in curing yeast infections in the same amount of time. If your symptoms do not get better in 3 days or symptoms last more than 7 days, these may be signs that the product is not working or you may have a more serious medical condition so stop the use of the product and contact your doctor.


Q. If my symptoms clear up before I finish the medicine, can I stop treating?

A. No. We recommend our product be used as directed. When using MONISTAT® as directed, you may start to get relief of symptoms in a few hours. If your symptoms do not get better in 3 days or symptoms last more than 7 days, these may be signs that the product is not working or you may have a more serious condition. If this is the case stop use of the product and contact your doctor.


Q. What should I do if it doesn’t clear up?

A. If your symptoms do not get better in 3 days or symptoms last more than 7 days, these may be signs that the product is not working or you may have a more serious condition. If this is the case, stop use of the product and contact your doctor.


Q. Does eating yogurt help cure a vaginal yeast infection?

A. There is no clear connection between eating foods with lactobacillus organisms, such as yogurt or acidophilus milk, and curing a vaginal yeast infection.


Q. Should I experience any side effects while using MONISTAT®?

A. A mild increase in vaginal burning, itching or irritation may occur when you first insert MONISTAT®. Abdominal cramping has also been reported. Stop using MONISTAT® and consult your doctor if you have abdominal pain, headache, hives, skin rash or if you have severe vaginal burning, itching, irritation or swelling.


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Pregnancy

Q. Can pregnancy cause vaginal yeast infections?

A. Women who are pregnant are more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection. If you are pregnant and think you have a vaginal yeast infection, talk to your doctor before using a product.


Q. Can I safely use MONISTAT® if I am pregnant?

A. If you are pregnant and think you have a vaginal yeast infection, talk to your doctor before using a product.


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Lifestyles

Q. Do antibiotics cause vaginal yeast infections?

A. Certain drugs, including antibiotics, may make it more likely for you to get a vaginal yeast infection. If you are taking antibiotics, do not stop taking them without first asking a doctor.


Q. Can I exercise while taking MONISTAT®?

A. You can exercise while you are taking MONISTAT® 1 Combination Pack 1-Day OVULE® with DAY or NIGHT® formula. All other treatments should be taken at night, and you can expect some leakage with product use. For best results, lie down as soon as possible after inserting the product. This will reduce leakage. You may want to use deodorant-free minipads or panty shields to protect your clothing during the time you are using MONISTAT®.


Q. Can I use MONISTAT® while having my period?

A. Yes, MONISTAT® can be used during your menstrual period. In fact, many women get vaginal yeast infections just before their period because of hormone changes. Using MONISTAT® during your period will not affect how well the product works. If you have started treatment and your period occurs, you should complete the full course of treatment. Do not use tampons while using MONISTAT® because tampons may remove some of the drug from the vagina. Use deodorant-free sanitary napkins or pads instead, and change them often.


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Sex

Q. Can I have sex while I am treating a vaginal yeast infection?

A. Do not have vaginal intercourse while using MONISTAT®. When using MONISTAT® do not use tampons, douches, spermicides or other vaginal products. Condoms and diaphragms may be damaged and fail to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).


Q. Is it like an STD?

A. Vaginal yeast infections are usually not spread by having intercourse (sex). However, if your partner has a rash, itching or discomfort in the genital area, a doctor should be contacted to find the cause of the symptoms. The doctor should be informed that you are treating a vaginal yeast infection with MONISTAT®.


Q. Can I use a condom while treating my vaginal yeast infection?

A. Do not have vaginal intercourse while using MONISTAT®. When using MONISTAT® do not use tampons, douches, spermicides or other vaginal products. Condoms and diaphragms may be damaged and fail to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).


Q. Can I transfer my vaginal yeast infection to my partner?

A. Vaginal yeast infections are usually not spread by having intercourse (sex). However, if your partner has a rash, itching or discomfort in the genital area, a doctor should be contacted to find the cause of the symptoms. The doctor should be informed that you are treating a vaginal yeast infection with MONISTAT®.

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