Frequently Asked Questions

Vaginal yeast infections, or vulvovaginal candidiasis, are really very common in women. As many as 3 out of 4 will suffer from one in their lifetime. The infection occurs when Candida, a fungus normally found in areas like the mouth, digestive tract and vagina, begins to multiply and invade the vaginal tissue. Normally, Candida functions alongside other microorganisms in a delicate balance. When the balance is disrupted, an overgrowth of Candida can lead to a yeast infection.

Many things can change the balance of yeast organisms normally present in the vagina. If there are too many, it can trigger a yeast infection. Triggers include: 

  • Menstruation: Changes in hormone levels during a normal menstrual cycle can result in occasional or recurrent yeast infections.
  • Increased estrogen levels: Women who are taking birth control pills that have a high-dose of estrogen as well as those on estrogen hormone therapy are more susceptible to developing a yeast infection.
  • Pregnancy: Increased levels of estrogen during pregnancy make women more susceptible to recurrent yeast infections. The CDC recommends treatment with a 7-day topical azole, like MONISTAT®, but never treat without consulting your doctor first.
  • Antibiotics: Broad-spectrum antibiotics kill healthy lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina, which enables yeast to overgrow.
  • Diabetes: Whether controlled or uncontrolled, diabetes puts women at higher risk for developing a yeast infection.
  • Cancer Treatments: Undergoing chemotherapy treatments creates a greater risk for developing a yeast infection.
  • Impaired immune system: Women with weakened immunity from corticosteroid therapy or HIV infections are at greater risk for developing a yeast infection.

Importantly, sexual activity is NOT a trigger for yeast infections, though it is a risk factor for other vaginal infections, such as BV and Trichomoniasis.

Lastly, most yeast infections result from a type of Candida fungus known as Candida albicans, which is generally responsive to standard treatments, but other strains exist that are more resistant to common treatment options. If you experience any problems treating or curing your yeast infection, consult a healthcare professional. 

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 healthcare professional right away.

The following are some things 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 maxi pads or panty liners often when you are not having your period. Avoid scented hygiene products like bubble bath, body washes, sprays, pads and tampons. Also, change tampons and pads often during your period. Talk with your healthcare professional 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 certain birth control pills. Do not stop taking these drugs without first asking your healthcare professional. A healthcare professional may need to see you to make sure that you do not have other medical conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system.

Talk to your healthcare professional before using the product if you:

  • Have vaginal itching and discomfort for the first time or never had a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed by a healthcare professional. Your healthcare professional can answer any yeast infection questions you have as well as explain how MONISTAT® works. 
  • Have lower abdominal, back or shoulder pain, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, as you may have a more serious condition.
  • 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.
  • Have been exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Are taking the prescription blood-thinning medicine warfarin (Coumadin).

Stop using the product and consult your healthcare professional if:

  • Symptoms do not get better in 3 days.
  • Symptoms last more than 7 days.
  • 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 healthcare professional if you have any other medical questions.

If this is your first time experiencing a yeast infection or you are unsure as to whether or not you have one, consult your healthcare professional for a diagnosis. If you know that it is a yeast infection from past experience and are familiar with the symptoms you can try MONISTAT®. MONISTAT® is prescription-strength and can begin to relieve symptoms soon after the first dose, with a full cure after several days.

If you are experiencing symptoms of an infection, but aren’t sure, you can use the Vaginal Health Test  from MONISTAT® COMPLETE CARE™ to help determine if you need to see a healthcare professional.

MONISTAT® antifungal products are clinically tested, their safety and effectiveness have been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies. MONISTAT® has a long term record of success — it has been in use for the treatment of vaginal yeast infections for over 40 years and is the #1 doctor recommended OTC brand. 

It is your preference as to which dose you choose. MONISTAT® 1 is a maximum strength, one-day, one-dose product; the medication dose concentration (1200mg of miconazole) is the highest compared to MONISTAT® 3 and 7. MONISTAT® 3 is a regular strength, three-day, three-dose product that has a lower concentration of medication per dose (200mg of miconazole). MONISTAT® 7 is a low dose, seven-day, seven-dose product that contains the lowest concentration of medication per dose (100mg miconazole). All three dosage strengths are similarly effective in curing yeast infections in the same amount of time. Regardless of which dose you choose, if your symptoms do not get better in 3 days or symptoms last more than 7 days, these may be signs that you may have a more serious medical condition so stop the use of the product and contact your healthcare professional.

No. We recommend our product be used as directed in order to fully cure the infection. 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 you may have a more serious condition. If you completed the full course of medication and your symptoms do not get better stop use of the product and contact your healthcare professional.

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

There is no convincing evidence that eating foods with lactobacillus organisms, such as yogurt or acidophilus milk, will cure a vaginal yeast infection.

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

Women who are pregnant are more likely to get a vaginal yeast infection due to the increased estrogen levels. Only 7-day topical yeast infection treatments are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the treatment of yeast infections in pregnant women. If you are pregnant and think you have a vaginal yeast infection, talk to your healthcare professional before using any product to treat the infection. 

Only 7-day topical yeast infection treatments are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the treatment of yeast infections in pregnant women. If you are pregnant and think you have a vaginal yeast infection, talk to your healthcare professional before using any product to treat the infection.

Certain drugs, including antibiotics, may make it more likely for you to get a vaginal yeast infection as antibiotics will eliminate both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your body, allowing yeast to overgrow. If you are taking antibiotics, do not stop taking them without first asking a healthcare professional.

You can exercise while you are taking MONISTAT®1 LESS MESS Ovule® DAY or NIGHT® formula. All other treatments should be taken at night when you go to bed, 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 panty liners to protect your clothing during the time you are using MONISTAT®.

You can use MONISTAT® 1 LESS MESS Ovule® any time of the day. MONISTAT® 3, 7, and the MONISTAT® 1 Simple Therapy™ tioconazole ointment should be used at bedtime.

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.

You can resume having sex after 7 days if your symptoms have been relieved.

No, vaginal yeast infections are usually not spread by having intercourse (sex). Common triggers for a yeast infection are menstruation, pregnancy, antibiotic use, having diabetes or a weakened immune system, but sex is unlikely to be the cause. However, if your partner has a rash, itching or discomfort in the genital area, a healthcare professional should be contacted to find the cause of the symptoms. The healthcare professional should be informed that you are treating a vaginal yeast infection with MONISTAT®.

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).

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 healthcare professional should be contacted to find the cause of the symptoms. The healthcare professional should be informed that you are treating a vaginal yeast infection with MONISTAT®. 

Most feminine odor products only mask the odor with fragrance, they do not eliminate it. With regular use, just a small amount of Stay Fresh Gel from MONISTAT COMPLETE CARE® provides long-lasting freshness for days. It coats the vaginal area with a specifically-formulated gel that is designed to protect vaginal balance and work with your body to restore feminine freshness.

Yes, the ingredients in Stay Fresh Gel have been clinically tested and shown to be safe. Also, the gel contains no fragrances, parabens, colorants, deodorizers, or drugs of any kind. It coats the vaginal area with a specifically-formulated gel that is designed to protect vaginal balance and work with your body to restore feminine freshness.

No. The amount of gel used per application is very small, about the size of a nickel. The gel stays in place once it is applied, so it's discreet and not messy to use.

Temporary feminine odor can be caused by perspiration, intercourse, your menstrual cycle, and even the use of some soaps or douches can disturb the natural vaginal balance. It’s also very common. If you are experiencing a strong "fishy" odor and abnormal discharge, see your healthcare professional as you may have an infection.

No. Use Stay Fresh Gel for 3 days before and immediately after your period for best results.

You can use it any time, although it is not recommended during your period. 

  • After your period
  • After sex
  • After exercise
  • After perspiring
  • For freshness any time

Because each application lasts 3 days, there is no reason to use it more often. NOTE: Do not use more frequently than once every 3 days. 

The body, including the vagina and urinary tract, contains complex finely balanced ecosystems where beneficial bacteria keep disease-causing organisms in check. When these systems are thrown out of balance, the result can be conditions like urinary tract infections, yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Probiotics introduce friendly bacteria into the body. 

Normal vaginal bacteria produce factors that keep the vaginal environment slightly acidic. The acidic environment helps suppress the overgrowth of abnormal bacteria. When abnormal bacteria overgrow or parasitic infections like Trichomoniasis become established, this results in abnormal vaginal acidity — yeast infections usually do not result in a change in vaginal acidity (pH).

No, in fact, the most common vaginal infection is bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is an infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis is distinguished by a foul, fishy odor, a thin, grayish-white discharge and a change in vaginal acidity (pH). BV is caused by an abnormal growth of bacteria and must be treated with prescription antibiotics. By contrast, yeast infections do not usually cause an odor, and the discharge will often be thick, white, and lumpy with associated vaginal itching and irritation. If left untreated, BV may lead to a serious infection of the reproductive organs called pelvic inflammatory disease and complications in pregnant women, including premature birth.

You should see your healthcare professional if you're experiencing symptoms like a fishy odor, change in discharge, or sudden irritation within 48 hours after a new sex partner to make sure you do not have a sexually transmitted disease or BV. 

Another common vaginal infection is Trichomoniasis (Trich), which is a parasitic infection. Symptoms of Trichomoniasis may include the following: itching, burning, redness or soreness of the genitals, discomfort with urination, or a thin discharge with an unusual smell. The discharge can be clear, white, yellowish, or greenish. Like BV, Trichomoniasis must be treated with prescription antibiotics by a healthcare professional.

There are also non-infectious causes of vaginal inflammation and irritation. These are usually caused by an allergic reaction or irritation from vaginal sprays, douches, spermicidal products, soaps, detergents, or fabric softeners. Burning, itching, or vaginal discharge may be present even if there is no infection.

No. BV is caused by an abnormal growth of bacteria and must be treated with prescription antibiotics. At this time there are no FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for BV.
 
Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection and must be treated with prescription antibiotics. At this time there are no FDA approved OTC treatments for Trichomoniasis. 
 
If you think you have a yeast infection and are familiar with the symptoms because you have been previously diagnosed with a yeast infection, you can try an over-the-counter antifungal remedy such as MONISTAT®. If this is your first yeast infection, see your healthcare professional.
If left untreated, BV and Trichomoniasis may lead to a serious infection of the reproductive organs called pelvic inflammatory disease. BV and Trich may lead to complications in pregnant women, including serious infections and premature birth. Trich can also increase the risk of getting or spreading other sexually transmitted infections.
 
For more information visit the CDC website on BV.
 
For more information visit the CDC website on trichomoniasis.

If the yellow tip comes into contact with vaginal discharge that has an abnormal acidity (pH), the tip's color will change to either blue or green. The color change creates a stain that is darker and easily observed over the yellow background.

You should discuss your symptoms with your healthcare professional to help determine the best treatment for your vaginal discharge and symptoms. Do not self-treat with an antifungal. You can temporarily get itch relief with the Instant Itch Relief Cream from MONISTAT™ COMPLETE CARE™ while waiting to see your healthcare professional.
 
You may have a yeast infection. If this is your first yeast infection, it is important that you talk to your healthcare professional. However, if you are in good health, have been previously diagnosed with a yeast infection and are familiar with the symptoms, you can try an over-the-counter antifungal remedy such as MONISTAT®. MONISTAT® is prescription-strength and can begin to relieve symptoms soon after the first dose, with a full cure after several days. 
 

Yes. In one study 21.1% of the women with presumed yeast infection actually had mixed infection (a combination of yeast or bacterial infection and/or Trichomoniasis).

Yes. Showering before use will not affect the results; however, make sure you are completely dry before using the test as excess water may affect the test result.

In a clinical study of pre-menopausal women where the physicians used the test kit, the kit detected over 90% of cases with an abnormal pH associated with a bacterial or Trichomoniasis infection. In 92.9% of cases of no bacterial infection, the kit indicated normal vaginal acidity. In another study where women used the test, there was over 90% agreement between the patient and physician reading of the results. 

Not all vaginal symptoms are due to a yeast infection. Test if you are unsure or if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Unpleasant odor
  • Abnormal or excessive discharge
  • Vaginal itching or burning

Yes. Besides infections such as BV and Trichomoniasis, other factors that may affect vaginal acidity (pH) levels include blood, semen, menopause and perimenopause (low estrogen).

MONISTAT® 1, 3, & 7 are antifungal products that cure yeast infections while relieving their uncomfortable symptoms. The difference is in the dose. MONISTAT® 1 is the maximum strength dose, MONISTAT® 3 is the regular strength dose, and MONISTAT® 7 is the original prescription, low dose. All will cure in the same amount of time and equally effectively. If you do not feel some relief within 3 days, or complete relief within 7 days, stop using the product and consult your healthcare professional.

MONISTAT® is best known for its yeast infection treatment products, but also offers products for complete feminine care, including odor treatment, chafing relief, itch relief, and a vaginal health test. 

The yeast infection treatment line of products, MONISTAT®  1-day, 3-day, and 7-day treatment formulations, come in a variety of forms including Ovule®, cream, and traditional suppositories. There are also several combination packs available with additional symptom relief items included with the medication: 

  • Complete Therapy™ products contain the vaginal antifungal cure, external relief cream, and soothing wipes
  • Cure and Itch Relief™ products contain the vaginal antifungal cure and external itch relief cream
  • Simple Cure™ products contain just the vaginal antifungal cure. 

No. Although MONISTAT® antifungal products used to be prescription, they are conveniently available over-the-counter, and are still prescription-strength. 

Because each MONISTAT® antifungal product is available without a prescription, women who have had previous yeast infections and are experiencing the same symptoms do not have to wait for a doctor’s appointment to get the relief they need while still using a prescription-strength product. MONISTAT® is also a topical treatment—it’s placed directly into the vagina at the source of infection, and therefore cures right at the source of the infection. Oral pills need to be digested and absorbed into the blood stream before they start working. 

External vaginal pain relievers are sold for the temporary relief of external (outside the vagina) itching, but they won’t cure the yeast infection. Some examples of symptom relief ingredients that will not cure the infection are benzocaine and hydrocortisone. MONISTAT® antifungal products contain an active ingredient that fights yeast and is applied inside the vagina to treat and cure the yeast infection. Most MONISTAT® antifungal products also come with an external itch relief cream for relief of symptoms.