Disease database

Candidiasis, also known as a yeast infection, is a common fungal infection that affects both men and women. It is caused by an overgrowth of the Candida fungus, specifically Candida albicans. While Candida is naturally present in the body, an imbalance can lead to an infection. Candidiasis can occur in various parts of the body, including the mouth, throat, skin, and genitals. In this article, we will focus on genital candidiasis, which can cause itching, burning, redness, swelling, discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse.

Understanding Genital Candidiasis

Genital candidiasis is a prevalent condition that affects many individuals at some point in their lives. It occurs when the Candida fungus overgrows in the genital area, leading to uncomfortable symptoms. The most common symptoms of genital candidiasis include:

  • Itching: One of the primary symptoms of genital candidiasis is itching in the affected area. This itching can be persistent and may worsen over time.
  • Burning: Many individuals with genital candidiasis experience a burning sensation, particularly during urination or sexual intercourse.
  • Redness and swelling: The affected area may appear red and swollen, indicating inflammation caused by the infection.
  • Discharge: In some cases, genital candidiasis can cause a thick, white, and odorless discharge.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse: The inflammation and irritation caused by the infection can make sexual intercourse painful.

Treating Genital Candidiasis

If you suspect that you have genital candidiasis, it is essential to seek medical advice for an accurate diagnosis. While there are over-the-counter antifungal medications available, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional to confirm the infection and determine the most appropriate treatment plan. Treatment options for genital candidiasis may include:

Antifungal Medications

Antifungal medications are the primary treatment for genital candidiasis. These medications come in various forms, including creams, ointments, suppositories, and oral tablets. They work by killing the Candida fungus or inhibiting its growth. It is important to follow the prescribed treatment regimen and complete the full course of medication, even if symptoms improve before the treatment is finished.

Home Remedies

In addition to medical treatment, there are several home remedies that can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. These include:

  • Keeping the affected area clean and dry: Moisture can worsen the infection, so it is important to keep the genital area clean and dry. Avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear or clothing that can trap moisture.
  • Avoiding irritants: Certain products, such as scented soaps, douches, and feminine hygiene sprays, can irritate the genital area and worsen symptoms. It is best to avoid these products until the infection clears.
  • Using probiotics: Probiotics, such as yogurt or supplements, can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the body and prevent the overgrowth of Candida.
  • Applying natural remedies: Some individuals find relief by applying natural remedies, such as tea tree oil or coconut oil, to the affected area. However, it is important to note that these remedies may not be as effective as antifungal medications and should be used with caution.

Preventing Genital Candidiasis

While genital candidiasis is a common infection, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing it. Here are some preventive measures:

Maintain good hygiene

Keeping the genital area clean and dry is essential in preventing genital candidiasis. Be sure to wash the area with mild soap and water regularly, especially after sweating or using the restroom. Avoid using harsh soaps or douches that can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the genital area.

Wear breathable clothing

Tight-fitting clothing and synthetic materials can trap moisture and create an environment conducive to the growth of Candida. Opt for breathable fabrics, such as cotton, and wear loose-fitting underwear to allow air circulation and prevent excessive moisture buildup.

Avoid unnecessary antibiotic use

Antibiotics can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the body, increasing the risk of Candida overgrowth. Only take antibiotics when necessary and follow the prescribed dosage and duration.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

A strong immune system can help prevent infections, including genital candidiasis. Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and manage stress to support your immune system’s function.


Genital candidiasis can cause discomfort and disrupt daily life, but with proper treatment and preventive measures, it can be managed effectively. If you experience symptoms of genital candidiasis, seek medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Remember to follow the prescribed treatment regimen and take preventive measures to reduce the risk of recurrence. By taking proactive steps, you can minimize the impact of genital candidiasis on your overall well-being.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment