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Health Information For Parents
Yeast infections (also known as candidiasis) are common infections caused by Candida albicans yeast, which is a type of fungus. Yeast infections usually happen in warm, moist parts of the body, such as the mouth, and moist areas of skin.
A yeast infection in the vagina is known as vulvovaginal candidiasis. Vaginal yeast infections are common among growing girls, and about 75% of all females will have one at some point.
Vaginal yeast infections can cause pain, itching, redness, a thick white vaginal discharge, pain during urination (peeing), and sometimes whitish patches on the skin of the vaginal area.
If your daughter has a vaginal yeast infection, her doctor can prescribe treatment to clear up the symptoms in a couple of days and cure the infection within a week.
Having small amounts of Candida on the skin and inside the mouth, digestive tract, and vagina is normal. A healthy immune system and some “good” bacteria keep the amount in a person’s body under control.
But yeast in the vagina can sometimes “overgrow” and lead to symptoms of a yeast infection. This can happen if:
As girls mature and go through puberty, hormonal changes can put them at risk for yeast infections — sometimes, girls get yeast infections right before their menstrual periods. Pregnant women are also more prone to yeast infections.
Young girls who haven’t gone through puberty yet are less likely to get yeast infections, but they can happen. So if your young daughter complains of itching or discomfort in her vaginal area, it’s important to talk with her doctor.
Yeast infections can happen to any girl, and they’re not considered sexually transmitted infections, although they may be able to be spread from one sexual partner to the other.
If your daughter has any symptoms of a yeast infection — like itchiness or abnormal vaginal discharge — she should see her doctor or gynecologist. Other infections can cause similar symptoms but require different treatments.
The doctor might take a urine sample to rule out a urinary tract infection (UTI) and swab some vaginal discharge to examine under a microscope.
If your daughter does have a yeast infection, her doctor can prescribe a medicine to take by mouth or a vaginal cream, tablet, or suppository that will quickly clear up the symptoms in a few days and the infection within a week.
Anyone using a vaginal treatment should not have sex until the infection is completely cleared — these medicines can weaken condoms and diaphragms.
If your daughter is not feeling better within a few days of finishing treatment, call the doctor.
For most girls, there’s no way to prevent yeast infections. Girls may feel more comfortable and have less irritation if they wear breathable cotton underwear and loose clothes and avoid vaginal sprays and douches. But there’s no scientific proof that doing these things prevents yeast infections. If your daughter has diabetes, keeping her blood sugar levels under control will help her avoid getting yeast infections.
If you think your daughter has an infection, call your doctor for advice. Don’t give her leftover antibiotics or someone else’s antibiotics or medicine because they be the wrong choice for your daughter’s condition. And taking antibiotics when they are not needed can make yeast infections more likely.
What are vaginal yeast infections? Can anything be done to prevent them?
Find out what the experts have to say.
Normal vaginal discharge has several purposes: cleaning and moistening the vagina and helping to prevent infections. But sometimes discharge indicates there’s a problem. Get the facts on what’s normal and what’s not.
Learning about the female reproductive system, what it does, and the problems that can affect it can help you better understand your daughter’s reproductive health.
Kids reaching puberty should already know what’s going to happen to their bodies. Here are some tips for talking to your daughter about menstruation.
The idea of going to the gynecologist may make your daughter feel nervous. Here’s how to make her feel more comfortable about a well-woman visit.
Puberty was awkward enough when you were the one going through it. So how can you help your kids through all the changes?
Germs are the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.
Antibiotics are powerful medicines that can help kids feel better — but only when they have certain illnesses. Find out if an antibiotic is right for your child.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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