What is a yeast infection?
A yeast infection is a condition caused by the fungus Candida albicans. It is also called candidiasis. The yeast may infect the vagina, mouth, or other moist areas on the skin.
How does it occur?
Yeast organisms are normally present in the rectal and vaginal areas. Yeast causes trouble only when there are too many of them. Sometimes the yeast grows (multiplies) quickly and causes an infection.
There are several situations in which the yeast may multiply. Sometimes, if you are taking antibiotics, it can kill the bacteria that normally keep yeast levels down. Conditions that cause hormonal changes, such as menopause, pregnancy, or taking birth control pills, may also cause the yeast to grow. Yeast infections are often associated with diabetes, especially when the blood sugar level is too high. Recurring or stubborn cases may sometimes be an early sign of diabetes. In some cases, yeast infections that don't go away are an early sign of HIV infection. Drugs that reduce the body's defenses, such as drugs used to treat AIDS, also allow the yeast to grow and spread.
A yeast infection is usually is not spread by sexual intercourse.