Jessica is a medical writer with an unquenched thirst to discover something new. She believes that medical content should be accessible to everyone and strives to write content that every single person can understand. When Jessica isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading a book with a dog cuddled in her lap. Jessica has a Masters of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering.
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Amy is a Board Certified Family Health Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with over 15 years of experience working in Hospital Medicine, Urgent Care and Primary Care practices. Amy graduated Thomas Jefferson University with high distinction earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, a Master of Science in Nursing in 2010 and a Post Master's Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care (AGAC) in 2014. She was recognized by the Elite American Nurses Association in 2013 for her dedication, achievements and leadership in the field Nursing. She served as a clinical preceptor for a number of Nurse Practitioner students and enjoys teaching the bright minds of future NPs.
There’s a fairly good chance that as a woman you may end up with a yeast infection at some point in your life. In this case, you will likely have a lot of different questions running through your head and will want to know the best way to get treatment and how long it will take to clear up fully.
Here we’ll dive deeper into the question: can a yeast infection go away on its own and how a yeast infection is treated?
Table of Contents
- What Is a Yeast Infection?
- Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
- What Causes a Yeast Infection?
- Do Yeast Infections Go Away on Their Own?
- How Long Does a Yeast Infection Last?
- What Happens if You Leave a Yeast Infection Untreated?
- How is a Yeast Infection Treated?
- How to Prevent a Yeast Infection?
- When to See a Doctor?
- Key Takeaways
What Is a Yeast Infection?
The first matter that’s important to address is what is a yeast infection and how you know if you might have one or not. This infection is a fungal infection that will irritate the vulva and the vagina. You may also hear or see the infection referred to as vaginal candidiasis.
It’s known to affect every three out of four women at some point in their lives and can even run its course multiple times in some cases. You should be aware that it is not classified and does not fall into the category of being a sexually transmitted infection. The good news is that in most scenarios these infections can be treated using medications and will be cleared up in no time.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
Some symptoms of a yeast infection include intense itchiness in and around the vagina as well as irritation and discharge. The common symptoms can be quite challenging to manage and cause you a lot of discomfort in this area overall, so you’ll likely want to have your yeast infection treated sooner rather than later.
Additional symptoms to be aware of include:
- Vaginal rash
- Soreness and pain in the vagina
- A burning sensation
- Swelling and redness of the vulva
- Watery vaginal discharge
- White, thick, odor-free vaginal discharge
The side effects of a yeast infection that are most rare if it’s left untreated are thrush, mood swings, and headaches. If you have any of these symptoms then it’s wise to get in touch with one of our clinicians as quickly as possible so we can help you clear up your yeast infection and get you feeling better fast.
What Causes a Yeast Infection?
The culprit of most yeast infections is known as the fungus candida albicans, which is the most common fungus to cause a yeast infection. Naturally, there is a mixed balance and the right balance of yeast in your vagina. The overgrowth of yeast is prevented by a particular bacteria which is called lactobacillus.
If at any point you end up having an overgrowth of yeast in your vagina the causes may be from:
- A weak immune system
- Diabetes that is not being properly managed and isn’t under control
- Use of antibiotics
- Increase in estrogen levels from oral contraceptives or hormone therapy
Do Yeast Infections Go Away on Their Own?
You’ll be glad to know that the majority of yeast infections are not that serious. Generally speaking, they will go away on their own if not treated. However, many women find the intense itching that occurs very difficult and annoying to deal with.
Even in mild cases, it’s always best to see a provider and get your yeast infection treated to ensure it clears up. You risk the infection returning and causing other issues if you let it go for too long and choose not to treat it.
How Long Does a Yeast Infection Last?
A moderate to severe yeast infection can last almost two weeks, while the majority of them last up to roughly three days. Once you begin treatment you’ll notice that it clears up fairly quickly and within a few days.
While the infection can clear up and be gone, you may still have some itching present. If you finish treatment and aren’t fully better in a couple of days then contact the doctor you’re working with to follow up and see what the next steps for you would be as you may need a more aggressive treatment plan.
What Happens if You Leave a Yeast Infection Untreated?
The downside is that vaginal yeast infections that aren’t treated properly or left untreated may cause other complications. You’re likely going to begin to experience even more and more intense redness, itching, and inflammation in the vagina and vulva.
You risk having exposed and raw areas and, in turn, getting a skin infection in this area. If you leave it untreated for weeks or months at a time then a long-term yeast infection can negatively impact your immune system and it’s possible the yeast infection can spread to other parts of your body.
How is a Yeast Infection Treated?
Typically, your doctor will put you on an antifungal medication for about three to seven days which should work to clear it up entirely. You may get the medication in the form of a cream, tablet, or ointment.
Overall, the quickest way to clear it up and treat it is to visit a doctor as soon as you notice symptoms or suspect that you have a yeast infection. How severe your case and infection are can also impact what type of and how strong a dose of medication you receive.
How to Prevent a Yeast Infection?
The best way to avoid having to deal with and treat a yeast infection in the first place is to focus on preventing it.
You can try to avoid it by wearing breathable underwear, immediately changing out of wet clothes, and always wiping from front to back in the bathroom. Also, change your tampon or pad regularly on your period and get help managing your diabetes if you have it.
Finally, do your best to stay out of and away from hot baths and hot tubs. Additional culprits and risk factors include being on particular antibiotics and if for any reason your estrogen levels are raised.
When to See a Doctor?
It’s important you observe and are aware of what’s happening with your body and vagina, in particular. Therefore, there are some signs and instances when you will want to schedule an appointment with a doctor and get treatment for it.
Make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible if:
- Other symptoms emerge or develop
- You’re unsure if you indeed have a yeast infection
- This is your first experience having yeast infection symptoms
- You try over-the-counter creams and options without any luck and the symptoms stick around or worsen
Contact us at DrHouse right away and we will be able to meet with you and provide a diagnosis and medication if necessary in under 15 minutes. Why wait any longer to reach out if you are uncomfortable and worried that you might possibly have a yeast infection. Instead, seek medical attention, and let’s work together to get it cleared up.
Will a Yeast Infection Go Away on Its Own?
While it is possible, it’s always in your best interest to meet with a doctor and get treated if you suspect you have a yeast infection. Get in touch with DrHouse to start speaking to a clinician so you can begin your medication if you need it.
How Long Do Yeast Infections Usually Last?
Typically a yeast infection will last a few days and up to three, but in severe cases or left untreated, it can be weeks or even longer. An untreated yeast infection can also lead to other complications or the yeast infection can spread to other areas of your body.
How Long Can a Yeast Infection Last if Not Treated?
It may take one to two weeks to clear up if left untreated. The symptoms may continue to linger and in this situation, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor to seek treatment.
You now have a better understanding of what a yeast infection is and all the reasons why you should seek medical attention and treatment right away if you notice symptoms. It’s always a good idea to speak with a doctor and let them know what’s going on with you so they can get you the right medication to ensure the yeast infection clears up as quickly as possible. You’re putting yourself and your body at risk of experiencing additional consequences if you fail to have it treated and the symptoms worsen over time.
Be glad to know that our team of providers here at DrHouse can offer you care right away and make sure you’re spoken to in under 15 minutes. Get in touch today, as our providers are standing by ready to engage with you online.
You can meet with a board-certified clinician without having to leave your house or wait a long time in a waiting room. Not only will you walk away with a diagnosis but our clinicians can also prescribe medication if you need it.
- Yeast infection (vaginal). Mayo Clinic. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/yeast-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20378999
- Vaginal Candidiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html
- Mimi Secor, Laura Artigas. Patient Perceptions and Misperceptions About Vaginal Yeast Infections. Monistad. Available from: https://hcp.monistat.com/sites/monistat_hcp/files/2020-07/Patient_Perceptions_and_Misperceptions.pdf
- Fabiny A. Ask the doctor. I recently took antibiotics to treat an oral infection and as a result developed a vaginal yeast infection. Can I treat it myself, and what are the most effective options? Harv Womens Health Watch. 2014 Sep;21(13):2. PMID: 25344968.
- Bernard L. Harlow, Rachel E. Caron, Samantha E. Parker, Devavani Chatterjea, Matthew P. Fox, and Ruby H.N. Nguyen. Recurrent Yeast Infections and Vulvodynia: Can We Believe Associations Based on Self-Reported Data?. Journal of Women’s Health.Oct 2017.1069-1076.http://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2016.5777
- Malicke, H. What is the role of yeast infections in pregnant Women and newborn Infants? Medizinische Welt 1964 Vol.33 pp.1725-1730. Available from: https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19691300174
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Victoria Fanslau Mar. 07, 2023
Victoria Fanslau Mar. 07, 2023