What you should know about candida

Candida is a type of fungus that exists naturally in the mouth, oesophagus, on the skin and in the vagina.

The most common candida is Candida albicans. An imbalance in the growth of candida in any of these places can cause an infection called candidiasis.

When candida enters the bloodstream and causes infection, it is called invasive candidiasis. People who are prone to this have probably been admitted at the hospital and candida enters their bloodstream through clinical objects.

Overgrowth of candida in the mouth is called thrush. In thrush, white patches are usually visible in the mouth and on the tongue.

When the environment in the vagina changes in a way that can encourage the growth of the candida fungus, it causes an infection generally called yeast vagina infection. The yeast infection is common in women though men can get the yeast infection too. It is called a penile yeast infection.

One common mode of transmission is by having unprotected sex with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection. One can also get an infection without sexual activity. A moist environment around the penis is conducive for the overgrowth of the candida fungus.


Yeast infection in women has symptoms such as burning while urinating, a thick, white odourless vaginal discharge, pain during sexual intercourse, soreness of the vagina, redness and itchiness of the vagina. These symptoms are similar to symptoms of sexually transmitted infections and as such requires a need to visit your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms.

These symptoms could be mild or severe. The severity and reoccurrence of the symptoms determine the type of treatment. It could range from over the counter antifungal creams to more doses of antifungal drugs taken orally or applied inside the vagina.

Women who are at risk of vaginal yeast infection are pregnant women, women who have a weakened immune system, also if you just finished taking antibiotics or you take them indiscriminately, women who have diabetes.

Vaginal yeast infection can be quite uncomfortable, preventive measures like wearing cotton underwear and avoidance of antibiotics without prescription can minimize the risk of this infection. One must always maintain proper hygiene.