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Vaginal Yeast Infection: How to Care for Your Daughter

A vaginal yeast infection happens when there is too much yeast (a type of germ) in the vagina. A yeast infection causes vaginal discharge, itching, and irritation. Yeast infections are treated with pills taken by mouth or cream that is put in and around the vagina.

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  • Use the medicine as prescribed by the health care provider.

  • Be sure your daughter finishes all doses of the medicine, even if she starts to feel better. If she stops the medicine too soon, the infection may come back.

  • To soothe pain or itching in the vaginal area, your daughter can:

    • Soak once or twice a day in a tub of warm water (without soap) for 10–15 minutes. She should spread her legs so the water reaches the vaginal area.

    • Put an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the area for a few minutes every few hours. Do not put ice or an ice pack directly on the skin.

    • Sleep in a nightgown instead of pajamas so air can move freely around the vaginal area during sleep.

  • To prevent more irritation, your daughter should:

    • Wear white cotton underpants. When doing laundry, skip the fabric softener and rinse them twice to get all of the soap out before drying.

    • Wear loose-fitting clothes rather than tights and leggings.

    • Take off wet bathing suits as soon as possible.

    • Not use douche.

    • Not use soap in the vaginal area.

    • Not use bubble bath.

    • Not sit in the tub with shampoo/conditioner/soap in the water.

  • If your daughter is sexually active, be sure she knows that:

    • Yeast infections can spread to another person during sex. Any partner with burning, redness, irritation, or discharge should see a health care provider.

    • Vaginal creams, tablets, or suppositories prescribed for yeast infections can weaken condoms and diaphragms. A different type of birth control is needed while using the medicine.

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Your daughter:

  • still has pain, itching, redness, and discharge after taking all her medicine

  • has new or worsening symptoms

  • gets better, then shows signs of a yeast infection again

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What causes vaginal yeast infections? Yeast infections can happen for many reasons. For example, girls are more likely to get yeast infections:

  • right before their periods

  • while taking certain medicines, such as antibiotics and steroids

  • if they use certain kinds of birth control

  • if they have diabetes and their blood sugar is not well controlled

How do health care providers diagnose yeast infections? A sample of the vaginal discharge (taken by wiping a swab inside the vagina) is looked at under a microscope.

If my daughter has signs of another yeast infection, can I start treatment again? If your daughter gets better, then has signs of another yeast infection, she should see the health care provider before starting any treatment at home. This way, you can be sure that it really is a yeast infection and that she gets the right medicines.

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