Candida Yeast Infection – What it is and How to Cure It

Let’s start with a little scientific background on yeast infections.

According to Wikipedia, the genus Candida and species Candida albicans were described in 1923 by botanist Christine Marie Berkhout in her doctoral thesis at the University of Utrecht.  Over time the classification of the genera and specie has evolved.

There are about 150 species of candida.  Most do not cause infections in humans.  The most significant is candida albicans.  Others include Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Candida parapsilosis, Candida dubliniensis, and Candida lusitaniae.

Although candida yeasts can usually be found in the body, their growth is normally limited.  Growth is kept down by the human immune system and by other microorganisms, including bacteria.

About one fifth of women have small numbers of candida in their vagina, yet do not have a noticeable yeast infection.

If the balance of different kinds of bacteria in the vagina is upset it may allow overgrowth of the candida yeast.

Risk factors are:

  • Douching
  • Imbalances of hormones
  • Stress  
  • Pregnancy 
  • Oral contraceptives 
  • Yeast spread from the anus
  • Lubricants that have glycerin in them
  • Diabetes
  • Antibiotics 
  • Antibacterials 
  • The food you eat 

People are more likely to get a Candida yeast infection if their immune system is weakened.  A candida infection can, in extreme cases, get into the bloodstream, causing systemic yeast infection.

Male genital yeast infection is much less common than that in females.  Amongst the causes are low immunity, taking antibiotics, diabetes and sexual intercourse with an infected partner.


The symptoms of a candida yeast infection vary depending on the area affected.

When there is a vaginal infection the symptoms might include itching, burning and pain along with a discharge.

Male yeast infections can include red patchy sores on the genitals, with an itching or burning feeling. Penis yeast infection can also have a white or watery discharge, although this is not common.  In fact, having no symptoms at all is common, and more severe symptoms may show up at a later time.


Physicians usually use microscopic examination and/or culturing to diagnose yeast infections.

A scraping or swab is put on a microscope slide.  10% potassium hydroxide solution is applied.  The solution leaves the candida cells intact while dissolving the skin cells.

The swab is put on a culture medium and incubated to allow the yeast to grow, if present.  The way they grow may allow a diagnosis of what is causing the disease.


Candida is most commonly treated with antifungal drugs in the form of pills, creams or suppositories in the case of vaginal candida yeast infection.

This is usually an effective treatment, but symptoms night come back in a few weeks or months.

In order tostop recurring yeast infections it’s important to keep the environment in the body healthy, so that the yeast does not proliferate.  A holistic and natural approach is usually needed.

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