Common symptoms of yeast infections in women include intense itching, burning, red, irritated skin, vaginal discharge and pain during intercourse, explain WebMD medical experts. Symptoms are more likely to occur during the week before a menstrual period and also common during menstruation, when estrogen levels are elevated. Three out of every four women experience at least one yeast infection during their lifetime, according to Mayo Clinic.
Yeast infections are usually caused by the candida fungus, a naturally occurring micro-organisim found in the vaginal area of women, explains. While growth of the fungus is inhibited by a bacteria known as lactobacillus, the bacteria cannot effectively work when there is an imbalance in the woman's system; leads to rapid growth of candida and the infection associated with it.
Conditions that limit the efficiency of lactobacillus include recent antibiotic use, diabetes and pregnancy, according to Healthline. Poor eating habits - particularly excess sugar intake couple with a weakened immune system - stress and sleep deprivation are other contributing factors.
Recurrent vaginal yeast infections may be treated with prescription oral medicine, non-prescription vaginal medicine and vaginal boric acid capsules. Women without doctor consent should only take non-prescription medicines when they are not pregnant, have been unexposed to sexually transmitted infections, have not experienced multiple infections and sure the infection is a yeast infection, warns WebMD.