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What does a yeast infection feel like?

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A vaginal yeast infection is characterized by irritation, redness and swelling of the vulva, an intense itchiness and a thick, white discharge, according to Mayo Clinic. A yeast infection can also cause pain and burning during sex and urination and an overall vaginal soreness. In some cases, such as in women who are pregnant or have a weakened immune system or diabetes, a yeast infection can become more complicated.

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In the case of a complicated yeast infection, sores and tears may develop on the vagina that can lead to more intense redness, itching and pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Yeast infections are caused by Candida yeast, a yeast that occurs naturally in every woman's body. A yeast infection occurs when the Candida yeast is not kept in balance with other yeasts and bacteria, allowing it to grow excessively until it causes symptoms of a yeast infection.

A yeast infection can be caused by antibiotic use, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, a weakened immune system or douching, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most yeast infections result from an overgrowth of Candida albicans; however, some cases are caused by other types of Candida yeast and may require more aggressive treatment than conventional over-the-counter treatments.

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