As a teen, why can discharge from my vagina mean I have a yeast infection?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health
Yeast infections are actually overgrowth of a microscopic fungal organism that may be present in the vagina at any time. It is not something you catch from someone or something. This overgrowth causes symptoms including a very thick, white discharge that may have small clumps like cottage cheese. Other symptoms are severe itching, burning, redness and swelling.
 A yeast infection is treated with anti-fungal creams, suppositories or oral tablets. If you are sure you have a yeast infection, you may purchase treatment from a pharmacy without a prescription. If you not sure your symptoms are a yeast infection, you should see your health care provider.
 Not all or even most vaginal discharge is a yeast infection. The natural daily discharge is a combination of mucus from the cervix and sloughing of old vaginal wall cells. This discharge would not cause irritation and does not need to be treated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.