Vaginal yeast infection, also known as mycosis or vulvovaginal candidiasis, is usually caused by an excessive proliferation of the fungus Candida, especially the species Candida albicans, in the vagina. Candida is a fungus that can be found on the skin and in the vagina of many women. A fungal disease only develops when the fungus multiplies excessively.
Risk factors for a vaginal yeast infection are a weakened immune system, high oestrogen levels (for example during pregnancy), taking certain medications (e.g. antibiotics or corticosteroids), or diabetes.
The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection can vary in severity, but typical signs are itching and burning in the vagina and external genital area, redness and swelling of the vulva (external genitalia) and a discharge which may be thick, white and flaky.