Recognizing yeast infection symptoms is a key step in early identification of a yeast infection, which makes treatment much easier, and reduces the pain and frustration of the infection itself. There are many different signs of a yeast infection, and some manifest in different ways in different people, but there are some common signs to watch out for. Although women most commonly experience yeast infection symptoms, men that are carrying the infection may also demonstrate symptoms, and it is important for them to be on the lookout as well, both to diminish their own suffering and to make sure they don’t pass on their infection to a partner.
A yeast infection, also referred to as thrush, is caused by an outgrowth of a Candida yeast, most often Candida albicans. Although Candida albicans is present in all humans to some extent, in times where the immune system is compromised, where hormones have changed radically, or where large amounts have been introduced from an outside source, it may experience a bloom. These outbreaks usually occur in damp and warm areas, where the yeast thrives, especially the mouth, vagina, and beneath the foreskin of the penis.
The most immediate signs of a yeast infection to recognize is the itching. A yeast infection causes a localized itching, either in the vagina or beneath the foreskin of the penis, or in cases of thrush, in the mouth. The intensity of this itching may vary widely, with some people experiencing only a slight discomfort, while others have such intense itching they can hardly walk.
Another of the most easily-recognizable yeast infection symptoms is the yeast itself. In the vagina or beneath the foreskin of the penis it will generally appear as a slightly clumpy, white discharge. It may, however, be much less solid, and may be anywhere from quite clear to a slightly yellow-white. In the mouth, the visual yeast infection symptoms include a thin white layer on the tongue that can be scraped off easily. In more extreme cases, this outgrowth in the mouth can actually become fully clumpy.
The smell of a yeast infection may also be fairly strong, and so can serve as a clue to infection. Bacteria never smells the same as yeast, so this can be an excellent diagnostic to rule out bacterial infection and point more towards a yeast infection. Although the species used in beer making is a completely different type of yeast, Candida albicans nonetheless smells quite a bit like the yeast used in beer, and so has a similar scent.
These three yeast infection symptoms taken together can help to diagnose a yeast infection, as opposed to another common vaginal or penile infection. Bacterial infections, for example, generally have colored discharge, and the odor released is not like that of beer or bread, but often is much more putrid. Trichomoniasis, on the other hand, while itchy like a yeast infection, is generally also quite painful as well, both during urination and intercourse. And a urinary tract infection will generally be accompanied by pain while having sex, and may include blood or urine in the urine.