Yeast infection from antibiotics symptoms: Yeast Infection After Antibiotics: What To Know
Yeast Infection After Antibiotics: What To Know
Vaginal yeast infections (also known as vaginal candidiasis) are caused by a fungus called candida albicans.
This fungus lives in warm, moist parts of the body, such as the mouth and around the genitals.
When there is an overgrowth of this fungus, an infection occurs.
An estimated 75% of people with vaginas will experience a vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime.
Approximately 1.4 million outpatient visits for vaginal candidiasis occur annually in the U.S. So if you are experiencing an itch or burn down there, you shouldn’t feel any shame.
In this article, I’ll explore the link between yeast infections and antibiotics, the symptoms of a yeast infection, and antibiotics that can cause these infections.
I’ll also talk about how you can prevent these infections, and who is at higher risk for contracting one.
Finally, I’ll tell you when you should see a doctor or other healthcare provider about your symptoms.
Our physicians can prescribe antibiotics for various conditions, but only if necessary. Chat with a provider now.
Antibiotics that are prescribed to kill bacteria and fight infection can also kill healthy bacteria in the process.
This creates an imbalance in your body, which can sometimes make you more susceptible to an overgrowth of candida albicans fungus.
The predominant group of bacteria that naturally occurs in a healthy vagina is Lactobacillus.
These bacteria help protect against infection- and disease-causing agents by producing antimicrobial substances.
These bacteria can be killed—or have their growth stalled—when certain antibiotics are taken.
When your body does not have enough Lactobacillus, your vagina becomes less acidic.
This creates a more favorable environment for yeast to grow.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
If you think you are suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Vaginal itching, irritation, or soreness
- Redness, itching, or swelling of the vulva
- Thick, white, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain or discomfort when urinating
Mild yeast infections will go away on their own after a few days.
But in most cases, they will get progressively worse if left untreated.
In severe cases, you may experience redness, intense swelling, and cracks in the wall of the vagina.
Speak with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment option for you.
Which Antibiotics Cause Yeast Infections?
Not all antibiotics will cause yeast infections, but certain medications can leave you more susceptible to vaginal candidiasis.
Amoxicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic used for the treatment of ear infections, dental infections, pneumonia, and other bacterial infections.
Carbapenems, such as meropenem and ertapenem, are broad-spectrum antibiotics used to treat serious bacterial infections.
These medicines are often administered via IV.
You may be prescribed carbapenems if you have urinary infections that are resistant to other antibiotics, bacterial meningitis, intra-abdominal infection, antibiotic-resistant pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, or febrile neutropenia.
Tetracyclines are commonly prescribed for the treatment of acne, eye infections, sexually transmitted infections, and skin infections.
They can also be prescribed for infections that are spread by ticks.
Some common brand names for tetracyclines include:
- Doxycycline (Adoxa)
- Demeclocycline (Declomycin)
- Minocycline (Minocin)
- Omadacycline (Nuzyra)
- Tetracycline (Sumycin)
- Eravacycline (Xerava)
Quinolones are broad-spectrum antibiotics that are usually prescribed for difficult-to-treat UTIs, pneumonia, bronchitis, and bacterial prostatitis.
Some common quinolones include:
- Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
- Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
How to Prevent a Yeast Infection from Antibiotics
This is an oral prescription medication you can take to treat and prevent fungal infections.
It is not advised for pregnant women.
An over-the-counter antifungal cream or suppository can help ward off yeast infections caused by antibiotics.
For best results, follow the directions on the box, and begin using your antifungal treatment simultaneously with the beginning of your antibiotic treatment.
Probiotics are living microbes sometimes called “good bacteria.”
They are available through foods with live cultures, such as yogurt, and in supplements.
Recent research suggests that taking probiotics can promote vaginal health.
Wearing cotton underwear can help reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection.
Yeast thrives in moist environments.
Cotton absorbs moisture, making the environment less hospitable for the fungus.
Who is at Higher Risk of Developing a Yeast Infection?
Any woman at any age can get a yeast infection and most will experience at least one in their lifetime, but it is more than likely to occur in women after puberty and before menopause.
Another risk factor is having higher estrogen levels.
You may have higher estrogen levels if you are pregnant, taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills, or undergoing estrogen hormone therapy.
Diabetes or a weakened immune system can also put you at an increased risk for yeast infections.
Our physicians can prescribe antibiotics for various conditions, but only if necessary. Chat with a provider now.
When to See a Doctor or Healthcare Professional
If you are struggling with symptoms of itchiness, irritation, redness, burning, and cracks in the wall of your vagina, you should see a healthcare provider for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
If you develop a yeast infection while using an OTC antifungal vaginal cream or suppository in conjunction with your antibiotics, contact a healthcare provider.
They will be able to examine you and determine the best medication for you.
They may take a small sample of vaginal discharge to test under a microscope to form their diagnosis.
How K Health Can Help
Did you know that you can get yeast infection treatment online through K Health?
We have clinicians available 24/7 to get you the care or medication that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it common to get a yeast infection after taking antibiotics?
Yes. Many antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria that keep yeast under control. This can lead to an overgrowth of the yeast—an infection.
How do you treat a yeast infection after antibiotics?
Using an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal treatment should work for all yeast infections, including those caused by antibiotics.
How long after antibiotics will yeast infection go away?
With an antifungal medication, yeast infection symptoms should begin to lessen in 3-7 days. Without treatment, most yeast infections do not get better on their own.
Can you get a yeast infection 2 weeks after antibiotics?
Yes. Since antibiotics are used to kill off harmful bacteria in the body, they can also destroy healthy bacteria in the process. This can lead to a vaginal yeast infection that may occur during your course of antibiotics, or for a period of weeks afterward while there is still an imbalance of beneficial bacteria.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions,
and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Does probiotics work for bacterial vaginosis and vulvovaginal candidiasis. (2021).
Warding Off Recurrent Yeast and Bacterial Vaginal Infections: Lactoferrin and Lactobacilli. (2020).
The Role of Fatty Acid Metabolites in Vaginal Health and Disease: Application to Candidiasis. (2021).
Quinolones and the Clinical Laboratory. (2019).
Carbapenem antibiotics for serious infections. (2012).
Vaginal Candidiasis. (2021).
Study of Antibiotic-induced Vaginal Yeast Infections in Healthy Women. (2019).
Can I get a yeast infection after taking antibiotics? – Stix
Back to Real Talk
Can I get a yeast infection after taking antibiotics?
Written by Jamie Norwood
May 18, 2021 • 4 minutes
The human microbiome is made up of many microorganisms working together to run different systems in the body. When any part of the microbiome changes in your body, it can cause an imbalance or type of dysfunction. When yeast thrives and becomes overgrown, you get a yeast infection. The use of antibiotics is one of a few causes that can lead to a yeast infection developing.
We’ll discuss why yeast infections can occur after taking antibiotics, some of the antibiotics which increase the risk of developing a yeast infection, how to recognize a yeast infection, and what kinds of treatment exist.
Can antibiotics cause yeast infections?
There’s a link between the use of antibiotics and the potential risk of developing a yeast infection. There are some antibiotics that kill a broad range of bacteria, rather than targeting specific bacteria. Broad-spectrum antibiotics (those that kill a range of bacteria) won’t discern between harmful bacteria and bacteria that should be present (a term referred to as “normal flora” found in different areas in your body). These broad-spectrum antibiotics often list yeast infection as a possible side effect. yeast-infection-complete-combo
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Yeast infections after antibiotics
The likelihood of getting a yeast infection after taking antibiotics changes with the duration and dose of treatment, and specific medication. Your chances of developing a yeast infection increase when you take a stronger medication or have a long treatment cycle. We suggest chatting with your primary care provider about any concerns you have about starting antibiotics and developing a yeast infection as a side effect.
Why do antibiotics cause yeast infections?
When there is an increase in yeast, the balance of microorganisms in your vaginal microbiome changes and can lead to yeast infection. Some of the bacteria (a natural part of your vaginal microbiome) are meant to keep the amount of yeast balanced with the rest of the microorganisms present.
“Good bacteria”, or bacteria serving a purpose, might be killed when you take a broad-spectrum antibiotic. When this happens, due to the imbalance of good bacteria present to fend off excess yeast, this will all the yeast to grow in an uncontrolled way, leading to a yeast infection.
List of antibiotics that cause yeast infections
Broad-spectrum antibiotics, rather than antibiotics with a narrow target, are more likely to lead to yeast infections because the antibiotic will likely kill many types of bacteria. These antibiotics don’t distinguish between “bad bacteria” and “good bacteria.” Medications that increase your chances of getting a yeast infection include:
- Certain types of penicillin including amoxicillin and augmentin
- Steroids such as prednisone
- Tetracyclines like doxycycline
Other risk factors that increase the chance of getting a yeast infection
Understanding what can lead to a yeast infection can help you identify when you may need to be seen to have a diagnosis and discussion about treatments to resolve it. So what increases your risks of getting a yeast infection? Attributes that can impact the likelihood of getting a yeast infection include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, birth control, and hormone therapy (among other shifts)
- A weakened immune system (due to HIV, for example)
- Scratches or other injuries to the vagina
- Sexual activity
Signs that you might have a yeast infection
It is important to get a diagnosis from your primary care provider to ensure you will be treated for the correct infection with the right types of medications. STIs and UTIs both have overlapping symptoms and can be mistaken for a yeast infection. Pay attention to the appearance of your vagina (redness, rash, etc.), whether you’re sore or in pain, and the type of discharge you’re experiencing. What you’re experiencing is possibly a yeast infection if:vaginal-ph-test-for-yeast-infections
- Discharge is watery
- Discharge has a cottage cheese-like consistency (thick and white)
- Your vagina is sore or has a rash
- Your vagina and vulva are itchy and irritated
- There’s a burning sensation during sex or when you pee
Can you prevent yeast infections?
Some claims of preventative practices or at-home treatments have weak evidence showing that they are effective. According to one study, dietary changes do not have an impact on your chances of getting a yeast infection.
Wearing breathable clothing, making sure to promptly change out of wet clothing, and paying attention to hygiene practices are all still recommended. Vaginal douching and using scented soaps can increase the risk of infection. Extremely hot water (like hot tubs or in the bath) can also increase the risk of developing a yeast infection. It might be helpful to see what your primary care provider suggests if you experience yeast infections frequently.
Yeast infection treatments
yeast-3-day-infection-treatmentThe majority of yeast infections are minor-moderate cases and can be treated in one to seven days. You may be advised to use an antifungal ointment (often found over-the-counter) or a single-dose pill. For a severe case, treatment can last six months. Your primary care provider may recommend long-course vaginal therapy in which you use antifungal medication daily for two weeks before switching to weekly use for another six months. There are also multi-dose oral medications.
Be sure to complete the medication cycle for whichever treatment method is recommended or the yeast infection may come back, and potentially increase your chances of getting more infections in the future.
We suggest speaking with your primary care provider if you’re concerned a medication you’re taking will lead to a yeast infection.
More good reads
Does pineapple actually change the taste of your vagina?Our fave foods for a healthy vaginaUTIs and Urine Culture: What to Know
Can you treat yeast infections during your period?
November 18, 2022
How to use a vaginal pH test for vaginal infections
How do yeast infections affect sex?
Thrush in women after taking antibiotics: how to treat and why it can appear
return to all articles
Antibiotics have long been a familiar way for us to treat many complex diseases. Angina, otitis, inflammation and much more can be easily treated with their help. However, the wrong dosage, a long course of treatment and self-medication can lead to unexpected consequences in the form of complications. From the point of view of women’s health, one of the most common complications is the development of vaginal candidiasis after taking antibiotics. It is important to know why this happens, whether it is possible to avoid the appearance of thrush after antibiotics and how to treat this disease.
Signs and causes of candidiasis
Vaginal candidiasis, or, more simply, thrush, is a disease that many girls and women face sooner or later. Its unpleasant symptoms are familiar to many: itching, burning, redness and swelling of the genital organs, pain and discomfort, copious white discharge – few people want to relive these sensations. The appearance of the disease can occur in completely different situations, which raises many questions. The most common of them are what is the cause of thrush, what additional factors can worsen the situation, how to carry out competent treatment and what preventive measures to take in the future when taking antibiotics.
The reason for the appearance of thrush is considered to be the mass reproduction of the fungus of the genus Candida on the vaginal mucosa, huge colonies of the fungus violate the correct and natural microflora, as a result of which numerous symptoms of the disease appear. Oddly enough, but this fungus is not foreign to our mucosa. In the normal body of any woman, yeast-like fungi are present as one of the many representatives of the conditionally pathogenic microflora of the mucosa, but their reproduction is restrained by the fact that non-pathogenic bacteria are predominant.
Antibiotics and body flora
How is the use of antibiotics and the reproduction of conditionally pathogenic flora on the mucous membrane related? The mechanism of action of antibiotics is that they inhibit the growth and reproduction of all bacteria and fungi, without understanding whether they are useful for us or not. Do not forget that antibiotics do not have a local, but a complex effect on our body. As a result, a person’s immunity becomes depressed, as it loses its assistants in the face of healthy microflora and cannot give an adequate immune response to a new disease. This is complicated by the fact that opportunistic flora very quickly becomes resistant to drugs and treatment becomes much more complicated. After a course of antibiotics, a number of complications can occur: problems with the gastrointestinal tract, skin reactions and allergies.
Women’s problems and solutions
In women, against the background of reduced immunity and a long course of strong antibiotics, vaginal candidiasis can often appear. It is not difficult to recognize it, since the symptoms of candidiasis remain the same: constant itching and burning in the genital area, unpleasant pain during intimacy, abundant curdled vaginal discharge, often with a sour kefir smell. As soon as these signs appear, most likely, you have thrush and you need to start treatment right away.
How to treat thrush after antibiotics? Fundamentally, the methods of treating thrush of different origins (whether it is a consequence of taking antibiotics, suppression of immunity, or another reason) do not differ. It is important to consult a doctor who will prescribe the treatment that suits you: it can be either tablets or suppositories or a cream, including Lomexin, an effective drug based on fenticonazole. It is not worth self-medicating, as in the case of antibiotics, and getting carried away with various folk tips and remedies – you may not achieve the desired result, and the disease will turn into a deeper chronic form, which is more difficult and expensive to treat than the acute form of thrush.
Take care of your health
In addition to drug therapy, it is necessary to take measures to strengthen the immunity of the body as a whole and restore the normal microflora of the mucous membranes. First of all, it is the normalization of the daily routine and nutrition. Your sleep should be full, sufficient to restore strength. In food, stick to moderation, try to eliminate excess sugar – donuts, cakes and extra chocolate will bring more problems than pleasure. Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables and take additional natural vitamins and supplements that support immunity.
It is also worth paying special attention to personal hygiene. Give up tight and fully synthetic underwear – this causes unnecessary discomfort and can provoke the occurrence of diseases of the lower female genital tract. Intimate hygiene helps to maintain the flora of the genital organs in a normal state, do not forget to take a shower regularly, preferably using products specially designed for intimate hygiene – their acid-base balance will not harm the mucous membranes.
Thrush caused by antibiotics responds well to treatment, as well as those caused by other causes. It is important to immediately recognize its symptoms and begin competent treatment under the supervision of a doctor, and in the future, pay maximum attention and care to your body – it will need your help to fully restore strength.
Symptoms of thrush after a course of antibiotics
“Three days – and thrush is gone!” – women gossip over a cup of coffee, considering the thrush absolutely harmless. Moreover, advertising of modern medicines seems to even relieve the need to go to the gynecologist: the ladies on the TV screen themselves diagnose themselves and prescribe a course of treatment. Thrush is really not a dangerous disease, if you do not treat it in the way described above.
About what is thrush and how to deal with it, Modus vivendi , said the gynecologist, Ph.D. Madina SAFINA, Deputy Chief Physician for the Medical Department of the City Gynecological Hospital.
– Where does she come from – this very thrush?
– Thrush (candidiasis) is an inflammation of the usually mucous membranes and skin caused by yeast-like fungi of the genus candida , capable of very rapid reproduction – they grow like yeast. These fungi are found in many parts of the human body in small concentrations (this is the norm), but they attach especially well to the vaginal mucosa. Under favorable conditions, they begin to multiply rapidly, so the symptoms in an acute course are very bright.
There is no need to hope for self-healing, that the immune system will cope. Each case of thrush must be treated or, as we say, sanitized. This will, if not completely destroy the pathogen, then at least bring the concentration of fungi to the minimum that will not cause signs of inflammation.
There are diseases or metabolic disorders in the body that contribute to the growth of the fungus. The greatest risk groups are patients with diabetes mellitus, intensive care patients, cancer patients or people with reduced immunity, as well as pregnant women and newborns.
– Active sex life – a factor provoking thrush?
– This infection is transmitted by contact, incl. during sexual contact. But since women have more favorable conditions for reproduction (a humid environment, many folds of the mucosa), the reproduction of fungi occurs faster. And in men, the disease can be asymptomatic, or it can simply be a carrier of the infection. When there is at least a second episode of thrush, we recommend that the partner of the patient also improve his health by taking one capsule of an antifungal drug.
– How is the disease related to taking antibiotics?
– Let me remind you once again: these fungi in small concentrations can be found on any mucous membranes, moreover, in competition with other microorganisms. Very strong antibiotics kill bacteria, but those microorganisms that are insensitive are bound to grow very rapidly – they no longer have competitors. In addition, there are antibiotics that predispose to the growth of fungi – for example, doxycycline. Therefore, after a course of antibiotics, many may develop symptoms of thrush.
“Super-infection” works here – we kicked out one infection with treatment, but the second one raises its head. This is by no means a consequence of the fact that the doctor underexamined the patient. Therefore, we select such drugs so that there are no such consequences, or we prescribe prophylactic antifungal agents. The simplest method is a single dose of an antifungal capsule.
– Can thrush during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?
– Generally not. Rarely, there is one infection in the body – some other bacterial microorganism is sure to grow nearby. And now, if it already begins to act, then the bacteria, of course, penetrate through the cervix into the uterine cavity and can cause inflammation of the membranes and miscarriage. If there is at least one infection of the genital tract, we will definitely examine for all possible pathogens.
– Does the disappearance of acute symptoms mean recovery?
– Not always. When treating, it is necessary to take into account the risk of relapse: if you do not treat thrush with a full course, any stress factor, hypothermia, changes in hormonal levels will cause symptoms to reappear.
Usually, when treated with local preparations, the course of treatment is 7 days, with antibiotics up to 10 days. But if the symptoms have disappeared on the third day, then many women (if not most) stop drinking the drug. But the course is not completed: it is proved that 7 and 10 days – it is this duration of administration that reduces the concentration of fungi so much that they do not relapse later. Oral long-acting antifungal drugs are the most convenient and highly effective form of treatment.
Ignorance of hygiene rules also predisposes to the development of thrush. Increased humidity in the crotch area, synthetic underwear, types of underwear that cause chafing, thongs – all this contributes to the reproduction of fungi. Abroad they say that tights should also have a cotton gusset. In addition, it is not recommended to use colored toilet paper or any flavored hygiene products.
– Are relapses of untreated thrush harder to cure?
– Yes, when initially the course is not carried out correctly, then the treatment of relapses is a big problem, because thrush adapts very easily. If the course is not completed, then the resistance of fungi to antifungal drugs is developed. And then it is already difficult to achieve a cure even with highly effective drugs.
Forms of adaptability of thrush are unique. The latest study concerns the fact that fungi form a biofilm in the body, through which drugs simply do not penetrate to deep-lying, dividing fungi: even if treated in good faith for 10 days, the effect may not come.