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What is Monilial Vaginitis?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Monilial vaginitis is a vaginal infection involving yeast in the genus Candida, formerly known as Monilia. It is also known as candidiasis and is a very common infection, usually seen after puberty. Often, it can be managed with self care at home, although there are also prescription medications available to treat it. People who experience recurrent monilial vaginitis should be evaluated by a gynecologist, as there may be a serious underlying cause.

These yeasts are found naturally on the body in small concentrations. When the pH of the vagina is disrupted or there is a shift in the normal balance of vaginal flora, it is possible for the yeast to gain a foothold and start growing rapidly, causing an inflammation and potentially leading to an infection. People with this condition tend to notice a strong smelling, thick white discharge from the vagina. They may feel itching and burning, especially during urination.

Home care for monilial vaginitis includes keeping the genitals clean, using mild unscented soaps, and taking over-the-counter antifungal drugs designed for vaginal yeast infections. These drugs are usually applied directly to the vagina. Some people also have success with home remedies like yogurt with live active cultures to bring the vaginal pH back up and make the environment hostile to the invading yeast. If patients do not recover within a few days, it is time to go to the doctor for a more aggressive prescription drug.

Risk factors for developing monilial vaginitis can include the menstrual period, with many people experiencing yeast infections around or immediately after periods, along with increased sexual activity. People can also be susceptible if they have depressed immune systems as a result of medical conditions or drugs they are taking to treat health problems. It is important to be aware that yeast infections are not necessarily always linked with sexual activity or poor hygiene, although these can be causes.

Sometimes, people become infected with a resistant strain of yeast. They may develop recurrent infections if they are not treated with an appropriate medication to eliminate the harmful yeast. Repeat infections can also be a sign of immune dysfunction in patients who have a previous history of generally good health. People who notice repeat infections within a short period of time should consult a doctor to get an evaluation and learn more about what is causing them and how they can be more effectively managed. Potential complications of untreated and recurrent yeast infections can include pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition linked with fertility problems.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By fify — On Apr 28, 2013

Something that I do for the itching and foul odor caused by vaginitis is a warm salt bath.

I fill in the tub with warm water and add sea salt to it. I sit in the tub for at least ten minutes. It relieves the itching and if you do this every day, the odor slowly disappears.

I've just found out about the yogurt remedy, I'm definitely going to try it!

By turquoise — On Apr 27, 2013

@fBoyle-- Vaginitis does involve inflammation, so an anti-inflammatory may help with yeast infection symptoms, but it's not going to treat it.

Yeast is a type of fungi and a Monilial vaginal infection that's not going away requires anti-fungal medications, either oral or as an ointment.

I think the best treatment for vaginitis is keeping the immune system strong and not disturbing the flora of the vagina.

Avoid using a vaginal douche and eat a healthy diet. Take probiotic supplements or eat plenty of yogurt. Do not use anti-fungal treatments unnecessarily because the yeast might develop tolerance.

By fBoyle — On Apr 27, 2013

Will an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication help with vaginitis symptoms?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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