Monistat survey: 75% of women experience yeast infections, but misconceptions persist

TREVOSE, Pa. — Research has shown that three in four women will experience candidiasis, more commonly known as a vaginal yeast infection, and 67% are embarrassed by it, Insight Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday, citing an independent survey commissioned for Monistat.

"Yeast infections are a perfectly normal part of life for women," stated Jennifer Moyer, VP marketing for Insight Pharmaceuticals. "A yeast infection doesn't mean you did anything wrong; it's like getting a cold. Yet our survey confirms that most women feel embarrassment about having a yeast infection. That's adding unnecessary distress to a normal condition … so we are on a quest to end that embarrassment through education."

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that less than half of women surveyed (45%) feel comfortable talking openly about yeast infections with a friend. By contrast, the majority of women felt at least somewhat comfortable discussing menstruation (85%) and urinary tract infections (82%) with friends. Close to one in ten would not be comfortable talking openly about yeast infections with anyone, even their doctor.

Many women also think that suffering from a yeast infection is a cause for judgment: close to one-third (29%) of respondents indicated that they would be at least somewhat worried that other people would judge them if they knew they had experienced a yeast infection.

"We see many patients who are experiencing yeast infections, yet we find that women are often embarrassed to discuss their symptoms during appointments," stated Allison Hill , OB/GYN and member of The Mommy Docs, a group of three doctors featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network's "Deliver Me," as well as a forthcoming eponymous series on public television. "As OB/GYNs, we see and hear everything. There is nothing a woman could reveal to us that would surprise or upset us, so there should be no reason for patients to be ashamed of having a yeast infection."

Other survey findings indicated that there are many misconceptions surrounding treatment options. More than one-third (36%) of women believe that yeast infections can be cured using a feminine cleansing product or cream designed exclusively to relieve itching and other symptoms; in reality, such products do not do anything to treat the infection. Furthermore, more than one in five women (23%) believe that yeast infections can only be cured with prescription treatment. However, Monistat 1 provides relief from symptoms as soon as four hours after the first dose, which is four times faster than the leading prescription treatments, Insight Pharmaceuticals noted. 

"While we always recommend that women visit their doctor if they're experiencing a yeast infection for the first time to confirm the diagnosis, the condition is easily cured with over-the-counter treatments such as Monistat," Hill said. "Most yeast infections take around seven days to be completely cured, but if symptoms don't subside after a week, one may be experiencing another infection such as bacterial vaginosis, or an STD such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. In that case, a woman should see her doctor to confirm that it isn't something more serious."

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