Yeast infections are among the most common health issues women face: 3 out of 4 women get a yeast infection at some point in their lives, according to the Office on Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly half of those women get infected at least twice.

However, these infections are often more of an inconvenience than a real threat to a person's health, with symptoms including itching, soreness, pain when urinating and clumpy, white discharge. The symptoms are usually on the "minor" side (not to discount the discomfort), so it's understandable to feel alarmed when you see blood while in the throes of a yeast infection.

Defining a yeast infection

The medical term for a yeast infection is vulvovaginal candidiasis, essentially a form of vaginitis or an infection of the external reproductive organs. It occurs when a woman experiences an overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus in her vagina. While Candida is naturally present in the human body, it can multiply more rapidly if its chemical balance is off-kilter, which triggers an immune system response.

Infections can