What are the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis?
Vaginal yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis is a very common infection in women. It usually present as vulva itching and irritation especially around the vaginal opening, commonly occurring shortly before menstruation. This often lead to soreness and burning pain especially when urinating. The typical vaginal discharge are thick, white and adherent and often described as resembling cottage cheese.
What causes vaginal candidiasis?
Normally glands inside your vagina and cervix make small amounts of fluid carrying out old cells. This is your body’s way of keeping your vagina healthy and clean. The discharge is usually clear or milky and does not smell bad. The color and thickness of the discharge change with hormonal changes from menstruation, ovulation, breastfeeding, menopause and when you engage in sexual activity. Normal vaginal discharge containing vaginal epithelial cells from cervical glands, uterus, bacteria and bacteria products including lactic acid. Vaginal bacteria consist of a wide variety of anaerobic and aerobic bacteria dominated by Lactobacillus with acidic pH between 4 to 4.5.
The fungus that causes yeast infections (named Candida) lives in the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes the vagina. Normally, Candida causes no symptoms. However, when there are changes in the environment of the gastrointestinal tract and vagina (which can be caused by medicines, injury, or stress to the immune system), Candida can overgrow and cause the symptoms described above.
Risk factors for vaginal candidiasis includes recent use of antibiotic, use of hormonal contraception such as birth control pills, use of contraceptive devices such as IUCD, poor immune systems, pregnancy, diabetes, use of harsh soap and sexual activity.
How do you diagnose vaginal candidiasis?
Vaginal candidiasis can be diagnosed by taking high vaginal swab send for analysis. The swab also can detect presence of other vaginal infection such as bacteria vaginosis and trichomonas. Doing a pap smear can also detect presence of candida.
How do you treat vaginal candidiasis?
Most commonly treatment will be by pessary, oral and cream. Oral treatment is pill called fluconazole (brand name Diflucan), pessary such as clotrimazole or Flagystatin and cream such as Clotrimazole or Candacort can be used to reduce vulva itchiness. Frequently, oral probiotic is given to help boost the good bacteria in the vagina area.
Will I be cure of vaginal candidiasis after treatment?
Yes, if you follow the direction and complete the course of your treatment. However, if you have underlying medical illness such as diabetes, you may get frequent infection if your diabetes is not under control.
How can I prevent vaginal candidiasis?
You can prevent vaginal candidiasis by avoiding use of harsh soap, scented pads or tampons. It is also recommended to avoid vaginal douching practice, tight underwear and pants and to use cotton underwear. It is also important to wipe from front to back to avoid spreading yeast or bacteria from your anus to the vagina region. You can also take supplement such as Probiotic supplement or by eating Greek Yoghurt