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Vaginal Candidiasis

Definition :
This is a vaginal infection caused most commonly by the fungal organism Candida albicans.

Cause :

Candida albicans is a widespread organism with worldwide distribution. It is normally found in small amounts in the vagina, the mouth, the digestive tract, and on the skin without causing disease or symptoms (approximately 25% of women without disease symptoms have this organism present).

Symptoms appear when the balance between the normal microorganisms of the vagina is lost, and the Candida albicans population becomes larger in relation to the other microorganism populations.


Sign & Symptoms :

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
    • Ranges from a slightly watery, white discharge to a thick, white, chunky discharge (like cottage cheese)
  • Vaginal and labial itching, burning
  • Redness of the vulvar skin
  • Inflammation of the vulvar skin
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Urination, painful

  • Diagnose :

    A pelvic examination will be performed. It may show inflammation of the skin of the vulva, within the vagina, and on the cervix. The examining physician may find dry, white plaques on the vaginal wall.

    A wet prep (microscopic evaluation of vaginal discharge) shows Candida.


    Treatment :

    Generally, the first incidence of yeast infection should be treated by your health care provider.

    After the first infection, if a second infection occurs and is unquestionably a yeast infection, self-treatment may be initiated with over-the-counter vaginal creams such as miconazole or clotrimazole. Persistent symptoms should be evaluated by your gynecologist or primary health care provider.

    Cranberry juice and yogurt are two foods that may help prevent the occurrence of yeast infections and aid in their treatment.

    Medications for vaginal yeast infections are available in either vaginal cream/suppositories or oral preparations. The use oral preparation should be avoided during pregnancy.


    Prevention :
    Avoid persistent and excessive moisture in the genital area by wearing underwear or pantyhose with cotton crotches, and loose fitting slacks. Avoid wearing wet bathing suits or exercise clothing for long periods of time, and wash them after each use.



     
     
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