Hello there, i am back again on issues disturbing ladies. It appears pervasive and most times ladies are not sure what to do. I am talking about Candidiasis, a fungal infection. Candida Albicans infection is one of a kind because ladies are either too scared to ask or tell others for reasons best known to them.
But, let’s all get this straight. A healthy vagina has many bacteria and yeast. However some things can disturb that healthy balance. It is normal and healthy for a woman of child bearing-age to have vaginal discharge.
The amount and color of the discharge can change during menstrual cycle, sexual excitement and pregnancy. However, vaginal discharge can also signal infection.
They are very common and most women experience vaginal infections from time to time. Anything that lowers the acidity of the vagina can cause a vaginal infection, while some others are transferred by sexual contact.
Certain bacteria that live in the vagina produce acid that help to keep the environment at a certain pH to fight infections.
Some of these organism already live in the vagina and are kept at healthy lives by coexisting with other organisms.
Almost all women have a type of yeast called Candida albicans growing harmlessly in the vagina. A change in the vaginal environment can mean the yeast multiplies in number and this causes the symptoms of thrush (vaginal candidiasis).
Symptoms of Candidiasis includes:
- large or small amounts of vaginal discharge, often whitish gray and thick (although there are also times the discharge can be watery)
- pain during sex
Possible triggers of thrush include:
• improper hygiene
• hormone level change
• pregnancy and breastfeeding
• an object in the vagina such as forgotten tampon.
• infection of the cervix[cervicitis]
• various sex practices like oral-vaginal and anal vaginal contact
• vaginal medicine
• douching – washing or cleaning out of the inside of the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids
Treatment of Candida Albicans Infections
Most infections respond to antifungal treatments such as imidazole cream or pessaries or a one-off fluconazole tablet. These are available from your pharmacist without a prescription.
The infection clears up completely in most women. If you are pregnant, see your General Physician before using any medications to treat thrush.
If your symptoms don’t improve in seven to 14 days or the symptoms come back, see your GP who may prescribe different antifungal medicines. There isn’t any evidence to suggest treating a male partner helps, unless he has a rash or a sore penis.
Best Practice. Candidiasis: alternative treatments to prevent recurrence. [online] London: BMJ Publishing Group. [last updated 16 Jan 2009, accessed 22 Jun 2011]
Clinical Knowledge Summaries. Candida – female genital. [online] London: National Institutes for Health and Clinical Excellence. 2007 [last updated May 2010, accessed 22 Jun 2011]