Almost all women get a yeast infection at least once in their lives. One of the most common is the so-called vaginal candidiasis , which is caused by an excessive growth of the fungus Candida albicans in the genital area. It manifests itself through symptoms such as a whitish, thick and abundant vaginal discharge, itching and irritation in the vulva, among others. With proper medical treatment, your prognosis is favorable and the infection will clear up completely. However, proper use of drugs must be made and personal hygiene measures that are quite important must be followed to prevent the infection from becoming a recurrent condition. At ONsalus we carefully show thesymptoms, treatment and prevention of vaginal candidiasis.
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Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis
The common fungus Candida Albicans is found, in small quantities, lodged in different parts of the body, such as the mouth, stomach, digestive tract, skin or vagina. However, when an imbalance of microorganisms occurs , in this case, in the intimate area and this fungus grows excessively, this infection called vaginal candidiasis occurs.
There are certain factors that may be responsible for this imbalance of microorganisms in the vagina, and among the most common we find: taking antibiotics, being overweight, being pregnant or experiencing hormonal changes, suffering from diabetes, having a weakened immune system, in addition of other external factors such as the use of aggressive soaps or cleaning products or wearing very tight clothing.
The symptoms of vaginal candidiasis can vary from one patient to another, but the most common picture is the following:
- Changes in vaginal discharge. The discharge takes on a whitish color and a thick, watery consistency (like cottage cheese). The segregations are more abundant although it does not give off a bad smell.
- Itching, burning, stinging, and irritation around or inside the vagina.
- Vulvar redness and swelling.
- Hypersensitivity in the labia majora.
- Painful urination.
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
Treatment of vaginal candidiasis
The clinical diagnosis of genital candidiasis consists of the analysis of the symptoms and an examination of a small sample of the vaginal discharge if necessary. In general, the treatment of this infection is based on the administration of drugs called antifungals , which serve to stop the excessive growth of the fungus Candida albicans in the body.
These types of drugs are available in different versions such as creams, gels, suppositories or vaginal suppositories and pills or capsules. The most common form of treatment is local , that is, by applying creams to the vulva or inserting suppositories into the vagina so that they act effectively against the infection. It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions and carefully read the instructions in the package insert of the medicines to use them as indicated therein. In general, this type of treatment usually lasts from 1 to 7 days, but in no case should it be suspended beforehand as it may not have an effect. In addition, if the infection does not subside after the treatment is finished, you should consult your doctor again.
In other cases, the doctor may prescribe an oral treatment based on taking capsules or pills. The duration and dose will depend in each case on the severity of the symptoms and whether it is a recurrent vaginal infection.
Prolonged use of these medications is not recommended, as their effectiveness could be reduced. When the infection becomes recurrent, the doctor should be visited and duly informed; it may be necessary to start other stronger treatments.
Measures to prevent vaginal candidiasis
There are some measures that can be taken on a daily basis to reduce the risk of developing this type of infection in the genital area. Those that should be taken into account to prevent vaginal candidiasis are the following:
- Maintain good intimate hygiene: wash the genital area once a day with a neutral pH soap that respects the vaginal flora. Avoid body soaps, deodorants, perfumes, or vaginal powders.
- Avoid vaginal douches, as they kill those bacteria that are good and protect the vagina against infections.
- Always keep the vaginal area dry, since moisture favors bacterial proliferation.
- Clean the intimate area from front to back when doing the business. In this way, germs present in the anus are prevented from moving to the vagina.
- During the menstrual cycle, change pads and tampons frequently. Likewise, the latter should not be used overnight.
- Quickly remove wet bathing suits or sports clothing after exercising and sweating.
- Always use a condom during sexual intercourse. This is essential to prevent the spread of fungal and bacterial infections.
- Wear cotton underwear. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, favor sweating in the intimate area and increase the chances of developing infections.
- Avoid wearing too tight pants.
- If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Antibiotics modify the normal balance of microorganisms in the vagina, and this is why they are often the main cause of vaginal candidiasis. For this reason, when you are taking antibiotics and this type of infection appears, it is advisable to talk to your doctor about the possibility of modifying the treatment or previously requesting the use of antifungal drugs as a preventive measure.
This article is merely informative, at ONsalus.com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to go to a doctor in the event of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Vaginal yeast infection: symptoms, treatment and prevention , we recommend you visit our Female reproductive system category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.