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Vaginal Yeast Infections

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What are Vaginal Yeast Infections?

Vaginal yeast infections, commonly referred to as vaginal candidiasis is an infection that affects the vagina of an otherwise healthy woman. About 75% of women are affected by this infection at sometime in their lives while about 5% of women may have recurrent episodes of infection.1

What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Vaginal Candidiasis?

Vaginal candidiasis is commonly caused by microorganisms known as Candida albicans. The risk factors that have been indicated include pregnancy, recent antibiotic use, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and HIV infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Other risk factors include use of oral contraceptive pills, a diaphragm and spermicide, or an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD).2

What are the  Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Candidiasis?

Vaginal yeast infected women generally complain of itching in the genital region that may be associated with swelling in that region and reduction in the formation of urine. Some women may complain of a white thick discharge from the vagina.

How is it Diagnosed?

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Diagnosis is based on the symptoms experienced by the affected women, vaginal examination and culture of the vaginal discharge. The doctor may advise some additional investigations to rule out the presence of any other pathogens or disorders.2

What is the Treatment?

The infection usually resolves with the use of certain antifungal creams that need to be applied either only once or for about 2 weeks regularly on the affected areas. These creams are available as over-the-counter medications. However, a gynecologist must be consulted prior to the usage.2,3

What are the Complications?

Intense scratching of the genital areas may result in secondary infections. Untreated or incompletely treated cases may recur.

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Hygiene rules for maintaining healthy vagina

References:

1.Larsen B, Monif GR. Understanding the bacterial flora of the female genital tract. Clin Infect Dis. 2001; 32(4): e69–e77.

2.Soper DE. Genitourinary infections and sexually transmitted diseases. In: Berek JS (ed.). Berek & Novak’s Gynecology, 14th edn. New Delhi: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2007. pp. 541–559.

3.http://www.healthplus24.com/Healthy_Living/Womens_Health/Vaginal_thrush.aspx

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Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: January 19, 2015