Vaginal Thrush, also termed as Candidiasis is one of the most common reproductive health problems that affects most of the women.
Ladies, we’ve all suffered from the vaginal thrush at some point in our lives. It is the second most common type of vaginal infection after bacterial vaginal infections in the United States. If you still don’t know what is vaginal thrush then it’s a vaginal yeast infection, termed as Candidiasis as the causative agent of this infection is a yeast called Candida.
The burning, itching, stinging sensation, pain during sexual intercourse, white discharge that just make you rush home and cry. Vaginal Thrush is often self-diagnosed and self-treated as whenever they feel an itch down there, they go to their pharmacy for some Canesten oral capsules and cream. It works like magic but is it a permanent cure?
I’ve read stories of many women who’ve lived with vaginal thrush their whole lives. They think that they’ve cured it but after few months, it’s back again leaving you in much pain and embarrassment. Though we still don’t know why some women are so susceptible to it, it’s always a better option to prevent it. But before I tell you some treatment and prevention methods, let’s first find out what causes candidiasis.
What Causes Vaginal Thrush?
Vaginal Yeast infection is caused due to imbalance in the normal environment of your vagina. The fungus, Candida is a normal flora present in the vaginal area, also present in mouth, throat and gut. About 20% of women normally have Candida in the vagina without having any medical condition. The good bacteria, Lactobacillus maintains and checks the growth of the Candida but in some cases, the Candida multiplies and cause infection in the vagina.
The possible cases that leads to this condition include uncontrolled diabetes, weakened immune system, unsafe or unhygienic sex, eating sugary foods, consumption of antibiotics (that kills the good bacteria, Lactobacillus in the vagina.) Once you suffer from the thrush, you’re likely to get infected from it again. But how do you know, you’ve candidiasis? What are is symptoms?
Symptoms of Vaginal Thrush
Some of the peculiar symptoms of vaginal thrush include:
- Vaginal itching
- Stinging sensation
- Soreness or rashes
- Pain or discomfort while urinating
- burning or pain during sex
- Whitish gray or clumpy vaginal discharge which appears like cottage cheese
How is Vaginal Thrush Diagnosed?
Self diagnosis is common in vaginal thrush but you could be wrong most of the time as most women confused candiadisis with bacterial infection. Hence, its always better to take some tests to get the proper diagnosis. Some of the diagnostic procedures includes:
- check the vaginal pH ;
- take a vaginal swab (sample of discharge) for light microscopy (to see the fungi);
- take a biopys of the lesions
- take a culture;
- do a DNA probe to detect the presence of Candida species’ DNA.
Treatment and Prevention
Vaginal candidiasis is treated using antifungal medicine. Oral antifungal drugs or topical creams are prescribed by your gynaecologists. It includes single dose of fluconazole taken orally and other medications includes:
- butoconazole (Gynazole)
- clotrimazole (Lotrimin)
- miconazole (Monistat)
- terconazole (Terazol)
In case of severe and complicated infections, your doctor might increase the dose of fluconazole(Diflucan) along with long-term use of topical antifungal medication like boric acid, nystatin or flucytosine. If you’re experiencing recurring candiadisis, it is better you consult with your partner who might have a yeast infection as well.
All in all, it’s always the best option to prevent a disease rather than cure it. You can always be careful while cleaning your vagina or having sexual intercourse with your partner. Avoid using soap or shower gels to clean your vagina as they can mess up the pH balance down there. Limit the intake of sugary products and food and use clean cotton under wears to reduce the chances of getting yeast infection. Avoid using antibiotics for simple cough, take them only when prescribed by the doctor. Shower every time after running or exercising. Also there are some home remedies to treat and prevent candidiasis like eating greek yogurt, or using essential oils like oregano, coconut or tea tree oil. A nice apple cider vinegar bath is also effective to treat vaginal thrush.