What causes vaginal candidiasis?
Vaginal candidiasis is most commonly caused by Candida albicans, a type of yeast, or fungus, that is normally present in the mouth, gut and vagina. It can occasionally be caused by other species of Candida.
Our bodies are normally colonized with a variety of organisms, including different bacteria and yeast. These organisms exist in a balance, but if something like a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which can kill several types of bacteria, disrupts this balance, overgrowth of the other organisms can occur, leading to problems such as vaginal candidiasis. The hormonal changes in pregnancy and excess levels of sugars, as can be present in diabetes, can also contribute to this imbalance.
Generally, vaginal candidiasis is not considered contagious; however, it can occasionally spread to a sexual partner.
What are the risk factors for vaginal candidiasis?
A number of factors increase the risk of developing vaginal candidiasis. Not all people with risk factors will get vaginal candidiasis. Risk factors for vaginal candidiasis include:
- Broad-spectrum antibiotic use
- Compromised immune system due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS, taking corticosteroids, organ transplant medications, or cancer and cancer treatment
- Diabetes (chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to use sugar for energy)
Reducing your risk of vaginal candidiasis
You may be able to lower your risk of vaginal candidiasis by:
- Avoiding douching
- Avoiding products that can irritate the vaginal tissues, such as feminine hygiene sprays, perfumes, powders and soaps
- Eating yogurt with live cultures or taking Lactobacillus acidophilus tablets if you need to take antibiotics
- Keeping your blood sugars under control if you have diabetes
What is vaginal candidiasis?
Vaginal candidiasis is an infection of the vagina involving overgrowth of a yeast, or fungus, known as Candida. This yeast is normally present in the mouth, gut and vagina, as are a number of other organisms. If the balance of microorganisms is disrupted, as can occur with taking broad spectrum antibiotics, hormonal fluctuations, a... Read more about vaginal candidiasis introduction
What are the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis?
Women who have vaginal candidiasis may experience itching and a thick, white discharge. They may notice redness and swelling around the vagina and may experience pain with urination or intercourse. The intensity of symptoms can vary from person to person.... Read more about vaginal candidiasis symptoms
How is vaginal candidiasis treated?
Vaginal candidiasis is treated with antifungal medications. Several are available in the form of creams, suppositories and tablets that can be placed directly in the vagina. Some are available over-the-counter, while others require a prescription.... Read more about vaginal candidiasis treatments