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Vaginal candidiasis

Vaginal candidiasis: Introduction

Vaginal candidiasis is a very common yeast infection of the vagina. Vaginal candidiasis is caused by a fungal microorganism called Candida albicans. Vaginal candidiasis may also be called vaginal thrush.

The fungal yeast that causes most cases of vaginal candidiasis, Candida albicans, normally lives in some places in the body, such as the mouth and vagina, in a certain balance with other microorganisms, such as bacteria. However, some factors or conditions may result in an overgrowth of Candida albicans and result in vaginal candidiasis.

Women at risk for vaginal candidiasis include those taking strong antibiotics, especially for a long period of time. Antibiotics kill bacteria, which can alter the balance of microorganisms in the vagina, as well as in the mouth, and other places in the body. This can result in a proliferation of yeast and vaginal candidiasis. This can also cause yeast infections or thrush in the mouth (oral thrust) and the digestive tract (gastroenteritis).

Pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are also more likely to develop vaginal candidiasis and have recurrent bouts of yeast infections. Women with weakened immune systems include those with HIV/AIDS or those taking steroid medications or chemotherapy, which all suppress the immune system.

People with diabetes are also more likely to develop vaginal candidiasis because the elevated level of sugar in the body provides food for yeast and encourages its overgrowth. Other people at risk include the very young and very old.

Classic symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include vaginal itching and a think vaginal discharge. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of vaginal candidiasis.

Making a diagnosis of vaginal candidiasis includes performing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination, including a pelvic exam. This includes taking a small sample or swab from the vagina and/or cervix and examining it under a microscope to confirm an overgrowth of yeast. Other infections of the vagina and reproductive system, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, are generally tested for at the same time.

It is possible that a diagnosis of vaginal candidiasis can be missed or delayed because symptoms may be mild and for other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of vaginal candidiasis.

Vaginal candidiasis can be successfully treated with a treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes and medication. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of vaginal candidiasis. ...more »

Vaginal candidiasis: Candidiasis, also known as a "yeast infection" or VVC, is a common fungal infection that occurs when there is overgrowth of ... more about Vaginal candidiasis.

Vaginal candidiasis: Fungal infection of the vagina, sometimes called thrush. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Vaginal candidiasis is available below.

Vaginal candidiasis: Symptoms

Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis can differ between individuals and can vary depending on the severity of the infection. Typical symptoms include vaginal itching, a thick vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese, vaginal irritation, burning with urination, and swelling of the vulva. Symptoms may also include some vaginal tenderness, especially during sexual intercourse.

...more symptoms »

Vaginal candidiasis: Treatments

The most effective treatment plan for vaginal candidiasis uses a multifaceted approach. The first step in treatment is prevention. Prevention measures include maintaining good genital area hygiene with daily cleansing with soap and water. Douching is not recommended. Prevention also includes wiping the genital area from the front to the back after urinating or defecating.

It is ...more treatments »

Vaginal candidiasis: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of vaginal candidiasis begins with taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam and pelvic exam. A diagnosis of vaginal candidiasis may be overlooked or delayed because some women may have no symptoms in the early stages, or symptoms may be mild in some women.

Symptoms may also be attributed to benign causes, such as ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Vaginal candidiasis

Treatments for Vaginal candidiasis

Home Diagnostic Testing

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Wrongly Diagnosed with Vaginal candidiasis?

Vaginal candidiasis: Related Patient Stories

Vaginal candidiasis: Complications

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Causes of Vaginal candidiasis

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Disease Topics Related To Vaginal candidiasis

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Vaginal candidiasis: Undiagnosed Conditions

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Misdiagnosis and Vaginal candidiasis

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Vaginal candidiasis: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Vaginal candidiasis

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Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Vaginal candidiasis, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Vaginal candidiasis: Rare Types

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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Vaginal candidiasis

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Research about Vaginal candidiasis

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Clinical Trials for Vaginal candidiasis

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Statistics for Vaginal candidiasis

Vaginal candidiasis: Broader Related Topics

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Article Excerpts about Vaginal candidiasis

Genital Candidiasis: DBMD (Excerpt)

Candidiasis, also known as a "yeast infection" or VVC, is a common fungal infection that occurs when there is overgrowth of the fungus called Candida. Candida is always present in the body in small amounts. However, when an imbalance occurs, such as when the normal acidity of the vagina changes or when hormonal balance changes, Candida can multiply. When that happens, symptoms of candidiasis appear. (Source: excerpt from Genital Candidiasis: DBMD)

Vaginitis Due to Vaginal Infections, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Vaginal yeast infection or vulvovaginal candidiasis is a common cause of vaginal irritation. Doctors estimate that approximately 75 percent of all women will experience at least one symptomatic yeast infection during their lifetimes. Yeast are always present in the vagina in small numbers, and symptoms only appear with overgrowth. (Source: excerpt from Vaginitis Due to Vaginal Infections, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Vaginal Infections & Vaginitis: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), sometimes referred to as candidal vaginitis, monilial infection, or vaginal yeast infection, is a common cause of vaginal irritation. It has been estimated that approximately 75 percent of all women will experience at least one episode of VVC during their lifetime. (Source: excerpt from Vaginal Infections & Vaginitis: NWHIC)


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