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VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION

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Description: 

  • A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva, as well as the tissues at the vaginal opening. 

  • This condition also called vaginal candidiasis, vaginal yeast infection affects up to 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lifetimes.

  • Vulvovaginitis, or inflammation of the vulva and vagina, most commonly occurs in reproductive-aged women and is usually secondary to infection.

  • Candidal vulvovaginitis is responsible for about one-third of cases. This activity reviews the evaluation and management of candidal vulvovaginitis and highlights the role of interprofessional team members in collaborating to provide well-coordinated care and enhance outcomes for affected patients.

  • Acute candidal vulvovaginitis is treated with antifungal agents. Since most cases of candidal vulvovaginitis are secondary to C. albicans species, and since C. albicans does not have significant resistance to azole antifungals, these are the agents of choice for this disease (Diflucan or Fluconazole, generic name or topical antifungal).

 

  •  In patients with uncomplicated disease (those without immunosuppression or pregnancy who do not have recurrent candidal vulvovaginitis) either therapy is equally efficacious. Therefore, treatment decisions may be made based on cost, patient preference, and drug interactions. If patients do not respond to standard therapy, cultures may be warranted to look for other species of candida, which are often resistant to azoles. Must see their PCP or OB face to face for pelvic exams. 

Common Complaints:

  • Intense itching and irritation in the vagina and vulva.

  • A burning sensation, especially during intercourse or while urinating.

  • Redness and swelling of the vulva.

  • Vaginal pain and soreness.

  • Vaginal rash/redness.

  • Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance or Watery vaginal discharge.

Pharmacology treatments if recommended. 

Start a single dose of antifungal medication:

  • Diflucan, a single dose or two doses 3 days apart, depends

  • Application of an antifungal cream for one to three days for mild infections.

  • Pregnant women should not be taking Diflucan by mouth. MUST SEE YOUR OB GYN.

Prevention:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes, all cotton underwear, and avoid panty hose.

  • Remove sweaty or wet clothing as soon as possible.

  • Avoid bubble baths and harsh or heavily scented soaps in the genital area

  • Limit your sugar intake

  • Use probiotics (especially if on antibiotics).

For itching:

  • Sitz baths to decrease itching (e.g. vinegar/water, Aveeno baths).

  • Topical OTC hydrocortisone cream or Rx topical cream Nystatin/Triamcinolone

  • Water-based vaginal lubricants/moisturizers.


 

Risk Factors:

Who usually gets vaginal candidiasis?

  • Pregnant women

  • Use hormonal contraceptives (for example, birth control pills)

  • Diabetes

  • Have a weakened immune system (for example, due to HIV infection or medicines such as steroids and chemotherapy)

  • Are taking or have recently taken antibiotics

 

NOTE: For complicated infections that do not respond to any treatments, SEE YOUR OBGYN OR YOUR PCP FOR  PELVIC EXAMS TO RULE OUT OTHER VAGINAL CONDITIONS SUCH AS TRICHOMONAS VAGINITIS ETC.

 

Retrieved from:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459317/

 

https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html

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