Despite the fact that many women may not be familiar with the medical term for it, vulvovaginal candidiasis is a condition experienced by millions all over the world. The condition, which is a vaginal infection caused by an overgrowth of natural bacteria in the vagina, is often associated with such symptoms as an itchy clitoris and white discharge and may become a recurring concern that needs regular treatment.
Discharging the Facts
Vaginal discharge is a normal process of the female body necessary to keep the vagina moist; but in cases of an infected vagina such as vulvovaginal candidiasis, the natural bacteria has overgrown to cause heavy white curd-like discharge, a burning of the vagina and surrounding area, as well as an itchy rash. Such symptoms will need to be brought to the attention of a urogynecologist or other medical specialist and will generally require a swab or smear sample to be taken for proper diagnosis, much like those collected during a routine female pelvic exam.
While it may be caused by other medical conditions, overgrowth most often occurs in instances of:
- Iron deficiency
- Pregnancy, when the production of estrogen is high
- HIV or other immune deficiency disorders
- Use of a high dosage oral contraceptive and estrogen-based hormone replacement
- Pre-existing skin conditions
- Use of antibiotics
Clearing Things Up
Though it is one of the medical conditions regularly addressed by urogynecology, it does not always require a prescription to be treated effectively. Mild cases may need only a topical or oral antifungal treatment, while underlying conditions such as an iron deficiency, diabetes, or a disorder of the immune system may cause recurrent infections and require further investigation.
In these instances, relief for a persistent infection is most often treated through prevention of the overgrowth itself, which may include measures such as:
- Wearing loosely fitting clothing and moisture-wicking underwear
- Use of an antifungal cream before taking antibiotics and before the beginning of each menstrual cycle
- Applications of hydrocortisone cream
- Nighttime use of a boric acid suppository
- Soaking the area in a salt bath and using only non-soap cleansers for washing
- Oral antifungals
Don’t let pain and irritation become a growing concern! Call the caring and knowledgeable team at Coyle Institute today!