What is Vulvovaginal candidiasis?
Vaginal yeast infection, also known as candidal vulvovaginitis and vaginal thrush, is excessive growth of yeast in the vagina that results in irritation. The most common symptom is vaginal itching, which may be severe. Other symptoms include burning with urination, white and thick vaginal discharge that typically does not smell bad, pain with sex, and redness around the vagina. Symptoms often worsen just before a woman's period.
Vaginal yeast infections are due to excessive growth of Candida. These yeast are normally present in the vagina in small numbers. It is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection; however, may occur more often in those who are frequently sexually active. Risk factors include taking antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Eating a diet high in simple sugar may also play a role. Tight clothing, type of underwear, and personal hygiene do not appear to be factors. --> As symptoms are similar to that of the sexually transmitted infections, chlamydia and gonorrhea, testing may be recommended.
Despite the lack of evidence wearing cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing is often recommended as a preventative measure. Avoiding douching and scented hygiene products is also recommended. Treatment is with an antifungal medication. This may be either as a creams such as clotrimazole or with oral medications such as fluconazole. Probiotics have not been found to be useful for active infections.
About 75% of women have at least one vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives while nearly half have have at least two. About 5% have more than three infections in a single year. It is the second most common cause of vaginal inflammation after bacterial vaginosis.