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Candidiasis

What is it?

Candida (kan-dih-duh) vaginitis (vah-jih-ni-tis) is also called a yeast infection. It is one of the most common vaginal infections that affect women. Candida vaginitis is usually not a serious infection. But it can make you quite uncomfortable. With treatment, this infection is usually gone within a week. Sometimes it may be hard to get rid of a yeast infection. Some women have many yeast infections in their lifetime.

Causes:

This infection is caused by a fungus called yeast or candida. Yeast is normally found in your mouth, vagina, and anus (rear end). Sometimes the amount of yeast in your body may get out of control and cause an infection. Women who are pregnant or have diabetes (di-uh-b-tees) may get a yeast infection. You may be more likely to get a yeast infection if you take birth control pills. Antibiotic (an-ti-bi-ah-tik) medicine may also cause you to get a yeast infection.

Signs and Symptoms:

You may have thick white "cheesy" discharge from the vagina. Other signs may be itching, swelling, burning, or redness of the genital (between your legs) area. Or you may have burning when you pass urine.

Wellness Recommendations:

Wear clean cotton underpants or pantyhose with a cotton crotch. Keep the vaginal area clean and dry. Do not have sex until your symptoms are gone. Do not douche unless your have talked to your caregiver. Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a BM. Taking showers instead of baths may help keep you from getting another yeast infection.

Medical Care:

Your caregiver will do an internal exam and take a sample of the discharge for tests. You may need to put medicine into your vagina to treat the infection. This medicine may be messy. You may want to wear a sanitary pad while using the medicine. You may also need oral medicine to treat the infection. Men do not usually get this infection so your partner does not need treatment.

Dietary Measures:

  • Eat 8 ounces of yogurt (with acidophilus) every day to decrease yeast infections.

Herbs and Supplements:

Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.

Herbs:

    Supplements:

      Other ways of treating your symptoms : Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.

      Talk to your caregiver if:

      • You would like medicine to treat candidiasis.
      • Your symptoms have not gone away or improved by these self-help measures.
      • You have vaginal bleeding that is not menstrual bleeding.
      • Your symptoms come back after treatment.
      • You have questions about what you have read in this document.

    Care Agreement:

    You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

    References:

    1. Hilton E & Isenberg HD: Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis. Ann Intern Med 1992; 116:353-357.

    2. Hilton E, Rindos P & Isenberg H: Lactobacillus GG Vaginal suppositories and vaginitis. J Clin Microbiol 1995; 33(5):1433.

    3. Shinohara YT & Tasker SA: Successful use of boric acid to control azole-refractory Candida vaginitis in a woman with AIDS (letter). J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovir 1997; 16:219-220.


    Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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