The main causative agents of this disease are fungi, which may be part of the microbial microflora of the vagina. If the disease was caused by a fungus, then it is a conditionally pathogenic microorganism. But there are also cases when the infection comes from the intestines, through the use of infected personal hygiene items, during sexual contact with the carrier of the disease.
How does candidiasis develop (pathogenesis)
Vaginal candidiasis can develop intensively under conditions of endocrine disruption, prolonged use of antibiotics, diabetes mellitus, and genital-oral contacts can trigger the spread of infection (it must be remembered that today quite a lot of people can wear candidiasis in the mouth).
If there is a decrease in immunity, then perhaps the beginning of the intensive development of the fungus, after which they penetrate into the deeper layers of the vaginal epithelium. At this time, the development of the patient’s inflammatory response may be triggered, after which a large number of healthy cells are affected.
Genital candidiasis may occur in pregnant women, since it is during this period that the endocrine and hormonal changes sharply change, the immunity is greatly weakened, which provokes the creation of an ideal environment for the development of the fungus.
Vaginal candidiasis - the main symptoms of the disease
If a woman is diagnosed with vulvar candidiasis, they feel a strong itching, which is accompanied by a white discharge, due to which the disease has received the name "thrush".
When thrush can appear discharge, which have a rich white color, thick cheesy consistency, accompanied by an unpleasant odor, if the disease is in an advanced form, then the discharge may become yellowish-greenish. Most often, the discharge has an unpleasant sourish smell. Patients experience severe discomfort due to constant itching, which can make people unable to work, and there is also a strong negative effect on the state of the nervous system. Itching can last for 24 hours, while it almost does not become less intense, at night itching can become stronger. Severe itching can lead to serious injuries to the vulva, which is why, when an unpleasant sensation appears, you should seek medical help. In some cases, women may feel a burning sensation during the urination process, which becomes quite painful.
If candidiasis is in a chronic form, it will be almost impossible to get rid of it, and the only symptom of the disease can be severe itching, which can be intensified during sexual intercourse. Also, discomfort in women can appear before the onset of menstruation.
Vaginal candidiasis - diagnosis
The diagnosis of the disease is made only after passing an examination by a gynecologist and the results of the analysis. The fungus that promotes the development of candidiasis is found in the large intestine, vagina and in the mouth of even healthy people.
While the doctor conducts an examination in the area of the vulva, there is a strong redness and the appearance of a small swelling, abrasions and cracks, which can be formed due to strong scratching during bouts of itching. Also during the examination, the specialist notes that an unpleasant gray bloom appeared on the walls of the vagina, which is very difficult to remove, and after it a slightly bleeding mucous membrane may remain on the walls of the vagina. The detachable part of the vagina may be in the form of a thick, curd mass of white color, in the advanced version it may have a green tint. After the complete examination of the smear taken, the presence of filaments of the fungus, called mycelium, is detected.
If a patient has persistent candida of the vagina and vulva, then his treatment will be quite difficult and it is almost impossible to cure the disease. Persistent candidiasis may indicate that there is such an unpleasant serious disease as diabetes in the patient's body, so a blood test for sugar content must also be carried out without fail.
Vaginal candidiasis - treatment methods
Pass treatment of vaginal candidiasis It should be the same methods that are used in the treatment of other infectious diseases. Only a doctor can prescribe the administration of antifungal devices, which are determined on a strictly individual basis - it is possible to use modern antifungal drugs, vaginal suppositories, and antibiotics.
If the disease is mild, then it will be sufficient to use only local treatment, which includes the use of vaginal suppositories or tablets. In certain cases, bacterial preparations, antifungal drugs may be prescribed. During treatment, it is recommended to take a special complex of vitamins, as during the course of the disease the vulva, intestines and vagina may be affected.
Vaginal candidiasis - prevention method
In order to prevent the development of vaginal candidiasis, you must try to normalize your weight, diversify your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products.
If during sexual intercourse you use lubricants, then you should give preference only to water-soluble species.
It is very important that underwear was made of cotton materials, because of synthetic fabrics there is no free access of oxygen to the skin, because of which the temperature rises, perspiration is difficult, because of which ideal conditions are created for the development of various diseases, including including candidiasis.
What is “vaginal candidiasis”?
When doctors diagnose "vaginal candidiasis," they mean by this term the totality of infectious diseases that are caused by the same pathogen, the fungus of the genus Candida. About two dozen of its varieties can parasitize in our body, but most often (in more than 90% of cases) Candida albicans becomes the cause of vaginal candidiasis.
Candida is a fungal microorganism that is the causative agent of a yeast infection. At the same time, the entry of the pathogen into the woman’s body does not mean that the candida of the vagina will develop. In fact, these fungal agents can safely remain in a dormant state, being part of the microflora. They are considered conditionally pathogenic (meaning that they can be harmful only in certain conditions).
Candida peacefully coexist with beneficial lactic acid bacteria, which, meanwhile, regulate their numbers. If the immune system loses its strength, or the beneficial bacteria n can fully perform their functions, then the fungal infection begins to spread. Each cell of the fungus changes somewhat during preparation for reproduction: it becomes larger, its elongated forms are rounded, and inside the special hollow pocket is filled with microscopic spores, thanks to which Candida multiplies.
Pathogens very quickly occupy free space, starting to bring harm to the body. The symptomatology of the disease is associated with the toxic effect of the fungus on healthy cells. In order for such an action to be possible, Candida first creates chains, and then colonies. It is them that we observe in the secretions of a lumpy structure.
How is vaginal candidiasis transmitted?
Of course, as already mentioned, the fact of the penetration of a fungal agent is not a guarantee of the disease, but the methods of transmission of infection still deserve attention. It:
- Oral sex
Cunnilingus today is very popular, but it is this type of sexual contact that can cause recurrent candidiasis. The fact is that saliva contains antimicrobial substances that act on the principle of antibiotics, killing the microflora, and Candida also finds shelter in the human oral cavity (they can make up a healthy person from 20 to 50% of the total number of microorganisms in the mouth ), which contributes to the development of infection.
Most scientists consider possible sexual transmission. But we should not consider thrush as a venereal disease. In contact with a partner who has candidosis, a healthy woman does not develop the disease. In this case, candidiasis of the vagina in a woman can develop without contact with a sick man. In any case, even if we consider the fact of sexually transmitted infections as possible, it is not significant enough.
- From mother to newborn
If the mother is sick with vaginal candidiasis, then the probability of passing the infection to the newborn is very high - more than 70%. By the way, it does not matter how the child was born, as with a caesarean section Candida is transmitted with the same high probability.
More than two hours can preserve the vital activity of the fungus outside the human body. Therefore, if a person has not acquired it at birth, then, most likely, already in the first year of life Candida enters the human body through food, drinks, clothing.
- Through personal care products
If members of one family have a common towel and soap, then the pathogen enters the mucous membranes through them. That is why it is so important from early childhood to teach a child to have a separate towel. Hygiene products for this purpose is better to choose with a dispenser.
Reasons: why vaginal candidiasis appears
Vaginal candidiasis occurs against the background of a weakened body, when the immune system is not able to fully resist harmful fungi. This must be preceded by certain reasons, among which are:
- Diabetes mellitus in the first - the second type
- Changes in hormonal levels
- Long-term antibiotic therapy
- Acceptance of steroids, hormones (including oral contraceptives), corticosteroids
- Immunodeficiency states
- Cancer tumors
- Circulatory diseases
- Venereal diseases
- Chronic infections
- Stressful situations
One of these causes or their complex can give rise to the development of infection, which leads to the appearance of thrush symptoms.
Vaginal candidiasis before menstruation
Signs of vaginal candidiasis are very often manifested just a week before the menstruation. This is due just to fluctuations in hormonal levels. An unnatural amount of estrogen leads to the fact that the composition of microflora changes. Beneficial bacteria becomes less, acidity becomes favorable for the growth of candid.
This disease can occur more than four times a year. Usually, the symptoms go away after the onset of menstruation, as well as the acidic environment becomes too aggressive for fungal agents. The fact that the manifestations of the disease disappear by themselves does not mean that treatment is not required. On the contrary, in this case, vaginal candidiasis has a chronic form, which is much more dangerous than an acute course.
Regular effects of infection on the body can lead to serious consequences. Treatment of chronic candidiasis can be very difficult, therefore, for the manifestation of thrush for the first time you need to seek the help of a specialist.
Pregnancy and candida vagina
During pregnancy, almost every woman is faced with thrush. During this period, hormonal surges and become the norm at all, but because the composition of the microflora changes constantly. In addition, the body of the expectant mother is constantly experiencing stress and is subjected to enormous stress. The manifestation of new taste preferences, when a woman during pregnancy leans on sweet, spicy, pickled, smoked, also predisposes to the development of fungus.
Candidiasis of the vagina, which occurred during pregnancy, requires urgent therapy. The disease affects the gestation of the fetus and its development. There is a risk of miscarriage and premature birth. The most neglected cases are fraught with pathologies in the fetus.
Why do women often face candidiasis so often?
Some time ago there was practically no information about male thrush. Advertisers have created a certain myth that candidiasis is an exclusively female problem. In fact, it is not. Men also suffer from this disease, only less often.
Women are sick four times more often. The structure of the pelvic organs and genitals have to this. There are a lot of deep folds and cavities on the external genitals, and the vagina is a paradise for the development of infection. There, the pathogen will not reach from the outside, besides, the situation is whispering: inside the vagina is warm and humid, and the acidity index is constantly fluctuating. It is only important to wait for the right moment, as Candida does.
What symptoms of vaginal candidiasis bother women?
Symptoms of thrush are usually quite pronounced. Although there are a certain number of people in whom the disease does not manifest, they are carriers of the infection. But in most cases, vaginal candidiasis is characterized by symptoms such as:
- Itching in the genital area and inside the vagina. This symptom can give a lot of inconvenience to a woman. Especially itching increases when the patient sits "leg on foot" (doctors even carry out such a test). Due to itching, irritability and sleep disturbances occur.
- The secretions change their character: they become lumpy and resemble externally curdled milk. Their volume also increases, especially noticeable at night and after taking water treatments.
- The smell may not always appear, but in most cases, discharge with candidiasis first has the smell of whey, and then a pronounced sour unpleasant smell.
- Burning of the external genital organs increases during urination and after it due to mucosal contact with urine.
- Puffiness, swelling, redness are characteristic of the affected areas.
- Disorders in the sexual sphere due to the fact that sexual intercourse becomes painful.
If the candida of the vagina is chronic, then the symptoms may appear partially (only one of the symptoms may be present).
Which specialist to contact?
Vaginal candidiasis is a reason to go to an appointment with your gynecologist. If the female doctor decides that other specialists are needed, he will appoint them. This is possible if the cause of activation of the infection is required in internal disorders. You may need to look at the endocrinologist, allergist, urologist, immunologist, oncologist, and so on. In this case, an integrated approach will be used, when specialists will draw up a joint scheme of treatment of the disease.
Diagnosis of vaginal candidiasis
In order to make a diagnosis, the gynecologist conducts a survey and anamnesis. But to see firsthand the manifestations of thrush is not enough, because the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis can hide more serious infection. The doctor must identify the causes of the disease and serious illnesses. For effective treatment, predisposing factors need to be eliminated, and diseases that are found simultaneously with thrush should be treated in parallel with the neutralization of fungal agents.
To confirm the diagnosis will need and laboratory tests. To begin to analyze discharge from the vagina. It is found mycelium - filament fungus.
If there is a sufficient amount of candida in the smear, then it makes sense to sow the fungus on the environment that is favorable for it (most often it is Saburo's medium). This is done in order to differentiate the type of fungus and choose the most effective treatment.
To date, there are also many other studies that will help eliminate the complications of thrush, but they are not always available to patients. In ordinary clinics there are simply no conditions for their holding.
How to treat vaginal candidiasis?
Vaginal candidiasis is treated like other fungal infections. For this, the doctor prescribes antimycotic therapy. Produced drugs in such forms:
- Oral pills
- Vaginal suppositories
- Vaginal tablets
- The sprays
Among them, oral tablets and capsules are preparations for topical treatment, and the rest are preparations for external use.
If the disease is detected in the early stages and has no prerequisites for a complicated course, then there is a chance that the doctor will prescribe only local treatment. It has its advantages: the drug acts on the pathogen directly in the place of localization, not spreading to other organs and their systems. Moreover, with the help of external treatment, the annoying symptoms of vaginal candidiasis can quickly disappear.
Due to the single component of such drugs, their strength is often not enough to finally overcome the infection.
Препараты для приема вовнутрь
Таблетки, всасываясь через желудок, попадают в организм уже с помощью кровотока. Они разрушают клеточную мембрану кандид и обезвреживают их. As a rule, for the treatment of sufficient one-time reception of a systemic agent, but the course of treatment can be extended at the discretion of the physician.
Tablets are not as safe as local treatment, and have a lot of contraindications. This suggests that only a doctor can prescribe them.
What else is needed for effective treatment?
In order to defeat vaginal candidiasis, you must not only take medicine, but also follow the following rules:
- A woman should adjust the diet in favor of vegetables, fruits and cereals. Fermented milk products with live bacteria are also good. But sweets, pastries, spicy spices, fatty, pickled, smoked, salty food during this period only harm.
- Particular attention should be paid to hygiene: do not wear tight linen made of synthetic fabrics, do not wash away too aggressive means. There should be a separate clean towel for genitals and underwear (you can buy it new or boil the existing one). For washout, you can use soda or chamomile solution, after agreeing with the doctor.
- At the time of treatment, it is necessary to abandon sexual relations (including oral sex), and after the course is over, for prevention, to defend sex with latex contraceptives.
Prevention of thrush
In order not to encounter such a phenomenon as vaginal candidiasis, you need to follow simple tips, including such:
- Do not take antibiotics without a doctor's prescription.
- Nutrition should be rational, enriched with fiber
- High-carb foods need to be minimized in the diet.
- For hygiene of the genital organs, it is better to use only baby soap.
- Wear casual pants made of natural materials
- Do not wear tight fitting clothes.
- Avoid casual sex and unprotected sex.
- Normalize weight and metabolism
- Avoid stress and observe the regime of work and rest.
If you live the right way of life, monitor your health and give up bad habits, vaginal candidiasis will most likely just not bother you. At the first suspicion of a fungal infection, contact your gynecologist to cure him without much difficulty. If you have questions on the topic, and at the moment it is not possible to consult with your doctor, write to our specialist and you will receive an answer from our website. Do not run the problem, solve it now and be healthy.
General information about the disease
The main cause of vaginal candidiasis is the causative agent of infection - a fungus of the genus Candida. This microorganism is widely known in medicine, especially in such industries as gynecology, obstetrics, and dermatology. Recently, the prevalence of fungal diseases has reached unprecedented proportions - according to statistics, thrush takes second place among vaginal pathologies.
Fungal damage usually occurs in young women of child-bearing age. Pregnant women suffer from the symptoms of this disease much more often. Vaginal thrush practically does not occur in menopause, as well as before the onset of menstruation in girls. There are such clinical forms of this disease: asymptomatic carrier infection and true candidiasis, which is acute (can last up to 1-2 months) and chronic (lasting from 3 months or longer).
In case of candidiasis, the harmful fungal microflora activates in the woman's vagina - this process is a consequence of a decrease in the body’s immune defense. The pathogen seeks to penetrate as deep as possible into the epithelial membrane of the vagina, resulting in a response in the form of inflammation. Damaged cells begin to tear away - there is a characteristic itch that greatly bothers a woman. Most often, thrush occurs during pregnancy, because in such a situation there are significant changes in the endocrine and hormonal system, the body's defenses weaken.
With this disease in the vagina is determined by the fungus Candida - this microorganism is often part of the normal microflora of the female genitalia. In this case, the pathogen is considered opportunistic. If a fungal infection penetrates the vaginal cavity from the outside (through sexual contact, through infected objects, from the intestine), it acquires the status of pathogenic microflora.
The emergence of this pathology can contribute to some provoking factors:
- use of estrogen - hormonal contraceptives,
- abnormal antibiotic therapy
- reduction of the body's natural defenses
- the use of tampons and other hygiene products,
- the presence of fungus of the genital organs of the sexual partner,
- changing the state of the hormonal system during pregnancy or menopause,
- excessive sweating of the skin,
- vaginal cavity douching,
- insufficient intake of nutrients from food,
- oral-genital sexual contact (causes infection, if one of the partners is a carrier of oral fungus),
- wearing too tight underwear,
- non-compliance with intimate hygiene rules.
In many cases, the symptoms of thrush in the vagina in women occur in the period preceding the onset of menstruation, as well as in the summer. Often the course of candidiasis of the vagina becomes chronic. In such a situation, the clinical signs of pathology occur only in the acute stage, after which patients have a long period of remission. Chronic disease is not a normal condition and requires appropriate treatment.
Interesting! As it is not surprising, thrush is not a purely female disease. Symptoms of this disease often also affect the representatives of the stronger sex, who in most cases become infected with it from their sexual partner. The male form of this disease in medicine is called candidal balanoposthitis.
Clinical symptoms of the disease
Fungal lesion of the vagina with thrush is difficult to confuse with any other ailment. The most characteristic sign of infection in this case is a very strong, unbearable itching. This symptom is accompanied by vaginal secretions that have a pronounced white color - hence the second name of the disease.
Candidiasis is manifested by uncomfortable sensations, which are caused by the constant itching of the skin of the vulva and vaginal mucosa. This clinical symptom does not give the patient rest 24 hours a day - it almost does not change its intensity, but may become stronger at night. Itching is extremely persistent, which leads to temporary disability of a woman, causes nervous system disorders in the form of increased irritability, nervousness. This symptom often becomes the cause of mechanical trauma to the genitals, so the occurrence of such a violation should be the reason for seeking qualified medical assistance. Sometimes the pathology is accompanied by the appearance of a burning sensation that the patient feels during urination, which makes this process a bit painful.
An important aspect in the diagnosis of thrush is the nature and consistency of the discharge. What happens at the same time in the vagina? It collects a large number of whitish cheesy masses, which gradually emerge from the vaginal cavity. This phenomenon is due to the increased reproduction of fungi and damage to the epithelium of the organ. In advanced cases, candidiasis in the vagina appears yellowish-green secretions that have a sour, unpleasant odor.
Chronic forms of this disease are very difficult to cure. The main symptom of the disease in this situation is unbearable itching, aggravated during sexual intercourse. The same unpleasant symptoms can periodically occur in women a few days before the upcoming menstruation.
What is the danger of this pathology during pregnancy?
Many of the fair sex for the first time faced with a disease such as vaginal thrush, in the period of carrying a child. This fact is associated with a serious restructuring of the hormonal system and a decrease in the reactivity of the immunity of the future mother. Reducing the body's defenses - one of the main conditions necessary for the safe carrying of the fetus. Indeed, in the normal state of the immune system, its activation would lead to a spontaneous miscarriage, so the period of pregnancy for the fungal infection is the most prosperous.
Candidiasis in pregnant women is always characterized by an acute course, which is accompanied by the presence of appropriate discharge and itching. Abundant colonization of the vaginal cavity with Candida fungi can provoke a breakthrough of harmful microorganisms in the uterus, as a result of which they penetrate into the fetal membranes and amniotic fluid. The presence of symptoms of fungal infection in the mother very rarely leads to intrauterine infection of the baby, even despite such close contact with him. In such situations, the child is much more often infected when passing through the birth canal of a woman. In a newborn, the fungus causes the development of candidal otitis, stomatitis or intestinal dysbacteriosis.
Even if the patient finds all the clinical signs of vaginal candidiasis in herself, this is not a reason to self-medicate. Diagnosis of such a disease should be carried out only by an experienced specialist! Indeed, often a fungal infection occurs on the background of bacterial infection, therefore, in addition to taking antifungal medications, a woman may also need antibacterial therapy. To confirm the presence or absence of the fungus in this case helps visual inspection of the genitals and removal of the smear from the surface of the vaginal mucosa.
Smear on flora
This study is performed to determine the composition of the microflora of the genital organs. Material for laboratory analysis is taken separately from four points: from the surface of the mucous membrane of the vagina and rectum, urethra and cervical canal. Sampling is performed using sterile swabs. The material for the study is applied to special slides for further study under a microscope.
As a result of the analysis, the presence or absence of Candida in the vagina is determined, which significantly helps the doctor in making the correct diagnosis. Such a diagnostic technique is considered the fastest, besides it allows to establish the degree of development of the pathological process.
In addition to researching vaginal smears, a specialist performs a bacterial analysis - seeding the biomaterial for flora. In this case, scraping is taken from the surface of the vaginal fornix, which is then sown on nutrient medium. Such manipulation helps in determining the subspecies of the infectious pathogen, as well as its sensitivity to the effects of drugs prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of symptoms of fungal infection.
Important! In the chronic course of thrush, a woman must perform a laboratory test of blood and urine for sugar. If the symptoms of candidiasis in the vagina do not disappear for a long time even after adequate therapy is given, this may indicate the presence of diabetes in the patient.
Effective disease therapy
Treatment of vaginal candidiasis must comply with all therapeutic principles used in the infection of the female genital organs with any infection. The main method is to take antifungal suppositories or tablets for vaginal use. Some drugs have a long-term mechanism of action and are prescribed by a doctor, based on the degree of damage and the severity of the disease.
The standard treatment regimen is the use of topical medication - vaginal suppositories, tablets:
One more fact should be clarified: in case of fungal intestinal lesions, it is better to use suppositories intended for rectal administration into the rectal cavity. For the treatment of vaginal candidiasis, a solution of borax in glycerin 5% or 10% is sometimes used. But this method of treatment of this disease is ineffective and outdated, since douching in such a case does not bring the expected results.
With the purpose of treatment for thrush in the vagina, as well as for fungal infection of the intestine prescribed internal reception Fluconazole (150 mg dosage). With this pathology, the use of local drugs is not always appropriate, because they cause the activation of the bacterial microflora of the vagina, which leads to the development of gardnerella in women. But how to treat vaginal candidiasis in this case? It is advisable to use only those drugs that do not adversely affect the vaginal flora. In such a situation, the McMiror complex is prescribed - it improves the protective properties of this organ and minimizes the possibility of bacterial vaginosis.
The complex therapy of thrush includes the use of physiotherapeutic techniques, taking immunomodulatory drugs and drugs fortifying action. Medication with lactic acid bacteria can help restore the infected vaginal microflora. The disease also extends to the intestinal mucosa, therefore, for therapeutic purposes, patients are prescribed oral or injectable administration of B-group vitamins. The use of prebiotics is obligatory: Bon-Santa, Normaze, Lactusan, Dufalak.
Remember! The disappearance of the unpleasant clinical symptoms of thrush should not be regarded as the complete elimination of the disease! A qualified specialist will be able to confirm the absence of a fungal infection after performing a repeated gynecological examination of a woman. In order to completely get rid of candidiasis, both sexual partners must undergo treatment, otherwise subsequent relapses of the disease are possible.
Causes of thrush in women
Yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida, in honor of which vaginal candidiasis got its name, are part of the normal microflora of the vagina, mouth and colon, but their active reproduction triggers the pathological process and causes the appearance of cheesy vaginal discharge. The main causes of thrush in women are:
- Reduced immunity. Normally, the immune system does not allow conditionally pathogenic microorganisms to multiply uncontrollably, but bacterial and viral infections, chronic diseases and beriberi create a favorable environment for the development of thrush. For example, in people with low immune status (with HIV, after chemotherapy), candidiasis can affect even the internal organs - the lungs or the esophagus.
- Taking antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy not only pathogenic bacteria, but also beneficial microflora, which in usual times inhibits the reproduction of Candida fungi. That is why, for the prevention of vaginal candidiasis, doctors often recommend patients to take probiotics along with antibiotics, to limit the consumption of sugar and yeast products.
- Diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and other endocrine diseases. The higher the blood glucose level, the more glycogen in the vaginal epithelium. And since yeast fungi especially actively reproduce in a sweet environment, diabetic women are always at increased risk of developing chronic thrush. Hypothyroidism and other diseases of the thyroid gland can also be the cause of vaginal candidiasis, because the long course of thrush and the lack of positive dynamics of treatment is a reason to be examined by an endocrinologist.
- Pregnancy, taking birth control pills and other hormonal changes. Any hormonal changes in the body of a woman can reduce immunity, disrupt the normal acidity of the vagina and create a fertile ground for the reproduction of Candida fungi. Special care should be taken to consult a gynecologist, because in pregnant women thrush has the potential to cause a number of complications, including infection of the child during childbirth.
- Improper intimate hygiene. Too frequent washing, use of antibacterial soap, intimate deodorants, wearing synthetic underwear, irregular replacement of sanitary pads and the love of tight jeans are a direct way to relapses of thrush. It should be remembered that the vagina should not be sterile, and the microorganisms contained on its mucosa help to inhibit the reproduction of pathogenic fungi and bacteria.
Thrush in women: symptoms
The signs of thrush in women are completely impossible to ignore: itching, burning, pain during urination and heavy discharge from the vagina cause severe discomfort and push women to rashly treat thrush with folk remedies. Помните, что убирая один симптом вагинального кандидоза, вы можете усугубить другой. Например, частое подмывание с использованием жесткого мыла усиливает зуд во влагалище, потому лечить молочницу женщине следует под наблюдением врача.
- Выделения при молочнице у женщин.Выделения из влагалища – наиболее характерный симптом молочницы у женщин. You may notice lumps of white color on the underwear. On a consistence they are most of all similar to cottage cheese, easily removed from a mucous membrane of a vagina, can have sourish. With a long course of thrush, such secretions cover the mucous membrane with a dense film, and attempts to eliminate them can lead to microtraumas. It is noteworthy that in case of chronic thrush, the discharge may stop, and the woman will be bothered by the less specific symptoms of vaginal candidiasis.
- Itching and burning in the vagina with thrush. The cause of itching in thrush is the defeat of the epithelium of the vaginal mucosa by the products of the life of Candida fungi. Yeast fungi irritate sensitive nerve endings and provoke an inflammatory process. Sometimes itching can be tolerated, but at times its high intensity makes it difficult for a woman to fully relax, walk and work. Most often, the vagina is scratched in the evening, and a burning sensation occurs after intercourse, while walking and when urinating.
- Discharge with odor in vaginal candidiasis. It is important to remember that when candidiasis of the vagina discharge usually do not smell, or have a subtle "kefir" smell. If you notice that you have a discharge with an unpleasant smell, you should immediately consult a doctor: this symptom is characteristic of bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and other genital infections.
Diagnosis of candidiasis: how to identify thrush in women
Even if you have noticed all the signs of thrush, you should consult a doctor who will conduct a visual inspection and take a smear from the mucous membrane of the genital organs. Often, thrush develops against the background of other sexually transmitted infections, because in addition to antifungal agents, a woman may need antibiotic therapy.
- Smear on the flora. A smear from women is taken from the vaginal mucosa, urethra, rectal mucosa and cervical canal. The material is collected on a glass slide using a sterile swab. Subsequent microscopy will confirm or refute the diagnosis of the presence of Candida fungus cells. This method of diagnosis of thrush is the fastest and allows you to assess the severity of the pathological process.
- Buck seeding. In addition to microscopy of the vaginal smear, the doctor will conduct bacterial seeding on the flora (scraping from the vaginal fornix). This procedure is necessary to determine the subspecies of the pathogen and its sensitivity to drugs that the doctor prescribes for the treatment of thrush.
- Urine and blood sugar testing often prescribed for chronic forms of vaginal candidiasis: as you already know, thrush in women can be one of the symptoms of diabetes.
Treatment of thrush in women
The main condition for the effective treatment of thrush in women is the cessation of the pathogenic activity of Candida fungi. Antifungal drugs for internal and external use (antimycotics) perfectly cope with this task.
There are a lot of pills, suppositories and ointments from thrush on the market today, but you cannot self-medicate: the right means and the duration of the course of treatment should be prescribed by a doctor.
- Tablets from thrush. Flucanazole tablets - the most popular drug for the medical treatment of thrush in women. This synthetic antifungal drug is especially effective when the first symptoms of thrush appear. Another active ingredient that is used in tablets for vaginal candidiasis is intraconazole. Such drugs are often prescribed, if the external treatment of thrush does not lead to success, or the disease proceeds with frequent relapses. During pregnancy and feeding tablets from thrush is not prescribed.
- Candles and creams from thrush. Candles (suppositories), creams and ointments are suitable for the treatment of thrush during pregnancy and lactation. Vaginal suppositories are usually administered at bedtime, and the inner surface of the vagina and labia are treated with creams and ointments. Even if the symptoms of thrush disappeared after a single use of the medicine, it is important to follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor.
- Folk remedies for the treatment of thrush in women. Folk recipes in any case can not be used as the only means of thrush. The doctor may prescribe them to you to reduce the inflammation of the mucous membranes and restore the vaginal microflora as soon as possible. Usually in such cases it is recommended to eat onions and garlic, which are rich in biologically active phytoncides, to drink medicinal herbal infusion of juniper, yarrow, sage, eucalyptus, chamomile and calendula, wash with decoction of burdock root, calendula flowers, hypericum or oak bark.
Causes and mechanisms
It is necessary to understand that thrush is essentially an infection process in the vagina. Therefore, as in other cases, several conditions are necessary for its occurrence. First, you need the pathogen itself - a microbe. Secondly, it must somehow penetrate the mucous membrane of the genital tract. And thirdly, the state of the woman's body plays an extremely important role in the initiation of the disease.
Candidiasis is a type of fungal infection. It is caused by yeast-like microorganisms, unicellular, belonging to the genus Candida. By the nature of their connections with humans, these fungi are saprophytes, i.e., conditionally pathogenic. They inhabit the surface of the skin, oral cavity, intestines and vagina, being a component of the natural microflora. Under normal conditions, candida does not cause disease, but when creating a favorable environment, the infection process is quickly started. And the damaging factors for fungi will be the following:
- Adhesion (sticking) to the mucous membrane.
- The formation of "biofilm".
- Pseudomycelium capable of invasion in tissue.
- Synthesis of damaging enzymes (proteases, hemolysins).
- Endotoxin production and body sensitization.
- Phenotypic variation.
Normally, candida colonize the body of a child in early childhood. At birth, passing through the sexual ways of the mother, it is seeded with vaginal microflora. And then the fungi are transferred by contact with hands, household items and when feeding. Already in adulthood, you can get a decent dose of the pathogen sexually, in contact with a sick person or animal.
But even the presence of the pathogen in the vagina does not guarantee the development of an infectious process. The disease occurs only against the background of a decrease in the activity of general and local immunity. This can happen in the following cases:
- Hormonal restructuring (including during pregnancy).
- Endocrine pathology (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism).
- Infectious diseases (HIV, tuberculosis).
- Tumors and blood diseases.
- Dysbacteriosis (bacterial vaginosis).
- Inadequate nutrition and avitaminosis.
- Harmful habits (smoking, alcohol, drugs).
- Harmful working conditions (chemical and radiation contamination).
- Acceptance of certain drugs (antibiotics, hormones, immunosuppressants).
- Neglect of intimate hygiene rules.
These are the situations when the protective properties of the vaginal mucosa fall. Then the fungi involve their pathogenicity factors and cause the inflammatory process. At first, it has a local character, but with a pronounced immunodeficiency it is able to spread beyond the limits of the reproductive system, becoming the cause of generalized candidiasis.
Vaginal candidiasis develops in the presence of the pathogen, with the implementation of the mechanism of its transmission and against the background of a decrease in the protective properties of the organism.
Fungal infection occurs in several forms. The most favorable is the carriage of candidates. A woman's body has enough reserves to prevent the development of infection, so the pathogen does not show its pathogenicity, remaining a saprophyte. Otherwise, there is acute candidiasis, which can then go into chronic thrush.
Obvious clinical signs are already characteristic of the acute form of the disease. Most women just treat them to the doctor. These are the following symptoms:
- Burning, dryness and itching in the vagina.
- The appearance of pathological secretions: thick, with small white inclusions and sour odor.
- Discomfort and soreness during sexual intercourse.
- Dysuric disorders (cramps during urination).
Discomfort in the intimate area can be almost constant, and often they increase after exercise, menstruation, bathing. This creates obvious difficulties in daily activities, preventing a woman from leading a normal life. During a gynecological examination, it can be determined that the mucous membrane of the vagina is covered with a white patina of cheesy-like consistency with small plaques. Under them opens hyperemic (reddened) and edematous surface, which bleeds easily when in contact with the toolkit. The infection often spreads to nearby areas: the cervix (urethritis), the vulva (vulvitis) and the urethra (urethritis).
Chronic candidiasis of the vagina is accompanied by less pronounced symptoms. But this form of the disease also has characteristics. The infectious process is accompanied by trophic changes of the mucous membrane: it is loose, with foci of erosion and whitish bloom. Characteristic curd-like discharge is replaced by a bloody bloody. From complaints to the fore dryness in the intimate area. Prolonged inflammation causes vaginal compaction due to hardening of the walls (proliferative form).
Thrush is not as harmless as it seems at first glance. It also creates additional risks during pregnancy. First, in a chronic process that has spread to the internal genital organs, adhesions develop in the pelvis, which causes infertility. Secondly, even with the usual course of candidiasis and favorable conception, obstetric complications in the form of spontaneous abortion, delayed fetal development and infection are likely. Therefore, a woman who wants to have a child must be carefully examined, including for vaginal candidiasis.
To diagnose a fungal infection, it is necessary to identify it. And for this one gynecological examination is not enough. The physician needs to confirm his assumption with additional funds. The complex of procedures that await a woman with thrush includes such laboratory and instrumental methods:
- Clinical blood and urine tests.
- Biochemical analysis of blood (immunogram and antibodies to infections, hormones, glucose).
- Vaginal smear (cytology, microflora).
- Selection analysis (seeding, PCR).
- Ultrasound of the pelvis.
This is a standard set of diagnostic tools required in such cases. Vaginal candidiasis must be differentiated from dysbiosis (bacterial vaginosis) and other infections of the genital tract.
Clinical symptoms allow us to suspect thrush, and the diagnosis can be confirmed only by additional research, the main purpose of which is to identify the pathogen.
Vaginal thrush, despite its widespread distribution, is well treatable. The main condition for obtaining a therapeutic effect is the destruction of the causative agent of infection - Cand. And for the result to be stable, it is important to ensure the normalization of immune homeostasis in the woman’s body (local and general). This can only provide medication.
The basis of drug exposure are antifungal drugs. They inhibit the growth and development of microbes or have a direct damaging effect on their cells. This group of medications include:
- Fluconazole (Diflucan, Flucostat, Tsiskan).
- Clotrimazole (Kanesten, Antifungol, Candide).
- Ketoconazole (Livarol, Nizoral).
- Itraconazole (Orungal, Itramicol).
- Econazole (Gyno-Pevaril, Ekodaks).
- Omoconazole (Mikogal).
- Natamycin (Pimafucin).
- Terbinafin (Terbizil, Funterbin).
Also used combined means, which may include other antimicrobial components (Wagisept, Klion-D, Polygynax, Neo-Penotran). Often used drugs in the local form - in the form of ointment, gel, vaginal suppositories or tablets. And besides antifungal agents, use a wide-spectrum drugs or vaginal antiseptics. These include, for example, Miramistin, Fluomizin, Betadine.
To consolidate the effect of antimicrobial agents, it is necessary to use drugs that restore the body's defenses and the balance of the natural microflora of the vagina. This is the only way to achieve a stable result in treatment. Therefore, candidiasis of the vagina requires the additional appointment of the following drugs:
- Immunomodulators (Viferon, Genferon).
- Probiotics (Bifidumbacterin, Linex).
- Vitamins and trace elements.
These tools have both a systemic fortifying effect and enhance the protective properties of the mucous membrane of the vagina. In the future it will prevent the development of fungi on it.
The duration of the course of treatment, as well as the dosage of the medication, is set by the doctor. It is strictly forbidden to take any of the drugs yourself.
Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis
In women, the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are most often manifested by discomfort and discharge. Discomfort causes breeding fungus. Which allocates waste products, which, in turn, irritate the mucous membrane and cause burning sensations, itching. As a result of irritation of the mucous membranes, a rich, cheesy discharge appears, sometimes with an unpleasant smell, scratching may occur with a secondary infection, burning sensations may be present in the urethra.
Vaginal candidiasis in children
Any age groups are susceptible to candidiasis, for example, vaginal candidiasis in children can be diagnosed at a very early age, which is associated with the transmission of the pathogenic strain from mother to child during birth. Children’s vaginal candidiasis also manifests itself as a result of antibiotics and reduced immunity, may be the result of allergization of the child in 2-3 years, sometimes candidiasis accompanies puberty due to hormonal instability. Vaginal candidiasis in children more often than in adults causes painful urination, itching and burning are felt more acutely, the discharge may be absent or be colorless with slight cheesy patches. Girls have asymptomatic candida carrier, acute candidal, chronic, recurrent and complicated candidiasis.
Candidiasis of the vagina in women
Among the population, candidiasis of the vagina in women is spread along with candidiasis in men (the head and foreskin are affected). A fungal infection colonizes the mucous membranes only when immunity is lowered and is often itself a signal of hidden problems in the body. Sexual transmission is not the main pathway for candida. The provoking factors for the disease are: the presence of chronic infections (including HIV), prolonged uncontrolled antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes (and any systemic disease), hormonal instability, stress. As a rule, candidiasis of the vagina in women is diagnosed by gynecologists, since many of the symptoms of the disease are similar to those of sexually transmitted diseases.
If a woman does not seek help, is treated unsystematically, then the acute period of candidiasis becomes chronic candidiasis of the vagina, which lasts for years. This diagnosis is made in the case of constant manifestations of the disease which has 4 or more periods of exacerbation per year. Urogenital candidiasis is increasingly difficult to treat, despite the abundance of antifungal agents. The reason may be a deteriorating habitat quality, which leads to a decrease in the immunity of entire generations, difficulty in restoring microflora due to the abundance of preservatives and antibacterial enthusiasm, due to self-treatment, an increase in cases of systemic diseases in the population. Chronic vaginal candidiasis changes the quality of life, leads to nervous exhaustion and is more and more difficult to treat.
To reduce the risk of developing thrush is very important prevention, which includes the development of certain hygienic habits and diet. So, experts advise:
- Eating yogurts and other dairy products regularly, containing live lactoflora,
- To minimize the use of sweets, including very sweet fruits (grapes),
- Give up alcohol
- If you are unsure of your sexual partner, use barrier methods of contraception,
- Not long in a wet swimsuit, wear underwear made from natural fabrics,
- Do not wash off often without the need (useful microorganisms wash out),
- For hygiene of the genital organs do not use soap, preferring special gels,
- Abandon bleaches, softeners and flavors when washing clothes,
- If possible, do not use tampons during menstrual bleeding, but replace them with gaskets.
Если всегда помнить о профилактических мероприятиях и следовать советам специалистов, то опасность развития влагалищного кандидоза станет значительно ниже. If, nevertheless, a woman has found signs of illness, then for the qualitative treatment and prevention of complications she needs to visit a gynecologist.